Serpents, seascapes and shipwrecks walk

Rhossili, Swansea

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Rhossili Beach © Joe Cornish

Rhossili Beach

View across the beach of Rhossili Bay with Worms Head in the distance © John Millar

View across the beach of Rhossili Bay with Worms Head in the distance

The far end of the Worms Head. © Sian Musgrave

The far end of the Worms Head.

Route overview

Coastal path, beautiful views, legends and folklore, wildlife, flora and fauna. A walk along one of Wales's most iconic cliffs with breathtaking views of the golden sand of Rhossili to the rugged limestone rocks of the Worms Head.  Keep a lookout for the red legs and beak of the local chough and maybe even a grey seal or two!

Route details

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

Map of Serpents, Seascapes and Shipwrecks walk, Rhossili
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Rhossili, grid ref: SS413881

  1. 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.

  2. The National Trust shop is in one of the former coastguard cottages. 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.

    Show/HideRhossili beach

    One of the best beaches in Wales, Rhossili is a haven for people who want to enjoy the coast - walking, surfing or just building sandcastles.

    Rhossili Beach © Joe Cornish
  3. Continue to follow the path through the gateway on the surfaced path.

  4. 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.

  5. As you continue along the surfaced track you will see fields and hedge banks which are part of a medieval open field strip system. The Normans introduced this system of farming in the 12th century.

  6. Where the surfaced track bears sharp left, walk straight on following a wide grass path towards the coastguard lookout where you will have spectacular view of the Worms Head.

    Show/HideSerpents, seascapes and shipwrecks

    The name 'Worms Head' comes from the Nordic word 'Wurm' which means serpent or dragon.

    View across the beach of Rhossili Bay with Worms Head in the distance © John Millar
  7. The coastguard lookout was built in Victorian times and is now manned by volunteers.

  8. Once you have reached the Coastguard lookout, you can make the choice to cross onto the island or return to the start by the route you've travelled.

    Show/HideAccess to the Worms Head

    The Worms Head is a tidal island with access possible for approximately two half hours either side of low tide. The coastguard lookout has tide tables available and will offer advice as to the best time to cross.

    The far end of the Worms Head. © Sian Musgrave

End: Rhossili, grid ref: SS413881

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 1 mile (1.6km)
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • OS Map: Landranger 159
  • Terrain:

    The walk is on a gentle gradient sloping downhill from the start and uphill on the return leg. The coast path here is a disabled access track and therefore level and even. The final 110yds (100m) or so to the coastguard lookout is on very short/flat grass and uphill. Accessible to all. No stiles to cross, one gate at the start. Dogs are allowed as long as they are under control as livestock (usually sheep) graze here most of the year round.

  • How to get here:

    By bus: Gower Explorer No. 118 and 119. For up-to-date bus times call traveline Cymru on 0871 200 22 33. The bus stop is two minutes from the start of the walk. Information from Traveline Cymru.

    By train: The nearest train station is Swansea or Gowerton. Rhossili is 19 miles (30.5km), 45 mins by road

    By car: From Swansea follow A4118 and B4247. The car park is situated at the end of the village. Please be aware the car park is privately owned and a fee will be charged on entry. Post code SA3 1PR

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