Pennard Pill to Three Cliffs Bay
Seat overlooking Three Cliffs Bay on Gower
Eager for a good long bracing coastal walk, I set off on a suitably wild late autumn day, along the much used path that leads down the east side of Pennard Pill (pill’s the local word for a stream) to Threecliff Bay – as it’s marked on the OS map, and signposted; most refer to it as Three Cliffs Bay.
Appropriately enough for such a beautiful place, it was championed by another local beauty, the pulchritudinous Katherine Jenkins, for the ITV series. How familiar she, or any of those who voted for this view, are with the rest of the Welsh coastline, who knows, but having walked all of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, as well as most of Ceredigion’s and Lleyn’s and some of Anglesey’s, it certainly gets my coastal vote for Wales.
The views, notably from the cliff-tops either side, are just wondrous, especially when the sands are exposed. With the enormous tidal range of the Bristol Channel, the coastal scene changes markedly according to the state of the tide.
Having crossed the stepping stones to the other side of the river, I headed west over Great Tor then along the beach to Oxwich. Small figures far out in the bay were Chinese cockle-pickers, the café attendant told me; more usually found working the cockle beds of Penclawdd on the north coast. Once round Oxwich Point, a scenic stretch of ‘raised beach’ – reminiscent of that between Start and Prawle Points on the south Devon coast – then actual beach, led me to Port Eynon YH, whence followed several miles of superb limestone cliff scenery: the most dramatic of the walk.
The light had almost gone by the time I reached Rhossili, just in time for the last bus.
The glories of Rhossili Bay and Worms Head would have to wait for another day.
Distance: 15 miles/24km
Time: c.7 hours
Start: Either Parkmill bus stop (GR: SS 545892) or Pennard Cliffs bus stop/NT car park (GR: SS 554874)
Finish: Rhossili bus stop (GR: SS 416881)
Maps: OS 1:50,000 Landranger sheet 159 (Swansea & Gower); OS 1:25,000 Explorer sheet 164 (Gower)
Information: Mumbles TIC, 01792 361302; www.visitswanseabay.com.