A fifteen-mile-long finger of undulating sandstone and limestone, Gower (Gŵyr) is a world of its own, pointing into the Bristol Channel to the west of Swansea. The area is fringed by sweeping yellow bays and precipitous cliffs, with caves and blowholes to the south, and wide, flat marshes and cockle beds to the north. Bracken heaths dotted with prehistoric remains and tiny villages lie between, and there are numerous castle ruins and curious churches lurking about. Out of season, the winding lanes afford wonderful opportunities for exploration, but in high summer – July and August especially – they can be horribly congested. Frequent buses from Swansea serve the whole peninsula.
Gower starts in Swansea’s western suburbs, following the curve of Swansea Bay to the pleasantly old-fashioned resort of Mumbles and finishing at Rhossili Bay. West of Port Eynon, the coast becomes a wild, frilly series of inlets and cliffs, topped by a five-mile path that stretches all the way to the peninsula’s glorious westernmost point, Worms Head. The northern coast merges into the tidal flats of the Loughor estuary.
The Gower has some of Britain’s finest surf, with the bays and beaches of Langland, Caswell, Oxwich, Rhossili and Llangennith offering the best and most consistent waves. For equipment rental, the best place is PJ’s Surfshop in Llangennith, which has a wide range of surfboards, boogie boards and wet suits. A mile away at the Hillend campsite, the Welsh Surfing Federation’s Surf School runs half-day surfing courses.