Best Beaches in Gower, Wales

by Jan

As Britain’s first Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty, you would expect the Gower Peninsula to be beautiful, but some of the best beaches in Gower are just spectacular.  With a choice of long beaches with golden sands or more rugged, secluded coves, there is something for all tastes.

In this guide, we share our favourite beaches in Gower and practical information for a visit.

Chimptrips name written in sand, Gower Peninsula

Rhossili Bay

Looking back at Rhossili Bay Beach from cliffs, Gower Peninsula

One of the best things to do in the Gower Peninsula is to visit Rhossili Bay.  Not only does it have one of the most picturesque beaches in the UK, but you can find amazing Gower walks, a field of golden sunflowers and an adventure walk to a serpent-shaped island!

Rhossili Bay has 3 miles of golden sand, set with a backdrop of the stunning Rhossili Downs.  On first sight, the view across Rhossili and neighbouring Llangenith is absolutely breath-taking and unsurprisingly Rhossili has been voted one of the best beaches in the UK for 7 consecutive years.  Not only that. Rhossili Bay has won awards for being one of the best beaches in the world!

Wood remains of Helvetia Shipwreck Rhossili Bay Beach, Gower Peninsula

And, as if all that golden sand and natural beauty isn’t enough, Rhossili Bay even has its own shipwreck, the Helvetia.  The timbers of this ancient Norwegian wreck stick out from the sand, reminding any visiting kids of bygone nautical adventures.

We loved our visit to Rhossili Bay, especially as we took the opportunity for a walk to Worm’s Head before our trip to the beach.  Worm’s Head is the serpent-like island at the end of the headland and we had great fun climbing over the causeway to reach it.  However,  you must go 2.5 hours either side of low tide, or you will be cut off.

View of Worms Head, Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula

Useful information

  • Parking:                 National Trust Car Park
  • Postcode:              SA3 1PP (click for map)
  • Refreshments:     Worm’s Head Hotel; The Causeway; The Bay (top by car park)
  • Facilities:              Public toilets by car park

How to get to Rhosilli Bay

Rhossili Bay is on the south western side of the Gower Peninsula.  Head to the village of Scurlage and then follow the B4247 to Rhossili village.

You can access the beach through a small gate, which leads on a steep path down to the beach.  It takes about 10 minutes to walk down (and slightly longer on the way back up!)

Alternatively, if you are travelling by public transport, take the 118 bus from Swansea to Rhossili.  The bus takes about an hour and stops in the village by the church.

JERUSALEM CHAPEL COMPETITION

Oxwich Bay

View of wide Sandy beaches at Oxwich Bay Beach looking out towards Three Cliffs, Gower Peninsula

With its magnificent sand dunes and rare marshland, Oxwich Bay beach forms part of a National Nature Reserve in Oxwich.  It is an incredibly special place and has been voted as one of the best beaches in Britain.

As well as the attraction of its vast sandy beach, Oxwich Bay offers accessible parking and facilities and this combination makes it a popular Gower beach for families.

The car park and toilets are directly in front of the beach and refreshments are easily available from the fish & chip shop or beachfront refreshment kiosk.  And of course, there’s the Michelin-starred Beach House Restaurant, for those who prefer fine dining with an idyllic view.

The beach is great for sandcastles, games, and a splash about in the clear waters.  It is an ideal location for anyone wanting to try out the many water sports on offer.  Paddle boarding and kayaking are particularly popular at Oxwich.

View of rocks leading into sea with Sunrise over Oxwich Bay, Gower Peninsula

Early risers at Oxwich Bay beach can enjoy picture perfect sunrise, with panoramic views stretching out to Three Cliffs Bay.  We got up at 5am for our early morning photos.  But it really was worth it, though we sneaked back to bed when we got back in.  (Well, it was Sunday!)

Now, for a different vibe, head to the beach late afternoon.  At the end of the day, the scene at Oxwich Bay is more serene, with people enjoying beach barbeques, romantic strolls, and dog walks.

If you want a more tranquil beach experience, head up towards Nicholaston Burrows.  It’s about 20 minutes’ walk, but you’ll be able to bask in the solitude of this quiet end of the beach.

From here, you could head up into Nicholaston Woods for a shady walk or take some time to explore the sand dunes and nature reserve.  Expect to find a wide variety of flora and fauna, especially wild orchids.

Useful information

  • Parking:             Oxwich Bay Car Park
  • Postcode:            SA3 1LS (click for map)
  • Refreshments:   Refreshment kiosk or Fish & Chip Shop (by beach)
  • Facilities:             Public toilets in car park

How to get to Oxwich Bay

Oxwich Bay is on the South coast of the Gower Peninsula, about 12 miles from Swansea.

Follow the A4118 through Parkmill and Nicholaston until you see the signpost.  Then take the steep narrow road down into the village of Oxwich, where you will see the car park on your left.

Pobbles Bay

View of sandy beach and green cliffs at Pobbles Bay, Gower Peninsula

Pobbles Bay is a beautiful, golden bay which is adjacent to the more famous Three Cliffs Beach.  It is a clean golden beach, which is great for building and digging.  Pobbles Bay is surrounded by limestone cliffs, which are popular for climbers.

This lovely Gower beach is also popular with children exploring the rock pools for crabs and shrimps.  For the first time ever, we saw multiple golden star fish, which was extremely exciting for the boys.

Although Pobbles Bay is a secluded family-friendly beach, when the tide is out you can walk to the neighbouring beaches of Three Cliffs Bay and Tor Bay.  Plus, if you are feeling very energetic, you could walk as far as Oxwich Bay, but check the tide times before you go!

Useful information

  • Parking:      Southgate National Trust Car Park
  • Postcode:    SA3 2DH (click for map)
  • Refreshments: Three Cliffs Coffee Shop or The Southgate Pub
  • Facilities: Public toilets by car park

How to get to Pobbles Beach

Pobbles Beach is on the south eastern side of the Gower Peninsula. Follow the B4436 through Kittle, then Pennard and you will arrive at the little village of Southgate.   The number 14 bus also runs here.

You can access the beach via a coastal path, which takes you down to the beach.   This follows a fantastic scenic trail across the headlands, but takes about 25 minutes.

Three Cliffs Bay

Of all the stunning beaches in Gower, Three Cliffs Bay takes top prize.

Now, of course, you get a vast expanse of golden sands, that is common amongst the Gower beaches.  On top of that you have the pinnacles of three cliffs on the beach and a natural walk-through cave.  Oh, and I mustn’t forget a meandering river that snakes its way across the beach and quirky stepping stones to get across.  All of this is overseen by a splendid ancient castle that towers above the beach from the grassy cliff tops.

Really, what more could you want?

Maybe the sea could be a bit warmer?  I did try my best to swim, but it really was cold.

However, there is a safe swimming area, with lifeguards.  It is worth keeping to this zone, as there are some rip currents in the bay.  There were also some natural pools on the beach, that were ideal for toddlers.

Three Cliffs Bay is completely undeveloped and unspoilt.  It has no facilities on the beach but this is a key contributor to its charm and beauty.

View of Three cliffs bay from cave, Gower Peninsula
Octopus sandcastle, Gower Peninsula

Useful information

  • Parking:      Car park opposite Shepherd’s Store in Penmaen or at Gower Heritage Centre
  • Postcode:     SA3 2EH (click for map)
  • Refreshments:Groceries in Shepherd’s; Café at Heritage Centre or The Gower Pub
  • Facilities: Public toilets in car park

How to get to Three Cliffs Bay

From the car park in Parkmill, take a scenic walk down through the valley onto Pennard Burrows.  You will see the magnificent ruins of Pennard Castle looking down on the beach.  At the bottom, you can cross the stream, Pennard Pill, via the stepping stones which lead to the beach.

At low tide, you can park at Southgate and follow the path down to Pobbles Bay.

Although the walk down to Three Cliffs beach is stunning, the lack of access may make it difficult for some families.

Caswell Bay

Caswell Bay on overcast morning, Gower Peninsula, Wales

With easy access to the car park and facilities, it’s not surprising that Caswell Bay beach is one of the best Gower beaches for families.  Caswell Bay is on the south east coast of the Gower Peninsula, just past Langland Bay.

Caswell Bay is a Blue Flag beach and a popular choice in summer.  The car park is opposite, and you can walk to Caswell Bay beach within minutes.  You can also access refreshments and toilets from the beach.

Caswell Bay is smaller than some of the other Gower beaches, but is a popular beach for surfing.

If you want to see more of the beautiful coastline, follow the headland walk on the Wales Coast Path to the neighbouring beach of Langland Bay.

Useful information

  • Parking:      Caswell Bay Car Park
  • Postcode:    SA3 3BS (click for map)
  • Refreshments:Refreshments kiosk at Caswell Bay
  • Facilities:     Public toilets in car park

How to get to Caswell Bay

Head for Mumbles and then take the B4593 (Caswell Road) to Caswell.  You can park and walk straight to the beach.

For public transport, take the 2A bus, which goes via Mumbles.

Langland Bay

View of Langland Bay and Beach huts, Gower Peninsula, Wales

Langland Bay is best known for its distinctive green and white beach huts that overlook the beach.

With its sandy beach and access to facilities, it’s another of the most family-friendly beaches in Gower.  The beach is clean and safe and is often awarded the Blue Flag beach award.

In addition, Langland Bay has a few rock pools and is a popular beach for surfing.

Being just up the road from Mumbles, it is one of the Gower’s more urban beaches.  However, you can still see rugged coastline by taking the Gower Coastal Walk to Caswell Bay, or in the other direction to Mumbles.

If you want to see more of the beautiful coastline, follow the headland walk on the Gower Coast Path to the neighbouring beach of Caswell Bay.

Useful information

  • Parking:            Langland Bay Car Park
  • Postcode:          SA3 4SQ (click for map)
  • Refreshments:  Cafe and restaurant on beach front at Langland Bay
  • Facilities:          Public toilets in car park

How to get to Langland Bay

Head for Mumbles and then take the B4593 (Langland Road Road) to Langland.  You can park and walk straight to the beach.

For public transport, take the 2A bus, which goes via Mumbles.

Mumbles Beach & Bracelet Bay

View of Mumbles Pier over pebble beach, Gower Peninsula

Mumbles is a traditional seaside town, just south of Swansea.  The coastline stretches for 5 miles around Swansea Bay and there is a promenade connecting the two towns.  You can walk or cycle along this promenade and take in the splendid views of the bay.

The headland of Mumbles is home to its iconic Victorian pier, which leads to two lifeboat stations, the old and new.

At the end of Swansea Beach, you will find Mumbles Beach.  This is a small, sheltered beach, accessible by steps from Mumbles Pier.

From the beach, you can see Mumbles Lighthouse, which stands on an island to the right of the pier.  As it was low tide, we walked across the rocks to visit the lighthouse.  Then, we were able to climb up onto Lighthouse Island and walk right round the building.

From Lighthouse Island, you get great views of the headland and from here, can see the neighbouring beach of Bracelet Bay.

At low tide on Bracelet Bay there is plenty of golden sand and a good selection of rock pools.  Although Bracelet Bay is not as classically beautiful as some of the other golden beaches, it’s a good location for crab hunting, which is always popular in our house.

Bracelet Bay has received the coveted Green Coast Award in recognition of its untouched and rugged beauty.

Useful information

  • Parking:            numerous car parks in Mumbles (or Limeslade Bay if you are going to Bracelet Bay)
  • Postcode:           SA3 4EE (click for map)
  • Refreshments: Supermarket, cafes and eateries along promenade
  • Facilities:           Public toilets in car park

How to get to Mumbles Beach

Follow the Mumbles Road (A4067) from Swansea

If you want to use public transport, take the 2A bus.

Alternatively, if you have time you can cycle or walk along the promenade.

Port Eynon

Brick Dove cote/Smugglers hide built into cliff face at Culver Hole, Port Eynon, Gower Peninsula

Port Eynon is on the south coast of Gower, just up from Oxwich Bay.  It is another award-winning beach and is one of the best Gower beaches for families.

However, we didn’t visit the beach for the seaside, but to visit a mysterious smugglers’ cave in the cliffs.  Our intrepid walk started by Port Eynon beach, but we soon left the shore to climb up to the cliff tops on our quest to find Culver Hole.

Culver Hole is a man-made cave built in the cliffs.  Apparently, it was originally a medieval dovecote from the 13th Century.   However, its prime location was ideal for a smugglers’ den in subsequent years.

Having found the dovecote, we continued to the nature reserve at Overton Mere and then returned to Port Eynon beach via the woods.  We had high hopes for a picnic on the beach, but the weather had other plans.

Our adventure on the cliffs was fantastic, but we’ll have to save Port Eynon beach for another day!

Useful information

  • Parking:            Port Eynon Car Park
  • Postcode:          SA3 1NN (click for map)
  • Refreshments:  The Ship Inn; Smugglers Beach Bar; fish & Chip shop
  • Facilities:          Public toilets in car park

How to get to Port Eynon

Follow the A4118 past Scurlage and all the way to Port Eynon.  The car park is on the right and beach is directly in front.

For public transport, take the 118 bus from Swansea.

Have you been to any of the Gower beaches?   Which was your favourite?  Please comment below.

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