Gower coast path along cliff top paths to Worms Head and spectacular Rhossili bay.
|Length||7.2 miles (11.6 km) with 875 ft (250 meters) of ascent. Add 4km for Worms Head. Add 4km if starting at Oxwich or 8km for Oxwich via Oxwich Head|
|Toughness||4 (5 for Worms Head)|
|Map||OS Explorer 164 Gower|
This is a fairly easy cliff top walk, with great sea views throughout along the Gower coast, from Port Eynon, past Mewslade bay, and the Worms Head (tidal islands) to the spectacular beach of Rhossili - regularly on best beach in the worls lists. You can enjoy the great view from the terrace of the Worms Head Hotel over a pint to celebrate your walk, and await your bus home.
Along this section of coast is the Cave of the Red Lady of Paviland
On the way, you pass Mewslade Bay.
As you round the headland, you'll see the Worm's Head, which you can walk out to 2.5 hours either side of low tide (only start out on a falling tide)
Eventually, you come to Rhossili village, with a stunning view of Rhossili beach. The terrace of the Worms Head Hotel has the best view of any pub in the country!
The bus stops in the turning circle.
Start in Oxwich - 4km (8km via Oxwich Head) You can start earlier in Oxwich if you wish to complete the Gower coast path. The loop around Oxwich head is great, but the coast between Oxwich and Port Eynon is so so. You're much better off spending extra time in Rhossili or Worms Head. Oxwich is also on the same South Gower bus route as Port Eynon and Rhossili. You may have to change to a connecting bus on Mon-Sat.
Worms Head - 4km round trip. Recommended. You can walk out to Worms Head on a falling tide, the causway's open 2.5 hours either side of low tide.
Rhossili beach, or the Down's behind it - both are spectacular, return to Rhossili for the bus
Small store, chippies, in Port Eynon
The Worms Head Hotel, thewormshead.co.uk - simple pub food, £4 pints, terrace has a stunning view. There's a tea room next door.
There is a year round bus service from Swansea - Oxwich(*) - Port Eynon - Rhossili (* : On Mon-Sat, you may have to change to a connecting bus). Check the times, especially the last bus !
There is a pay car park at Rhossili, or you can park on the road in to town for free. Port Eynon at the start is much less busy. Oxwich beach has a large but expensive pay car park.
The Worm's Head (NT) is 2 small islands off the headland of Rhossili, Gower. They are joined to the coast at low tide by a causeway. The walk out to them is a classic, with great coastal views.
The walk does involve some light scrambling (i.e. hands needed to balance yourself in places). The causeway is quite rocky - wear boots! You must plan this walk in advance by consulting tide timetables, and do not try and beat the tide back across the causeway. You might not make it. The islands are 50m (150 feet) high, enough for a stunning view. On the way back, its much quicker and easier to walk around, rather than over, the middle island.
The walk is possible only 2.5 hours either side of low tide. People who ignore this fact are regularly stranded - don't be one of them. Do not try and cross back when the causeway is closed - wait to be rescued.
You are requested not to climb the further island from 01-March to 31-August due to ground nesting birds
Rhossili is a small village in a superb location at the southern end of Rhossili beach - the beach is regularlly on 'best in the world' lists. Behind the beach is a down (grassy hill). Beyond the village is a headland and the Worms Head islands.
Eat: The Worms Head Hotel, thewormshead.co.uk - OK bar food, £4 pints, has a terrace with an absolutley stunning view of the bay. Probably the best view of any pub in the country! There's a tea room next door.
By Bus: Year round bus from Swansea. Buy a bus pass. About 1 hour. Every 1 to 2 hours. Check the times before travelling, especially off season.
By Car: SA3 1PP, about 45 mins from Swansea. In 2015, the National Trust brought the village car park for £3 million, raised the fee to £4 (free to members, £2 for 1 hour), and made the charges year round. There's free parking for a few cars by the church, or on the road in to town.
Stay: There are several B&B's in Rhossili, and holiday rentals, besides the Worms Head Hotel. The nearest youth hostel is Port Eynon
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, we would love to get your feedback
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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