Walking in Glamorgan, South Wales. Guided walks, routes
& local information
Webmaster, Angus McDonald.
Last updated 18/03/02
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A classic Gower walk of 9 miles, 15 kilometres, through footpaths, woods, sand dunes, country lanes, private estates and ending with an outstanding ridgeway stretch. Castles, follies, stone age remains and great views. Plenty of up hill and down dale but nothing too strenuous. No refreshments or toilets on the route although a short detour takes you to the King Arthur pub at Reynoldston. There are picnic tables near the start just beyond the Three Cliffs Care Home - other good stopping points are the pond, the burial chamber by King Arthur's stone and a rocky outcrop towards the end of the ridgeway. Click here for more on Gower.
For a map to get you to the start click here. When you get to the village of Penmaen, from Swansea, turn RIGHT into the lane by the church, cross a cattle grid and park on the grass verge.
Start at Grid Ref: 532887, OS Explorer Map 10 (164)
At the start, with the Three Cliffs Care Home on the left.
Take the tarmac road which heads past the Three Cliffs Care Home on the left, aiming for the prominent brick tower. Just past the brick tower, where the road forks take the left fork. Shortly afterwards you pass picnic tables on the left with fine views over Oxwich Bay. Road starts to descend curving to the left. Cross a cattle grid to meet a road with phone box on left. Turn right along the narrow pavement and where the pavement ends cross the road. Just past the red letter box go though the double metal gate and head down the rough track signposted to Tor Bay. (10 mins)
Looking down onto Oxwich Bay
After 50 yards you see an old building on the right, covered in ivy. At this point turn right through the metal gate to follow the direction of the yellow arrow set in the brickwork. Head along the left-hand edge of the field. Pass an isolated wooden stile, then a second stile by a wooden gate. From here more fine views open over Oxwich Bay. Just before you get to an open field look out for a stile on the right and yellow footpath sign. Go along the left-hand edge of this field. At the bottom corner of the field you come to a wooden stile. (20 mins).
Cross this and after 10 yards turn right along a path with Oxwich Bay spread out to your left. The path meanders through the trees, maintaining height. You pass a permissive path sign on the right which you ignore. At a junction of paths, with a rope swing down to your left, keep right. Just before the path curves to the right take sone wooden steps which drop downhill to the left. When you get to an Oxwich Nature Reserve information sign, go to the right. At the next junction of paths keep to the left until you emerge from the trees by the sand dunes. Now head to the right, keeping to the edge of the trees on your right, following a sandy path. Avoid going into the trees or heading out across the dunes. You pass some high, prominent rock faces to the right and then another Oxwich information sign. (35 mins).
Shortly after this sign the path heads right into the trees. Take the right-hand path which ascends steadily. The path is then level for some time with occasional glimpses out over the bay, eventually descending gently. A path converges form the left but keep ahead. (1 hr).
Left, the folly by the road junction. Right, a working traction engine clearing mud from the ponds by Penrice House.
You come to a wooden gate with stone steps to the right. Cross these and head up the road to the right. At the road junction at the top by the folly, head left along the road, keeping to the left-hand side, taking care as the road can be busy. After 200 yards, by a footpath sign on the left, take the stone stile and then follow the yellow markers towards the trees, continuing downhill all the way to meet a road. Turn left along the road passing the old stable buildings on your left. You will see the ruins of Penrice castle up to your right. At the road junction head to the right, passing Penrice House on your left, with further views of Penrice Castle and to your left, Oxwich. The tarmac road descends through the estate to meet some metal gates. Walk 10 yards to the left of the gates to cross the stile set in the stone wall. Turn left along the road which heads uphill. (1 hr 18 mins).
The pond in the forest
Pass ruins of an old mill to your right. At the top you come to the village of Penrice with good views from the church and an opportunity for a breather. Retrace your steps down the road a short way and take the footpath to the left which passes under electricity cables to descend through the trees. At the bottom where the path meets a track turn right and shortly after you come to a pond with benches, another good spot to pause. At a junction of tracks by a wooden bench, take the track to the left which winds uphill. (1 hr 35 mins).
Where the path emerges from the trees, go through a wooden kissing gate and head along the track. Where the track meets a road, cross over and keep ahead along a road signposted to Reynoldston and Fairy Hill. Pass a cattle grid with Cefn Bryn common to your right. After some way you come to a brick bus shelter. Turn right to head up the road which ascends steadily. Alternatively, if you wish to call in at the King Arthur pub, a large white building, go ahead past the bus shelter and then take the road to the left for a couple of hundred yards, then retrace your steps to the bus shelter. Continue up the road until at the top, you get to an area of grass and rough ground where cars are often parked. At this point head left, with your back to the road, along a wide green path, between bracken. You pass a pond to your right but aim for a large stone which breaks the sky-line. This is Arthurís Stone. From here turn left to visit a large pile of stones which is the remains of a burial chamber and retrace your steps to the road. (2 hrs 25 mins).
Left, Arthur's Stone. Right, the nearby burial chamber.
Cross the road and head diagonally to the left, uphill and along the path which goes along the ridgeway. After a few hundred yards to the left is a display which points to distant geographical features. After some time you pass a trig point on your left with the view over Three Cliffs bay ahead and to the right. The path then descends to join a rough track; turn right down this track to return to your starting point. (3 hrs 15 mins).
Looking down onto Three Cliffs Bay
Map of route