How to get to Three Cliffs Bay
Three Cliffs Bay can only be accessed by foot. The main entrance way in to the Valley itself is from the Village of Parkmill, and during the summer months the field opposite the Barham Centre is one of the main car parking places for people undertaking a walk in to the Valley and down to the beach. There is parking available all year round at the Gower Heritage Centre in Parkmill and at the National Trust car park in Southgate.If you are parked at the Gower Heritage Centre then there is a short walk from their car park along Mill Lane past Shepherds Shop and then you cross over the road opposite the Barham Centre. The main foot path takes you along side Maes Y Haf Restaurant over a foot bridge where you cross Ilston stream and turning right onto the main track which then takes you down in to Three Cliffs.The first part of the track passes through Ash Woodlands and there are remains of previous larger tracks which were used by horse and cart, when limestone was also quarried in the Woodland area. As you go through the Woodland there is a turning left which will take you up to Southgate via Pennard Golf Course with the path also going past Pennard Castle.
The woodland section of the walk is home to many different species of plants throughout the year, in particular wild garlic, celandine, anemones, bluebells and wood sorrel.
Taking the path down in to the Valley it then leads you into the salt marsh area crossing the sand dunes underneath the base of the Castle then following along side the river until you reach the shingle bank over looking the beach and Three Cliffs themselves.
There is a rich diversity of plant life on the salt marsh and also on the banks of the riverside there are rare species of plants such as orchids and yellow whitlow grass. At different times of the year there is also considerable fungus life in different parts of the marsh area.
There are several other paths accessible from the Valley, the one to the left as you walk down the side of the river takes you back up on to the golf course and some will lead you over the dunes and on to the Three Cliffs themselves. The other side of the Three Cliffs is another small beach called Pobbles with a foot path taking you back to the golf course and a further pathway taking you on to the opposite Cliffs with a Cliff top walk to Southgate and the National Trust car park. Many of these pathways can be seen on the ordnance survey map and can also be down loaded from our I Phone App which is listed as Gower in the I Phone index.
On the right hand side of the bay the footpaths take you to Penmaen and there is a crossing point at the river with stepping stones which are accessible for most of the time other than at high tides above 11 meters.
For those wanting to camp in Three Cliffs there is a site directly over looking the bay at North Hill Farm, and there is also a foot path leading directly in to the Farm which has facilities for camper vans and tents. There is also a small shop in the Farm yard. The coastal path can also be connected on the Penmaen side of the river with the new coastal path signage directing you along the next part of the route which would take you over to Torbay and then on to Oxwich. There is another camp site enroute at Nicholaston Farm.
Along the shingle bank fronting the bay at Three Cliffs is the remains of a Celtic stone spiral and up on the Cliff Top on the Penmaen side is the remains of an old Iron Age Hill Fort. When the tide is right out you are able to walk around the Three Cliffs and through them using the sea arch, watch out for climbers on the Three Cliffs themselves.
There is plenty of marine life on the sea shore with very many different species of seaweed crustaceans and you will often see the remains of cockles. As the tide comes in there is usually small shoals of mullett and some bass which will be swimming up the river. The whole Valley is also home to a number of bird species including the heron, kingfisher and native mallard ducks. The heron is often seen fishing on some of the river beds.