- Nearest national cycle network
- Gower was designated the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty back in 1956
- Swansea-born Dylan Thomas called the peninsula "one of the loveliest sea-coast stretches in the whole of Britain"
- Worm's Head is so called because Viking invaders thought it resembled a serpent rising from the depths
- Famed local delicacies include salt marsh lamb, laverbread and Penclawdd cockles. The latter were once collected from the marshes by barefoot cockle pickers
- There are 1200 archaeological sites in the AONB, including listed buildings, caves, forts, castles and a cast-iron lighthouse
- Whilst many locals and visitors call it 'The Gower', 'Gower' or 'The Gower Peninsula' is actually the correct way to refer to the area
Designated in 1956 for its classic limestone coast and the variety of its natural habitats, Gower was the first AONB designated in the UK. Rich and diverse, Gower’s scenery ranges from fragile dune and salt marsh in the north to the dramatic limestone cliffs along the south coast, intercut with sandy beaches. Inland, the ridges of Cefn Bryn and Rhossili Down dominate a landscape of traditional small fields, wooded valleys and open commons.
Its history is just as varied – from the oldest ceremonial human burial in Western Europe, to WWII defences, via a 12th Century Norman invasion, and smugglers tales. For centuries, Gower was remote and self-reliant, developing its own traditions, and a unique Gower dialect. The development of Swansea at the heart of the Industrial Revolution brought many changes to Gower – but also left the landscape unspoilt.
Now it is easy to catch a bus from the centre of Swansea, and get off in the centre of Gower just 20 minutes later. The Wales Coast Path, and the many other footpaths around Gower, make exploring by foot easy – from the open, rolling commons with their Bronze and Iron Age remains, to wooded valleys with small villages nestling in their shelter, and the dramatic coast, with its stories of smuggling and ship wrecks.
A new and free downloadable app, called ‘This Is Gower’, is packed with walks, stories, wildlife and history – making it easy to explore the past and present of Gower. Award-winning beaches, dramatic coast and rolling downs, with traditional villages linked by small lanes make Gower a place to unwind and recharge your batteries.
Paul Lloyd, Chair of the Gower AONB Partnership
Adventures in Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Antur yn Ardal o Harddwch Naturiol Eithriadol Gŵyr
Travel to and around Gower AONB
Swansea is the hub and direct trains run from London, Bristol, Cardiff, Manchester, Crewe and further afield. If you're arriving by air there are train services from London, Bristol and Cardiff Airports. For train times and information, contact National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484 950, visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or check Traveline Cymru.
You can take direct coaches to Swansea Bay and Gower from London and London's airports, Yorkshire, the West Midlands, Bristol and Cardiff, and to Swansea city from London, Bristol, Birmingham and Cardiff.
PlusBus offers an unlimited bus travel pass in Swansea, Mumbles, Neath and the local area for £2.50, but it may not cover all areas you want to visit. Explore Gower tickets are the best bet as they give unlimited bus travel in all of Gower and Swansea for £4.50 for one day or £10 for three days. Regular services every few hours link Llanmadoc, Llangennith, Llanrhidian, Rhossili, Port Eynon and Horton. Frequent buses visit Pennard, Bishopston and Mumbles.
No trains run through Gower but touring by bicycle is a fantastic alternative to taking a car. The Bike Hub in Swansea offers daily or weekly hire of bikes and tandems which are perfect for exploring. BayTrans.org.uk is a fantastic source of information and has a useful downloadable leaflet on exploring Gower without a car, including a map of bus services.
Gower AONB, Wales
Map supplied by Gower AONB
Carousel images: Oxwich Bay glimpsed through trees, supplied by Gower AONB. Rhossili Bay, Pennard Castle, both supplied by Visit Swansea Bay. Surfer: Photo: Sian Lewis/Greentraveller. Tipi at night supplied by Down to Earth.
This online guide to Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was funded by Welsh Government.