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Crawley Woods, Oxwich Bay and Penrice Walk

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Crawley Woods, Oxwich Bay & Penrice Walk

A great walk to explore some of the best beaches on the south Gower coast. Great wildlife and views - don’t forget to take your camera and maybe your swimming trunks for a lunchtime dip! The Oxwich Bay hotel is a great place to take lunch but there are also shops in the village where you can buy sandwiches and drinks. If you don’t feel like making the return journey you can catch the bus back to Parkmill.

For those of you not staying with us you are welcome to use this walk but as there are no rights of way through the grounds, please just park at the car park near to Penmaen church and pick up the trail from there.

Distance covered: 8 miles
Average time: 3.5 hours
Terrain: Easy underfoot but occasional steep narrow path.

Directions & Gallery

Directions from the B&B:

Walk out of the front door of the house and turn right, then across the grassy field until you reach the track at the far end. Follow the track passing the trout ponds on your right and valley gardens on your left. Immediately after this there is a crossroads – take the track straight on between the fields and through the woods.

At the woodlands end you will cross a stile next to a gate, here the track will bear left taking you past a small pink cottage end on to the road and then trough a grassy car park.

When you reach the tarmac village lane turn left over the cattle grid. Look out for Penmaen Church on your right.

Now cross the main road and continue for 100m down the lane. Take the first and only right turn. Follow the road until you find yourself at the lookout above Three Cliffs Bay. At the lookout you will see a yellow emergency phone. Turn right here, taking the narrow path down the hill.

At the bottom, keep to the right crossing the stream and climb up the sandy path back onto the cliff top. Here you need to turn right and follow the path. If you keep your eyes peeled you will notice the ruins of a building on the right, these are the remains of the old Penmaen church.

Just before you reach a gate across the path take the turning on your left and follow it, always staying to the right and skirting the boundary of the fields. The path will take you past a lovely old stone lime kiln and over a stile onto the cliff top path.

Keep following the path until you see a sandy path dropping down on your left. Follow the path down bearing left out through the sand dunes to the beach. Once on the beach, turn right and follow the sea for over a mile to reach the Oxwich Bay hotel, a great place to stop for some lunch. There are also some shops where you can buy food and drinks at the cross roads in the village. (Half way along the beach you will have to cross Nicholaston Pill, if you don’t want to take your shoes off there is a small wooden bridge just inland of the beach.)

At the end of the beach there is a car park. Pass through the gap in the wall to get to the Oxwich Bay hotel. After lunch you will need to turn right up the lane and straight through the cross roads

When you pass “driftwood” on your left, turn right over a stile and follow the path over another stile leading into open fields. Keep to the right hand side of the fields and cross the stile into the woodland. Now turn left following the path which traces the boundary of the wood. Bear right over the stile and follow the path across the field to meet the left hand boundary of the field. Cross the stile into the next field and follow the boundary up to Penrice church.

Cross the village green and bear right along the lane. Follow the lane until you see the old ruins of a water mill on your left. After another 50m you will see the gates of Penrice estate. Cross over the stone stile next to the gates into the grounds of the estate and follow the tarmac road up toward the house. The path will take you between the manor house and the old castle following the yellow way marks. The castle, mansion house and beautiful grounds with its huge artificial lakes are all private so unfortunately you will need to keep to the path.

The four storey mansion, built of bath stone, was erected in around 1775 by Thomas Mansel Talbot and designed by the architect Anthony Keck of King’s Stanley, Gloucestershire. The castle is thought to be of Norman origin, and was abandoned in the late medieval period in favour of Oxwich castle.

When you reach a fork in the road, bear left past the old red brick stables, then almost immediately turn right. The path will take you out into farmland again following the yellow waymarks and through a stile onto the main road. Follow the main road right, walking about 50m then take the first turning left up the lane to Perriswood.

Bear slightly right when you cross the green, following the stony track through the gate and onto Cefn Bryn. Follow the path which curves slightly to your right, roughly following the power lines making your way back up onto the ridge of the hill.

Once on top of the hill, follow the main track right and back towards Penmaen. You will pass through one cross roads before climbing back up to the highest point of the Bryn. The path will then drop down the hill. Turn right when you meet a rough road at a T junction and left when you meet the tarmac lane.

When you reach the cattle grid, turn left and follow the lane back to the green gate and back into the woods and down to the house.

Map