7 fabulous coastal walks in Gower, Wales

by Jan
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As an Area of Outstanding National Beauty, Gower offers a wide choice of coastal walks, all with stunning views.  With its varied coastline and unspoilt scenery, the Gower Peninsular is a dream destination for walkers.   Follow our ideas for coastal walks in Gower, which will lead you to smugglers’ caves, serpent-shaped islands, golden beaches and some of the best coastal scenery in the world.

Rhossili Bay to Worm's Head

Views from Coastal Path across sea to Worms Head, Rhossili

A dragon-shaped island, a world-class beach and spectacular nature and wildlife are just some of the sights you would expect to see on this Gower coastal walk.

When you first arrive at Rhossili the views of the stunning, golden beach will take your breath away.  However, before you go down to the beach, there are several amazing walks you can choose from.

The most exciting of these walks is the trip across to Worm’s Head, as it involves a scramble across the rocks on the causeway to reach the promontory.  Worm’s Head is the narrow serpent-shaped tidal island at the end of the coastline.  The name comes from the Viking “Wurm” meaning dragon.

Start from the car park with an easy stroll down the paved path to the old Coastguard Lookout.  From here, cross the grassy headland and then begin your descent to the causeway.

Check the Rhossili Bay tide times here before you leave.  The walk can only be done 2.5 hours either side of low tide.

Take water with you and wear sturdy shoes.

The route to the islands involves crossing uneven rocks and swerving rock pools.  At the end of the causeway, climb up onto the first island, known as Inner Head.

It’s an easy walk to the other side, where you will need to cross a second causeway to get to the Devil’s Bridge.  This natural limestone arch will lead you to the furthest island, Outer Head.

Once you have had your fill of the natural beauty and wildlife, you can retrace your steps back to the mainland.

Other alternative walks at Rhossili Bay include a circular walk around the Vile or a hike across the Rhossili Downs.  The latter walk follows the Wales Coastal Path across the cliffs looking down on the beach.

  • Distance:    2.5 miles (to Outer Head)
  • Parking:       National Trust Car Park (Postcode: SA3 1PP)
  • Refreshments:  Worm’s Head Hotel; The Causeway; The Bay (all at the top by car park)
  • Facilities:     Public toilets by car park

Mumbles Pier to Swansea Bay

View of Mumbles Pier with sea weed covered rocks in foreground

The trail from Mumbles to Swansea Bay is on the promenade, which starts at Mumbles Pier.  From here you can enjoy sweeping views over Swansea Bay, as you head towards Swansea Marina.

This is likely to be one of the busiest of the Gower walks, as it is most accessible.  However, it has great views and is perfect for people-watching.  The promenade is shared between cyclists and pedestrians, but is clearly divided.  Luckily, as you head away from the urban areas, it becomes less busy.

Obviously, if you want to do a shorter walk you could head back earlier.  Alternatively, you could make it a circular walk and include a visit to Oystermouth Castle, which sits on the hill looking down on the Mumbles.

  • Distance:     10 miles
  • Parking:       Mumbles Car Park (Postcode: SA3 4BX )
  • Refreshments:  Lots of options along promenade
  • Facilities:     Public toilets in car park

Caswell Bay to Langland Bay

Langland Bay view from coastal path

To start, follow the Wales Coast Path from the beach at Caswell Bay.  It is way-marked and impossible to get lost (which is always a bonus for me!).  The route will take you along the rugged cliffs to the neighbouring beach of Langland Bay, where you will recognise the iconic green and white beach huts.

This is a fairly short walk, but gives a good introduction to walks along the beautiful Gower coastline.  The route is paved and short, but some sections are steep, so may prove difficult for some.

On arrival at Langland Bay, stop for refreshments or a visit to the beach and then retrace your steps.

  • Distance:     2.5 miles
  • Parking:       Caswell Bay Car Park (Postcode: SA3 3BS)
  • Refreshments: Refreshments kiosk at Caswell Bay or Langland Bay
  • Facilities:     Public toilets in car park

Keep your eye out on the sea as this is a popular spot for seals and porpoises.

Oxwich Point Circular Walk

signposts for Oxwich Point Walk

This woodland walk starts just past St Illtyd’s Church in the seaside village of Oxwich.  Start by climbing the steep steps, which leads up onto a woodland path.  You can then follow the limestone cliffs through the trees, until you reach Oxwich Point.  From this open viewpoint, you can enjoy undisturbed views of Oxwich Bay.

On your return you have the option to take a detour via the ruins of Oxwich Castle.  Despite its name, this is actually a Tudor manor house, built by the Mansel family to impress their neighbours.  Today, the building is in ruins, but you can still see the remains of the ancient dovecote.

  • Distance:     3.5 miles
  • Parking:       Oxwich Bay Car Park (Postcode: SA3 1LS)
  • Refreshments: Refreshment kiosk or Fish & Chip Shop (by beach)
  • Facilities:     Public toilets in car park

It can get muddy and slippy, so wear sturdy shoes.

Port Eynon to Overton Mere (via Culver Hole)

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

This trail will fill you with a sense of adventure as you follow in the footsteps of  smugglers of byegone times.  It was one of our most exciting walks in Gower and also the most wet and windy!

Our walk starts in seaside village of Port Eynon.  This was formerly a thriving village, occupied by oyster fishermen, mariners and quarry men.  Nowadays, it is a popular holiday resort, with a good choice of camping and caravanning accommodation.

Start the walk in front of the beach in Port Eynon, then head west on the Wales Coastal Path.  From here, follow the skyline ridge walk to the monument.  It was extremely blustery up here, so hold on to your hat.

If you want to visit the aforementioned smugglers’ cave, you need to double back on yourself and descend the cliff face.   It is a fairly precarious descent, but it certainly adds a sense of challenge to the walk.

The smugglers’ den is, in fact, Culver Hole,  a former medieval dovecote from the 13th Century.  It is a man-made cave built in the cliffs, but can’t be seen from the top.  Thought to have been built for doves, it has since been used as an armoury and by smugglers.

Once you’ve found the cave, retrace your steps to the headland, and continue your walk into Overton Mere Nature Reserve.  Now, you have the option to access Overton Beach, where you can explore the rock pools.

To return, take a right turn from Overton Nature Reserve up to the woods and return to Port Eynon.  You can then go down to the beach or head for a pint in the pub.  You may want to visit the historic Port Eynon Salt House, which looks out over the bay.

Alternatively, if you want a longer coastal walk in Gower, you could follow the Wales Coast Path all the way to Rhossili Bay.

  • Distance:    2 miles (can be extended)
  • Parking:       Eynon Car Park (Postcode:  SA3 1NN)
  • Refreshments: Smuggler’s Beach Bar & Kitchen (in Port Eynon)
  • Facilities:     Public toilets in car park

A circular walk at Oxwich Bay Nature Reserve

sand dunes at Oxwich Bay Nature reserve

This route follows the most varied landscapes of our coastal walks in Gower.  You can expect to enjoy a rich mixture of  beach, sand dunes, woodland, marsh and a National Nature Reserve. Yes, all in one walk!

If you start at the gate in Oxwich Bay car park, you can follow the tracks over the sand dune system of Oxwich Burrows Nature Reserve.  This is a National Nature Reserve and will lead you on an undulating path,  past many species of wildflowers, notably bee and early marsh orchids.  The path runs parallel to the beach, so if you tire of going up and down you could take the easier option of a beach stroll.

At the end of Oxwich Bay, you will come to the pretty stream, Nicholaston Pill.  Turn left here and follow the stream briefly.  You can then return the other side of the nature reserve, taking time to stop at the bird hide on the way.  This will lead back to the car park.

Alternatively, you could cross the bridge and take the path that leads up into Nicholaston Woods.  This is a nice shady path, but you will have to do the last part of the walk on a country road to get back to Oxwich Bay.

  • Distance:     3 miles
  • Parking:       Oxwich Bay Car Park (Postcode: SA3 1LS)
  • Refreshments: Refreshment kiosk or Fish & Chip Shop (by beach)
  • Facilities:     Public toilets in car park

Penmaen to Three Cliffs Bay

Pennard Pill stream stepping stones

This is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque coastal walks in Gower.  When you look down on Three Cliffs Bay, you will see why!

Follow through the woods and down the valley to the beach.  When you get to the bottom, you will need to cross the stepping stones to get across the Pennard Pill stream, which snakes around the beach.

As you descend, you will see Pennard Castle on the cliffs looking down on the beach.

Three Cliffs Bay was named for the 3 limestone cliffs on the beach.  There is even a natural stone arch so you can walk under the cliffs.

You can return up the other side past Pennard Castle.   Here, you’ll get a marvellous viewpoint of the winding river, the sand dunes and the beach.

Check the tide times and keep an eye on the water, so that you can return safely.

  • Distance:     2.5 miles
  • Parking:       Field opposite Shepherd’s Store or car park at Gower Heritage Centre
  • Postcode:     SA3 2EH
  • Refreshments: Groceries in Shepherd’s; Café at Heritage Centre or The Gower Pub
  • Facilities:     Public toilets in car park

For more information for your visit to the Gower Peninsula, read:-

Have you done any coastal walks in Gower yet?  Which was your favourite?  Please feel free to comment below.

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2 comments

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2 comments

Ross 31st July 2020 - 3:21 pm

Great post! Planning to do the walk form Rhossili to worm’s head but would also like to do some of the others. We love walking, especially on the coast path but haven’t done any on the Gower. This is really useful information. Thanks.

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Hannah 31st July 2020 - 2:37 pm

These look like some fantastic walks! Now that lockdown restrictions have been lifted a little I can’t wait for our next weekend away. We’d really hoped to go and explore Wales, so now we know where to go 🙂

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