Best view in Wales if not the UK. Seriously, the view towards the three cliffs of the eponymously named bay in Gower is a cracker. That’s potentially closely followed by the view from the cliffs themselves, as I’ve just found out. I’m stood on the very top of the stegosaurus-like spine having just climbed 40m up a gulley in the golden coloured limestone from the beach below. The sun is setting at speed and the tide seems to be moving in at equal pace. Two riders galloping through the shallows cast long shadows along the golden sand, heading westwards along Oxwich Bay, soon to be small silhouettes at the other end of the 4km beach. I catch our climbing guide, Simon of Gower Adventures, paused and taking in the view for a moment as well. Clearly, despite coming out here with groups most days, for him, it’s a view that doesn’t get old.
Head West: London To Gower
I’m stuck in the city these days, in London I’m sorry to say. That place where ‘getting away from it all’ requires training, and experience. I think I’ve just about got it all nailed down now though. The core of my strategy, the technique I’ve honed, is to commit most of my annual leave to one big outdoor trip, like a hike along the length of the Cambrian Way, or the Snowdonia Slate Trail; one of those long escapes where there’s enough time to fully slow down and refocus. Alongside this – and this is a crucial part of it – I’ll also fill up as many weekends as I can with little trips that keep me sane until that big trip comes along. These, shall we say, appetisers, have included many a trip to the South and North Downs, sometimes the New Forest, but I’ve also realised that you can get a bit further. As far as the beautiful Gower peninsula for instance.
The UK’s first area to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Gower is one of Wales’s gems; a place of globally award-winning beaches, vast dune systems, and an interior that mixes moor and ancient woodland. Reached from London in around four hours by car, and a similar time by train and a short bus (head to visitswanseabay.com for useful travel info), it’s perfectly feasible to enjoy a weekend here without having to go through any logistical nightmares (all going well), as I found out.
Setting off from London straight after work, my partner Hannah and I arrived at our room at the King’s Head of Llangennith in reasonable enough time to enjoy a pint of Gower Power, and a good night’s sleep ahead of the next day’s events. There were a number of other activities we were hoping we to try, the climbing at Three Cliffs being just one of them. Just how much could we fit in over two days?