Llanmadoc via Whiteford Sands Circular (Wales Coast Path) walk
Out through NT pine forest with salt marsh views to a lighthouse, back along sand dunes and a remote beach.
|Up to 11km / 7 miles
|OS Explorer (Gower)
|2 out of 10
This is an unusual but stunningly beautiful walk.
It starts in Llanmadoc, a small village on the north west corner of Gower, and heads into a NT Nature Reserve through a very pretty pine forest with salt marsh views on one side, and sand dunes on the other..
At the the end of the pine forest are lovely views over the sea / estuary to Pembrokeshire and the remains of a lighthouse (follow the tide out, don't stay long - dangerous tides!)
Return along the long secluded beach backed by sand dunes (or through the sand dunes). This area is discreetly used by naturists. Walking along the beacj is easy going, even at high tide.
Return through the pine forest along the base of a small hill, or walk a little further arouns the hill, and back over the headland.
There is a gastro-pub in the village
For a longer walk, climb Llanmadoc Hill, to the south of the village.
|If you have a car, visit nearby Rhosilli - one of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
|By car : SA3 1DJ. Small honesty car park, or park for free in the village. By bus: year round bus service from Swansea.
|Rhosilli has B&Bs and Port Eynon a youth hostel. Mummbles (Oystermouth) is about 30 mins drive away if you have a car. Camping in Llangennith (reserve in advance weekends and summer)
|Lunch and Tea
Clockwise from Swansea - Gower's beaches are exceptional - there really are this many 5 star walk here!
If you want to do the Gower Coast Path
The nearest train station is Swansea... but its a 10 min walk from the bus station. Some early morning / late evening buses start from it though.
London Paddington to Swansea : 3 hours, £80 off peak return. 'Advance' tickets (no changes) from £20 single. A good compromise is "Advance" out, and an (Open) "Single" back - about £60.
London Waterloo via Salibury and Bath - £60 off peak return. Much longer. Cheap advance tickets on the few direct trains per day.
Megabus (London to Swansea from £6 single) coach and National Express coach is another option.
Driving to Swansea takes about 3 hours from London. The Seven bridge costs £6.60 to Wales only (free coming back). Its not worth driving around via Gloucester, even if going to the Brecon Beacons. Its a lot longer, and with the extra fuel, you wont save much
You must check the bus times beforehand - using traveline.cymru/ Why? Because times and routes vary on school days, not school days, weekdays, Saturday, Sunday, summer, winter... It might be efficient, but its confounding for visitors. There are different day bus passes for each company which are good value (about the same price as a single!), but which one you need varies by destination and day !!!
Partial update: Summer 2018
Swansea bus station is about 15 mins walk from the train station. From there, 2 companies run buses to Gower, with a bizarre obfuscated schedule.
There is a 'Go Gower' day pass for £5.40, valid on both companies.
Notes. Mumbles official name is Oystermouth, they are the same place. Swansea, Black Pill and Mumbles are on Swansea Bay.
Current routes are
New for 2018: There is a £3.50 one-way flat rate ticket for West Gower, for thoes returning to their car.
Swansea is the best place for public transport users. The city doesn't have many tourist sites except for Wind Street (pronounced Wine Street, loads of mega pubs) and the marina. Many old seafront B&B's, and mega chain hotels.
Mumbles (Oystermouth) is a pretty seaside village, quieter at night and more upmarket nowadays as the 'Mumbles mile' pubs are no more. Old B&Bs and boutieque hotels. Swansea's 'latin' quarter.
There is a Youth Hostel in Port Eynon, and a large beach campsite on Rhosilli beach near Llangennith. Also campsites at Three Cliffs. Rhosilli itself would be a great place to stay for car travellers.
The Severn Estuary has the second highest tidal range in the world (after the Bay of Fundy), with typically, a 30 foot (10 metre) difference between high and low tide.
If you walk along the beach beneath high cliffs, or far out on the sands, be aware of that you can be cut off by a rising tide!
After the walk, please leave a comment, it really helps. Thanks!
|This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Traveline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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- Walk through the village, past the pub, veer right at the junction, and pass the honesty car-park in a field on your right.
- Just before the entrance to the NT Nature Reserve, there is a footpath on your right ('Cwm Ivy and Betty Church Nature Reserve'), which make a nice change if you have done this walk before. It goes out on a dyke over the salt marsh. Turn left at the end to meet up with the main route in the pine forest. Note there isn't a church - Betty Church is the name of the person who donated some land to a Wildlife Trust
- Continue down the lane (below Cwm Ivy tor on OS maps), through the gate into the Whiteford Sands National Trust (NT) Nature Reserve. Continue downhill.
- Follow the paved path through the pine forest behind the beach (Whiteford Burrows). The 'salt marsh walk' path joins on your right.
- Follow the path (or sand dunes) to the end. Continue to Whiteford Point - the end of the "spit" - Take great care if going out as far as the lighthouse
- Return along the beach - Whiteford Sands - until you have reached the start of the cliff / small headland.
- The shortest way back is to walk inland, around the base of the small hill, to rejoin the path through the pine forest. Turn right, uphill to return to the village.
- Walk around the base of the cliff to the next beach, then inland, and up over the headland, keeping to the coast path. Eventually you reach the village road near the NT 'gate'