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Mumbles & The Gower

Gower or the Gower Peninsula (Welsh: Gwyr or Penrhyn G?yr) is a peninsula in south Wales, jutting from the coast into the Bristol Channel, and administratively part of the City and County of Swansea. Locally it is known as "Gower" (not "the Gower"). In 1956 Gower became the first area in Britain to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Gower is known for its coastline, popular with walkers and outdoor enthusiasts, especially surfers. Gower has many caves, including Paviland Cave and Minchin Hole Cave. The peninsula is bounded by the Loughor Estuary to the north and Swansea Bay to the east. The highest point of Gower is The Beacon at Rhossili Down at 193m/633 ft overlooking Rhossili Bay. Pwll Du and the Bishopton Valley form a statutory Local Nature Reserve. The interior of Gower consists mainly of farmland and common land. The population resides mainly in, though suburban development has made a number of communities in eastern Gower part of the Swansea Urban Area.The southern coast consists of a series of small, rocky or sandy bays, such as Langland and Three Cliffs, and larger beaches such as Port Eynon, Rhossili and Oxwich Bay. The north of the peninsula has fewer beaches, and is home to the cockle-beds of Penclawdd.

The Gower is the perfect place to have a holiday in Wales particularly for those who enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside but yet don’t want to be too far from the city, as Swansea is less than 15 minutes’ drive away. It is is rich in wildlife and has nineteen nature reserves. The diversity in landscape and wildlife makes the Gower a popular place for walking holidays and activity breaks.

If you’re a fan of the seaside then a cottage holiday in the Gower is a must, with over 50 beaches to choose from you’ll be spoilt for choice. Rhossili is perhaps one of the most popular with The Independent classing it as ‘The Supermodel of British Beaches’ and the Sunday Times featuring it in the Top 25 Beaches in the World. Neighbouring beach Llangennith is an exceptionally popular surfing beach and The Observer declares it as the best place to learn to surf in Britain. Beaches in the Gower have several Blue Flag awards and Green Coast awards making them some of the cleanest and safest beaches in Britain.

Take a trip to Rhossili Bay, despite its rather remote location it is a popular place for visitors as several pleasant walks start, end and pass through the area. At low tide you will see remains from several ship wrecks, the most famous being the Helvetia which was wrecked on the 31st October in 1887 due to adverse weather conditions. Whilst the crew each made it to land safely the next morning the bay was littered with 500 tonnes of timber. The remains of theHelvetia have since lain on the bay for the past 122 years and is predominantly one of the most photographed sites in the area.

Three Cliffs Bay is equally as magnificent and perhaps the most famous of all Gower beaches. Three cliffs bay takes its name from the three limestone points on the sea cliff at the end of the bay. Around the cliff area and under the cliffs archway (an archway that runs right through the cliffs) are lots of rock pools, and like most rock pools they are full of sea life. This sea cliff is a prominent feature of the bay and is popular with rock climbers.

In the distance, upon the hillside lie the ruins of Pennard castle. The landscape views of Three Cliffs Bay from the castle can only be described as breathtaking. Not only will you be able to see the entire bay, you will be able to see the coast as it curves around towards Oxwich point.

However the Gower has much more to offer than just stunning views and picturesque scenery, it is also rich in history and culture. Scattering the landscape in Gower are historic reminders of past ancestors, from castles, medieval churches, Iron Age fortifications, and prehistoric standing stones. All of this set against an awe-inspiring, natural backdrop of hills, valleys, beaches, clifftops, commons, woodland, dunes, marshes and caves. With its vast populated history, stretching back as far as Lower Paleolithic times (250,000 BC), long-established stories, whether they be folklore, legend or fact, are plentiful and furnish the rich and delightful tapestry of Gower. Be sure to visit Oxwich castle and Oystermouth castle, both of which have a rich and colourful history which are sure to entertain.

SWANSEA - is Wales' second-largest city, and sits on the five-mile sweep of Swansea Bay. An ideal base for a holiday in Wales and exploring the South West region, as it has numerous restaurants and attractions as well as a vibrant night life. Swansea was granted city status in 1969 and since then it has also evolved rapidly particularly in recent years. The City Centre has extended seaward into the award-winning Marina and Maritime Quarter, where you'll find attractions including the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea Museum, the Dylan Thomas Centre and the LC leisure complex and water park. In the City Centre of Swansea you’ll find over 200 shops ranging from high-street brands to charming boutiques selling everything from clothing to homeware. You will also find Wales’ largest indoor market, where a lively atmosphere awaits along with fresh locally produced cuisine such as cockles, larvae bread and Gower Salt Marsh Lamb which is produced from sheep farmed on the salt marshes of the Loughor Estuary. Also, don’t forget to try freshly baked traditional Welsh Cakes! Swansea also boasts excellent sporting facilities including the Wales National Pool (the only 50m swimming pool in Wales), and the Liberty Stadium, a 20,000-seat venue which is home to Barclay's Premier League club, Swansea City FC and The Ospreys Rugby Team.