Now it’s no secret that Swansea has some of the best beaches in the UK, but with miles of staggering coastline it can be tricky to decide on your next summer's day trip.
Oxwich bay, found in the remote village of Oxwich, stretches 4 kilometres along a beautiful sandy beach. The bay is usually extremely calm and flat, making it a popular spot for swimming and watersports including diving, paddleboarding, and sailing. In the evenings, you are also allowed to jet ski, and there are concrete ramps onto the sand should you bring your own.
The beach is home to a beautiful intimate wedding venue, and even more unexpectedly, a Michelin-star restaurant named ‘The Beach House’, which is run by ‘Great British Menu’ contestant, Hywel Griffith. If you are looking for a more casual spot for lunch, there is also a small hut, just off the sand selling hot paninis, ice creams, and buckets and spades. Over the road from the beach, you can find a larger shop, with more of the same.
The beach has a large car park, backing right onto the sand, making it idyllic for anyone with a camper van. You can park up, open your doors, and take in the staggering sea views from the comfort of your bed. However, there are no overnight parking options, and it cost £5 for a full day.
Caswell Beach is much more central than Oxwich and is just a 5-minute drive from the very popular tourist destination of Mumbles. Caswell is a smaller but beautiful bay, nestled between two cliff faces it’s one of the most popular in the Gower.
Just off the beach, there is a lovely café with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the bay, serving hot food and drinks. Next to this, there is also a traditional beach shop selling inflatables and buckets and spades, as well as their iconic ice cream boats and banana splits!
The pay and display car park is adjacent to the beach, with an overflow option just up the road. It can get busy in the summer months, so if you are making the trip, it’s worth setting off early. There is a shower and toilet block in the car park, free of charge. There are also two free-floating beach wheelchairs available for hire should you need to.
Langland bay, the neighbouring beach of Caswell beach, can be found hiding around the next cove. Much bigger, and more exposed than Caswell, Langland is a popular choice amongst surfers and has Blue Flag certification. Complete with vibrant beach huts, this sandy beach captures the essence of a traditional British beach.
Langland Brasserie sits just off the beach and is a very popular seafood restaurant and bar. If you are looking for a more casual bite to eat, the beach does also have a shop next to the Brasserie, serving hot food such as chicken and chips, as well as everything you would need for a day at the beach.
The beach has two large car parks, just 100 meters off the sand, which are pay and display. Once again, in summer months these do fill up, so get in there early! Next to the car parks, there’s a toilet and shower block, and even a public tennis court, so you can make a day of it!
Situated on the western edge of the Gower Peninsula, Llangennith is one of a kind. Stretching for over 3 miles, it’s blue sea and sandy shores as far as the eye can see. The exposed nature of the beach contributes to the big waves this beach is known for, and the vast size of the bay means that Llangennith is also very popular with surfers. On a calm day, it also makes a great place to practice your stand-up paddleboarding, but do watch out for shipwrecks lying below the waterline!
Adjacent to Rhosilli, from the beach, you can enjoy incredible views of the Worm’s Head which is within walking distance, should you wish to go and explore the many rambling routes it offers. You can also park at the Worms Head National Trust car park and walk down to the beach, or you can park over at Hillend Campsite just over the sand dunes. This campsite is also where the nearest shop is.
Mumbles beach is quite different to those previously mentioned. Less known for surfing and swimming, Mumbles beach is more commonly used for dog walking, as it is open to dogs all year round. On a summer’s evening, the footpath running alongside the beach becomes very popular with people enjoying takeaway pints while watching the sunset over the pier. Fishermen often line the beach, and you may even see the odd swimmer or paddleboarder making the most of the generally very calm water.
Being more central than other beaches in the Gower, there are plenty of things to do near Mumbles beach, including a revamped lighthouse originally built in 1794, a restored Victorian pier complete with an arcade and café, and the original lifeboat centre sitting alongside the new remodel. If you get peckish, there is also a highly regarded food van called the ‘Seafood Hut’ selling fresh local seafood on the seafront.
There are several car parks in Mumbles, all pay and display, with some free street parking also. It does get congested in the summer months, so it can be a struggle to find a space, so you may need to persevere!
Situated in Southgate, North Gower, Pobbles Bay isn’t far from the previously mentioned Oxwich Bay. Although popular, it’s a lot more secluded than other beaches, with limestone cliffs and sand dunes forming the small cove. This beach has the best of both worlds, when the tide is in, you can enjoy a private and quiet beach, and when the tide is out, you can see all the way to Oxwich Bay, with miles of beach, walks at your disposal.
Pobbles, being more secluded, is a good 20-minute walk from the nearest National Trust-owned car park in Southgate. This is also where the nearest toilets and shops are.
If you are looking to get back to nature, and get away from the hustle and bustle of Swansea for a relaxing beach day, then this makes a fantastic option. Just make sure you go prepared!