Journey out along one of Wales' most iconic cliffs with breathtaking views of the golden sand of Rhossili to the rugged limestone rocks of the south Gower coast. Look out for the brilliantly coloured bloody cranesbill and the more delicate thrift which carpet the floor here throughout spring and summer.
- Bus stop
Start: National Trust Shop, Rhossili, grid ref: SS414881
With your back to the bus stop, turn right and walk along the road, continuing between the car park and the Worms Head Hotel. The National Trust shop is a little further on your left.
The National Trust shop is in one of the former coastguard cottages.
Looking to your right you will see the 3-mile long beach of Rhossili. The powerful tides and shifting sands caused many ship wrecks. The remains of the Helvetia can still be seen on Rhossili beach at low tide.
Continue to follow the path through the gateway on the surfaced path.
To the right of the path there are a series of mounds. These are the remains of an Iron Age fort. The magnificent views from here meant the inhabitants of the fort could see their enemies for miles around.
As you continue along the surfaced track you will see fields and hedge banks on your left which are part of a medieval open field strip system. The Normans introduced this system of farming in the 12th century.
Where the surfaced track bears sharp left, walk straight on following a wide grass path towards the coastguard lookout where you will have a spectacular view of the Worms Head. The coastguard lookout was built in Victorian times and is now manned by volunteers.
The name comes from the Nordic word 'Wurm' which means serpent or dragon.
At the lookout, turn left along the cliff top to join the path that runs alongside a stone wall. The path heads down a short slope to a kissing gate. On your left inside the wall is an area known as The Vile.
The Vile is a rare survivor of the medieval open field strip system introduced by the Normans during the 12th century.
Continue to follow the path alongside the wall. After a few minutes the path will descend quite steeply and then follows the wall sharply to the left. Follow the well worn path through the rose, ascending gradually. Be careful on the stones as they are often slippery. Listen out for yellowhammers along this section of path. They can often be seen perched on the top of blackthorn bushes, resplendent and easily identified in their canary yellow plumage.
Keep to the left and the path eventually brings you to a metal ladder and wooden steps over a wall. Cross the wall and follow the footpath as it heads back inland to Middleton. Shortly before you reach Middleton take a sharp left at the fork in the track and walk back through The Vile to Rhossili village and the end of the walk.
End: Rhossili Village, grid ref: SS414881
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 3.5 miles (5.6km)
- Time: 1 hour 30 minues
- OS Map: Landranger 159; Explorer 186
Gentle gradients sloping downhill from the start and uphill on the return leg. Generally accessible to all, although there are some lumps and bumps so walking boots are preferable. Dogs are allowed, providing they are kept under control. Ponies and cattle are present throughout the year.
- How to get here:
By train: The nearest train station is Swansea or Gowerton. Rhossili is 19 miles (30.5km) - 45 minutes - by road
By bus: Gower Explorer No. 118 and 119. Information from Traveline Cymru. The bus stop is two minutes from the start of the walk
By car: From Swansea follow A4118 and then B4247. The car park is situated at the end of the village. Please be aware of the car park is privately owned and a fee will be charged on entry. Postcode SA3 1PR
- Telephone: 01792 390707
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/rhossili-and-south-gower-coast/