Three Cliffs Bay to Oxwich Bay (Wales Coast Path) Walk

Gower coast path via spectacular Three Cliffs and Oxwich beaches

Length 7.7 miles (12.3 km) with 800 ft (240 meters) of ascent - much less ascent depending upon the tides
Toughness 3 (low tide) to 5 (high tide)
Map OS Explorer 164 Gower
Features

This is a spectacular coastal walk past 2 stunningly beautiful beaches, and finishes with a headland. Three Cliffs Bay is a sandy beach backed by a valley that floods at high tide (still walkable). Oxwich is a long sandy beach backed by dunes. Both are great swimming beaches. Both the dunes, and the headlands between the beaches make great picnic spots. At low tide, you can walk along the sand between the beaches. At high tide, you have to walk inland at Three Cliffs to the stepping stones, and over the headland to Oxwich. The walk finishes with a loop of Oxwich Head past a ruined castle.

Take the bus from Swansea to Southgate (the last stop) to start the walk. There is an alternate start for drivers at Parkmill

Route finding is easy - just follow the coast to Three Cliffs. At low tide, follow the beach. At mid tide, paddle across Three Cliffs, and climb over the headland. At high tide, walk inland to the stepping stones.

Then just follow the beach to Oxwich, and walk around the headland (out along the coast, back along the top)

Take the bus back from Oxwich Cross (i.e. the croassraods near the hotel) to Swansea at the end. Driver's should alight at Parkmill (at the bottom of a steep hill by the Gower Inn pub)

Oxwich Castle - CADW - £3.50 - Tue-Sun + BH - a Tudor fortified manor house, i.e. a mock castle

Day Walk

Mumbles to Oxwich

This walk can be combined with walk #269 (Mummbles to Three Cliffs) to make a longer (12 mile) summer coast walk from Mummbles all the way to Oxwich. The walk was split in 2 to make it an easy winter walk, or to give you time linger in the summer, to swim, sunbathe, or explore

Car driver need to add on a 3 mile extension along a disused railway line path, from Kilay to the coast at Black Pill, then along the seafront to Mummbles to return to their car - making a 15 mile walk (or 18 miles with the Oxwich Head loop). Alternatively, you can circulate via Swansea (i.e. bus from Oxwich to Swansea, then Swansea to Mumbles)

Options

There is an alternate start for drivers at Parkmill, on the Oxwich - Parkmill - Swansea bus route. It passes the ruins of Pennard Castle

There is a detour to the summit of Cefn Bryn (186m),the highest point in Gower, with a spectacular view

You could follow the coast on to Port Eynon, but that stretch of coast isn't as nice as Oxwich Beach

Eat

Southgate, at the start of the walk : Threecliff, threecliffs.co.uk, a cafe - deli.

Inland, Parkmill : The Gower Inn, thegowerinnswansea.co.uk, a great place to wait for your bus

Oxwich Beach (at the end) : The Oxwich Bay Hotel, oxwichbayhotel.co.uk, with a fine pub to await your bus. Near the car park and bus stop at the north end of the beach

Gower Walks

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

  • Swansea town centre along the promenade to Mumbles is easy enough.
  • Then Mumbles to Three Cliffs and Three Cliffs to Oxwich can be done in 1 go.
  • Next you can combine (Oxwich Bay to) Port Eynon to Rhossili with Rhossili via Llangennith Circular (but finish in Llangennith. There are rare Oxwich - Llangenniith buses.
  • Then choose the Llanmadoc to Llangennith option of the Llanmadoc via Whiteford Sands Circular
  • Finaly, Llanmadoc to Gowerton
Get There

The nearest train station is Swansea.

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

Buses

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.

Updated Summer 2016

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. The Mummbles official name is Oystermouth, they are the same place. Swansea, Black Pill and Mummbles are on Swansea Bay.

Current routes are

#2 / 2B / #2C Swansea - Black Pill (bay) - Mumbles (bay) - Rotherslade (beach) - #2C continues to Caswell (beach)~ 30 mins
#14 / #114 Swansea - Black Pill (bay) - Southgate (for 3 Cliffs Beach)~ 30 mins
#117 / #118 (Mon-Sat)South Gower : Swansea - Killay (for disused railway line) - Parkmill (1km inland from 3 Cliffs beach) - (#117 via Oxwich beach) - Port Eynon (beach) - Rhosilli (south end of the beach)~ 60 mins
#114 (Sunday) South Gower : Swansea - Black Pill (bay) - Southgate (for 3 Cliffs Beach) - Parkmill (1km inland from 3 Cliffs beach) - Oxwich (beach) - Port Eynon (beach) - Rhosilli (south end of the beach)~ 60 mins
#116 North Gower : Swansea - (sometimes via Llanmadoc for Whitford Sands) - Llangennith (north end of Rhosilli beach)~ 60 mins
#115 Llangennith (north end of Rhossili beach) - Port Eynon (beach)i.e. not to/from Swansea
  • On Sunday, the South Gower bus takes a better route via BlackPill (close to Mumbles) and Southgate (Three Cliffs). Apart from that, the routes don't overlap, so its great for 1 way walks, and to/from Swansea, but bad for to/from Mumbles, and long south coast walks.
  • On Mon-Sat, you sometimes have to change bus to/from Oxwich via a timetabled connection.
  • First Choice - Mumbles routes, and Gower routes on Sunday
  • NAT Gower routes Mon-Sat
  • Swansea Bay Without a Car has online bus departure posters for the main places
Stay

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 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.

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By Car

Start: NT Pennard Cliffs Car Park / Southgate bus stop, Gower, SA23 2AS Directions

Finish: Oxwich Cross (bus stop), Gower, SA3 1LS, Directions

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Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Jun-17

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