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Tens of thousands of tourists flock to the Gower Peninsula each summer. And without doubt, the greatest draw for these holiday makers to the area are Gower's succession of varied and spectacular beaches.
Within its rugged coastline, there are no less than 24 bays and sheltered coves, all of which can hold their own against any other British seaside destination.
From Swansea Bay, with its huge sweep of clean, flat sand, the coastline becomes ever more scenic and magnificent in its rich and natural beauty. From Mumbles, with its twin beaches of Bracelet Bay and Limeslade, the peninsula's famous limestone cliffs begin to dominate the landscape and a fine coastal walk develops from Limeslade to explore the wealth of its rocky terrain.
Rotherslade, Langland, and after a short distance further west, Caswell are amongst Gower's more popular bays. Though beautiful beaches, their huge popularity has developed from their closer proximity to Swansea. Some of Gower's more picturesque beaches demand abandoning the car and taking a hike over undemanding cliff land and through winding valley woodland. A good example of this can be found with Gower's next two beaches, Brandy Cove and Pwll Du. The remoteness of these coves have given this area an infamous history of smuggling and skullduggery and it is not difficult to imagine oneself in times long past, whilst exploring the wilderness of these quiet and romantic beaches.
Another brisk walk is required for the next clutch of bays, but the rewards offered for the walk along Pennard Cliffs (which are more than worthy of the trek itself) are beaches that rank among the peninsula's greatest. Fox Hole Bay, Pobbles Bay, Three Cliffs Bay and Tor Bay are distinct and separate beaches at mid to high tide, but at low tide lead from one to another in a glorious seaside walk all the way west to Oxwich Bay .
Oxwich Bay is another of Gower's more popular bays and possesses a large car park on its front. This makes this an excellent beach to visit for the young or elderly. Slade, Horton and Port Eynon are the next beaches on this tour westwards along Gower's coastline and their popularity is often twinned to that of Oxwich's. Again, a seafront car park makes this an ideal destination for the young and elderly, but Port Eynon is definitely more geared to the more family end of the holiday market. The beach possesses an array of shops selling buckets and spades and seaside gifts and candy.
The coastline here becomes increasingly wild and the beaches of Mewslade and Fall Bay both demand a long walk over some rough terrain before their delights can be savoured. Now as the Bristol Channel washed beaches give way to those defined by the strength of the Atlantic Ocean, what is arguably Gower's finest scene comes into view. Rhossili Bay has to be one of Europe 's most breathtaking beaches. A long walk down some steep steps is required to actually reach the sands, but the place is worth a visit just to take in the splendour of this bay. Words are simply not adequate to the task of describing this beach!
Llangennith Sands describes the northern half of Rhossili's huge length of sand and is a favourite haunt for surfers and water sports enthusiasts in general. From here, several coves crowd amongst rough limestone cliffs, all of which can only be visited at low tide and of which Burry Holmes Beach and Blue Pool Bay are probably the most popular.
Gower's last two bays both offer long stretches of clean, golden sands. Broughton Bay is the most popular of the two given that the dunes leading to the beach host a large camping site. Whiteford Sands is a very quiet bay requiring a long walk, it is often overlooked by tourists yet it offers its visitors a spectacular stretch of beach which, even on the hottest of summer days hosts only a handful of sun worshippers.