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The Gower Peninsula for a memorable Welsh getaway
The Gower Peninsula in South Wales was the first region in the UK to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it lives up to the description. Part of the rugged Welsh coastline, it attracts lovers of wildlife, hikers and families who enjoy the scenery and tranquil beaches.
Natural beauty within easy reach
The easiest way to get to the Gower Peninsula is to take the train to Swansea, with direct services from London Paddington, Manchester, Bristol and Cardiff. From Swansea, First Cymru and Gower Explorer buses run regular services to the peninsula.
There is a wide range of accommodation in the area, from bed-and-breakfasts, to self-catering cottages and hotels. For holiday cottages, gowergetaways.co.uk has a wide selection, from the cosy to the luxurious.
Walking is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore the region. The peninsula is only 18 miles long and surrounded on three sides by the sea, so most routes are going to offer spectacular coastal views. Short walks include Three Cliffs Bay or Green Cwm and the Giant's Grave. Longer itineraries can take in Crawley Woods, Oxwich Bay and Penrice. Take the weather into account, as this is not exactly the driest part of the UK.
The pretty villages of the area are a delight to explore. Wander round Rhossli, Reynoldston or Port Eynon and admire picturesque cottages.
Don't forget to pack the wetsuit. The fashionable surfers may head to Cornwall on the other side of the water, but the Gower Peninsula gets some of the best waves in Britain and a small, but dedicated, surf culture has grown up in the area.
Wild and windswept
The Gower Peninsula is all about the great outdoors, so summer is probably the best time to visit, although you can never entirely rely on the weather. Hardy types will enjoy the quiet of the winter, when they can often have the coastal trails and beaches to themselves. It's a great time to enjoy long hikes before returning to a cosy log fire.