Gower Beaches – A Quick Summary
For those in a hurry see below for a quick summary of the best Gower beaches.
Best big sandy beaches on Gower – Rhossili Beach, Oxwich Bay, Three Cliffs Bay
Best Beaches in the Gower for wild coastal scenery – Mewslade Bay, Fall Bay
Best Beaches in Gower for families – Langland, Caswell, Oxwich
Best Gower Beaches to Explore
1. Mewslade Bay
Relatively few of those who visit Gower make it to remote Mewslade Bay. Whichever way you approach it, you have a bit of a hike and a short rocky scramble to reach it.
But it’s worth it: if you can time your visit to coincide with low tide, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best beaches in west Wales.
The backdrop to Mewslade is dramatic, soaring spires of rock and knife-edge aretes pointing skywards.
Much of the beach is sandy, though there are plenty of picturesque rocky outcrops as well, Just be sure not to arrive around high tide, when all of this is submerged by the frothy waters of the Bristol Channel.
Getting there: On foot from Port Eynon, Rhossili or Pitton, where there is a small car park and footpath sign. The latter is the shortest route, around 2 km (1,25 miles).
2. Rhossili Bay
Rhossili beach Wales has had just about every accolade you could muster. It has been voted best beach in the UK, best beach in Europe, and made the best 10 beaches in the world and best 10 sunset locations in the world many times over.
If you only have one day on Gower, Rhossili is where you should spend it, gazing out over, walking along or snoozing in the sun on one of the best beaches in the world.
Rhossili Bay Gower is a three-mile (5 km) swathe of glorious golden sand in the shadow of a raised beach and the steep hill called Rhossili Down.
It’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe, but it’s not exactly a secret: around 500,000 visitors make it to this remote corner of Wales each year.
The enormous beach never gets crowded, but the bar at the Worm’s Head Hotel – the one Rhossili pub – can get busy on a summer lunchtime.
It’s at the western end of the Gower Peninsula, with views to Pembrokeshire in the west and out to Lundy Island to the south-west in the Bristol Channel.
The tidal island just offshore is Worm’s Head, one of the most fascinating Welsh islands, which looks like a basking dragon. You can access it two hours either side of low tide, and Rhossili tide times are posted on the door of the National Trust shop each day.
Rhossili Gower village is 250 feet (80 metres) above the beach, and the way down is a steep stepped footpath with around 300 steps in total. It can be a bit of a slog down or back up.
If you descend to the beach, you’ll see a few wooden timbers sticking out of the sand. This is the famous Helvetia shipwreck, the scant remains of a Norwegian barque washed up on the beach in 1887.
The lone white house above the beach is the Old Rectory, which is owned and operated by landowners the National Trust. It’s by far the most popular of the Rhossili cottages where you can stay – it’s often booked up three years in advance.
Getting there: by road on the B4247, which runs off the main A4118 road down to Port Eynon. The regular 118 bus from Swansea terminates close to Rhossili church.
Facilities: Cafes, pub, restaurants all in the village; none down on the beach itself.
Read more: Rhossili Bay Guide here
3. Three Cliffs Bay
Three Cliffs Bay Gower is one of the best beaches in the UK.
Somehow – a combination of its location, natural seclusion and lack of development – it has remained one of the most unspoilt beaches in Europe, up there with the Costa Vicentina in Portugal or beaches of south Crete. It’s a hidden coastal Arcadia, tucked away in a secret valley with sand dunes either side.
A stream, Pennard Pill, meanders its last mile or so to the sea, with romantic crumbling Pennard Castle – one of the most romantic castles in South Wales – surveying the scene.
A long finger of land stretches into the golden sand, culminating in the jagged three cliffs that give the beach its name. The sands stretch in either direction from Three Cliffs Bay, to Pobbles Bay in the east and Oxwich Bay in the west.
Three Cliffs Bay Caravan Park, on the hill to the west, offers possibly the most scenic Gower Peninsula camping of all, looking directly down onto this paradise.
Getting there: If you want to get to Three Cliffs Bay, you’re going to have to walk a mile (1.6 km) or more to reach it. The shortest route is from Penmaen to the west, though parking here is fairly limited.
There are more parking spaces at Parkmill, a village a mile to the north of Three Cliffs. The path gradually climbs to the ruin of Pennard Castle, before descending to the beach.
Otherwise, it’s a longer (25 minute) walk from the village of Southgate. Bus 14 from Swansea stops here (its destination is listed as Pennard Cliffs).
Read more: Three Cliffs Bay guide here
4. Oxwich Bay
Ah, Oxwich beach, a rare treasure indeed. It has been voted one of the best beaches in Britain, and so it is.
As you look west from Three Cliffs Bay or Tor Bay , the pristine sand arcs away for miles, ending at a wooded headland.
It is a truly wondrous place.
The eastern part of Oxwich Bay Gower is also known as Nicholaston Burrows. However, this is really the dunes behind the beach, which are home to rare lichens and pyramidal orchids. This part of Oxwich Bay beach is a 20-minute walk from the nearest car park, so it’s always very quiet.
The western end of Oxwich beach is much busier. The Oxwich Bay parking area is here, and the Oxwich Bay Hotel, a great base for Gower holidays, overlooks the beach.
After passing some dunes, you walk out onto acres of golden sand, with an incredible view back to Three Cliffs Bay and further along the coast.Oxwich village is also worth exploration.
There are a couple of lovely traditional thatched cottages close to the beach, and a short uphill walk takes you to the grand Tudor manor house that goes by the name of Oxwich Castle.
Also seek out the limewashed ancient church of St Illtyd in the woods just above the end of the beach.
Getting there: by road via the main A4118 road, followed by a left signposted turn at Penrice Castle gatehouse to Oxwich. Bus 117 from Swansea also calls in at Oxwich.
Facilities: WC, cafés, hotel, restaurant, watersports equipment hire
5. Tor Bay
If Tor Bay hadn’t been in such exalted company, with Three Cliffs Bay on one side and Oxwich beach the other, it would be considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Wales.
The upshot of that is always fairly quiet, often deserted in the autumn and winter off-season. The Tor after which it’s named is the headland on the east side of the beach.
Getting there: On foot from the car park at Penmaen, which is about 1 km up the hill on the A4118 road from Parkmill.
6. Bracelet Bay
Bracelet Bay beach is just around the corner along Mumbles Road, which can be reached from the Pier by a flight of stone steps.
It’s one of the best Gower Swansea beaches with something for everyone. At low tide there is plenty of golden sand.
There are also pebbles and rockpools, and a short walk up the hill for a better view of Mumbles Head lighthouse.
Getting there: Along Mumbles Road, by car, bus or on foot from Mumbles Beach
Facilities: It’s a Blue Flag beach, with easy access. There’s a kiosk at one end of the beach and an Italian restaurant overlooking the other.
7. Limeslade Bay
Limeslade Bay is a tiny suburban Swansea beach, mainly frequented by locals. It’s very narrow, barely twenty metres across.
It’s a great spot for rockpooling, and much of it consists of pebbles and rocks, with some sand close to the shoreline. Around five minutes’ walk from Bracelet Bay.
Getting there: By road or on foot from Bracelet Bay
Facilities: WC nearby
8. Langland Bay – One of the best Gower beaches for families
If you approach by the coast path, a huge open beach opens out before you, mostly sand with a few rockpools exposed at low tide, and a row of bright green and white beach huts along the promenade.
Most of the beach is Langland Bay, but the first corner you reach is known as Rotherslade Bay, overlooked by a cluster of beach huts and a takeaway kiosk.
At high tide, the two beaches are separated by rocks.
Langland is a short walk over the hill from Mumbles, so is very much a city beach.
It’s our pick of the beaches near Swansea. It has been popular since the 19th century, when the Crawshay family who owned the Merthyr Tydfil Ironworks, built themselves a grand holiday home behind the beach huts – it has been converted into luxury apartments.
Langland always draws plenty of visitors in the spring and summer months – mainly to relax on the beach, at the cafes or takeaway, but also to surf.
Getting there: By car via Mumbles, otherwise buses 2A, 2B, 2C and 3A all pass close by.
Facilities: Cafes, restaurants, WC
9. Caswell Bay
Caswell Bay beach has long been one of the most popular beaches in South Wales, Its secret?
It’s one of the best Gower beaches for families, with acres of golden sand, two beachside cafes and a shop for supplies.
It’s packed during the summer holidays and on weekends between May and September, but often quiet at other times.
It’s also the last of the Swansea suburban beaches.
The magnificent Gower coastal path – part of the 870-mile long Wales Coast Path – continues west from Caswell, taking us to the next two beaches.
Getting there: By road along Caswell Road, the B4593. The 2C and 3A buses from Swansea pass close by.
Facilities: A Blue Flag beach with easy access, WC, cafes and shop.
10. Brandy Cove
Brandy Cove is just a few minutes’ walk away from Caswell beach, but it’s so different in feel.
Its name evokes thoughts of smugglers stashing barrels of liquor behind the rocks, and it’s pretty likely they did exactly that, given that they did so elsewhere on the Gower coast. It’s mainly rocky, with a small patch of sand at the shoreline.
Getting there: on the Gower Coast Path from Caswell (5-10 minutes)