Gower cottages are a great choice for your holidays in Wales, and Gower Edge provides comfortable self-catering accommodation for 8 people in four double bedrooms. The property provides a fantastic starting point for touring the Gower Peninsula, and wider South Wales area.
by Sylvia Mawby
Check out our blog site Gower Thoughts for more information on events and activities in the area
How about a DIY golf break on the beautiful Gower Peninsula. View from Pennard Golf course.
With Gower Edge as a central base for visiting the Gower Peninsula you're spoilt for choice, and so as I've developed this part of the web site I have tried to keep it simple, and share the things that we enjoyed as a family when we lived here.
I would welcome any ideas from visitors, either for things to be added if you've been here before, or for things you'd like to know about the area before you arrive. Our e-mail address is on our booking page, so ask away!
Gower Thoughts Blog
As I start to investigate the twittersphere, I get enthused with ideas for gower breaks. It's not always easy to know where to start on your first visit, so here are some suggestions!
The ethos is, as with the property, to provide an ideas bank which we would love to have when visiting somewhere for the first time, so I hope it fits the bill for you too! For regular updates, follow the Gower Thoughts Blog, our Facebook page, or our Twitter feed (@GowerEdge), where we are trying to highlight other inspirational ideas for your trip through our friends on the spot! If you have any favourite places or topics which you think deserve the "day trip" treatment, then again, let us know through the enquiry form above, and we'll see what we can do.
Dog friendly Gower holidays!
Large numbers of our guests pick this area because of the marvelous walks locally. Many of the Gower beaches remain dog friendly throughout the year, so if your four legged friend enjoys digging for victory or going for a paddle, then this will most likely be the destination for you. The cliff walks offer some spectacular views of the Gower beaches, but if you prefer the flat, then North Gower may be your first port of call, with Whitford Sands a good starting point. The local businesses are aware that visitors to the area may be accompanied by a hairy chum (sometimes even a dog) and many welcome dogs onto the premises. We are aware that taking multiple dogs on holiday can be a bit of a headache, so we put no limit on our pet guests, and while we usually have only one or two, we have had one or two large groups with excellent results. We have always taken our dogs away with us, and we hope you will too.
Ten reasons to visit the Gower Peninsula (in no particular order!)
The google map at the bottom of the page (I've put it there because it takes a while to load!) shows the Gower Peninsula from the air. It is just sixteen miles long by seven miles wide, and juts out into the Bristol Channel providing a series of beautiful sweeps of sandy beaches to the South and salt marshes filled with wildflowers to the North. Find ideas for activities that I'm starting to add to the sidebar here, and for a visual feast of the area, try some of the Pinterest links lower down.
Gower Edge is centrally placed in Dunvant to access to all areas of the Gower with ease, whilst remaining close enough to the mainland to visit Llanelli, Pembrey, the Brecon Beacons and even Pembrokeshire if you wish. It is also on the rural outskirts of the festival city of Swansea, which has its own great beach, marina area, and beautiful parklands such as Clyne Gardens and Singleton Park.
I have started to develop some Pinterest boards of the the Gower and Swansea Bay to give you a feel of what to expect. We only got a digital camera just before we left Swansea, so the photos here are those shared by others on the internet. Thanks to everyone for sharing. If you have some favourite images to share, why not get in touch!
If you are a keen gardener then there is much of interest in this region. Swansea itself excels in its local parks and gardens, with Clyne Gardens and Singleton Botanical Gardens being the jewels in the crown for keen gardeners. The National Botanic Garden of Wales is close by in Carmarthen, as is the beautiful reclaimed garden of Aberglasney, and the parkland with medieval deer park surrounding Dinefwr Castle. Travel a little further into Pembrokeshire and you come across the secluded Colby Woodland Gardens, best visited in the Spring or Autumn. These are just the tip of the iceberg for the region however, with numerous other municipal parks and gardens vieing for your attention, as a quick visit to the link below will show. Bear in mind that this has not included the natural botanical beauty of the Gower Peninsula on your doorstep, with orchids on the bike path at the bottom of the road, and bluebells and wild garlic filling the local woodland, and you will see that perhaps a week will not be long enough to take it all in!
The Gower is inspirational if you have a camera (and who doesn't these days), and you will not be surprised to know that there are many professional landscape photographers in the local area. These are just a few examples of their beautiful work from photographers I have got to know via the internet.
I love this photo montage by Alun Morris Jones of Gowerscapes. Sit back and enjoy to get a feel for this beautiful Peninsula!
More work by Alun can be found on his website below, where you can buy prints, and find more suggestions for activities.
Dan Santillo is a twitter mate who takes wonderful photos of the local area, including both the Gower and the Brecon Beacons. If you like to learn something new whilst on holiday, then he regularly runs courses for groups of up to 5, or provides one to one tuition. You can find information about his couses at his website below. Why not combine one with a stay at Gower Edge?
Well you really are spoilt for choice if you enjoy your golf whilst on holiday. The Gower Golf course, five minutes up the road is a lovely course with beautiful views over the Loughor Estuary from the first tee, and varied and rolling countryside for the rest of the course. However if you want to play golf every day on a week long holiday, then its possible to do so from Gower Edge without playing the same course twice. With it's central position, the property is less than 10 miles from seven golf courses locally. You will find an overview of six of them in the blog post above, and the new links course at Llanelli makes the seventh.
Putting together your own DIY golf holiday could not be easier. Gower Edge provides the accommodation, then just contact the clubs individually to book a tee time. This is often possible online and on the day, so you can vary your playing times depending on the weather, and the requirements of your party. Planning the golf for yourself also offers the opportunity to include non-playing guests. Gower Edge is big enough to accommodate 4 couples, so you can form into a playing and non-playing group, with plenty of other options for the non-golfers in the beautiful holiday area. Because the golf courses are all so nearby, it is also easy to drop the golfers off and retain the car for getting around. We have players and non-players in our family, and we have found this approach works very well.
For directions to the seven courses within 10 miles of Gower Edge just follow the google maps link below, where I have highlighed the courses and left the directions from the house. If you enjoy putting together DIY golf packages like we do, perhaps you would like to leave a comment for others as well.
So Bradley Wiggins has won the Tour de France for the UK, what a star! If you like your cycling then Swansea and the Gower might just be the place for you. Gower Edge provides easy access to many routes in the area, including Sustrans Route 47 just at the bottom of the hill, which forms part of the Celtic Trail. This stretches from Fishguard to Chepstow for its full length, but it might be best to dip in and out of it perhaps! More locally you can access Swansea Bay via Clyne Valley cycle route, and follow this round to the west to reach Mumbles. There are a number of nice places to stop for an ice cream on the front, with Verdi's being a favourite (seen behind the cyclist in the picture), or the cafe on Mumbles Pier if you want to make it all the way round! If you turn right at the bottom of the cycle path insteach, you will head into Swansea marina along the seafront, and you can now continue on to Neath and further if the mood takes you.
Cycle-route.com offer 17 routes in the area, including a 43 mile Gower circular route which goes past the front door of Gower Edge! If you are a cyclist who wishes to bring your own bike on holiday you are welcome to store it at the property (you can store bikes in the conservatory if you need to), but there are also several options for hiring bicyles locally if you don't want the trouble of bringing them with you, or you just want to do a day trip on two wheels.
Whether you are visiting for a week or a weekend, if you enjoy live music or theatre then there will be something to interest you in the region. Swansea has it's own theatre. The Grand, which provides a good variety of entertainment from comedians to opera. If you enjoy classical music, the Brangwyn Hall is a renowned venue with the stunning panels after which the hall is named as a backdrop to the music in the main hall.
You will also find local bands playing in pubs and clubs around the area. It is worth checking out the programme for Pontardawe Arts Centre and Swansea Jazzland, Wales premier live jazz venue, before your visit, and if you book for the beginning of August then you will be in town for the Neath Comedy Festival. All of this and the build up to Dylan Thomas' 60th Anniversary (of his death) in 2013 and 100th Anniversary (of his birth) in 2014. Choices, choices!
There are books at the property and suggestions on the internet. You can follow routes directly from the front door, or travel out onto the gower, park your car (prettily!) and go. You will often have the route to yourself even in high summer. Bliss! Here is one (fairly large one!) to get you going. If you don't feel up to doing it all in one stretch, you can access the Gower Goast Path at many points, with car parks often available, and bus transport, even on the weekends, to a number of drop off points.
Surfing is popular on the Gower all year round, as you will find from the video link below. There are beaches for all levels of ability and the opportunity to book lessons if you have never had a go before. We have plenty of room at Gower Edge to store boards and dry off wet suits, so why not give it a go!
Are there any of you out there who are thinking of coming to the Gower and not venturing onto a beach at some point? I hope not, so this is my first port of call.
Although our property is not directly on the beach, it does have the benefit of being in a central position so you can enjoy them all. You’re also in a good spot to go further afield to Llanelli, Carmarthenshire (Laugharne, birthplace of Dylan Thomas) and Pembrokeshire (try the beautiful Barafundle Bay) if you’re really hooked!
Our nearest of the beaches on South Gower is Caswell Bay, which is about 15 minutes away by car. Caswell Bay is a Blue Flag beach, and has lifeguards on duty during the summer months. This is a popular beach, both with families and with surfers.
There is easy access to the beach, toilets, a small coffee shop where you can sit inside, and kiosks serving chips etc and selling beach equipment. On a hot summer’s day in high season the car parks can sometimes get full during the middle of the day. We have found it is not a problem parking if you arrive before 10am however, or alternatively visit in the late afternoon/evening. It is worth noting when driving, that there is a back route through Bishopston which avoids travelling down the main coast road and through Mumbles, which again can suffer a traffic build up on the busiest days. It is useful to check the tide times before you set out, as the beach can be quite small when the tide is in (although it’s massive when the tide is out!). Even on busy days there is plenty of room to spread out and have your own personal bit of beach at anything other than high tide. For the children there is also rock pooling between the bottom of the cliffs and the beach.
If you have little constructors (or big ones!)
there are plenty of streams to dam at Caswell
When you have finished on the beach, there is a walk and picnic area at the back of the car park opposite the beach, which takes you up through the woods, or you can walk along the coast path (start behind the kiosks) to Langland Bay (20-30 mins), and then on to Mumbles point (1-2hr).
Rhossili and Worms Head
The Daily Mail has included the Gower Peninsula in its 2009 list of top beaches in the world, and describes the view over Rhossili beach as “one of the most glorious costal views in Britain.” It was also voted the number one dog friendly beach in the UK by Times online, and for those who like their TV links, it has acted as a backdrop in several Dr Who and Torchwood programmes.
Rhossili Bay - ready to start the descent!
If you can’t manage the steep steps to the beach at the Rhossili end, it is also possible to park at the at Llangennith end and walk through the dunes. If you want to cross to Worms Head you will need to check the tide times as it is cut off at high tide, and you will need sensible footwear to get across easily.
Worm's Head showing off at sunset
The drive will take you about 30 minutes and parking is in a privately owned grass car park in Rhossili itself, which I have never know to be full. Here there are toilets and shops and there is also a National Trust Centre. If you are visiting in spring or autumn and don’t fancy a bracing dip in the sea, there is a nice heated pool (where our children both learned to swim) in Scurlage which is open to non-residents.
Three Cliffs and Pennard
The easiest parking for Three Cliffs is at Pennard in the National Trust car park. From here you need to walk along the cliff top, and down onto the beach (about 20 mins). There is a coffee shop at Pennard which sells good quality, home made food (mainly baguettes, toasties, cakes etc), and a well stocked general store. Beautiful views as ever. This is a nice place for a picnic, or an evening stroll along the cliffs.
The beach here goes on for ever! Most people stay by the car park entrance, but again this is another beach where with a few minutes walk you will have your own private empire. The car park is privately owned and there is a charge. The Oxwich Bay Hotel, which is right on the beach serves drinks and meals. You can get onto the far end of this beach from Nicholaston Farm (there is a charge for parking at the farm) via a trail through the woods. The farm sells fruit and vegetables, and “pick your own” fruit in the summer, with a fantastic view over the Bristol Channel. Just along the road you will find Perriswood Archery and Falconry Centre, where you can try your hand with a bow and arrows, have a cuppa and enjoy the view, or meet the birds of prey.
If you really want the place to yourself, and walking rather than sandcastle building is your forte, then the North Gower beaches of the Loughour Estuary are for you. Sparsely populated the summer months, and often virtually empty at other times of year, you can enjoy the peace and tranquillity at your leisure. There are also numerous country pubs in the area which serve good home cooked food.
This is just a flavour of the better known beaches on offer. Any map of the Gower will show you how many more there are to sample. If you find a favourite whilst you’re visiting that you’d like to share with others, then let us know. For other ideas for your holiday, I can recommend the following site for up to date information on activities and attractions in the local area.
We welcome pets on holiday at Gower Edge all year, and some of them come in batches! Dogs will want a dip in the sea whatever the weather, and Gower is an excellent spot with many beaches open to dogs all year. If you will be bringing a dog in the summer (between 1st May and 30th September) a few bathing beaches have a ban for this period, and the beaches for you and your four legged friends to head for are the ones in the list below. The beaches you can enjoy with your dog all year round are Pobbles Bay; Pwll Du; Three Cliffs Bay; Horton Bay; Mewslade Bay; Rhossili Bay; Llangennith; Broughton Bay; Whitford Sands and most of Port Eynon. Pembrey Country Park is also a good option if you have additional small children, and a lot of gear to carry to the beach. Although a small area of the beach is closed to dogs in the summer, it is easy to move a little further along and have your own wide open space. There's also plenty of grassy space to let off steam as well!
Our dog "Rush" indulging in some advertising
during a break from "ballie"
The Gower Peninsula - a perfect self catering holiday destination
The google map below shows the Gower Peninsula from the air. It is just sixteen miles long by seven miles wide, and juts out into the Bristol Channel providing a series of beautiful sweeps of sandy beaches to the South and salt marshes filled with wildflowers to the North. Gower Edge is in Dunvant, towards the right of the map and centrally located at the entrance to the Peninsula, allowing easy access to all areas, whilst remaining close enough to the mainland to visit Llanelli, Pembrey, the Brecon Beacons and even Pembrokeshire if you wish. It is also on the rural outskirts of the festival city of Swansea, which has its own great beach, marina area, and beautiful parklands such as Clyne Gardens and Singleton Park.