With its wide caramel beaches, invigorating cliff-top walks and fine local food, this could well be the perfect post-lockdown break
The UK’s first-ever area of outstanding natural beauty, the Gower juts out to the west of Swansea like a hitchhiker’s thumb.
The wild peninsula feels a million miles away from Wales’s second-largest city, having remained unchanged for centuries. A coastal walk can take you past castles, medieval churches and Iron Age forts as well as an abundance of wildlife including grey seals and seabirds. A favourite among families, hikers and surfers, the area is well loved yet feels uncrowded.
With the uncertainty 2020 has brought, there’s a lot to be gained from looking forward to future plans and the peninsula’s open spaces and ancient landscape provide a perfect space for healing walks and meditative views.
Day 1: what to do on the Gower
Pull on your boots for a challenging hike that shows rural Wales at its best. The two-hour, four-mile coastal path out of Rhossili village climbs steeply for picture- perfect views of the bay. Kids will love the beach itself, which has an ancient shipwreck jutting like broken teeth out of the sand. If the tide’s right (check with the Rhossili Coastwatch Centre first), you can walk on to Worm’s Head causeway.
Don’t miss the Gower Kite Shop, which covers everything from kids’ to stunt kites.
Where to eat on the Gower
Feast your eyes while you refuel at lunchtime at Bay Bistro and Coffee House, a family-run café with views over Rhossili Bay. The seasonal menu offers light and hearty lunch options, including burgers (£14.95), panko calamari (£13.95) and a selection of Buddha bowls (£11.95).
Later on, the Michelin-starred The Beach House serves small plates of local Welsh produce on the edge of Oxwich Bay’s glorious golden sands. A sample tasting menu (costing from £60 per person) includes cauliflower cheese, Welsh deer and spiced chocolate.
Image from The Beach House
Where to go at night on the Gower
Don’t underestimate Gower’s cultural clout. There were two music festivals lined up for summer 2020 before organisers had to cancel amid the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis. Outside festival season, Port Eynon’s The Ship Inn serves award-winning local ales and hosts regular live music nights.
Or, buy a bottle of The Gower Gin Company’s local spirit and drink in the night sky – Port Eynon has some of the best stargazing in Wales.
Day 2: what to do on the Gower
Enjoy a traditional British seaside experience in Mumbles with its listed pier and family-friendly boating lake, complete with novelty swan crafts. Mumbles’ lighthouse can be seen to the east of the pier and there may well be grey seals bobbing on the waves.
After lunch, a visit to Oystermouth Castle will captivate all ages with its 14th-century graffiti, hidden staircases and stunning views.
Where to eat on the Gower
Langland Bay’s Surfside Café will serve you breakfast on the sand. Nothing beats watching the sun rise with a bacon buttie and a steaming coffee.
Mor, a cosy bistro in Mumbles, offers a menu that changes by the seasons. Expect laverbread (seaweed) on toast (£7), Welsh rib-eye (£29) and Swansea-smoked salmon (£9.50) served with excellent wines. The two-course lunch (£18) is very good value.
For dessert, Joe’s Ice Cream Parlour serves Napoli-style gelati piled high in generous tubs (£1.60 for one scoop). The smooth vanilla has been satisfying customers since 1922, while they alsoserve salted caramel, banana to toffee, Welsh cake and every flavour in between.
Do more with Boundless – you book with confidence guarantee
Fancy a 2021 getaway? Book your Gower break with Hoseasons
Boundless members can save 5% on all accommodation, with an exciting range of country escapes to choose from.
You can also save 20% on a two-night coastal break at the Oxwich Bay Hotel, with one dinner for two included, all for just £239.20. The hotel is set just a stone’s throw from the beach.
All images from Getty unless stated differently