The Gower Way – In reverse because that’s the way we recommend doing it!
If you ever wanted to experience some of the complex history between the English and the Welsh then The Gower Way long distance footpath will give you 35 miles to contemplate and cogitate just that. It disects the entire ancient Lordship of Gower that includes both the areas historically known as Gower Anglicana(English) and Gower Walicana (Welsh) from when the English invaders drove the Welsh inland and upland from the fertile coastal lands to the more desolate moors and highlands.
Fear not, however, If you didn’t want to get bogged down in such matters, this is a fantastic walk with interests to suit all abilities. Do it in short sections, do it in one go, only do the coastal half or upland parts, the choice is yours but do it you should!
Inaugurated by the Prince of Wales in 1998, the way is marked by 50 numbered stones bearing the Gower Society crest and an arrow marking the way…..a big BUT……these cannot be relied on for navigation! Many are overgrown or difficult to notice so if you set your heart on doing a rubbing of each number with sheep poo, mud or whatever comes to hand then don’t be dissapointed if the full set can’t be completed. If you like a challenge, however, you can download the grid references of each stone from the swansea ramblers website http://www.swansearamblers.org.uk/Gower-Way/gower-way.php
Considering the miriad of foot and bridle paths across the terrain that could lead you in the wrong direction, an OS map (Explorer 165 for the inland part and exporer 164 for the coastal part) is a must but don’t worry, a wrong turn may be frustrating but will not lead to a gaping precipice or worse.
Here at RipnRock we can heartily recommend that any visitor to the Swansea Bay area doing the Gower Way should do it by starting at stone number 50 on the hills at Penlle’r Castell to number 1 on the coast at Rhossilli. Why? 1) Its downhill! 2) There’s something magical about ending at a cliff edge 3) Once you get to the end, if you have any energy left then you are in the heart of our playgrounds and can join us on one of our adventures.
On the next entry in this blog, we’ll describe the different sections in more detail.