An unforgettable walk, but one which needs careful planning - you can only cross the causeway to Worms Head for 2.5 hours either side of low tide. Never be tempted to swim the causeway if you get cut off, many people have lost their lives in this water. Follow this link to find the current tide times in the area.
Distance covered: 3 miles Average time: 2 hours Terrain: Generally easy but good climbs down to the beach and back.
Directions & Gallery
Follow the south Gower road (A118) to the village of Scurlage and turn right onto the B4247 for Rhossili. Follow the road through the village and park in the large car park next to the Worms Head hotel (SS 41410 88139). You can't miss it.
Walk to the seaward side of the car park and pass through one of the gaps in the wall onto the lane on the other side. Turn left and follow the lane out thorough the gates towards Worms Head.
The view of Rhossili bay over the three miles to Burry Holms at the Llangennith end of the beach is breathtaking. If you have sharp eyes you should just make out the wreck of the Helvetia, an oak barque wrecked here on the 1st November 1887 and now reduced to a series of heavy wooden spars stretching from the sand a little way down the beach. The Helvetia was sheltering in the bay during a gale but as nightfall approached she dragged anchor and had to be abandoned. By morning the ship was wrecked and her cargo of 500 tons of timber was strewn along the beach.
Follow the path until you reach the old coast guard lookout above the Worms Head causeway.
The name 'Worms Head' is a corruption of the Old Norse word for Dragon - apparently what this headland looked like to the invading Norsemen as they arrived at Gower from the sea.
When you arrive at the coast guard station at the end of the headland you will see the path in front of you dropping down to the causeway, but before you descend, it is a good time to check that you have your tide times correct. Tide times are usually displayed at the coast guard station - if you have any doubts and the costgard station is manned pop over ask. Remember that the causeway is exposed and safe to cross for a maximum of 2.5 hours either side of low tide
Now that you are confident about the tide times, follow the path down the headland and cross the causeway. It takes about 15 minutes to cross the jagged and slippery rocks.
Follow the path up onto Worms Head and to the left (south) out along the flat top of the inner headland - you will then descend. Bear to the left, crossing a natural rock bridge known as the Devils bridge, and cross the lower neck to to outer headland (again bearing to the left.) Please note that you cannot climb to the top of the outer headland between the 1st March and the 31st of August - it is closed in order to protect the many breeding sea birds.
On the north side of the outer head you may see the blowhole working - if a big swell is running, the water sometimes jets many feet up into the air.
Remember to keep an eye on the time while you are out on the worm to avoid getting stranded there.
When you get back to the village, the local church (St Mary’s) set next to the car park is worth a visit.
St Mary's dates back to 12th Century, replacing an earlier church which is thought to have been in existence from the 6th century that was set at the bottom of Rhossili Downs. It reportedly fell foul to the ravages of powerful storms during the 13th century and resulted in the new church and village being constructed at its present location away from the encroaching sea and sand. The church is entered through a beautifully ornate carved archway very typically Norman. On the left hand pillar there is a rare scratch sun dial. There is good evidence to suggest that the archway was scavenged from the original church. In the chancel you will find an original 14th Century window, known as the “leper’s window” – it is set low so as to allow the feared lepers to hear the word of the scriptures from outside! Also have a look at the memorials in the nave - they include one to Petty Officer Edgar Evans, a Rhossili man who died with Captain Scott in the Antarctic in 1912.
Interesting further evidence of the presence of the Normans in Rhossili is the rare 12 century open field system known as 'the Vile' which stretches from the church all the way out to the headland next to Worms Head.
Parc Le Breos House