Three Cliffs Bay and Penmaen Burrows Walk

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Three Cliffs Bay and Penmaen Burrows Walk

A great walk to take in the beach views, and lots of ancient historic sites along the way, take a picnic to eat on the headland overlooking Tor Bay.

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 see the note and the diversion map on the walks page to help you circumnavigate.

Distance covered: 3 miles
Average time: 1.5 hours
Terrain: Easy underfoot but a couple of good climbs.

Directions & Gallery

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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 style next to a gate, here the track will bear left taking you past a small pink cottage end on to the road and then through a grassy car park. When you reach the tarmac 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.

On your right when you get to the look out area there is a steep path taking you down alongside the old post war chalets. When you reach the bottom, cross the stream and take the sandy path (it bears to the right) back up to the headland, this is known as Penmaen Burrows.

At the top turn left and follow the path around the headland.

After a little way you will find the earth banks that are the remains of a Norman timber castle comprising a ringwork typical of the 12th-century. Excavation in 1960 has revealed a drystone-walled hall with curved ends and evidence for a timber tower which at some time was burned down. There are other traces nearby of the Norman settlers, such as that of a large artificial rabbit warren. Known as a Pillow Mound, built when rabbits were first introduced to Britain by Norman Invaders, the warrens provided the villagers with an important source of food. And if you follow the paths into to centre of the headland you will happen across the megalithic tomb known as Pen-y-Crug. It is a large communal tomb of what is believed to be the first community to settle on the peninsula some 5,500 years ago.

And to delve back even deeper in time, high in the great spur of rock that forms Tor Head are a small series of chambered passages that lead deep into the cliff. Known as Leather’s Hole, the bones of both Mammoth and Rhinoceros have been discovered here. Given that this cave is believed to have never possessed easy access, these bones must have been carried into this cave by scavenging wolves and hyenas.

The path skirts around the headland affording beautiful views of Tor Bay, Crawley Woods and Oxwich Bay in the distance.

On the opposite headland you will also notice a lime kiln used to make lime for export to Somerset and Devon.

Once you have walked as around the headland, you may wish to drop down the path to the sands of Tor Bay. If not, you can head back inland (north with the beach behind you) towards Cefn Bryn. When you have a choice, bear left and after 50m you will pass through a foot gate and follow the sunken lane all the way back up to the main road.

Turn right down the road and take the first turning left after 50 yards

Cross the cattle grid through the carpark and follow the tarmac track, it will take you back to the cattle grid at the other end of the village, which you should recognise from the beginning of the walk. Turn left and follow the path back to the house.