WHITFORD BAY LEISURE PARK
Summer begins at Whiteford Bay.
The Gower peninsula was designated Britain’s first area of outstanding natural beauty in 1956 Fifty years on, it is still an area of extraordinary appeal with unspoilt countryside, celebrated bays and beaches, historic castles and ancient monuments
Gower is an ancient land, inhabited for at least 30,000 years. From burial chambers such as Parc le Breos to smugglers’ haunts, from Iron Age forts to WW2 defences, the Gower peninsula reveals secrets of the past..It is a land of myth and legends about the Verry Volk (fairy folk), King Arthur’s Stone, haunted wells and ghostly water horses.
A rich and colourful past combined with untouched natural beauty makes Gower an irresistible destination for national and international tourism.
Stroll down to enjoy the scenic beauty of Whiteford lighthouse…
This romantic and striking maritime landmark is a rare example of a wave-swept cast-iron lighthouse in British coastal waters, and an important work of cast-iron architecture and nineteenth century lighthouse design and construction. It is also a Grade II listed Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Interestingly, the first known cast-iron British lighthouse was built in Swansea Harbour in 1803 and one of the last is at Whiteford Point, built in 1865.
Blue Pool Bay
There are a couple of smaller bays to the West of Broughton Bay, and after a walk around the point on low-tide (or over the Top when the shoreline is cut off by the tide) you can access Blue Pool Bay.
Blue Pool Bay is a one of the areas’ most charming bays due to its high cliff line, relative seclusion and minimal visiting from tourists. The bay gets its name from the circular rock pool, ‘Blue Pool’. The pool is quite large being approximately 15ft in diameter and many people enjoy diving in during the warmer months.
From the cliff-tops above Blue Pool one can head South (/South West) for a beautiful walk along cliff-top dunes and this can eventually lead over to Burry Homes, a tidal island where the remains of a 6th century monastery are just about visible.
There are no less than 24 bays and sheltered coves along Gowers rugged coastline so there’s plenty to explore for the beach lovers amongst us.
Whiteford Bay Leisure Park is situated at the western edge of this quaint village which has a lovely local pub & restaurant and a local co-operative post office, cafe & shop run and owned by village shareholders. Various village fundraising activities have in recent years made local news headlines. An open gardens day runs each year for charity, where local gardens are opened to the public and a couple of tasteful semi-nude calendars [think calendar girls] are further examples of such fundraising events.
The local village shop & post office has been run by its village shareholders & local volunteers since the original post office was shut down some years ago. The shop come post office & cafe is today a real community hub, abundant with local information & quality local produce.
The Britannia Inn, an 18th Century public house, is located at the bottom end of Llanmadoc and serves high quality food and real ales. Run by Martin & Lindsey, a young couple with an abundance of culinary experience between them, they serve a la carte in the restaurant in the evenings & a home-cooked bar menu during the day.
A generally peaceful village year-round, Llanmadoc was named Calor ‘Village of the Year’ for South Wales in 2009.
Llanmadoc takes its name from the Church of St. Madoc. A 13th Century Church in the Western end of the village, named after the Celtic Saint who is believed to have founded the Church in the 6th Century.
Once upon a time the hamlet was known as ‘Cherry Town’ due to the vast number of cherry trees growing in the area. This pretty hamlet (one of the smallest hamlets on Gower), has a rich history and harbours what is generally accepted as the most beautiful church on the Gower peninsula, the church of St. Cadoc, also known as the ‘Cathedral of Gower’.
Opposite the church of St. Cadoc in Cheriton there is a footpath leading along the bottom edge of some farmland. On a walk from here over to Stembridge can be found the remains of ancient Roman roads, much of which is sunken, however a Roman bridge remains intact over the Burry Pill stream to this day.
Cwm Ivy (Hamlet)
Cwm Ivy consists of an ancient broadleaf woodland, plantation, pasture and quarry now owned by the National Trust and a small hamlet to the North of Llanmadoc village. This area includes some of the most beautiful woodland on Gower. The western end was given to the trust in 1983 by Betty Church, after whom an area of the reserve is named.