Not too hot, not too cold, with dramatic skies and splashes of vibrant, warm, and earthy hues. Autumn has to be one of the best times of year to enjoy nature at its finest in the great outdoors – and you’d be hard pressed to find more diverse and breathtaking scenery than in Swansea Bay, Mumbles and Gower. With over 400 miles of public rights of way, we have plenty of walking routes to suit all abilities, ages, and interests. From charming villages and ancient landmarks, to miles of unspoilt countryside, waterfalls, and awe-inspiring coastline, prepare to be taken on a new and spectacular adventure every time.
But where to start? To help you on your way and to plan your walking holiday, we have selected five walks which show off the very best that Swansea Bay has to offer.
We have to rely on the photograph above for a little help on this one, as it’s extremely difficult to convey the sheer magnificence of this route in words. Boasting breathtaking cliff top views, Rhossili to Mewslade Bay is a firm favourite among visitors to Swansea Bay and Gower. Named as one of The Ramblers Association’s Top 10 Coastal Walking Routes, explore the very best of the dramatic Gower Peninsula, and take in the outstanding views across national and internationally renowned Rhossili Bay (voted Britain’s Best Beach and no less than the 9th best in the world!). It truly is a sight not to be missed.
A pretty walk filled with flora, fauna, and historic landmarks, the Llanmadoc route passes The Old Rectory before continuing through Whiteford Woods. Particular highlights include Whiteford Burrows National Nature Reserve (a mosaic of important habitats that supports many rare plants), Llanmadoc Church (dating from the 13th century), and gorgeous views over the Loughor Estuary. After all that sightseeing you’ll need some refreshment, so why not treat yourself to a drink and a snack in Llanmadoc. As a ‘Walking by Bus’ route, the walk has links to local bus routes – perfect if you want to leave the car at home.
Close to the charming village of Mumbles, this walk runs parallel to the Gower coastline , is part of the Wales Coast Path and is a must for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. The green woodpecker, skylarks, buzzards, and gold finch are just some of the rare and fascinating birds who call this part of the world home. In the sea, grey seals are a common sight, with porpoises and even basking sharks known to put in the odd appearance. This stretch of coastline has also been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the geological importance of its rock formations.
Enjoy a peaceful stroll through woodland and unspoilt common land, and take in the spectacular views toward the Brecon Beacons. Until 1962, much of Cwm Clydach valley was a working coal mining valley, with remains from the mines, tramway, and colliery buildings still visible today. The area is also an RSPB Nature Reserve, and you won’t have to look far to spot a number of species of birds and gorgeous butterflies. Also along the way is Gellionnen Chapel, a Unitarian Chapel built in 1692 – look out for replica fragments of an 8th century celtic cross from nearby Llan Eithrim Church set in the outside wall (the original are currently on display in Swansea Museum). Need a quick pit stop? Take a look around the village of Craig-Cefn-Parc and enjoy a well-earned cuppa.
Situated along a 5 mile stretch of sandy bay, Swansea is Wales’ Waterfront City. Boasting over 230 shops, Wales’ largest indoor market, award winning parks and gardens, and the National Waterfront Museum and Swansea Museum ( the oldest in Wales). In fact, if you follow this route we guarantee you won’t miss a thing, as it has been devised to cover the top ten most asked about attractions in Swansea. You don’t have to do them all, but it really is a great way of exploring the very best that the city centre has to offer. Our tip; enjoy a meal or drink in the Grape & Olive restaurant at the top of Wales’ tallest residential building, and take in the panoramic views across Swansea Bay.
Explore Swansea Bay via the Wales Coast Path:
Dogs need holidays too, and they are more than welcome in Swansea Bay.
Bringing your bike(s)? No problem!