Southgate, Hunts Bay and Pwll Du circular walk

Southgate, Gower, Wales

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Southgate Car Park © Alan Kearsley-Evans

Southgate Car Park

Hunts Bay © Alan Kearsley-Evans

Hunts Bay

Southgate, Pwll Du, Wales © Sian Musgrave

Southgate, Pwll Du, Wales

Route overview

The coastline along this stretch of the South Gower coast is particularly important for the plants that flourish in the limestone grassland. One flower to look out for in particular is yellow whitlow grass, which only grows here.

 

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

A map of Southgate, Hunts Bay and Pwll Du Circular
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Southgate car park, grid ref: SS554874

  1. Start with the National Trust car park hut on your right and walk along the track for about a mile (1.6km). On a clear day there are spectacular views across the Bristol Channel to Somerset and Devon.

    Show/HideLimestone grassland

    The coastline along this stretch of the South Gower coast is particularly important for the plants that flourish in the limestone grassland. One flower to look out for in particular is yellow whitlow grass; this is the only place it grows in the UK.

    Southgate Car Park © Alan Kearsley-Evans
  2. When you reach Hunts Farm fork right onto the coast path, signed Pwll Du Head, which will go up some steps with a wall on your left.

    Show/HideHunts Bay, South Gower

    Hunts Bay has large rock formations and shingle but used to be covered in sand.

    Hunts Bay © Alan Kearsley-Evans
  3. When you pass a small pond on your left look for the path which bears right and go uphill with a fence on the left. When you reach the top, look out for the banks and ditches - all that remain of an Iron Age promontory fort.

  4. High Pennard promontory fort is one of a series of Iron Age promontory forts irregularly spaced along the South Gower coast. Pottery dating to the first or second century AD has been found here.

  5. Continue along the coast path, following the route through the gorse and around the headland.

    Show/HidePwll du Bay

    The sheltered bay was once a favoured location for smugglers, as they'd quickly disappear up into the wooded valley and out of site. The bay was also a limestone quarry until 1902, exporting limestone to north Devon.

    Southgate, Pwll Du, Wales © Sian Musgrave
  6. You are now standing above a cliff known as Graves End, so named as it's near the spot where the ship the 'Caesar' was wrecked in 1760. The 'Caesar' was a Naval vessel charged with 'press ganging' unfortunate and unsuspecting individuals into recruiting as part of the Royal Navy. When the Caesar went down, the majority of its unwilling crew were locked below deck and perished on the rocks. They were buried in a mass grave at Graves End.

End: Southgate car park, grid ref: SS554874

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 4 miles (6.4km)
  • Time: 2 hours
  • OS Map: Landranger 159
  • Terrain:

    Varied terrain from clifftop paths and stony tracks to woodland paths (often muddy). Some of the route (particularly on the coast) can be steep. There are stiles and steps. Dogs are welcome but please be aware that livestock graze the area all year round.

  • How to get here:

    By bus:  Gower Explorer 14, 14A and 114. Alight outside National Trust car park; see Traveline Cymru

    By train: Swansea or Gowerton; both 9 miles (14km)

    By car: From Swansea follow A4067, then B4436 through Kittle and then minor road to Southgate. Post code: SA3 2DH

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