Llanrhidian Church, North Gower
A great starting point, Llanrhidian Church, was built in the 13th century by the Knights Hospitallers of St John. The church tower was a handy high point to site the ‘Parson’s Bed’ a flat platform used for the warning beacon. The villagers used to light the beacon to warn the village of marauding enemies arriving by land or sea. Peek inside the church porch to discover the 9th century Leper Stone. Stout boots can help with muddy bits and stiles.
Near the Wales Coast Path is Weobley Castle, a picturesque medieval fortified manor house. It’s a great place to take photos of the 14th century castle and the views out over the Llanrhidian salt marshes. Want to peek inside? CADW opens the castle year round except for the Christmas period. For a small fee you can soak up the atmosphere and picture the de la Bere family going about their daily lives.
Grazing ponies, Llanrhidian Marsh
Llanrhidian Marsh and the estuary was used as a firing range during WWII, but are now given over to the more peaceful grazing sheep and ponies. Interestingly the ponies have adapted over the generations to the tides and calmly stand in the rising water waiting for the tide to recede. The ponies make a great photo if you manage to spot any. Don’t forget to check out the tide tables for this area before you set off.
Wildlife on the Loughor Estuary
The estuary as a whole is one of the most important wintering areas for wildfowl and waders. The call of the oystercatchers rings out across the marsh as they fly over it and move swiftly from place to place. The curlew, lapwing and beautiful little egret can all be seen on the estuary busily searching for food. If you are lucky you might even see an osprey passing through at the end of the summer.
Salt Marsh Lamb and refreshments
Stop for a well deserved break to try our local Llanrhidian salt-marsh lamb in Llanrhidian, Landimore and Cheriton. This area of Swansea is also well known for its cockles so if you fancy trying them you will find hand gathered ones from the sands of the Gower at the local Swansea Market, which is believed to be the largest covered market in Wales. Farmers' markets can be found around the local area.
Find out about appropriate clothing and footwear as well as more info on protecting and enjoying the countryside in the Countryside Code.
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