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|
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
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)
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
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
18-Oct : high: 05:49 low: 11:56 high: 18:05
19-Oct : low: 00:14 high: 06:26 low: 12:30 high: 18:42
20-Oct : low: 00:45 high: 06:59 low: 12:59 high: 19:14
21-Oct : low: 01:14 high: 07:30 low: 13:27 high: 19:46
22-Oct : low: 01:42 high: 07:59 low: 13:55 high: 20:16
23-Oct : low: 02:10 high: 08:28 low: 14:22 high: 20:46
24-Oct : low: 02:38 high: 08:56 low: 14:49 high: 21:15
Times for Mumbles. Corrected for BST if appropriate. Contains ADMIRALTY® tidal data: © Crown Copyright and database right.
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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