Gower Peninsula

The beautiful Gower Peninsula is the United Kingdom's first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Located in Swansea, the peninsula is famous for its stunning coastal scenery, wide sandy beaches and medieval castles.

Understand

Oxwich Bay, South Gower, Swansea

This article covers the rural areas of Swansea. It has been given the title 'Gower' as the Gower Peninsula constitutes the largest portion of Swansea's rural area and is the district of most interest to tourists. However, the article also includes the highland areas of Pontardulais and Mawr. On the peninsula itself, the article covers all points west of Bishopston, Pwll Du Bay, Fairwood Common and Upper Killay. Detailed information of the urban area east of this line is documented in the Swansea article.

The Gower Peninsula is about 29 km long by 8 km wide and, in many ways, represents a microcosm of the very best of British countryside. There are wide sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, historic woodlands, salt marshes and open moors, all of which are interspersed with picturesque villages, country inns, castles, ancient churches and neolithic burial chambers. It is a land immersed in the mists of Celtic legends and secrets of smugglers tales. The peninsula is also home to an abundance of wildlife, with perhaps the wild Gower ponies that roam the moors being the most famous and well loved. For recreation, Oxwich is the most popular bay for swimming and boating, while Llangennith is a surfers paradise and attracts boarders from all over the UK. Rhossili is a dramatic bay, and the sunset over the headland is one of the most photographed evening scenes in Europe.

The districts of Mawr and Pontardulais are sparsely populated areas of Swansea's hinterland and offer wonderful opportunities for hillside walking and river-side recreation activities.

History

Historically, Gower convered an area of land under the jurisdiction of the Lords of Gower. It extended as far east as the River Tawe, and so it included what is now Swansea City Centre. This area corresponds very closely to the modern boundaries of the City and County of Swansea. However, nowadays "Gower" would be mostly understood to referring to the peninsula only.

The Gower "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" (AONB) is an invention of post Second World War planning laws covering England and Wales, and represents a level of protection one step lower than offered by that of a "National Park".

Get in

Get around

By bus

Most of the villages and popular bays are connected by public transport. The Gower peninsula itself is served by the Gower Explorer branded bus services from the Quadrant Bus Station in Swansea city centre. The Lliw uplands to the north of the county of Swansea are served by Lliw Link branded bus services from the Quadrant Bus Station. (Note that the Quadrant bus station is a good 10-15 minute walk from Swansea railway station but there are frequent buses to the recently reurbished and newly re-opened (December 2010) Quadrant Bus Station from the bus stop outside the railway station.)

On foot

There are some very well established hiking routes on the Gower. The tourist office in Swansea city center offers good information.

Private transport services

Gower Travel provide chartered transport in and around Gower, as well as to and from the area. Tel: +44 1792 232456, Fax: +44 1792 232599, email: [], website:.

See

Villages

Three Cliffs Bay, South Gower, Swansea

Due to strict zoning laws, the rural areas of Swansea have not succumbed to urban sprawl. However, there are a few traditional villages in the area:

Places of natural beauty

Worm's Head, Rhossili, Swansea

Castles and other antiquities

Museums

Do

Rhossili Bay, Gower, Swansea

Golf

Surfing

Outdoor activities

Art

Events

Walks

Driving

A less well known destination in Swansea is the Lliw Uplands which contains some of the best mountain scenery in Wales:

From the city centre, head towards the road junction at Dyfatty lights. Take the second left turning onto Llangyfelach road (B4489) which will take you to the M4 Motorway (Junction 46). Head straight across the roundabouts on Junction 46. This will take you into the rural area of the Lliw Uplands. From here, much of the road consists of a narrow country lane. Follow this lane though the village of Felindre then on over Mynydd-y-Bettws with stunning views of the Lliw Lalley. The road takes you past Penlle'r Castell - the highest point in Swansea. It then descends into the farming village of Garnswllt and continues to Ammanford.

Buy

Eat

Mid range

Splurge

Drink

Cafes

Sleep

Camping

Youth Hostels

Holiday Cottages

Mid range

Splurge

Talk

The people of South Gower are traditionally English speaking and cannot speak Welsh. However, North Gower and the district of Mawr has a high percentage of Welsh speakers.

Connect

The area dialling code for Gower is the same as Swansea - 01792. From overseas, dial +44 1792 XXX-XXX

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, December 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.