Also known as 'The Sands,' Slade Bay is a small beach with lots of firm sand and some interesting rocks. The bay can be reached from the village of Slade, via a quarter of an hour walk down past fields (once infamous as being the hunting ground of the legendary Spring-Heeled Jack) or via a coastal path from Horton Beach.
The moderate difficulty of access to Slade Bay made this beach ideal for smuggling in years gone by, when casks of brandy or illicit supplies of tobacco would often be secretly unloaded here and distributed for local sale.
In his excellent book on the peninsula - 'The Gower Coast,' George Edmunds recounts a scene from Slade Bay as described by Fisheries Officer and Lloyds Agent Donald le Cronier Chapman. The report was not written during the 18th or 19th Centuries but on a dusky evening in March 1940. However, it does offer a great insight into both the rural nature of this beach and also of the village locals of the time.
Twenty odd casks came ashore on the Gower, seven of which were in my district as Lloyds Agent West Gower. Two came in at Slade Cliff and with horses, chains and men we hauled them up. When on the brink the chains slipped and the casks burst on the shingle. Men drank the stout from jam jars and flagons found hurriedly on the beach. When they could drink no more P.C. Mabbet and I as coastguard spilled the residue.
The drunken men were, apparently, laid out on the beach for hours, too inebriated to make their way home to their beds for the night.