Exploring the Gower Peninsula
The wonderful and varied landscape of the Gower Peninsula (Welsh: Penrhyn Gwyr) was the first place in Britain to be designated as an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' (AONB) by the Countryside Agency on behalf of the UK government, and is one of only five within Wales. 2006 saw the Gower Peninsula celebrating its 50th year as an AONB, an accolade that has truly stood the test of time.
Some people routinely call the region "The Gower", but this is incorrect; although calling Mumbles (Welsh: Y Mwmbwls), "The Mumbles" seems to be more acceptable, being known as such since the Victorian era. It is curious how or why this trend became popular but local traditionalists will quickly correct the mistake. In the case of "The Gower" it could be argued that it is the shortened form of the correct name "The Gower Peninsula" but surely the name "Gower" would suffice?
Not surprisingly, such an enclosed Gower Peninsula surrounded by the Bristol Sea and Atlantic Ocean, has become a haven for some of the richest wildlife and varied habitats in Wales and the rest of the UK.
Scattering the landscape in Gower are historic reminders of past 'Gowerians', from castles, medieval churches, iron age fortifications, and prehistoric standing stones. All this against an awe-inspiring, natural backdrop of hills, valleys, beaches, clifftops, commons, woodland, dunes, marshes and caves.
With its vast populated history, stretching back as far as Lower Paleolithic times (250,000 BC), long-established stories, whether they be folklore, legend or fact, are plentiful and furnish the rich and delightful tapestry of the Gower Peninsula.
The Gower Peninsula is a sacred place, imbued with myth and ancient mysticism. Its landscape contains a plethora of holy wells, standing stones, megalithic burial tombs and ritual cairns. Embroidered onto this hugely evocative series of archaeological monuments are a fascinating tapestry of folklore, ghost stories and faery tales. These enrich and bring the Gower Peninsula to life as much as any other of the region's attractions or amenities.
Where is the Gower Peninsula?
The Gower Peninsula is an easily identifiable piece of land jutting out into the Bristol Channel from South Wales. A peninsula is defined as:
an area of land almost completely surrounded by water except for an isthmus connecting it with the mainland.
Visit stunning Gower beaches for fun or relaxation; take a walk along Gower's dramatic coastline and cliffs, to blow away the cobwebs; or connect with the wild landscape of our ancient ancestors. Whether you plan a short break or a more lengthy stay, the Gower Peninsula offers a special place for everyone.