Hampshire Hikes & Historical Sites
Bring intriguing coastal trails and history alive in South Hampshire
Walk Wales' Gower Peninsula with arguably some of Britain's best coastal scenery from a base at Oxwich on Gower's southern coast
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 79704
Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.
The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.
Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.
Jutting out from the South Wales coast the Gower Peninsula is a microcosm of the best that Wales has to offer. Your walks will take you to beautiful beaches, past cliffs where sea birds nest, to ancient castles and even more ancient burial sites.
Gower was Britain’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has some of Britain’s best coastal scenery. Spectacular beaches and coastal walks, golden sand, geological outcrops, sandy shores, caves and gullies, wildlife habitats, Norman castles and ancient churches, pretty villages and much more. For such a small area there is an amazing amount to be enjoyed.
We are based a stone’s throw from the shore of Oxwich Bay on Gower’s southern coast, a lovely sandy beach, ideal for a paddle or swim. The ruined fortified manor house of Oxwich Castle sits on the headland above the bay. The crescent shaped Rhossili Beach at the western end of the peninsula is as fine as any in the country. Our walking offers sweeping views from the high land behind the beach to Pembroke.
We take in Three Cliffs Bay with its triangular limestone crags cutting into the surf and the dramatic and beautifully located ruins of Pennard Church and Castle. Inland along the spine of the peninsula you come across plenty of evidence of human habitation dating back to ancient times. King Arthur’s stone, a Neolithic burial chamber, is thought to date back to 2,500 B.C.
Your walks on this holiday will cover the best of the peninsula and explore sections of the Gower Coastal Path.
Please note: you can extend your time by adding on our walking tour exploring the Wye Valley. Please see our 'Gower Peninsula and Wye Valley' tour with one way transport included between centres.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Independent travel to the Oxwich Bay Hotel at Oxwich Bay on the Gower Peninsula. Depending on your room allocation, your room will be available between 2pm and 4pm. If you arrive and your room is not ready you may drop your bags off at reception and make yourself comfortable in the hotel lounge. Meet your tour leader at approximately 6.30pm in the hotel for a briefing before dinner.
We start today’s walk from the hotel, climbing through woodland to emerge opposite Oxwich Castle. We follow an old drover’s road and an inland series of lanes and paths to the charming coastal town of Port Eynon. After lunch and a visit to the ruins of the ancient salt works, we will return east along the undulating coastal path with views of Port Eynon Bay and Oxwich Bay. The walk finishes with a series of steps up the massive cliffs of Oxwich Bay before descending gently through woodland to our hotel.
A coach takes us further to the west to start a descending walk through a limestone valley to the cliff path. We head out towards the viewpoint above Worm’s Head, a sinuous promontory regularly cut off by the tides. Turning to the North we visit Rhossili village and climb the Downs to appreciate the spectacular views of Rhossili Beach. A ridge walk is followed by a descent along the far end of the beach to the island called Burry Holms with its church remains. The walk continues inland to the village of Llangennith with an interesting church and a welcoming pub. Transport will take us back to our hotel.
This walk crosses the peninsula from north to south and visits two castles, an ancient burial chamber and the Gower Ridgeway. From the Ridgeway, which is like the spine of Gower, we will be able to see where we have already walked on Rhossili Downs and views of south Wales and as far as the Brecons. On a clear day the whole of Gower will be visible to us. We descend to our hotel through the grounds of Penrice Castle. We then descend 180 meters to the hotel.
We can offer a walk exploring the southeast of Gower however it is longer than the above walk. Transport will take us to the northern end of the Bishopston Valley, with its fascinating limestone geology, swallow holes and the sudden appearance of a tiny stream. We follow this stream as it develops into a broad flowing river down to the coast. Here we join the coastal path and head west towards Three Cliffs Bay with its famous rock formations. A side trip is possible to Pennard Castle. We then head back along the coastal path via the Oxwich Bay nature reserve. Some walking is on the impressive coastal sand dunes and the loose sand can be quite tiring, but the experience is worth it! A shorter version, not visiting Pennard castle will cut out a 2 mile stretch, and walkers can choose their preferred option on the day. The walk ends with the opportunity to remove boots and socks and walk the last mile back to the hotel in the cooling waters of Oxwich Bay.
Independent departure from the hotel after breakfast. Check out is by 11am. We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.
Departure dates for your selected tour
9th Aug 2021 - 13th Aug 2021 (4 Nights)
27th Sep 2021 - 1st Oct 2021 (4 Nights)
11th Oct 2021 - 15th Oct 2021 (4 Nights)
Private coach transport to and from the trailheads, is included.
Nearest railway station: Llanelli (18 miles)
Nearest bus stops: Oxwich
Taxis are available between Llanelli and Oxwich.
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
We stay at the welcoming three-star Oxwich Bay Hotel beautifully situated above the bay and just a stone’s throw from the beach. It has recently been extensively updated and upgraded.
Dinner is taken at the restaurant, which has views over the sea, from an excellent three course set menu. Such is the reputation of the restaurant; residents of Swansea often make the trip to dine here. Full English and Welsh breakfasts are served every day.
The hotel rooms are either in the main building or converted workers cottages a short walk away. All guest rooms are en-suite, with tea and coffee-making facilities, TVs, telephones and radios.
Please note that picnic lunches are not included on this holiday.
Free internet is available.
This is a Grade 5 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. The paths and tracks on the walks each day are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Some of the views you will encounter have been described as spectacular. All walks visit a beach and on one walk we cross the peninsular from the north to the south and visits two castles, an ancient burial chamber and walk a section of the Gower Ridgeway. Walks will last up to 7 hours including stops and will involve between 300m and 500m of cumulative ascent and descent and daily mileage between 9 and 11 miles. Within the selection of walks that we have chosen there will be opportunities to see a wide selection of the aspects of the area for which Gower is justly famous.
The wonderful and varied landscape of the Gower Peninsula (Penrhyn Gwyr) was the first place in Britain to be designated as an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' (AONB) and is one of only five within Wales. In 2018 the Gower Peninsula celebrated its 62nd year as an AONB, an accolade that has truly stood the test of time.
Gower is quite a small area just 25km long and 13km wide but within this small area are found some of the UK’s most spectacular beaches and coastal walks, golden sands, geological outcrops, standing stones, caves and gullies, wildlife habitats, Norman castles and ancient churches and pretty villages. Within the programme of walks that we have chosen, there will be opportunities to see a wide selection of the aspects of the area for which Gower is justly famous.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
To reach the hotel:
by car: Leave the M4 at Junction 42, which will take you into Swansea. Follow the signs for the Gower and then South Gower. You will see Swansea Bay to the left of you, head towards Mumbles but keep following the signs for Gower. Take a right turning at the traffic lights for Singleton Hospital. Take a right at the next mini roundabout, straight through the next set of traffic lights and left at the 'T' Junction onto the South Gower Road. Follow this road through Killay, past Swansea Airport, until you see a sign for Oxwich on your left. Take a left at Oxwich Village cross roads. The hotel is by the beach at the end of the road. There is car parking at the hotel.
by rail / coach: The nearest railway station and coach station is Swansea. There are direct trains from London Paddington station and Cardiff Central amongst other places. A taxi from Swansea station to the hotel will take about 20 minutes and will cost around £35 each way. You may wish to phone Oyster Cabs (01792 367777) for a quote.
You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the hotel: www.rome2rio.com
Meeting your tour leader and fellow walkers: Please check the time of dinner (approximately 7pm) on arrival at the hotel, and aim to be in the lounge bar half an hour before dinner for an introduction to your leader, an outline of the planned programme for your holiday and the chance to meet your walking companions.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Passport Information for United Kingdom
Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.
Half board en suite accommodation. Breakfasts and dinners are taken in the main hotel building. Please note that picnic lunches are not included on this holiday.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
Ordnance Survey Explorer 1:25,000 Series 164 Gower / Gwyr
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for United Kingdom
No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.
Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
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