Do you ever dream of adventure but worry that it’s not possible with kids in tow? Or maybe you’re desperate to show the kids some adventure but don’t want to jump on a plane in search of it. With award winning sandy beaches and beautiful unspoilt countryside, coupled with the adventure of smugglers coves and shipwrecks, the Gower Peninsula in South Wales is a perfect choice for a family holiday full of adventure.
I first visited Gower aged 10 on a school trip. A group of 30 inner London school kids exposed to the fresh air, beauty and adventure. With Mr Redmond (our slightly grumpy but super adventurous teacher) we walked for miles, explored caves, clambered over cliffs to discover smugglers hideouts, and ran free on the vast beaches.
Those fond memories stuck with me and so when I was 8 months pregnant with Baby DaisLikeThese, and didn’t want to travel too far for our summer holiday, we decided on a ‘staycation’ to Gower with our two boys and the dog. I could finally pass on and relive the fun and excitement through the boy’s eyes.
So, here are our top 5 family adventures on the Gower Peninsula
Discover a real shipwreck at Rhossili Bay
At Rhossili Bay you will not only find one of the UK’s top rated beaches, with over three miles of beautiful wide sandy beach framed by lush green hills, if you are patient with the tide you will also discover a real life shipwreck! The last remains of the wooden hull of the Helvetia, which wrecked in 1887, rise up out of the sand at low tide.
We parked at the National Trust car park and made the long walk down the footpath onto the beach – not massively easy when 8months pregnant (and even harder to get back!). But it was worth it, the beach was massive and we had plenty of space to play and explore.
On our first visit we had to leave before the the tide went far enough out but we vowed to return the next day at low tide. And we weren’t disappointed! Unfortunately the weather wasn’t as lovely the following day, but we wrapped up and it didn’t detract from the excitement and anticipation of the boys, which was a pleasure to watch.
Clamber over the causeway at low tide to Worms Head
Rhossili doesn’t only have a shipwreck, it also has an adventure island!
Only accessible at low tide is Worms Head, which you can get to over a causeway. So check the tide times at the coast guards office (we checked the day before which was helpful for planning) and head off on an adventure to discover sea birds and a natural blowhole.
Being 8 months pregnant, this was a bit too adventurous for me, but Mr DaisLikeThese and the boys set off for a boys morning out and from the look of the pictures, they had fun!
Scramble down the cliff side at low tide to discover a smugglers hideout at Culver Hole
One of my lasting memories from my trip as a 10year old girl all those years ago was of our visit to Culver Hole. Back then it was sold to us as a smugglers hideout and we were encourage to imagine and write about what life would have been like as a smuggler. I vividly remember a procession of us 30 kids a scrambling down a steep cliff path until we found Culver Hole!
For our adventure, we parked at Port Eynon and headed off on the footpath behind the Youth Hostel. It took a bit of finding (using our map, Google maps on my phone, and asking the local life guards!) but when we finally got there, it was so exciting!
The last climb down the rocks was too steep for me and my bump so I waited back a bit with the dog while the boys headed down. It was a true adventure, which hopefully the boys enjoyed as much as I did!
Adventure over the sand dunes to discover Three Cliffs Bay
The beauty of the beaches in the Gower is that they are not over developed. There are very few beaches with shops, cafes and ice cream vans, meaning they retain their natural beauty. None more so than at Three Cliffs Bay.
The lack of facilities does mean that parking and access to the beach are limited, but this becomes part of the adventure!
We visited on two different days and found parking spots near to the main road (the A4118) and made our way through country lanes and eventually sand dunes. There is also parking available at the Gower Heritage Centre.
The beach is truly a sight to behold and totally worth the walk!
Not only were there masses of beach to enjoy, there was also the the Pennard Pill stream making its way to the sea (which the boys enjoyed wading across, jumping over the stepping stones, and attempting to build dam), Pennard Castle over looking the bay, and rockpools and caves to discover.
Search for caves and go rock pooling
When we’re at the beach my boys love nothing more than taking their nets and clambering over the rocks to hunt for crabs and other creatures or searching out caves. The beaches of the Gower are perfect for both. We were spoilt for choice really but our two favourite spots had to be Mewslade Bay and Port Eynon.
Mewslade Bay is lovely secluded little beach. We enjoyed a nice walk down through the hills until we were literally climbing down rocks! It was quite a windy day so we had the bay to ourselves which was fabulous.
At Port Eynon, when the tide goes out there is a vast section of the beach that is covered with seaweed strewn rocks that have an abundance of pools to explore. The boys went from pool to pool, excitement at every one.
We certainly had some amazing adventures on The Gower Peninsula and I was so pleased to be able to share it with the boys after all those years!
Have you been on any family friendly adventures in Gower? What have I missed?