The Dog Ban and Gower Beaches, all you need to know.

High Tide Pobbles Bulldog

From 1st May to 30th September there are restrictions for dogs on Gower beaches and certain seafronts. In the winter my french bulldog cross Molly and I are constantly found checking out the winter swells at Langland and Caswell. With the arrival of May we have to leave our beach winter wonderland, but don’t worry there are great Gower beaches open to dogs all year. Here is a guide to where they are and all you need to know about the Gower beach dog bans.

Molly Cave Explorer

From May 1st to Sept 30th here is a list of beaches where dogs are not allowed:

  • Swansea Bay – from the River Tawe to the slip opposite Victoria Park and from the beach access at Sketty Lane to the northern edge of the slip at the West Cross Inn
  • Bracelet Bay
  • Limeslade Bay
  • Rotherslade Bay
  • Langland Bay
  • Caswell Bay
  • Port Eynon beach – from the eastern edge of the steps to Port Eynon beach to the eastern edge of Horton beach access.

Strike a Pose

So that is where you and your canine best friend can’t go in Gower from May 1st. But don’t panic here are the beaches Molly and I recommend that are open to dogs all year, or what we call our endless summer.

Frenchton and Ball

Dogs are limited on these beaches:

  • Swansea Bay – from the slip opposite Victoria Park to the beach access at Sketty Lane
  • Horton – from the lifeguard station east towards Oxwich
  • Port Eynon (from the main steps west to the Salt House

But DimExcuses don’t restrict your dog, go wild on these great Gower beaches all summer:

Pobbles

Talk to the bum cause the face ain't listening

Three Cliffs

Molly is the Queen of Three Cliffs

Tor Bay
Oxwich
Mewslade

Rhossili

Molly the shipwreck hunter

Llangennith
Broughton
Whiteford Sands

Swansea Council require that you keep your dog on a lead on the following paths.

  • The entire promenade at Swansea Bay (from the River Tawe to the Knab Rock car park, Mumbles)
  • The promenades at Langland Bay and Rotherslade
  • The promenade at Caswell Bay.

Molly Langland

I interpret these bylaws being enforced in the same 1st May to 30th September dog ban season as the beaches, but don’t take my word for that as I am no lawyer, and Swansea Council threaten a £500 fine for breaching the dog ban and £200 for breaching the lead rules. Molly says she can’t see how that could be enforceable for any visitor committing an offence out of ignorance, but again she too isn’t a lawyer and is also a bulldog. But with the information above you will be able to exercise your dog on Gower within the law with no worries, DimExcuses.

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Mentro 2. Newgale, Pembrokeshire, 25th April 2015.

Surf Newgale

My second surf of the year was Newgale, Pembrokeshire. It was the second session in the Mentro21 project.

Molly Newgale

Molly and I headed for a cloudy Newgale where the 1 foot surf was suffering from a messy onshore wind.

Surf Patrol

Molly was keeping an eye on the changing conditions and also a watchful eye on our VW van.

VW Molly

A sudden change to a north westerly wind was cold but also produced offshore wind conditions that were resulting in some nice blue lines.

Blue Lines Newgale

The dogs were loving it on the beach, and Molly our French Bulldog was joined by Sadie the Spaniel and Rocky the Bichon Frise.

Dogs Newgale

At points we had the beach to ourselves.

Molly Newgale

There were literally thousands of little beetles washed up on the strand-line. I have no idea what these are or where they came from. I wonder if a swarm of them was blown out to sea? Maybe in the unusual winds we had recently that brought all that Saharan dust to the UK?

Washed up Beetles

It was incredibly sunny, but that north east wind was punishing. The dogs decided to steal some human warmth.

Sadie, Dennis and Rocky

Sadie acting innocence, keeping it calm, keeping it casual.

Sadie acting Innocent

I got an hour in the water, making the most of the hollow waves formed by the wind. There was a strong rip current out to sea, which combined with the offshore wind was quite hazardous. It was important to know where you were and check you weren’t drifting out to sea. The water was ok, but the changing out of a wet wetsuit in a wind blow car park was chilling. So we retired to the Duke of Edinburgh for some liquid refreshment.

Sharon & Susan

Even Molly had half a Guinness and black.

Half a Pint for Molly

The wind was still around on Sunday, colder and stronger, so no more surfing and we had another dog walk on the beach.

Newgale Dog Walk

So two surfs down in my #Mentro21 quest to go surfing twenty one times this year. You can read my first trip Mentro1 here. With May ariving soon there is no excuse to not get in the water more, DimExcuses.

 

Llansteffan, Carmarthenshire, DimExcuses Beach Guide.

Llansteffan, Carmarthenshire

With a massive expanse of sand, Llansteffan is one of the best dog walking beaches in South Wales.

Llansteffan, DimExcuses Beach Guide

It is a short drive from Carmarthen through Johnstown. There is free parking, public toilets, a small cafe and a fish & chips vendor. There are views across the estuary to Ferryside and the Arriva Wales train can be seen as it takes it coastal route towards Swansea.

All the gang, Molly, Rocky & Sadie.

The geology is striking with alternating layers of sedimentary rock showing deposition in reducing conditions to create grey layers often interchanging to oxidising conditions to create contrasting red layers. Or in less technical terms rocks that look like streaky bacon.

Bacon Rock

These pictures courtesy of @lizzieLoubi on twitter.

Red & Grey Layers

There is a holy spring that feeds into a river that enters the bay. It is a great rehydrating spot for thirsty dogs.

Llansteffan River

Molly has to go further into the archway than anyone else.

Molly tunnel explorer

Molly and Sadie the springer love this river. It is a real cooling stop.

Molly and Sadie in the river.

There is plenty of room at Llansteffan to run a pack of dogs. Our little pack of Molly, Sadie and Rocky love it there.

The Carmarthen Pack

When not running on the beach they are exploring the rocks.

Molly and Sadie

Llansteffan beach is an essential stop on a visit to Carmarthen, especially if you have a dog. Try it next time you are heading to Wild West Wales, DimExcuses.

Long spring evenings when you get Pobbles Bay to yourself. 17th April 2015.

Spring evenings when you get the beach to yourself.

Spring is here and the longer light is coaxing the sunny days to come in behind it. I made the effort to get Molly the bulldog and I straight down Pobbles Bay, Gower after work today, and it paid off as we had the bay at high tide to ourselves.

Spring Evening Pobbles Bay Gower

There was little wind, some gentle clouds and a perfect spring evening to be enjoyed.

Perfect Spring Evening

Arriving at high tide meant the view was fantastic…

High Tide Pobbles

…but no beach for us.

Lookout Molly

There are places you can go at Pobbles, if you know your cliff paths, but as always know your limitations and take care of yourselves. The cliffs and boulders Molly and I explore require agility and a lot of local knowledge.

High Tide Pobbles Bulldog

But it does give you some very different views of Pobbles and Three Cliffs Bay.

Pobbles

The high tide and evening light really made the bay atmospheric for just Molly and I to take in on our own.

Molly Pobbles

We caught the bay at a great light for when the tide was so high.

Moody Spring Evening Pobbles

Molly was happy exploring the cliff paths.

Molly Cliff Exploring

The views really were fantastic.

Spring Evening Gower

But this was a quick visit, we were there and back in an hour and a half. Yet Molly still found the only muddy puddle.

In every muddy puddle

Pennard gossip alert! On the way home I noticed someone is seriously doing up the Three Cliffs overlooking dream house Shirecombe.

Shirecombe

Molly had her serious face on at accusations of being in muddy puddles, but apparently ‘it was a similar looking dog’…

Muddy Molly

So the lesson is, make the most of your spring evenings and score those empty Gower beaches to yourself, DimExcuses.

Mentro 1. Newgale, Pembrokeshire, Easter Sunday 2015.

Newgale Pebbles

I have a project this year to get in the water surfing at least 21 times. I am calling this project Mentro 21, with mentro being Welsh for ‘to venture’. With a sunny Easter Sunday and a small wave predicted, where better to start the first surf (Mentro 1) than Newgale Bay in Pembrokeshire.

Newgale

We arrived to a lovely small one foot wave, but this tailed off towards the falling tide as midday went into afternoon.

Perfect Right

With a lack of surf adventure Molly was happy to step in for some action shots.

Baywatch Molly

She even brought some friends…

Molly, Leader of the Pack

…and made some new ones.

2015-04-05 11.59.57

The sand level was very low and the low tide was exposing some quite bizarre sand banks. The children were finding these sandbanks get new lands to conquer.

Sandbanks

The dogs were more interested in the rivers the sandbanks were creating.

New Rivers

Molly supervising Eddie here in some serious bobbing for pebbles.

Pebble Bobbing

We put Molly in the van for five minutes, to try and get her to take a break from charging up and down the beach with her mates.

VW Molly

She wasn’t happy.

Moody Bulldog

And was soon nosing out the window.

Nosing out the Window

So we let her back out on the beach…

Molly Newgale

…and in those sandbank rivers.

DSCN3438

Those who had struck when the iron was hot, and got in on the early tide had been rewarded with a lovely little wave.

Morning Surf

By the evening I was in less luck, but there was no way I wasn’t going to ‘mentro allan’ (venture out) for the first surf of the year. So I was a lonesome figure as I walked into the ripples.  That is me tiny on the right (Get your reading glasses on).

Evening Ripples

Here I am in the line up.

Evening Line Up

Well basically I was the line up, but I got some small waves and got my hair wet for the first time this year. It wasn’t too cold even though the water temperature is nine degrees at the moment.

Newgale

Mentro 1, the first surf of the year done. The next 20 hopefully will have a bit more action, like Molly here.

Splash

Whatever happens you can’t beat Newgale when the sun is shining like that and it was great see friends and family down on the beach enjoying it too.  We had left home at 9.30 am and we got home at 11 pm. One seriously great sunny day.

Newgale Beach

With a fantastic Easter Sunday in the bag, we are now looking at a sunnier Bank Holiday Monday. Molly is in a bit of an adventure coma, so I think a simple day at Oxwich, Gower for us today. You should get out too, DimExcuses.

 

Sun, Sand, Sea and a Bulldog, Caswell Bay, Easter Saturday 2015.

Sun, Sea, Sand and a Bulldog, Caswell.

A hit and miss Good Friday left us with a cloudy windy day that there wasn’t much you could do with. Easter Saturday started in a similar way, but by eleven it was looking like spring had finally turned up for Easter. By 1pm the sun was out and the roads to Mumbles and Gower were starting to fill.

Molly Caswell

With a low tide early afternoon and still a little wind around, Caswell Bay was an obvious choice for a sun afternoon, so much so the car park was totally full. After a little while we squeezed the van in and Molly, Sharon and I were on the beach.

Molly and Sharon, Caswell

It didn’t take long to bump into some family members who had had the same idea and this little spanner who is the the latest edition to the Bidder / Blackmore / O’Brien clan.

Baby Spanner and Bulldog

Molly was all over the beach with so much sand to sprint on, but it wasn’t long before she was in the sea…

Molly in the Sea

…under the waves…

Spot the Bulldog

…add leaving vapor trails on her sprint out.

Bulldog Vapor Trails

It really was a family day out with Sharon getting Molly to tow the line.

Sit

When Sharon wasn’t coercing her into the odd selfie…

Sharon Molly Selfie

…or two!

Pet-Selfie

And even I got in a few of the selfies.

DimExcuses & Molly

One with even Sharon and I in it, Molly was taking the picture.

Mark & Sharon

But it wasn’t long before she wanted back in the lime light.

Molly Caswell.

If that French Bulldog Cross isn’t in the sea, she is in the rock pools.

Rock Pool Molly

And Caswell has plenty of rock pools at low tide.

Strike a Pose

Caswell Bay is a fantastic stretch of sand more than it is a rock pool safari like Pobbles Bay. So today like any other Molly the Bulldog was all over the Caswell beach.

Molly Caswell Sand

Which left us with one small problem, how to get this beach bulldog to agree to get off the beach?

Molly Caswell

So with a late start it has been an awesome Easter Saturday, which leaves one question, what beach are you going to tomorrow? We are off to Newgale, DimExcuses.