Welcome to SP!  -
Sandbox
Custom Object
Children 
Geography
 

Sandbox

 
Sandbox

Page Type: Custom Object

Lat/Lon: 52.13290°N / 3.94979°W

Object Type: Sandbox

Object Title: Sandbox

 

Page By: Nanuls

Created/Edited: Jun 23, 2008 / Jan 27, 2015

Object ID: 414660

Hits: 3611 

Page Score: 81.18%  - 13 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Photos

Overview

With a modest height of just 478 metres above sea level, Craig Twrch (Boar's Rock in Welsh) is but a minor hill of the southern Cambrian Mountains. However, what it lacks in stature it more than makes up in character. Craig Twrch takes the form of a broad elongated ridge comprising of six minor summits, which from southwest to northeast are Pant-têg (383m), Esgair Ffraith (415m), Banc Tŷ-hen (420m), Bryn Mawr (474m), Llethr Brith (478m) and Garn Wen (460m). This ridge marks the divide between landscapes of great contrast; to the west the hill gives way to the manicured tidiness of the Teifi Valley and beyond it the coastal plateau of Ceredigion; while to its east it falls steeply into the remoter Cwm Twrch and beyond it the wilder, more impoverished and tranquil Mynydd Mallaen and surrounding hills.

While today the hill is a rarely visited destination, it's position in the landscape made it a once bustling thoroughfare, and it's this fact that makes Craig Twrch such a worthwhile objective. It's undulating contours are littered with ancient monuments, with its oldest reaching as far back as the Bronze Age. The hill in fact appears to have been a place of some significance to the area's Bronze Age people, with numerous burial cairns occupying its highest points. The finest of these is known as Garn Fawr, which is located on Craig Twrch's summit at Llethr Brith. The cairn occupies a commanding position, overlooking Llyn y Gwaith and the Berwyn Forest, and it should be your objective if visiting the area.

Garn Fawr (Photo by Nanuls)
Craig Twrch (Photo by Nanuls)
Bryn Mawr (Photo by Nanuls)
The second important historical feature is far more accessible; in fact it is a feature still in use today. The Sarn Helen Roman road crosses Craig Twrch on its southwestern flank and is in fact the easiest means of accessing the hill. The road was once the main route between southwest and northwest Wales and its course can still be followed, calling on the various Roman archaeological sites along the way. Craig Twrch appears to have been a strategic crossing point and displays the remains of a watchtower and abandoned camp.

So while an ascent of Craig Twrch could hardly be described as a challenge, a traverse of its ridge is packed with interest. One will find tranquility and a sense of romance here, as they wonder over its rolling features and explore its archaeological remains.

Mountain Conditions

Bryn Mawr (Photo by Nanuls)
This section displays the weather forecast for Lampeter, which is located just to the west of Craig Twrch. This gives a pretty good indication of what the weather will be like on the crag, as both Bosherston and Saddle Head sit at around sea level.

This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget

When to Climb and Essential Gear

Craig Twrch can be visited at anytime of the year, however in poor conditions it may be best avoided as it's very exposed to the elements throughout its length. April to September offer the most reliable conditions and one will need all the equipment one usually carries for a morning or afternoon in the hills, which in Wales means a decent set of waterproofs and walking boots as a minimum.

Banc Tŷ-hen (Photo by Nanuls)
Garn Fawr (Photo by Nanuls)
Banc Tŷ-hen (Photo by Nanuls)

Getting There

Craig Twrch (SN 665 499) is located in the southern Cambrian Mountains, between the valleys of the Teifi in the west and the Twrch in the east.

It can be accessed by one of the numerous minor roads that come of the main A482, which runs between Lampeter (SN 577 481) in the west and Llanwrda (SN 714 314) in the east.

There is limited parking on the side of the Sarn Helen Roman road near Lluest-y-bwlch (SN 646 480), which takes the form of a small lay-bye created by a cattle grid. Few people visit the hill, so it is unlikely that it will be full, just be sure not to block the cattle grid's gate.

Bryn Mawr (Photo by Nanuls)

Red Tape and Access

Llyn y Gwaith (Photo by Nanuls)
The majority of Craig Twrch is designated as Open Access Land under the auspices of the Countryside Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000 and therefore there are no red tape or access issues for the most part. However, an area of land between Pant-têg and Esgair Ffraith has not been designated and therefore the public have no right of access here. The public right of way that takes you from the Sarn Helen Roman road towards Craig Twrch's summit runs along the northern edge of this area and so when you start your walk, be sure to stick to this path. Open Access Land is displayed on the Ordnance Survey's Explorer Series maps and therefore it is advised that you consult Explorer Series Map 199 Lampeter if you are unsure as to which areas are accessible and which areas are not.

For climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) runs a Regional Access Database, which holds mountain/crag specific information on matters of conservation and access, including issues such as nesting restrictions, nature designations and preferred parking.

Regional Access Database

If you are in any doubt about any particular access arrangement, or need to report an incident, you should contact your local BMC Access Representative or the BMC Access Officers for Wales: Elfyn Jones.

Camping and Accommodation

Camping and accommodation is relatively scarce in the local area, although the local towns and villages such as Lampeter and Llandovery do offer something for everyone. For a comprehensive guide to the area's accommodation, see the Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire County Council tourism websites:

www.discoverceredigion.co.uk

www.discovercarmarthenshire.com

Craig Twrch (Photo by Nanuls)

Maps

MAP CODE Navigation Maps

Ordnance Survey 1:25k Explorer Series 199 Lampeter

Ordnance Survey 1:50k Landranger Series 146 Lampeter & Llandovery

Road Maps

Ordnance Survey Tour Series 11 South & Mid Wales

Guidebooks

Sarn Helen: Walking a Roman Road Through Wales Sarn Helen: Walking a Roman Road Through Wales by John Cantrell and Arthur Rylance

A guide to walking Sarn Helen Roman Road, which crosses Craig Twrch. Now out of print but used copies are still available.

External Links

Garn Fawr (Photo by Nanuls)
Craig Twrch (Photo by Nanuls)
Craig Twrch (Photo by Nanuls)
General

Cambrian Mountains Society

Carmarthenshire County Council

Ceredigion County Council

Powys County Council

Natural Resources Wales

British Geological Survey

The National Trust

CADW

Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Wales

Bogs

Bog Snorkelling

Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

The Wildlife Trusts: Water and Wetlands

Mountaineering and Climbing Organizations

British Mountaineering Council

The Climbers’ Club

Tourist Information

Welsh Tourist Board

Mid Wales Tourism Partnership

Weather

Mountain Weather Wales

Weather from the Met Office

Travel

Welsh Public Transport Information

UK Train Timetable

Accommodation

Youth Hostel Association in Wales

Mid Wales Campsites

Maps and Guidebooks

Ordnance Survey

Harvey Map Services

Cicerone Guidebooks

Climbers’ Club Guidebooks

BREAK

(see photo )

Overview

Cwm Croesor is arguably one of Snowdonia’s finest valleys. Nestled in the south western Moelwynion, it is overlooked by the dramatic forms of Cnicht and Moelwyn Mawr, which although not large mountains, have a prominence that belies their short stature. The Cwm Croesor Horesehoe takes you up the former of these peaks, and the latter can be bagged too, if you are willing to add an unaesthetic dogleg to the route. The ascent of Cnicht is in fact a worthwhile objective in its own right, with its south-western ridge offering a satisfying mixture of trail and easy scrambling.

This is a landscape that felt the brunt of the industrial revolution; a bustling slate mining industry once thrived here, the relics of which are now being slowly subsumed by nature. Today, the area is far more tranquil. The industrial detritus gives it an eerie quality and as you tread this route you, will be aware of the countless lives that were made and broken here. This is probably the route’s strongest quality, as it takes you through an area of unique character.

Cnicht
Summit of Cnicht (Photo by mills)
Cnicht
Scrambling on Cnicht (Photo by Phillip Stasiw)
Peaks and archaeology are not the only attractions this route has to offer; Cwm Croesor is home to one of Wales’ two Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) breeding sites and in the summer month’s there is a reasonable chance of spotting the birds.

There is therefore much to recommend this route, especially to those who have an interest in Wales’ industrial heritage. Even if you have no such interest, the chance to lap up the area’s unique character and innate tranquillity should not be missed.

Getting There

Cnicht is located in the southern Moelwynion, between the valleys of Nantmor and Gwynant in the west and Cwm Croesor in the east. The route starts in Cwm Croesor.

The Cwm may only be reached from the south. If you’re coming from the east therefore, leave the A487 in Penrhyndeudraeth (SH 611 389) and take the A4085 north in the direction of Beddgelert (SH 590 481). Just after the village of Garreg (SH 612 416), there is a right hand turn (SH 614 420), which is signposted for the village of Croesor (SH 630 447). The village is reached after around 3km. Park in the small National Park run car park in the village. The route starts and ends here.

Route Description

Cnicht
Cnicht (Photo by Big Benn)
The route starts and ends in the National Park car park in the village of Croesor (SH 630 447) and is approximately 12km long.

Leave the car park and turn right to walk through the village, pass an old chapel on your right and continue up the road until it ends at an iron gate and s stile (SH 629 448). Cross the stile and follow a gravel track, which after about 300m will bring you to a fork (SH 628 450). Take the right hand track and follow it for around 700m, crossing two ruined drystone walls. Just before the track crosses a third wall, a footpath shoots off rightwards from the track (SH 632 455). This is the path that follows Cnicht’s southwestern ridge and it is this path you need to take.

The path has a relatively shallow gradient at first but steepens and becomes less distinct as you climb. The navigation is not however difficult as all you have to do is follow the apex of the ridge directly to the summit (SH 629 448). The ridge is a mixture of walking and easy scrambling and is a joy to ascend. The summit is reached after about 1.5km and is the highest point on the route.

Cnicht
Rhosydd Quarry (Photo by Nanuls)
The decent is via Cnicht’s northeast ridge, which does not possess a distinct path. However, like the ascent, navigation should not be a problem as you can follow the ridge’s apex until it peters out. After about 1km you will come to a distinct footpath (SH 656 477), which runs from northwest to southeast. If it’s a clear day, you should have Llyn yr Adar on your left.

Take this path, turning right to walk in a southwesterly direction around the headwall of Cwm-y-foel. Follow the path, passing the small lake of Llyn Cwm-corsiog (SH 663 470) on your left. After about 2km you will reach the former Rhosydd Slate Quarry (SH 665 462).

The Rhosydd Slate Quarry is an incredible place and in terms of archaeology is the highlight of the route. Here you will find ruined buildings, former tramlines and abandoned adits and even the mangled, rusting remains of engines and machinery. Mining first began in the 1830s, though the mine was not seriously worked until the 1850s when the Rhosydd Slate Company was established. Operations finally ceased in the 1930 when the quarry was mothballed, though it would not be until 1948 that the machinery was scrapped and from 1949 to 1954 slates were made from the demolished walls of the remaining buildings.

Cnicht
Croesor Quarry (Photo by Nanuls)
There are a great deal of paths crisscrossing this area, so take care when leaving. The path you need to take runs in a southwesterly direction to Croesor Quarry (SH 657 456), which is your next objective. The quarry is reached after about 1km of walking across undulating terrain, passing Llyn Croesor (SH 661 465) on your left-hand side.

Croesor Quarry was mined between 1850s and 1878, and from then between 1895 and 1930. After its closure underground chambers excavated for their slate were used for the storage of explosives until the 1970s. Today only the ruins of the mill and the incline drumhouse survive. There is also a World War II era type 26 pillbox just above the quarry, which can be seen from the path.

Cnicht
Croesor Quarry (Photo by Big Benn)
Leave the quarry via a gravel track which gradually descends the southern flank of Cwm Croesor. Follow this track all the way to the bottom of the valley meeting the road at its terminus at a small terrace of cottages (SH 636 449). You could walk back to the car park along the road, however a better option would be to walk down the short gravel track that fronts the cottages to a T junction near the centre of the valley (SH 635 449). Turn left and follow a new track back to Croesor. The track ends in the centre of the village and the car park is a short walk to your left.

Essential Gear

The route can be done at anytime of the year, however in poor conditions it may be best avoided as Cnicht is very exposed to the elements. April to September offer the most reliable conditions and one will need all the equipment one usually carries for a day in the mountains, which in Wales means full waterproofs and sturdy boots as a minimum.

If you’re lucky enough to climb the mountain in winter conditions then an ice axe and crampons would be very useful.

Rhosydd Quarry and Moelwyn Mawr behind (Photo by Nanuls)

Maps

MAP CODE Navigation Maps

Ordnance Survey 1:25k Explorer Series OL 17 Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa

Ordnance Survey1:25k Explorer Series OL 18 Harlech, Porthmadog & Bala/Y Bala

Ordnance Survey 1:50k Landranger Series 115 Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa

Harvey Map Services 1:25k: Snowdon

Harvey Map Services/BMC 1: 40k British Mountain Map: Snowdonia North

Road Maps

Ordnance Survey Travel Map 10 Wales/Cymru & West Midlands

Guidebooks

Snowdonia (Official National Park Guide) Snowdonia (Official National Park Guide) by Merfyn Williams with contributions from Ian Mercer and Jeremy Moore

A handy book full of useful information and interesting facts about the National Park.
The Mountains of England and Wales: Vol 1 Wales The Mountains of England and Wales: Vol 1 Wales by John and Ann Nuttall

A classic book covering the Welsh ‘Nuttalls’, which obviously include the Moelwynion.
Hillwalking in Snowdonia Hillwalking in Snowdonia by Steve Ashton

A guidebook to nearly 70 hillwalking routes throughout Snowdonia, including the Moelwynion.
Hillwalking in Wales Vol 2 Hillwalking in Wales Vol 2 by Peter Hermon

The second of two guidebooks describing walking routes up every 2000-footer in Wales – covers the Moelwynion to the Tarrenydd.

External Links

Cnicht's southwest ridge (Photo by matterhorn mel)
Cwm Croesor (Photo by matterhorn mel)
Rhosydd Quarry (Photo by Nanuls)
Cnicht
Descending Cnicht's north east ridge (Photo by Nanuls)
Cwm Croesor (Photo by matterhorn mel)
Government Bodies and Official Organisations

Snowdonia National Park Authority

Council for National Parks

Association of National Park Authorities

Natural Resources Wales

CADW

Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Wales

Gwynedd Archaeological Trust

Snowdonia Society

The National Trust

Hiking, Climbing and Mountaineering Organisations and Companies

British Mountaineering Council

The Climbers’ Club

UKClimbing

Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre

Snowdonia-Active.com

Hightreck Snowdonia

Weather

Mountain Weather Wales

Weather from the Met Office

BBC Weather

Tourist Information

Visit Wales

North Wales Tourism Partnership

Local Information from Gwynedd.com

Local Information from Snowdonia Wales Net

North Wales Index

Travel

Welsh Public Transport Information

UK Train Timetable

Accommodation

Youth Hostel Association in Wales

Pete's Eats

Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel

Maps and Guidebooks

Ordnance Survey

Harvey Map Services

Cicerone Guidebooks

Climbers’ Club Guidebooks

Rockfax

North Wales Bouldering

Cordee Travel and Adventure Sports Bookshop

Wildlife and Conservation

Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Natur Gwynedd

North Wales Wildlife Trust

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

BREAK

Overview

Gower (or perhaps more correctly, but less used, Gŵyr) is without doubt one of Wales’ finest landscapes, taking the form of a broad peninsula that projects westward into the Bristol Channel. This landscape has long been deemed to be worthy of protection and in 1956, Gower became the UK's first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). It is a maritime environment, which forms part of the great limestone coast of South Wales. This coast has long been an attraction to climbers and it is for this reason that Gower merits its place on Summitpost.

Lewes Castle (Photo by Nigel Lewis)

Along with Pembroke, Gogarth and the Llŷn Peninsula, Gower is one of Wales’ most important sea cliff climbing areas. This isn’t to say that there aren’t important sea cliffs elsewhere, it’s just that they aren’t quite as expansive as the aforementioned four. Of the four, Gower is probably the least visited, perhaps lacking the reputation for ferocious and adventurous routes, which often characterise of the other three. This is perhaps an unfair critique, because as many local climbers will know, there’s no shortage of difficult routes on to be found here. What Gower does have, which perhaps the others lack, is an expansive range of non-committing easier routes, which are not only easy to reach but sit among some magnificent surroundings.

Between them, not only are venues such as Fall Bay, Tor Bay and Three Cliffs Bay exceptionally beautiful, they also offer something for climbers of all abilities and are ideal objectives for those visiting the area for the first time. This does mean however that these more popular crags can get quite busy and one may find themselves having to queue for the routes they want. On a more positive note, climbing on Gower is relatively free restrictions, such as those that affect Pembroke's Castlemartin Range, and therefore it makes a superb alternative to this venue when access there is denied. Furthermore, while most routes are traditional in nature, unlike Pembroke, bolting is a allowed on some of Gower's crags and consequently, the peninsula is home to a good number of challenging sport venues, which include both natural and quarried rock faces.

Of course, rock climbers were not the first individuals to express in interest in Gower's cliffs. During the Palaeolithic it's caves were the seasonal homes of hunter-gatherers, who would not have had the sea to look out upon, but a wide grassy plain stretching as far as what is now the north Devon coast. These caves have therefore long been a treasure trove for archaeologists, anthropologists and paleoclimatologists, who have found both human and animal remains within them. Certainly, the most famous of these finds is the Red Lady of Paviland who at 33,000 years old it is one of the oldest ceremonial burials of a modern human discovered anywhere in Western Europe. The Red Lady is not in fact a lady, but a young male; the mistake being made by Professor William Buckland, who fist examined the skeleton in 1823. A creationist, he also believed that no human remains could have been older than the Biblical Great Flood, and so also mistook the bones to date from the Roman occupation of Britain. Climber's may still find in situ prehistoric bones and shells as they explore Gower's crags and are asked to leave anything that might be significant in place. Find may be reported to Swansea University.

Gower has more to offer than just rock climbing. For example, the Wales Coast Path runs along its margins and provides almost uninterrupted access to the area's coastline. The path is extremely popular and takes walkers and visits most of Gower's best landscapes. As you would expect, countless other outdoor activities are practised in the area too, including surfing, sea kayaking, sailing, and scuba diving. However, as Summitpost isn’t really concerned with these sports, they shall receive only limited attention here.

A busy day at Three Cliffs Bay (Photo by Nanuls)

Rock Climbing

Three Cliffs
Three Cliffs Bay (Photo by Nanuls)
With the exception of the Tor Gro, the Blue Pool, Burry Holm and Barland Quarry, all Gower’s climbing areas are located on its south coast, running almost continually from Rhossili in the west and Mumbles in the east. For sea cliffs, access is unusually straightforward for the most part; only a handful require an abseil to reach and the rest can either be approached straight from the beach or from higher level gassy terraces. For the most part, the climbing is a traditional affair, but there are a handful of crags, both natural and quarried, where bolts have been installed and allow for new or retro bolting. In the past, there has been some controversy concerning the bolting of crags on Gower, which has in part resulted in a loss of access to certain areas. The establishment of sport crags has therefore been considerably restricted and anyone intending to do so should contact South Wales Mountaineering Club, the British Mountaineering Council, the Countryside Council for Wales and, if relevant, the National Trust before embarking on any new projects.

There are currently two climbing guidebook available for the area. The first and most comprehensive of these is Gower and S.E. Wales (2004), which was written and produced by members of South Wales Mountaineering Club and covers Gower and its neighbouring areas in South East Wales. It is however looking a little dated these days. The Club also maintains a Guidebook Wiki, which is designed to compliment their paper guide.

The second and more lavish is a selected guide, Gower Rock: Selected Rock, produced by local activists Stuart Llewellyn and Matt Woodfield. It's an excellent book which covers the best Gower has to offer. It's an excellent choice for those who infrequently visit the area.


Gower and S.E. Wales Gower and S.E. Wales by Goi Ashmore and Roy Thomas

A comprehensive guide to rock climbing on Gower and South East Wales.
Gower Rock Gower Rock: Selected Rock Climbs by Stuart Llewelyn and Matt Woodfield

A newer and prettier selected guide to the best Gower has to offer.

There is also a downloadable sport climbing miniguide available from Rockfax in the form of Gower Sport Climbing. Gower has some great sport routes so it's well worth picking up if that's what you're into.

Additionally there is also a dedicated bouldering website covering the area, namely South Wales Bouldering Guide. The South Wales Mountaineering Club Wiki also has details of bouldering problems in the area.

What follows is a whistle-stop tour around Gower’s crags, providing what I hope is a helpful overview of what the area has to offer and a good introduction for anyone unfamiliar with the area. It is not intended that this guide include every crag or venue, but it does attempt to describe the best and most popular ones. The best place to start is the interactive map below; the descriptions that follow begin in the north and then follow the coast in an anticlockwise direction.


Open Space Web-Map builder Code
Trad and Sport Crags on Gower. Zoom and click for details.
The most northerly crags on Gower are the north facing Tor Gro and North Hill Tor. Tor Gro strikes an impressive profile above the Landimore and Llanrhidian Mashes. It would be completely non-tidal if it weren't for the fact that the access track floods on the occasional spring tide. The routes are located on a number of long slabs, which in places reach up to 45 metres. The climbing suffers from a distinct lack of lines, although Marsh Dance (HS 4b) is well worth a look.



North Hill Tor is also home to some reasonable routes, unfortunately you're no longer aloud to climb any of them thanks to the landowner threatening violence towards those who venture onto his property. The BMC has advised no one climb there until matters are resolved.



The Llangennith area is better known for its surfing than it's climbing, but the northern end of Rhossili Bay does have a small number of crags with routes recorded upon them. The Blue Pool Area and Burry Holms' crags are more local venues than anything else and this is partially down to their geographical isolation and partly down to the difficulty of access. Burry Holms for example is a tidal island that can only be accessed for two and a half hours either side of low water. The routes are also average at best, which means they have a difficult time competing with the crags on the southern side of the peninsula.



The length of coast running from Hollow Top to Port Eynon changes considerably in character to that to its west. Here the landscape is characterised by a series of small dry valleys that are guarded on their seaward flanks by a number of short, broken crags. Most of these crags are non-tidal and where they are long enough and free enough of loose rock, yield a number of good routes. Perhaps the area’s most popular crag is Boiler Slab, so called from a ship wreck, which can be seen from the crag at low tide. Routes are generally at the easier end of the grading spectrum making it an excellent place to take beginners. Classic (VD) and Dulfer (S 4a) are particularly worthwhile.

Three Cliffs Bay forms the focal point for what is perhaps one of Wales’ most iconic and best loved landscapes. The climbing, which more often than not matches the sublimity of the landscape in which it sits, takes place on the bay’s tri-pinnacled centrepiece and provides some of Gower’s most sought-after routes. By far the best of these is to the superb Scavenger (VS 4c), which takes the slab on the right side of the crag’s distinctive sea cave. Once this is ticked off turn your hand to the crag’s other little gems including a traverse of the Three Pinnacles (M), Arch Slab (VS 4c), and the voyage of speleological lunacy that is Under Milk Wood (VS 4a). Just around the corner from Three Cliffs is the diminutive Pobbles Bay. It’s doesn’t have anything that will really excite, but isn’t a bad place to spend a few hours if other crags along this stretch of coast are busy.

Climate

Geology

The nature of Gower’s geology owes its existence to the events that produced much of South Wales’ landforms and in particular those that took place over the Carboniferous period. South Wales is dominated by a massive syncline, which preserves in its core rocks of the Upper Carboniferous; these are rich in beds of coal, and they have given the name to the period in which they were deposited. Gower sits on the southern limb of this syncline, so the rocks therefore, dip to the north. As is the case with synclines, the older rocks crop out around the edges, and thus Gower rocks are those which are emerging from beneath the Coal Measures on this southerly limb.

To complicate things, Gower sits on a series of tight folds which begins on the peninsula and continues right under the Bristol Channel, as far as Devon. The hinges of these folds lie roughly east-west, just like the hinge of the coalfield itself, and this shows that the pressure during the mountain-building phase was coming from the south. So Gower displays a transition-zone between the broad and open style of folding in the coalfield and the tight, narrow folds of the Bristol Channel.

Bedrock Geology of South Wales
The bedrock geology of South Wales

So far, we have been concerned with the structures that have been imposed upon the originally flat-lying rock-layers. Now we come to the interpretation of the sedimentary pile itself, which means deciding what sort of sediment each rock-type one was, and deducing from this the nature of the environment in which they were deposited. Conditions of deposition change through time, and this is what produces the characteristic sequence of rock types that we see in the peninsula.

The oldest rocks on Gower, only occur in the cores of major anticlines, represent the latter part of the Devonian period (416-359 mya). At this time, Gower lay in a region of sediment-laden rivers crossing a wide plain between mountains to the north and the sea, which at that time lay over Devon. These mountains were the result of an intense period of mountain building known as the Caledonian Orogeny, which culminated in the closure of the closure of the Iapatus Ocean and the and the resultant continent-continent collision. The climate at this time was tropical, possibly monsoonal, and the choked streams carried sediment from the intense erosion taking place in the hills. Much coarse material was dropped en route, on the riverbanks and in the islands that split the streams into many minor channels. In Gower, we see pebbly rocks (conglomerates) at the top of the sequence overlying coarse sandstones.

The sea at this time began to rise relative to the land, and, as the Carboniferous Period began (359-299 mya), the wide coastal plains of the Devonian were drowned. The marine transgression in this period covered most of Wales with only the highest mountains probably remaining unsubmerged as islands. During the early part of the period warm equatorial seas occupied a broad gulf with abundant corals, crinoids (sea lily) and orthocones (squid-like creature with elongated conical shell). Marine shales (dark, fine-grained friable rocks) were laid down over the continental conglomerates and over time, the amount of detritus reaching the area from the land was drastically reduced. It was in these conditions that Gower’s limestones began to form.


Fall Bay (Photo by Nanuls)


The Carboniferous Limestone in Gower is about 800 metres thick, but traced northward, it can be seen to grow progressively thinner. Each individual unit becomes narrower, and there may also be some units missing. This suggests that the sea further north, being nearer to the land, was shallower and subsiding less quickly. Also, minor fluctuations of sea level could mean that in these shoreward areas, sedimentation could be interrupted more frequently, so resulting in omitted units.

There are many different units making up the Carboniferous Limestone, each with differing texture, thickness, fossil-assemblage, and so on. These differences were the result of subtle environmental changes, which we will touch on when we visit the localities. Not one of these little changes, however, was as severe as that which marked the complete end of limestone deposition in this part of the world.

The stage was now set for the deposition of the Coal Measures, which are the sediments of a widespread system of river-deltas close to sea level, upon which grew the lush forests of giant mosses, horsetails and ferns which eventually became coal. The Coal Measures therefore consist of sandstones, shales and coals arranged in repeated sequence, which tells of how forests grew, were buried by shales as the land subsided and then by sands as the rivers built out. On top of the river-sand, soil developed and eventually the forest became established all over again.

Three Cliffs
Three Cliffs Bay (Photo by daveyboy)
During the later part of the period a second period of major earth movement known as the Aromrican Orogeny (280 mya), also known as the Hercynian or Variscan, affected the Carboniferous and older rocks, with the main movements occurring along existing fractures. This event caused the folding of much of Gower’s Carboniferous sediments.

Save for one small patch of Triassic sediment in Port Eynon, the rocks of the succeeding periods - Permian, Triassic and Jurassic (290-142 mya) - have since been weathered, eroded and removed from Gower area and no marine influence is evident in the area, but marine fossils (including ammonites, reptiles and sea mammals) can be found elsewhere in South Wales. During the Cretaceous Period (142-65 mya) globally high sea levels caused the inundation of much of the area.

During the Tertiary Period (65-2 mya), Gower was situated at the edge of a landmass which was undergoing uplift in relation to the development of the North Atlantic Ocean. This uplift of the landmass bought about the development of the scenery which we see today. The main processes that have shaped this landscape are marine erosion, which lead to the development of the area’s spectacular coastline; weathering, and erosion by streams and rivers, which lead to the development of the area’s drainage pattern.

The Quaternary Period (2 mya to present day) saw the onset of oscillating phases of cold and warm conditions (stadial and interstadial conditions). During stadial conditions ice sheets developed over much of Britain, however relatively few were severe enough to affect Gower. That said, conditions were severe enough during the Anglian Glaciation (450,000 and 30,0000 years ago) when ice crossed Gower and reached the coast of north Devon. During the most recent glaciation, the Late Devensian (maximum extent c. 18,500 years ago) it is thought that only the northern part of the peninsula was covered by ice, though evidence for its exact rumination is scarce. Further east, a Piedmont type glacier formed in Swansea Bay, fed by ice channelled down the Tawe and its contributory valleys. During interstitial periods there is evidence of relative sea levels higher than those of today, and those with a good eye will be able to spot Ipswichian era deposits containing marine shells high up on some of the cliffs.

For more information, see the Royal Geological Society’s Field Guide to Gower.

Wildlife and Conservation

Wildlife

Despite its small size Gower is home to a remarkable variety of habitats, including salt marshes, limestone cliffs, woodland, scrub and open moorland. The area’s mild climate is a major influence, allowing vegetation to thrive throughout the year. In fact in places, palm trees are not an uncommon site, although they are of course, not a native species. These factors combined with the proximity of the sea, creates a set of habitats unique to this part of Wales, if not Britain.

The peninsula's limestone bedrock is a significant determining factor and its limestone cliffs are a home to habitats of great botanical value. Many of the plant species they support are unique to limestone environments and are consequently and are therefore nationally rare. In early summer a blanket of flowers cover the coastal margins, forming a veritable patchwork of vibrant colours. Sea campion, kidney vetch, spring squill, thrift, oxeye daisy, bird’s-foot trefoil, bluebells, and red campion lavishly decorate the cliff tops, making a visit this time of year a highly rewarding experience. Rare plants can also be found on the lime rich soil, including hoary rock-rose, spring cinquefoil, bloody cranesbill, viper's bugloss and greater knapweed.

The clefts and fissures present on the Gower's southern cliffs often collect soil and rainwater and are themselves habitats for specialist plant species that can tolerate salty spray. These include plantain, thrift, rock sapphire and sea beet. Hardier salt-tolerant plants also occupy the lower reaches of the area's cliffs, including spring squill, golden sapphire, rock sea-lavander, buck's horn plantain, sea campion, scurvygrass and sea sleepwort.

< p align="justify">

Conservation and Protected Sites

The UK has a responsibility to ensure the conservation and enhancement of habitats and species in both a national and international context. One approach to achieving this is the establishment of a system of protected sites. The national suite of sites providing statutory protection for flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) (Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs) in Northern Ireland) and Marine Nature Reserves (MNRs). As well as underpinning other national designations (such as National Nature Reserves), this system also provides statutory protection for terrestrial and coastal sites which are important within Europe (Natura 2000 network) and globally (such as Wetlands of International Importance). Further designations exist for sites outside of the national suite (such as Local Nature Reserves), varying in the level of protection afforded. Apart from designations for sites with particular natural features, there are also landscape designations which aim to protect areas of either national (e.g. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) or international (e.g. natural World Heritage Sites) significance in terms of their outstanding scenic importance.

Because the area has such a rich natural heritage and wide variety of habitats much of its landscape is protected by both national and international legislation. There are 24 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) within, and in close proximity to, Gower. An SSSI is a conservation designation denoting a protected area within the UK, and may be designated for a wide number of reasons based on their merits as areas of scientific interest. Sites may be notified due to their biological or geological interest and a minority of sites are notified for both. SSSIs are the basic 'building block' of nature conservation legislation and most other legal nature/geological conservation designations are based upon them, including National Nature Reserves, Ramsar Sites, Special Protection Areas, and Special Areas of Conservation.

Gower also has 3 National Nature Reserves (NNR), which are in effect the next line of protection for nationally important environmental areas. NNRs are usually designated for their broader ecological value rather than for the presence of any rare species. There are however a number of sites which hold important numbers of scarce or rare species. A number of factors may contribute to the designation of a NNR. These may include; how fragile a site is, the size of the site, how 'natural' the site is and the presence of species rich communities. The NNR network represents almost every kind of vegetation type found in the UK.

There are also a large number of sites protected under international law. Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas are part of the Natura 2000 Networks of sites and are therefore strictly protected under European law. Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are strictly protected sites designated under the EC Habitats Directive. Article 3 of the Habitats Directive requires the establishment of a European network of important high-quality conservation sites that will make a significant contribution to conserving the 189 habitat types and 788 species identified in Annexes I and II of the Directive (as amended). The listed habitat types and species are those considered to be most in need of conservation at a European level (excluding birds). Of the Annex I habitat types, 78 are believed to occur in the UK. Of the Annex II species, 43 are native to, and normally resident in, the UK.

Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites classified in accordance with Article 4 of the EC Directive on the conservation of wild birds (79/409/EEC), also known as the Birds Directive, which came into force in April 1979. They are classified for rare and vulnerable birds, listed in Annex I to the Birds Directive, and for regularly occurring migratory species. In the UK, the first SPAs were identified and classified in the early to mid 1980s. Classification has since progressed and a regularly updated UK SPA Summary Table provides an overview of both the number of classified SPAs and those approved by Government that are currently in the process of being classified (these are known as potential SPAs, or pSPAs).

Special Areas of Conservation

There are some 3 SACs in Gower and the surrounding area. Combined they cover an area of 3604.4ha (just over 36 square km) and encompass a variety of environments including the sea beds just off its coast to the cliffs and woodlands that characterise its terrestrial landscape.


Site Name Area (ha) Latitude Longitude Grid Reference
Gower Ash Woods 233.15 51.57472 -4.059722 SS 574 882
Gower Commons 1776.72 51.58888 -4.169722 SS 497 900
Limestone Coast of South West Wales 1594.53 51.63055 -5.05583 SR 885 969

Special Protection Areas

The area is home to 1 SPA, which combined amount to a total area of 6627.99ha (over 66 square km).


Site Name Area (ha) Latitude Longitude Grid Reference
Burry Inlet 6627.99 51.6463 -4.17637 SS 496 965

Ramsar Sites

Gower is home to one wetland (which also fall within SACs) which is of enough importance to be listed as a Ramsar site. The site covers a total area of 6627.99ha (nearly 66 square km).


Site Name Area (ha) Latitude Longitude Grid Reference
Burry Inlet 6627.99 51.6463 -4.17637 SS 496 965

Weather Conditions

Forecast

This section displays the weather forecast for Swansea, which bounds the eastern part of Gower, and must be driven through to reach its southern coastline. Since most of Swansea and most of the places people will choose to visit on Gower are at or very close to sea level, this forecast gives a pretty good indication on what the weather is likely to be like at most of the crags. You’ll be pleased to hear that most of Gower’s crags are south facing and receive a lot of sunshine, even when other parts of Wales are not.

This Swansea weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget

Web Cameras

Webcams are a great way of getting up-to-date weather information. Currently there are only a few cameras located on Gower and even fewer that are actually reliable. The section below provides links to the best. These feeds are hosted by external sites, so obviously we can’t be held responsible if a camera happens to be malfunctioning.

Caswell Bay

Langland Bay

Llangennith

Swansea

Tides

As has been emphasised previously, tides are a very important consideration when climbing on Gower. As most of the climbing takes place on coastal cliffs, tide times can have a significant impact on where one climbs and at what time. Throughout one lunar month there are two spring or high range tides, and two neap or low range tides. Spring tides occur during the ‘Full’ and ‘New’ moons, when the sun and moon are in line and the combined gravitational pull causes the highest tides, which then ebb to the lowest level. During the first and third quarters of the moon, when the sun’s and moon’s attractional forces are at right angles, we experience the lower neap high tides and the higher low tides. The transition from high to low tide takes approximately 6 hours, which means that there are two high tides and two low tides in every 24 hour period. The average time for the tide to turn is actually slightly longer than 6 hour, which means that on Gower each day the high and low tide times are between 30 and 80 minutes later than the previous day.

Other considerations:
  • Spring tides come in much faster than neap tides – at such times areas of flat rock and boulder beach can disappear rapidly and escape routes can be cut off.
  • The smaller fall to low neap tides may give much less access than low spring tides to certain crags.
  • The lower level of high neap tides may allow access to certain routes, which are normally cut off in high spring tides.
  • Persistent and strong onshore winds can prolong or even slightly raise high tide levels, as can a high swell from some distant ocean storm.
It is therefore obviously extremely important to check the tide timetables before embarking on trip in the area. UK tides information for all standard and secondary ports is provided by the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO), and displayed on the BBC's website.

Tide information for the Mumbles, which forms Gower’s easternmost promontory, is available through the following link:

Mumbles Mumbles (SS 634 871)

Coastguard and Sea Rescue

Emergency Phone (Photo by Nanuls)

Should things go awry and you find yourself in need of rescue, the coastguard can be reached by phoning the standard Emergency Services number, which in the UK is: 999 or 112.

For more information on the role of the Coastguard, take a look at the link below:

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Sea rescues are often channelled by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency through the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), a non-profit organisation run by volunteers. There are three lifeboat stations operating in the Gower area, each of which is located at a strategically important point along the coast. For more information on the area’s stations and on ways in which you can help the RNLI, see the links below:

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Burry Port Station

Horton and Port Eynon Station

Mumbles Station

Red Tape and Access

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is exactly what it says it is: a precious landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so outstanding that it is in the nation's interest to safeguard them. Each AONB has been designated for special attention by reason of their high qualities, which include their flora, fauna, historical and cultural associations as well as scenic views. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CRoW) 2000 has added further regulation and protection, ensuring the future of AONBs as important national resources. The CRoW Act also gives the public the right to access large proportions of the land within the area regardless of ownership. Open access land is denoted on maps by a ‘yellowy tinge’ on Ordinance Survey Maps and on the ground by the following signs.

Access symbol

Used to indicate the start of access land, be this CRoW access land or access land under other agreements.

Negative access symbol

Used where the boundary between access land and land with no access rights needs clarifying, or where there are persistent problems with trespass.

Dogs on lead symbol

On all CRoW Act access land, dogs must be kept on a short fixed lead (2m or less) between 1st March and 31st July (the main bird breeding and lambing season), and at all times near livestock.

Climbing Restrictions

Certain locations of interest to climbers are subject to access restrictions, some of which are only seasonal, or just affect specific parts of a crag. Most are concerned with nesting birds and other conservation matters.

From 1st March and 14th August, there is a bird nesting restriction on all routes between Bosco’s Den and Quartz Corner (just east of Bacon Hole), including Minchin Hole.

From 1st March and 14th August, there is a bird nesting restriction between and including routes Central Cleft and Wimp at Turba Head.

From 1st March and 14th August, there is a bird nesting restriction between and including routes 5 Minutes to Kill and Early Warning at Yellow Wall.

The restrictions are reviewed in May – watch out for signs onsite or contact the National Trust Warden on (T: 01792 390636), for up-to-date details.

There is a permanent voluntary ban on climbing at Worm’s Head.

For further detailed information see the BMC's Regional Access Database.

Getting There

Unless you own your own yacht and are able to sail there, if you are to reach Gower you will need to make some sort of contact with Swansea.

By Car

If you're mode of transport car, then you will most likely be traveling from the east along the M4. To be fair even if coming from the east or north, the M4 is going to be means of approach. Junction 47 (SH 620 994) is the exit you want, and then take the A483, then the A4216 and then A4118. This involves driving around the suburbs of Swansea and is the quickest way to get to most of Gower's climbing venues. If you are heading to a venue east of Pennard however, may wish to access via Gower Mumbles and the B4593. For detailed route information it's recommended that you consult Google Maps or equivalent.

By Bus

Bus travel is widely available throughout the area, both in the form of coach travel and service buses. Service bus information can be obtained from the UK Bus Timetable Website Directory, while the National Express website has information on coach timetables.

By Rail

Gower itself is inaccessible by rail, but Swansea does have a station and does receive regular trains from London and the south-east. Further information on timetables and tickets can be obtained from National Rail. The station is serviced by regular buses, which will take you to the city's main bus terminal and then onto Gower

By Air

If you are coming from abroad, the best options are probably Bristol or Cardiff Airports, which are within a two hour drive of Gower's most accessible crags. Swansea does have a minor airport on it's western side, but you'll either have to own your own plane or have the funds to charter your own flight, to put it to any use, see Swansea Airport for further details.

Camping, Accommodation and other Visitor Information


Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Photo by daveyboy)

Camping and Accommodation

Given the size of the area, attempting to list a fair selection of camp sites, hostels, B&Bs, hotels and holiday cottages seems a little difficult, and anyway, there’s a huge supply of accommodation in Gower and Swansea and finding something that fits your needs shouldn’t be a problem. For a range of accommodation it’s worth checking out some of the following sites:

Youth Hostel Association in Wales

Independent Hostel Guide

Campsites in Glamorgan

Holiday Cottages on Gower

For everything else and more see Visit Swansea Bay’s website.

Pubs

Everyone enjoys a drink and a chat after a good day on the crag right? There are many more pubs than listed below but these are probably the best.

King Arthur Hotel - Reynoldston. Tel: (01792) 390775

Dolphin Inn - Llanrhidian. Tel: (01792) 391069.

Greyhound Inn - Llanrhidian. Tel: (01792) 391027.

Oxwich Bay Hotel - Oxwich Bay. Tel: (01792) 390329

Britannia Inn - Llanmadoc. Tel: (01792) 386624

Tourist Information Centres

Handy sources of visitor information.

Swansea TIC

Mumbles TIC

Maps

Navigation Maps

Ordnance Survey 1:25k Explorer Series Sheet 164 Gower/Gŵyr

Ordnance Survey 1:50k Landranger Series 159 Swansea and Gower/Abertawe a Gŵyr

Road Maps

Ordnance Survey Tour Series 11 South & Mid Wales

Guidebooks

Walking on Gower Cicerone Guide: Walking on Gower by Andrew Davies

A nice little guide covering 30 circular routes on Gower.

Gower and S.E. Wales Gower and S.E. Wales by Goi Ashmore and Roy Thomas

A comprehensive guide to rock climbing on Gower and South East Wales. Looks a bit dated but still useful.

Gower Rock Gower Rock: Selected Rock Climbs by Stuart Llewelyn and Matt Woodfield

A lavish and well presented selected guide to the best Gower has to offer.

Gower Sport Climbing Gower Sport Climbing by Adrian Berry

A great little guide to sport routes on Gower. Download's straight to your phone or tablet or whatever piece of technology you usually take to the crag.

External Links

Caswell Bay (Photo by daveyboy)

Traverse of the Three Cliffs (Photo by Nanuls)

Worms Head (Photo by daveyboy)

Government Bodies and Other Organisations

Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

City and County of Swansea

Natural Resources Wales

CADW

Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Wales

Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust

The National Trust

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Outdoor Clubs, Organisations and Companies

British Mountaineering Council

South Wales Mountaineering Club

The Climbers’ Club

UKClimbing

Gower Live

Weather

Met Office

BBC Weather

Tide Tables

BBC Tide Tables

UK Hydrographic Office

Tourist Information

Visit Wales

Visit Swansea Bay

Enjoy Gower

Travel Information

Welsh Public Transport Information

UK Train Timetable

Accommodation

Youth Hostel Association in Wales

Independent Hostel Guide

Campsites in Glamorgan

Maps and Guidebooks

Ordnance Survey

Cicerone Guidebooks

Rockfax

The Climbers’ Club

Cordee Travel and Adventure Sports Bookshop

South Wales Mountaineering Club Guidebook Wiki

South Wales Bouldering

Gower Bouldering

Wildlife and Conservation

Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

South West Wales Wildlife Trust

Sea Trust

Interactive map

An XHTML 1.0 Strict standard template






Tor Gro and North Hill Tor

The north facing Tor Gro strikes an impressive profile above the Landimore and Llanrhidian Mashes. It would be completely non-tidal if it weren't for the fact that the access track floods on the occasional spring tide. The routes are located on a number of long slabs, which in places reach up to 45 metres.

North Hill Tor is home to some reasonable routes, unfortunately you're no longer aloud to climb any of them thanks to the landowner threatening violence towards those who venture onto his property. The BMC has advised no one climb there.

Scroll down for more information





Blue Pool and Burry Holm

TTEXT Notable crags include:

Morfa Slabs,
Penmorfa,
Trwynllwnog,
Ynysdeullyn,
Pen Castell Coch,
Craig Llong, and
Trwyn Llong.

Scroll down for more information





Rhossili

TEXT Notable crags include:

Penclegyr (east),
Ogof Dwfn,
The Black Cliff, and
Penclegyr (west).

Scroll down for more information






Fall Bay to Mewslade

TEXT Notable crags include:

Steep Zawn,
Trwyn Llwyd,
Craig Hebog,
Carn Porth Llong,
Mur Cenhinen,
Craig Coetan, and
St. David's Head.

Scroll down for more information






Thurba Head

TEXT Notable crags include:

Pencarnan Slabs,
Porth Cadno,
Llenrac Slabs,
Green Slab, and
Purple Slab.

Scroll down for more information






Rams Tor and Deborah's Area

TEXT Notable crags include:

Porth Clais,
Porth-y-Ffynnon,
St. Non's,
Craig Caerfai,
Caerbwdi Bay, and
Carreg-y-Barcud.

Scroll down for more information






Paviland and Juniper Wall

TEXT Notable crags include:

Berry Slade,
Western Walls,
Funlands,
Strata Walls,
Linney Point,
Pen-y-Holt,
Cabin Door,
Bulliber,
Mount Sion, and
Greenham Common.

Scroll down for more information






Hollow Top to Port Eynon

TEXT Notable crags include:

The Green Bridge,
The Cauldron,
Crystal Slabs,
Mewsford Point,
Crickmail Point,
The Castle,
Saddle Head,
Bosherston Head,
Huntsman's Leap,
Stennis Head,
Stennis Ford,
Trevellan, and
St. Govan's Head.

Scroll down for more information






Oxwich

Notable crags include:

Broad Haven,
Saddle Bay,
Raming Hole,
Mowing Word,
Stackpole Head, and
Barafundle Bay.

Scroll down for more information





Three Tors

Notable crags include:

Forbidden Head,
Western Crags,
Mother Carey's Kitchen, and
The South East Corner of Lydstep Head.

Scroll down for more information






Three Cliffs Bay

Three Cliffs Bay forms the focal point for what is perhaps one of Wales’ most iconic and best loved landscapes. The climbing, which more often than not matches the sublimity of the landscape in which it sites, takes place on the bay’s tri-pinnacled centrepiece and provides some of Gower’s most sought-after routes. By far the best of these is to the superb Scavenger (VS 4c), which takes the slab on the right side of the crag’s distinctive sea cave.

Scroll down for more information






Shire Comb to Watch House

TEXT Notable crags include:

Proud Giltar,
Rusty Point,
Becks Point,
Giltar Slabs, and
Giltar Point.

Scroll down for more information






Foxhole Cove

TEXT Notable crags include:

Proud Giltar,
Rusty Point,
Becks Point,
Giltar Slabs, and
Giltar Point.

Scroll down for more information






Minchen Hole to Quartz Corner

TEXT Notable crags include:

Proud Giltar,
Rusty Point,
Becks Point,
Giltar Slabs, and
Giltar Point.

Scroll down for more information






Pennard

TEXT Notable crags include:

Proud Giltar,
Rusty Point,
Becks Point,
Giltar Slabs, and
Giltar Point.

Scroll down for more information






Bantam Bay

Like the name might suggest, Bantam Bay is a small bay on the edge of Pennard. Few people bother to climb here, largely because the routes are dirty and have atrocious run outs. Nevertheless, some of the routes are quite good and might be worth a look if you've exhausted Gower's other crags.

Scroll down for more information






Pwll Du

Pwll Du offers a mixture of trad and sport routes, all of which could either be described as quite hard or rock solid (if you'll pardon the pun). Most of the climbing takes place in the quarry situated on the west side of Pwll Du Bay, while a smaller number of routes have been recorded on Pwll Du Buttress, which for some reason was formally known as Goonland Rocks, just to its right. The quarry is home to one of South Wales' best hard routes, Senser, which can either be climbed on bolts at F7c+ or on trad gear at E6 6b.

Scroll down for more information






Caswell Bay

Caswell Bay has a great beach and some great crags, making it a popular destination with both tourists and climbers. Routes are mostly on the easy side making it a great destination for beginners or simply for those looking for an easy time. The route of the crag is Nat Not (VS 4c), a fund and devious line up Caswell's Great Slab.

Scroll down for more information






Whiteshell Point

A short leaning wall situated on the east side of the headwall to the east of Caswell Bay. The routes are short, difficult and probably not worth the trip alone.

Scroll down for more information






Rams Tor

Despite having a good compliment of high quality routes, Rams Tor has never been a popular destination with climbers. This is largely because despite their quality, the trad routes were poorly protected and the sport routes were sparsely protected by dubious rusty old bolts. In fact, it is probable that most of the routes here were never repeated. That is until 2008, when a major effort was made to replace all the old bolts with stainless glue-in anchors. Bolts were also added to the previously traditionally unprotected routes, effectively retro-bolting the entire crag. Rockfax has a free miniguide available on their wbsite.

Scroll down for more information






Mumbles

Mumbles or The Mumbles, or even Y Mwmbwls if you speak Welsh, is perhaps better known as a destination for getting drunk than for climbing (the pub crawl known as the Mumbles Mile is a popular endeavour among those with no respect for their liver). Nevertheless, the crag around the lighthouse does offer a handful of good routes, despite its highly tidal nature. Magra Thea (E6 6b) is the cream of the crop.

The cliff behind the Conservative Club was once home to a number of good routes, but alas no more, these days it is covered by netting and has become part of a residential development. Just another reason to dislike the Tories.

Scroll down for more information






Barland Quarry

Barland Quarry is one of Gower's best sport venues. At first glance the quarry appears to be horrible, scrappy, broken and loose, however on closer inspection one will find a superb, 60 metre high slab that is home to some great little routes. Routes range from F4+ to F7b+, the best of which is Geef Onze Fietsen Terug! (F6c+), which is Dutch for Give Us Our Bicycles Back, apparantly.

Scroll down for more information





Table Test

Name Country Height
Ben Nevis Scotland 1434
Snowdon Wales 1085

Table Test

Site Name Area (ha) Latitude Longitude Grid Reference

panorama



Snowdonia TEST

“I must not pass over in silence the mountains called by the Welsh Eryri, but by the British Snowdon, or the mountains of Snow, which... seem to rear their lofty summits even to the clouds”

Geraldus Cambrensis - Itinerarium Cambriae (1191)