A walk that over its 2.5 mile (4km) length goes through woodland, sand dunes, limestone grassland, saltmarsh and freshwater marsh. It also includes ancient landscape features such as the medieval sea wall, and even passes a pub - what more could you ask for!
- Bus stop
Start: Cwm Ivy Woods, Gower, grid ref: SS441933
Starting from the car park in Cwm Ivy, turn right onto the road and head down into the village (don't forget to put money in the honesty box first). Walk through the village until you reach the National Trust gate signed 'Cwm Ivy Wood'. Go through the gate and follow the track down the hill. The track bears to the right and on your left is Cwm Ivy Tor.
Cwm Ivy Tor is an inland limestone cliff that has gradually become separated from the sea by the moving sands that form new dunes. The limestone grass is home to a range of spectacular flowers including bloody cranesbill, lady's bedstraw and burnet rose.
Follow the track as it bears right through a gate and alongside a plantation. On your left you will pass Burrows Cottage. Continue along the track until you reach a gate on the far side of the plantation. The twisted and bent conifers on your left are Monterey pines. Look out for holes made by woodpeckers in the dead trees.
Once a forester's house, it is now a National Trust holiday cottage available for hire all year round.
Pass through the gate and continue for a short while on the track until you see the Medieval sea wall on your left, crossing the marsh.
The sea wall was built to reclaim the land behind it for farming and is an impressive feat of Medieval engineering. The reclaimed land is largely made up of a freshwater pasture known as Cwm Ivy Marsh. The sea wall is regularly maintained by people on National Trust working holidays.
Follow the footpath across the wall. On your left is a tidal saltmarsh. the vegetation is grazed by graziers with commons rights. Some of the lamb reared here is sold as 'salt marsh lamb'. The unique taste of this highly flavoured meat is thanks to the area's marsh vegetation.
Once over the wall, continue on the footpath as it passes by cottages and through a series of gates. There are fantastic views here over Landimore Marsh, which is owned by us, to your left. The rocky outcrops on your left beyond the marsh, are at Bovehill (also National Trust). If you're able to spare the time, the top of the outcrops provide a fantastic spot for a picnic overlooking the whole of the marsh and have great views of Weobley Castle to the north.
Follow the path past a stone built shed alongside the track and up a hill into Llanmadoc. The Britannia Inn is on your left if you need a well earned break at this point.
From the footpath turn right and walk up the hill through the village of Llanmadoc. You will pass a sign at the top of the hill for the 'Siop y Bobl' or 'the People's Shop'. You can get light refreshments and snacks from here.
End: Cwm Ivy Woods, Gower, grid ref: SS441933
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 2.5 miles (4km)
- Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- OS Map: Landranger 159; Explore 164
The walk starts with a steep descent on a track and includes two moderately steep climbs along the route. The conditions underfoot range from sand and gravel to road surface and grass. Dogs allowed but be aware of stock grazing.
- How to get here:
By bus: Gower Explorer Nos 115, 116 and 119. For information, see Traveline Cymru
By train: The nearest train station is Swansea or Gowerton. Whiteford is 15 miles (24km) - 45 mins - by road from Swansea
By car: B4295 to Llanrhidian, then C road to Llanmadoc. Continue through the village till you get to Cwm Ivy. A private car park with an honesty box is on the right hand side of the road
- Telephone: 01792 390636
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/whiteford-and-north-gower/