Gower Winter Walks 2. Pennard Castle and Three Cliffs Bay circular route.

UPDATE FOR 2018: This has proved to be the most popular walk that I have done. It is also the go to walk for exercising my dog Molly at weekends. I have edited it so that it is all still relevant. You can now see a 3D aerial video of this route here, so that you can plan walking it yourself. The original post is below.

Adventures of Molly Three Cliffs Bay

With some brighter weather this January I was able to get out on a much more off road Gower winter walk.  Starting in my childhood home of Pennard I parked by the school, some people prefer to park by the shop a little further into the small housing estate.  I used one of the permissive footpaths across the golf course.  It is important to stick to these paths to be courteous to the golfers and also so that you don’t get hit by a golf ball! The paths are marked by either way-marker posts or large stones painted white.  It is best to try and stick to the housing estate side of the course and skirt around it.

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Once on the valley side of the golf course by the ‘Sandy Lane’ houses it is best to head straight for the castle.  You can’t miss it, it’s a castle, a proper fairy tale one.  It even has it’s own fairy tale about the fairies burying it in sand causing its ruined state today.

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You could just end your walk at the castle, there is no better place to take in the magnificent view of Three Cliffs Valley.

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It is at this point you have the choice to follow the boardwalk leading out of the castle along the headland above Three Cliffs Valley or walk down the steep dune into the valley itself. The boardwalk is probably the easiest route and better if the weather is poor.  This day was fantastic and the tide was out so I dropped down into the valley.  The route maybe impassible during high tides, you will be able to see if that is the case from the castle.  This is the route I took on this occasion – Three Cliffs Walk Map & Stats.

So it was one last look at the castle, from the inside this time and I dropped down into the valley to follow the river to Three Cliffs Bay. You can read my Three Cliffs Beach Guide here.

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Three Cliffs Valley quickly opens out into the spectacular Three Cliffs Bay, the ‘Jewel of the Gower’.   I tend to stick to the east of the bay and walk through the arch within the Three Cliffs itself.  I will photograph the cliffs themselves the next time I am there, the low winter sun was stopping me on this occasion.  Once through the arch you are in Pobbles Bay, but on low tide both Three Cliffs and Pobbles Bay become one massive joined stretch of bay.  On a good day with a low tide you can even walk to Oxwich Bay further down the Gower, but that is another blog another day.

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Both Bays are remarkable beaches (who’s coat is that jacket? ahem…).  At this point you are at sea level so you might as well walk along the sand to see the sea.

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Once you have dipped your toes (it is a bit too cold at the moment) you can walk up the next valley which leads out of Pobbles Bay up to Pennard Golf Club and the villages of Pennard and Southgate.  You can have a pint in the Southgate Club or a coffee in the cafe in Southgate.  Which sounds like a great way to finish off my second Gower Winter Walk. More to come as we start to leave January.

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