Explore the wonderful Gower AONB on this series of coastal walks in Wales. In 1956, Gower became the first area in the United Kingdom to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is a fantastic area for walking with miles of coastal paths, beautiful bays and national nature reserves with sand dunes, lakes and a variety of coastal flora and fauna.
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Gower Walk Map
|Bishopston Valley||2 miles (3 km)||This walk takes you through a beautiful wooded valley to the stunning beach at Pwll Du Bay. It's a delightful tranquil area with the running water of the river and interesting flora and fauna.|
The walk starts in Kittle and follows footpaths south through the Bishopston Valley. The paths runs along the river which is surrounded by woodland and little caves. You continue through wet meadows grazed by cattle and home to various wildflowers before coming to the delightfully secluded Pwll Du Bay. Here you can enjoy a stroll along the beach and take in the wonderful coastal views of the Gower.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could head a mile or so west and visit the ruins of Pennard Castle and explore the beautiful Pennard Burrows. If you head east along the coast towards Swansea you will find the Mumbles where there are more nice coastal walking paths.
The valley is located just a few miles south west of Swansea.
|Cefn Bryn||7 miles (12 km)||This super walk in the Gower AONB takes you along an elevated sandstone ridge known as the 'backbone of Gower'. With a high point of 188m/617 ft the walk is quite challenging but you are rewarded with wonderful views of the coastline and countryside of the Gower Peninsula. |
The walk starts in the little village of Penmaen where there is parking at the National Trust car park. You then pick up the good footpath along the ridge with wonderful views back to Oxwich Bay. You continue towards Cefn Bryn Common and to the neolithic burial ground of Arthur's Stone. Its name comes from a legend that the ancient British King Arthur threw a large stone from Llanelli which landed on this spot. Look out for Wild ponies and horses in this area. There is also the Broad Pool nature reserve consisting of a large pond which attracts wildlife such as dragonflys and wetland birds.
This walk descends back to Penmaen from Arthur's Stone but you could continue along the ridge to Ryer's Down and Llanmadoc where you will find the splendid Whiteford Sands Nature Reserve. Here you will find woodland and sand dunes with nice coastal views to the lighthouse at Whiteford Point.
The Three Cliffs Bay Walk also starts from Penmaen.
|Gower Way||35 miles (56 km)||This walk takes you through the stunning Gower AONB from Penlle'r Castell in the north, to Rhossili on the Gower Peninsula, in the south. The route was inaugurated by the Prince of Wales in 1998 and takes you past a variety of impressive historical sites, including ancient cairns, standing stones and Norman chapels.|
The first section runs from Penlle'r Castell to Gowerton, passing the Upper and Lower Lliw Valley reservoirs, before crossing the River Lliw a Gorseinon.
The second section runs from Gowerton to Penmaen where you can enjoy splendid coastal views of Oxwich Bay.
The final section runs from Penmaen to Rhossili, with a climb to the sandstone ridge of Cefn Bryn where there are more fabulous views of the Gower Peninsula.
At Rhossili you can enjoy wonderful views over Rhossili Bay and Worm's Head. This unusual promontory, is shaped like a giant sea-serpent and marks the most westerly tip of Gower. It is possible to walk to Worm's Head but only when the tide is out so check tide times before if you intend to extend your walk here.
The walk is waymarked with a black, green and yellow disc.
|Mumbles Circular||3 miles (5.5 km)||This circular walk takes you around the Mumbles headland on the on the western edge of Swansea Bay. It starts by the bus station and information centre near Oystermouth Castle. It's well worth exploring the ruins of the 12 century Norman Castle before starting the coastal walk. There are lovely views over the bay from the castle grounds.|
You head along the coast to Mumbles Head where there is a lifeboat station and long pier. From here there are great views out to Mumbles Head and the lighthouse.
You continue along the coast, passing Bracelet Bay and Limeslade Bay before heading to the lovely Langland Bay. There's a nice beach here and great views down the Gower coast.
If you'd like to extend your walk you could continue along the Gower coast and visit the delightful Bishopston Valley and visit the beautiful secluded beach at Pwll Du Bay.
|Oxwich Bay Circular||4 miles (6.5 km)||This circular walk explores the area surrounding Oxwich Bay on the Gower Peninsula. The Travel Magazine named Oxwich beach the most beautiful in Britain.|
You start at the car park in Oxwich and head along the coast through Oxwich Wood before continuing to Oxwich point where there are splendid coastal views. On the way you will pass the fascinating St Illtud's Church. Founded in the 6th century the church has an interesting stone font and tranquil grounds.
From Oxwich point you continue around the southern part of the headland with views over Port-Eynon Bay. Footpaths through the countryside then take you back to Oxwich via the fine ruins of Oxwich Castle. The route then heads through the lovely sand dunes of Oxwich Burrows Nature Reserve where you can look out for a variety of flora and fauna. These include more than 600 species of plants such as Bee Orchids and Early Marsh-orchids.
The area also includes a freshwater lake, salt marsh and the pretty stream of Nicholaston Pill. Look out for birds including Cetti's Warblers, Sedge Warblers and Bittern.
If you'd like to continue your exercise then you could try the Three Cliffs Bay Walk which visits Nicholaston Burrows and Penmaen Burrows. The video below shows a walk from Oxwich to Three Cliffs also.
You could also continue along the coast path to the village of Port Eynon via Horton. It's a lovely walk passing along the coast with views of Port Eynon Bay and beach.
|Pennard Castle||4 miles (6 km)||Visit this ruined 12th century castle and explore the beautiful Pennard Burrows on this circular walk on the Gower Peninsula. It's a stunning area with a wooded valley and the fresh water river of Pennard Pill. |
The walk starts from the large parking area at West Cliff and heads along the coast to Shire Combe with wonderful views over Three Cliffs Bay (you can actually explore this section of the coast path on the google street view link below). There are nice wide grassy footpaths through fields surrounded by gorse bushes on this section. You then head through Pennard Burrows to Pennard Castle, crossing the delightful Pennard Pill on the way. The walk continues to the ruins on sandy paths. The castle is a grade II listed building and a scheduled ancient monument with a fascinating history stretching back several centuries.
If you would like to extend your walking in the area then you could try the Three Cliffs Bay Walk for more fabulous views. You could also pick up the Gower Way long distance walk or climb the sandstone ridge of Cefn Bryn for magnificent views over the area.
Just a mile to the east is the lovely Bishopston Valley with a pretty river running through a wooded valley to Pwll Du Bay.
|Rhossili||2 miles (4 km)||This circular walk takes you around the Rhossili headland on the beautiful Gower Peninsula. |
The walk start from the car park in the village of Rhossili. Here there is a National Trust shop in one of the former coastguard cottages. You then follow a good surfaced footpath along the headland with wonderful views of the beautiful Rhossili Bay and beach. You continue towards Kitchen Corner where there are splendid views of Worm's Head. This unusual promontory, is shaped like a giant sea-serpent and marks the most westerly tip of Gower. It is possible to walk to Worm's Head but only when the tide is out so check tide times before if you intend to extend your walk here.
The route continues along the coast to Tears Point with views of the lovely Fall Bay. The final section takes you through the countryside back to the car park.
If you like to continue your walking in the area then you could climb to Rhossili Down for more great views. The Gower Way long distance walk also passes Rhossili so you could follow this waymarked path further along the coast.
Using the google street view link below you can virtually explore area!
|Three Cliffs Bay||4 miles (6 km)||This walk visits the stunning Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower Peninsula before exploring the adjacent woodland of Nicholaston Burrows. It's an exceptionally beautiful area with the view over Three Cliffs Bay nominated for 'Britain's Best View' in a recent television programme. The area includes sand dunes, salt marsh and the signature three limestone cliffs. The lovely stream of Pennard Pill also flows into the middle of the bay. You can continue your walk along the cliff top to the pretty Nicholaston Burrows where you will find woodland trails and interesting flora such as bloody cranesbill, pyramidal orchids and a number of lichen species.
This circular walk starts in the little village of Penmaen and descends to Penmaen Burrows where you will find the remains of a Neolithic burial chamber and a medieval church. You then head west to Nicholaston Burrows, passing the Nicholaston Pill stream and enjoying great views over Oxwich Bay.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could pick up the Gower Way long distance walk or climb the sandstone ridge of Cefn Bryn for magnificent views over the area. The Pennard Castle Walk will take you to the nearby ruins of a 12th century grade II listed building and scheduled ancient monument with a fascinating history stretching back several centuries.
|Whiteford Sands||4 miles (6 km)||This beautiful nature reserve on the North Gower coast has lovely walking trails through woodland and sand dunes with nice coastal views. The area is fantastic for wildlife watching with several species of wading birds and wildfowl too look out for.|
The walk starts from the parking area in Llanmadoc and heads through Cwm Ivy where there are some nice woodland trails and Cwm Ivy marsh. You continue to Berges Island where you can enjoy great views across the sands to the lighthouse at Whiteford Point.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could climb the sandstone ridge across Cefn Bryn. The climb to Cefn Bryn beacon offers fabulous views over the Gower.