Fox Hole Bay – Hidden Gower, Bone Caves, Choughs and Rock Climbing
Aaaah Foxhole! (If its Rock Climbing you want go to the bottom of this post)
“Looks like the tide’s in.”
“There’s no beach here”
“There are better beaches just over ……[there]”
“What are RipnRock on about?”
All fair comments but those who are in the know cherish this little cove, its inaccessibility, temporary qualities and very, VERY quiet nature. When you go at low tide(only), this little bay shows off the charms that are so magnetic to the locals.
The sand is always wet, comfortable spaces are few. BUT its’ a short walk from the National Trust car park in the village of Southgate and will give you an up close and personal experience of the tremendous rock formations that you wouldn’t see from the cliff top.
Kids will love the adventure too. A steep but smooth walk down will open up a safe rock scramble on to the sand and immediately on to ever-changing rockpool heaven – Don’t forget the nets!
Once you’ve found a favoured spot here, which will change every time you visit, you’ll soon be drawn to all its crooks and nannys and the overpowering wish to explore them. Having said that, on a hot Summer afternoon, don’t feel guilt if you just want to smuggly sunbathe knowing that you are in a select crowd who have found this little piece of heaven that will only last for a couple of hours.
The highlight of exploration around here would have to be the cave of Minchin Hole alt, to the East, which has an immense prehistoric relevance http://www.explore-gower.co.uk/explore/gower-history/gower-caves/minchin-hole-southgate. This description highlights the extinct and rare fauna of the area and where else will you find the evidence of caveman, Roman era and Dark ages folk making their home during times of trouble and plenty. We would ask you to tread carefully though and stick to already worn routes, these things can never be replaced. This, of course, is why we won’t give an exact description of its location- seek and yee shall find.
Further away is Bacon Hole and the video here will give you an idea of how such an important place in history can soon be upset by too much human traffic http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=4453. Pretty cool though eh?!
This area is a stronghold of the previously at risk Chough alt, a relative of the crow, with impressive red legs and curved bill. Once you tune in to their distinctive call and appearence you’ll think they must be commonplace but please be “chuffed” if you see or hear them because their future is still in jeopardy due to intensive farming practises.
So; something for the chill out merchant, family, geologist, historian and birder but what about the adventure enthusiast?
This is THE place for sport (with bolts in-situ) climbing on Gower. The crag that bears the same name as the bay is likely to be the most visited sports crag on Gower, it boasts routes from 3+ to the hardest climb on Gower (at the time of writing) at 8b. Its got easy access and a non-tidal position. The only Topo we could find http://www.sportsclimbs.co.uk/mainpages/gower/Fox%20Hole%20Topo.htm doesn’t include the easiest climbs to the west but buying the http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=5153 will help you locate them for sure. Bon chance rock monkeys!!
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