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Purple haze of heathland with a coastal backdrop on the Gower Peninsula, Wales
Rhosili Bay on the Gower Peninsula, South Wales | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Rhosili Down, Hillend and beach walk

Walk to the highest point on Gower, take in the views and meander through ancient landscapes before descending onto a three-mile-long sandy beach.

Flora and fauna

Rhosili Down is lowland heath and home to a variety of birds and insects including the rare black bog ant. The south Gower coast hosts many rare plants and birds including yellow whitlow grass and choughs.

Total steps: 9

Total steps: 9

Start point

National Trust shop, Rhosili, grid ref: SS414881

Step 1

Start in the National Trust car park. Walk along the road past the bus stop. Follow the footpath as it bears left towards the churchyard and past St Mary's Church. At the junction with the stony track go left and continue on this track until you reach the gate marked with a National Trust sign for Rhosili Down.

Step 2

Head up the hill through the heathland. It's steep, so take the opportunity for a well earned rest on your way, before making your way to the top of the Down.

Step 3

Continue on the main path along the ridge of the Down. The beacon marks the highest point in Gower and is also the site of a Bronze Age cairn built around 4,000 years ago. As you continue along the ridge path you will pass the remains of Stone Age burial chambers called Sweynes Howes.

Step 4

The ridge-land takes you through a vast area of heathland. Further down the slope to the right there are areas of wet heath.

Step 5

As you approach halfway along the Down you will see the remains of a Second World War radar station in front of you. Continue through here and continue up the slope on the far side.

Step 6

From here the path descends steeply towards Hillend campsite. Go into the site and straight on past Eddie's Café and turn left on the beach. You are approximately halfway around now.

Step 7

Turn left onto the beach and head back towards Rhosili.

Step 8

Once you have passed the Helvetia, look out for the slope back up to the top of Rhosili Cliffs.

Step 9

At the top turn right to head towards the car park.

End point

Rhosili, grid ref: SS414881

Trail map

Map route for Rhosili Down, Hillend and beach walk
Map route for Rhosili Down, Hillend and beach walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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