A short afternoon walk around a diverse broadleaf woodland with lots of watercourses, wildlife, and some interesting historic sights at the entrance to the woodland.
Distance covered: 2 miles Average time: 1.5 hours Terrain: Generally flat wide gravel tracks suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
Directions & Gallery
Form the B&B, drive down to Parkmill then head out on the south Gower road (A4118) signposted for Port Eynon. Just after you pass the left turn for Oxwich, you will notice the stone towers of the gate house to the Penrice estate on the outside of the bend. Continue along the main road for another three quarters of a mile then take the first tarmac lane on your left - it passes a second estate entrance. Follow the narrow lane down into the valley. You will see the car park on the right and the access gate to the woods. Park here and walk through the gate next to the car park and into the woodland.
The woods are a rich wildlife site - the streams and ponds are frequented by kingfishers and otters amongst many other notable species. As you begin your walk, on your left you will see an interesting quartered circular old fish, or stew, pond. Stew ponds were generally used to raise or hold fish (usually carp) and this example in Penrice is typical, having stone walls and a puddled clay base. It is in close proximity to the manor house which lies a few hundred yards away on the opposite side of the road, and for which it provided food.
The path follows the stream up into the woods. At the junction in the track, bear left, and then take the next turn right. Following the track will take you around a long circular route of the woodland. (There is one left turn which you can use to cut the distance of the walk in half.)
Stay on the wide tracks and when you have nearly completed the loop you will cross a stream - at the next junction bear left. When you arrive at the old mill pond, turn right at the end of the pond and follow the path back, tracing the route of the old mill leat back to the ruined water mill. From here you are in line of sight of the car park, which is a little way down the road.
The mill is a the 16th century corn mill from which the woods takes their name. On the road side of the ruin you will find two of its original mill stones resting against its walls.
Parc Le Breos House