Bishopston Valley walk
A challenging walk through a hidden valley. Discover a secret world of limestone caves, underground rivers and ancient woodland and emerge from beneath the canopy onto one of Gower's most beautiful, but secluded beaches. Those with keen eyes may be able to find trees such as the wild service tree.
Kittle Green, grid ref: SS573893
Starting at Kittle Green, walk past the National Trust sign and keeping Great Kittle farm on your right follow the footpath into the trees. The path drops down the slope for about 0.25 miles (0.4km) and can be slippery after rain. When you reach a fork in the path bare left and go down the steps until you reach the chestnut fence on your right. The enormous hole in the ground is called Daw Pit. this hole was formed where the underground river caused the land to collapse.
Continue down the steep slope to the bottom and turn right along the dry river bed. Cross the river to walk on the left hand side, taking care of the uneven surface for about 200yds (180m). The track crosses back across the river at this point. During wet periods the river will be running here but is usually shallow and easily crossed.
During wet periods the river will be running here but it is usually shallow and easily crossed. The stream is sometimes seen to disappear into holes called 'sinks' and re-emerge halfway down the valley to run above ground.
The track here is usually muddy. Keep listening for the sound of the river as you get closer to Guzzle Hole.
Guzzle Hole is a cave from the outside of which you can hear water thundering in the underground stream, often making unusual sounds, hence the name 'guzzle'.
Long ash mine can be seen on your left. The mine produced both silver and lead and was in service until 1854. The grille is in plac to protect the roosts of greater and lesser horseshoe bats. There are also remains of old miners' cottages nearby.
Cross the river again and go up some steps, keeping left as you do.
You will soon come across one of three bridges that cross the river along the valley. The valley was once a busy place providing food, fuel and work for many surrounding villages and many small footpaths still link communities to the wood. Do not cross the bridge but continue on the path alongside the river. Look out for the old stone walls on your right as you continue, remnants from when the valley was grazed and there were much less trees than there are now.
Follow the path into the meadow in front of you. The wet meadows in the valley are registered as common land. The meadows are grazed by cattle and are home to a number of wildflowers. Follow the path as it heads back out of the meadow and resumes its place alongside the river. Soon you will reach another bridge, do not cross but continue along the path until you reach a fork in the path.
At the fork, keep left. Soon you will come to a right turn in the path, continue straight ahead keeping the river alongside the path following the sign to Pwll Du Bay.
Pwll Du Bay
The sheltered bay was once a favoured location for smugglers as they would 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.
Go past the fence on the edge of the path and where it forks follow the path left down the hill. Do not cross the bridge. When you reach the private garden turn left and walk onto the beach.
Bishopston Valley, grid ref: SS573893
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