5. Rhossili Bay, Gower, Wales
Distance: 6.5 miles/10km
Start/finish: National Trust visitor centre, Rhossili village, SA3 1PR
Terrain: Beach, trail, some steep sections
Ascent: 231 metres
Rhossili Bay Route map
The Gower Peninsula stretches from Mumbles, south-west of Swansea, westwards for 19 miles into the Bristol Channel. The UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this part of Wales is rich in wildlife and history and the local limestone (also known as Sutton Stone) is great for finding fossils; the petrified remains of woolly rhino, mammoth, reindeer, bear and wolf have all been found here.
The Wales Coast Path runs for over 870 waymarked miles (1400km) around the edge of the country, a great way to discover Wales’ incredible and varied coastline.
The Gower section takes in spectacular Three Cliffs Bay, popular with rock climbers; Worm’s Head, a tidal island only accessible at low tide; Oxwich Nature Reserve; and the 3-mile sandy stretch of Rhossili Bay. Rhossili Down, behind the Bay, climbs to a high point of 193 metres, with fine views along the coast and out across the Channel.
This run starts from Rhossili village and heads up and over the downs before descending to the beach and returning across the sands. If the tide is out, carry on to explore dramatic Worm’s Head, crossing the Devil’s Bridge for a real feeling of wilderness and isolation.