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Oxwich Bay on the Gower Dog Walk Gallery

Local Walks & Reservoirs

South Wales Dog Friendly Walks - Oxwich Bay, Gower, Swansea

Oxwich Bay Beach Dog Walking and paddling in waves

Oxwich Bay Dog Walk: Information

The pretty village of Oxwich is at the Western end of Oxwich Bay
For a small village with a population of less than two hundred, it has alot to offer. It boasts a number of thatched cottages, two castles and a National Nature Reserve with a wide variety of bird and plant life.
Plus of course, the bay with its glorious sand dunes, towering cliffs and shady woods.

Oxwich Bay Dog Walks dogs walking on sandy beach

Oxwich Bay Dog Walk: Information

Facilities include:
Shops - including ice cream shops near the hotel side of the beach in summer.

Very large car park which is nearly always pretty empty when I go. Private fee charged - normally £2.00 but seems to vary upwards a bit in the peak season or peak times of day, while on quiet days the booth is unmanned and you can park for free. Just take a note of the sign announcing what time at night they lock the gates or you will be locked in overnight. I notice they are very accurate about locking the barriers, probably to avoid overnight campers staying here for free.

Toilets at the hotel end of the beach (sometimes closed off-peak). There is another set of toilets (always open I find) just off the lane between the hotel and the beach - make your way to where there is a pedestrian gate through the stone wall separating beach from hotel, just before you get on to the lane that leads to the hotel and on towards Oxwich Point.

Places to eat & drink - loads of possible picnic areas.

Suitable for water sports with ramped access to the beach and a slipway in to the sea for boats.

Tip: Go on a weekday around lunch time or in the morning if you are holidaying in Wales and prefer peace and quiet. Weekends and weekday evenings when it is sunny are best avoided, otherwise you will get caught up in the traffic as everyone and his dog head for the sandy coastal bays of the Gower. I like it when there are very few people on the beach which, most times I go, there are (very few).

Oxwich Bay Dog Walks dogs paddling in waves on beach

Oxwich Bay Dog Walk: Information

Oxwich is a lovely beach backing onto sand dunes, but if its peace and quiet that you are looking for, leave the Oxwich Hotel end of the bay behind you and walk along the bay with your back to the Hotel, towards Three Cliffs Bay.

After a few hundred yards you will find you are on your own, as most of the day visitors tend to congregate near the hotel end of the bay. Once you have walked a mile or so away from the Oxwich Bay hotel (from this distance it looks rather a small stubby little building and it certainly does not 'dominate' the bay) you will find yourself alone on this massive sandy beach, aside from the odd dog walker on a busy day.

Oxwich Bay Dog Walks beach scenery in evening

Oxwich Bay Dog Walk: Information

Dogs are allowed on this beach all year round. Jack and Sheeba tend to have a great time chasing seagulls, splashing happily through the shallow waves. However even Jack has rather given up chasing them as he gets older, realising they fly off in plenty of time.

On occasion it has been sufficiently warm for even I to swim on this beach, which for me is quite warm. Others are paddling in the shallow waters and swimming in the bay area around the hotel all summer. To get out of your depth you do have to go a fair way out.

Oxwich Bay Dog Walks dogs on rocks at end of bay

Oxwich Bay Dog Walk: Information

If you walk to the opposite end of the Bay from Oxwich Bay Hotel, you will come to a rocky promontary. At low tide you can skirt around this and continue your walk for another 30 minutes or so, along the next Bay, which is Three Cliffs Bay. Just be sure to watch the tide for the return journey.

If you do get stuck the Three Cliffs Bay end, you can find a path over the headland back to Oxwich Bay, though I have never had to do this.

Oxwich Bay Dog Walks man touches rock cliff at end of bay

Oxwich Bay Dog Walk: Information

Normally I walk from one end to the other and touch the rocks the other end to confirm I have made it to the end.

The privately owned Oxwich Bay is one of Gower's most scenic and peaceful stretches of golden sands.

Oxwich was voted Britain's best beach, and one of the top 12 in the world by The Travel Magazine in February 2007.
Watersports of every kind take place here, including sailing, surfing, diving, waterskiing and windsurfing. However the larger Rhossilli Bay is more popular with surfers and watersports. This bay is much quieter and more peaceful.

Oxwich Bay Dog Walks dogs walking on rocks

Oxwich Bay Dog Walk: Information

Oxwich Bay includes a 2.5 mile long sandy beach, accessible from the village of Oxwich. It feels longer when you walk to the end, probably because I sometimes detour over a small narrow footbridge to avoid crossing a small stream that exits onto the beach half way along.

I can normally get from one end to the other in 35 - 40 minutes and then walk back again, so it is a nice two hour walk with stops for throwing sticks for the dogs.

Oxwich Bay Dog Walks rocks between three cliffs bay and oxwich bay

Oxwich Bay Dog Walk: Information
A wetland site at the rear of the dunes forms Oxwich Burrows National Nature Reserve. The dunes are crossed by a small stream called Nicholaston Pill. The bay ends at the eastern end with the cliffs of High Tor but at low tide, a continuous sandy beach connects with Three Cliffs Bay beyond.

Oxwich Bay landscape view of the bay

Oxwich Bay Dog Walk: Information

There is a public footpath along the cliffs from Oxwich Bay Hotel, around Oxwich Point (shown in the picture above), and this path eventually leads to Port Eynon Bay. I have walked a few miles along here as an alternative to walking along the beach itself. It is a good walk with some wooded areas, a bit undulating/ hilly in places, then the path levels out with views over the sea. I have not walked as far as Port Eynon.

Apparently buses run every couple of hours between Oxwich and Port Eynon if you are inclined to do the full walk and then get a bus back, though I would not chance a return lift in winter as I doubt the buses are quite so frequent in the off season.

Oxwich Bay in evening light

Oxwich Bay Dog Walk: Information
Submarine cables leave the mainland of Britain from Oxwich. These include the SOLAS cable across the Irish Sea, and the TAT-11 and Gemini North transatlantic telephone cables. These latter two do not terminate here but instead continue on to France and England.

Oxwich Bay shadow of two people on a walk on beach

Oxwich Bay Dog Walk: Information

"Almost hidden from view, beneath the glooming shadows of the woods neighbouring Oxwich Bay, nestles the church of St. Illtyd's. (This is on the woodland walk to Port Eynon leading off from Oxwich Bay Hotel).

Reputedly, a Christian building has been present on this site since the 6th century, but the current building is a largely 13th century construction with a 14th century tower.

The interior of the church contains monuments from the 13th and 14th centuries, most notably the De La Mere family effigies, made from local sand and plaster, in a recess locally know as 'Doolamur's Hole'.

It is said that the depicted armed Knight and his Lady represent two members of the De La Mere family who owned Oxwich Castle and tragically drowned in Oxwich Bay in the early 14th century. However, some historians have argued that the style of the Knight's armour is distinctly 15th century, suggesting that the effigies are of Sir John Penres and his wife Margaret Fleming, who held the manor of Oxwich at the time.

The chancel is the oldest part of the church and indeed the smallest in Gower. Some speculate that this may in fact be the original 6th century Celtic cell, but there is little evidence to support this viewpoint. The ancient font is believed to have been personally placed in the church by the Celtic Saint, St Illtyd, to whom the church is dedicated.

The bell, housed in the tower, dates back to the 14th century. It bears an inscription comparable to one of Rhossili's church bells: "Sancta Maria ora pro nobis" meaning 'Pray for us St. Mary'.

The bell was recast in 1892 during a church restoration programme costing £1,000 and financed by Miss Emily Talbot of Penrice Castle. The outer walls to the church were largely left untouched except for the addition of two windows in the nave and one in the chancel. New drains were cut to remedy the damp rising from the vaults and a new roof and flooring was laid throughout. A vestry was added to the south side of the chancel.

The upper churchyard possesses an easily overlooked well that has long since dried up. However, in the past, locals believed the well to be haunted. On one occasion a ghostly white horse called a 'ceffyl dwr' or water horse in Welsh folklore, was seen in the churchyard before it seemingly vanished into the waters of the well.
Towards the rear of the churchyard lays the final resting place of a Royal Navy soldier, "known unto God", whose body was discovered washed ashore on Oxwich Bay during the first World War.

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