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With plenty to occupy everyone, from those who prefer the peace and tranquillity of the countryside to those seeking a more energetic and active break, the Gower Peninsula, Britain’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, offers visitors a range of activities throughout the year. Some of these activities can begin directly from the bunkhouse as we are ideally situated as a starting point for walking and cycling the extensive network of Gower bridleways and footpaths.

Llangennith beach (5 minutes away by car) is one of the best surfing beaches in Wales and the South West. It is also an excellent venue for canoeing, kite-sailing, wind surfing and swimming. The dramatic backdrop of Rhossili Downs behind the beach is a favourite haunt for para and hang-gliders, and the view from the top of the Down (the highest point in Gower) is both famous and stunning, overlooking the mighty Worm’s Head, a giant rocky promontory pointing out into the channel. The National Trust’s Visitor Centre and shop is also in the village of Rhossili about 15 minutes drive from Hardingsdown Bunkhouse. Much of the coastline around Gower is owned by The National Trust, securing the future of these fragile parts of Gower for generations to come.

As for other beaches, there are many safe and sandy beaches for all the family to enjoy and easily accessible such as Port-Eynon, Horton and Oxwich (some of which are manned by lifeguards) and others require more of a walk, taking you to the quieter coves and beaches, such as Mewslade Bay (one of the popular locations for rock-climbing) and Fall Bay.

There is a fine network of footpaths and bridleways suitable for walking, mountain biking and horse riding throughout Gower and access from the bunkhouse could not be easier. Much emphasis has been placed on preserving Gower’s natural habitats and there are several National Nature Reserves on the North and South sides of Gower, the nearest being a few minutes drive away at Whitford. The bay and estuary, especially during the winter months, is of significant importance providing a rich habitat for wintering birds.

Sites of historical interest such as castles at Pennard, Oxwich and Weobley, burial mounds at Green Cwm, Parkmill, Iron Age fort at Hardingsdown and a working mill at the local Heritage Centre are all again within easy reach.

For the artist or photographer the opportunities are endless with some of the most spectacular scenery in Wales. From the rugged limestone cliffs on the South side of Gower to the rich mudflats on the North side, the views are wide and varied. Inland, there are wooded valleys to explore, and on higher ground, large areas of common land where you will see cattle, sheep and wild ponies wandering freely, oblivious to who is there and why!

A number of good quality golf courses can be found on Gower and local shops, pubs and tearooms are nearby. One pub in particular is within easy walking distance.

Last update: 9th January, 2008