Although originally from England (Leicester and Southampton) we lived in South Wales for nineteen years, and both our children were born in Swansea. The last nine of those years were spent in Gower Edge, a house with many happy memories, in a welcoming community, and one to which we hope to return one day. We feel privileged to have lived in such a beautiful part of the country, and we hope to share some of the scenery and lifestyle with you. We had to move for work in 2005 and since then have been renting the house as a holiday let.
If you get in contact you will either speak to me (Sylvia) or Louise, who is a work colleague who also loves the area, and helps with the organisation of the letting. We both enjoy taking self-catering holidays all over the UK with our families, and have tried to provide the sort of accommodation we would hope to find ourselves. We hope you will enjoy it as well.
For ideas about what to do whilst on holiday at Gower Edge, you can follow us on Twitter, where we repost relevant tweets about local events, or look through the ideas on the Gower Thoughts blog. We have also set up a Pinterest account which is organised into Boards which will give you a flavor of the local area.
by Sylvia Mawby
Dunvant owes its origins to the mining industry, as can be seen by the rows of miners cottages in the area, but nowadays it is a district of the City and County of Swansea right on the edge of the Gower (or possibly right on it – the exact boundaries of the Gower are not clear if you speak to the locals!). Dunvant Square, at the bottom of the hill, links the various parts of Dunvant together, and provides a green area for children to play football, and a play area for toddlers. The community centre is set back next to the small row of shops - watch out for occasional farmers markets here. There are two takeaways on the square (both recommended by several guests, and us!) and a Post Office. More shops are available in nearby Killay, including a fantastic local butcher set back in the precinct whose delicacies are not to be missed (the sausages, and the lamb with rosemary and garlic dressing are the Mawby favourites).
The ClyneValley cycle track runs through the village, and can be accessed via the car park next to the Square. This provided a peaceful daily walk for the children and dog when we lived in the house, and it is now part of the National Cycle Network Route 4, which continues as far west as Pembrey Country Park (with a short section of road cycling along the way). It is also possible to walk or cycle down to Swansea Bay, through the Clyne Valley Country Park, and then on to Mumbles from this point without going on the road at all (you should allow about 1.5 hours to get to Mumbles on foot, about 40 minutes to the Front, but there are a number of “watering holes” en route).
There is also a pretty circular walk, which starts down the lane on the far side of the Spar shop near the house and finally links into the top of the cycle track, allowing you to return to the Square, and thus back up the hill. This can be muddy at the start, but provides a peaceful walk through the countryside right on your doorstep. Allow about 1 hour.
At the car park in the Square there is also a memorial for the 5 miners killed in the Killan mining disaster of 1924, which ultimately lead to the closure of the mine a year later. Although little evidence remains of the mining activity, if you are interested in industrial heritage you can turn left down the cycle track, and take a short detour (signposted) through the woods to the ruins of the local brickworks. This is a good example of how nature reclaims things when humans have finished with them, and now an important roost for bats. I notice on a recent visit that there is now also an orienteering route in this area.
The route followed by the cycle track was originally a railway line which at its height carried up to 80 trains a day between Blackpill and Gowerton. Now the regular visitor will find orchids, blackberries and the occasional grass snake, depending on the season, as well as numerous other wild flowers, birds and insects.
Ceri Richards, artist and friend of Dylan Thomas, lived in the village and is buried in the graveyard of Ebeneezer Chapel in the Square. This chapel also provided the first home for the internationally renowned Dunvant Male Choir, and remains a hub for community events. The village is also home to the Dunvant Rugby club, which can be seen from the cycle track when walking towards the sea. If you are a rugby fan, the Ospreys are also based in the new Liberty Stadium in Swansea, so go along and give them your support!
Where are we?
Our property is centred in the map below. It faces onto Killan Road, midway between the two entrances to Pen-y-Fro. This gives great access to both North and South Gower roads, and also allows access to the motorway network for day trips to Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, the Brecon Beacons and Cardiff. Happy travelling!