Probably my favourite nature reserve on the peninsula. A huge sand dune system and extensive freshwater marshes. Amazing birdlife complete with bird watching hides.
Large choice of water sports available from the beach car park, including windsurfing, canoeing, sailing, power boating and jet skiing.
Walk out to Oxwich Point
A great walk which gets you out onto an often missed part of the peninsula feel free to follow this route on our walking guide page.
More About Oxwich
More than two and a half miles of beach, nicely sheltered by Oxwich Point, making a perfect haven for water sports. The shallow shelving beach makes it a very safe place to swim.
The beach is thought to have taken its name from Scandinavian axwick, meaning creek. It has a rich history - the bay is overlooked by Oxwich Castle, a beautiful mock-fortified manor built by the Mansel family and open to the public. The village grew up here with and thrived on the industries of farming and quarrying the limestone of Oxwich Point which was exported to Devon where it was cooked into agricultural lime. Also consider walking out towards the point to visit Oxwich church (St. Illtyd’s), built in the 13th century and occupying the site of an earlier church dating back to the 6th century.
If you venture inside the church you will find a recess known locally know as ‘Doolamur’s Hole.' In the recess you will discover the effigies of a knight and his lady - there is some dispute over who the effigies represent. The most common belief is that they were two members of the De La Mere family who owned Oxwich Castle and tragically drowned in Oxwich Bay in the early 14th century. Others maintain that the style of the armour is distinctly 15 century and that they are more likely effigies of Sir John Penres and his wife Margaret Fleming, who held the manor of Oxwich during that period.
The extensive sand dune system behind the beach is managed by the Countryside council for Wales. Prior to the area becoming a national nature reserve, the dunes were extremely badly eroded. The northern part of the dunes was actually described by a local botanist as “a sandy waste devoid of life!” The poor state was due in part to extensive use by the American army and RAF for practice manoeuvres during World War II. Since then, careful management has restored the area and its diverse habitats which are now home to over 600 species of flowering plants including a number of rare and endangered species.
The area behind the dunes was originally salt marsh, until in 1770 Thomas Mansel Talbot (the then owner of Penrice estate) built an 8ft high sea wall from the north to the dunes to prevent the sea flooding the marsh. He also constructed the meandering ornamental lakes which run the length of the marsh back to Penrice castle. The habitats which exist as a result of work have given the area one of the most diverse floras and faunas found anywhere on the peninsula.
Parc Le Breos House