Three Cliffs Walk
Three Cliffs Bay is one of the most photographed places on the Gower peninsula, with great tracts of golden sand beneath towering cliffs culminating in three linked peaks. The heavily folded limestone strata of the cliffs is punctured by an archway leading to the quiet Pobbles Beach, which appears to be an extension of Three Cliffs Bay until the tide rises and the cliffs separate the two.
Parkmill to Three Cliffs Circular Walk
Distance: 4 km
Approx Time: 1.5 hours
Parking: Gower Heritage Centre (approx £2.00) Toilets: Gower Heritage Centre
Refreshments: Shepherds Store, Parkmill inc Cafe. Food: Gower Inn (PUB)
Three Cliffs Bay is one of Gower’s most picturesque beaches and it’s not hard to see why, the valley leading down to the sea complete with castle, the salt marshes and the sand dunes, and the three cliffs themselves. The cliffs are popular with climbers, and what a location, you can actually walk underneath the cliffs through an archway. There are stepping stones to cross the river on the Penmaen side of the bay (west), but make sure you can get back.
WARNING: Do not swim near or in Three Cliffs Bay at high tide as there can be strong rip currents.
The route of the walk follows the me- andering stream down to the beach. It is only a short walk (250m) across the bridge through the woods until the path opens onto the wide base of the valley
Pennard Castle dominates the valley ridge and is clearly visible from the valley oor. If you follow the planned route you will return directly past this.
Access to the beach means crossing the stream. This can be achieved by using the stepping stones or alternatively you can wade through the shallow water closer to the beach when the tide is low
The shape of the beach continually changes and the stream depth will also vary depending upon the season and recent rainfall.
Tales of Pennard Castle:
The Wizard, the Ghost and the Fairies
The castle is thought to have been built during the late 13th century and was used for only a short period of time. Over time a number of stories have emerged into local folklore.
One legend is that the castle was built on the site of a danish stronghold. The sorcerer built it overnight to repel Norman invaders who were responsible for building a number of castles on Gower.
It is said that a spectre with the form of an Irish Banshee or old hag with sunken eyes and black hair haunts Pennard Castle. The ghost or Gwrach-y- rhibyn is described as having wings and a owing black robe legends state that she is known to claw and peck those who spend the night sleeping in the castle grounds.
The Fairies: The castle was said to have been destroyed, when a warrior lord returned from battle with a new bride and organised a great feast. During the festivities a sentry and war-den saw lights in the valley and when they investigated, they discovered fairies who they attacked with swords. In retaliation the fairies summoned a great sandstorm that covered the castle burying all who was there.
The Return Journey
As you round the Three Cliffs, you will approach Pobbles. If you take the path at the top of the beach and head straight up and towards the left, you should find some prepared walkways that will eventually take you to Pennard Castle.
Keep to the left of the Golf Course and close to the top of the valley. Once past the castle remain to the left of the golf course until you reach the furthest golf tee. - Here you will see the entrance to a narrow footpath next to some chalet style homes. Stay on this path that will eventually take you down to a junction that meets the path where you first started this walk.