A Guide to Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower
A Guide to Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower

A Guide to Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower

Three Cliffs Bay is one of the most impressive beaches on the Gower peninsula. It’s a wide horseshoe shaped beach encased by steep, adventurous cliffs that jut out into the sea.

The beach is one of the better-known ones on the Gower and on a sunny day makes for the perfect escape to nature. However, if like me you’re an outdoors enthusiast, then you’ll find the bay’s beautifully scenery impressive whatever the weather.

In this guide to Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower peninsula, you’ll learn how to get to the bay by public transport and driving, where you can park and what you can do once you’ve arrived.

Table of contents

Sand dune trail leading to Three Cliffs Bay beach on the Gower.

How to get to Three Cliffs Bay

You can get to Three Cliffs Bay by public transport and driving.

Public transport

Depending on where you’re coming from, you’ll almost always need to start your journey by getting a train to Swansea. The train station is in the city centre and the next leg of the journey, the first bus, departs from just outside.

To get to the bus, leave the train station at the main entrance and you’ll immediately see High Street Station bus stop. Here you’ll need to take the X13 bus and get off at Kingsway. You could walk to Kingsway instead, which will take around 10 minutes.

At Kingsway you’ll need to take a second bus. It’s the number 14 and this bus ride encompasses the vast majority of the journey. It runs parallel to Swansea seafront at first, but then once past the city, turns inland taking you all the way to the town of Pennard. You’ll head into Pennard and need to get off at South Gate Post Office.

The last section of the journey is a 1.1 km walk from the post office to Three Cliffs Bay beach. Start by heading down Bendrick Drive, which leads towards the beach. Towards the end of this road, there will be a path to the right. Take this and it’ll take you to the cliffs above Three Cliffs Bay. From here there are a number of sandy and steep trails dropping down to the beach. 


Driving from Swansea to Three Cliffs Bay should take you between 30 and 40 minutes depending on traffic and there are two routes.

The first route is the same as the way which the bus goes. You’ll take Mumbles Road (A4067) parallel to the beach front until you get to the junction with Mayals Road (B4436). Turn onto Mayals Road and stay on the B4436 all the way into Pennard.

The second driving route is the longer option, but it avoids the Swansea seafront area. This is probably best on busy days such as public holidays. The A4118 — which has different street names for its different sections — takes you out of Swansea and almost the entire way to Three Cliffs Bay.

You’ll stay on the A4118 until you come to a turning with Vennaway Lane. Vennaway Lane is part of the B4436, so if you take this turning, you join the final section of the first driving route I explained previously, and will end up in Pennard. Alternatively, instead of turning onto Vennaway Lane, you can continue along the A4118 as this will bring you all the way into the village of Parkmill, which sits just behind Three Cliffs Bay.

Both of these driving routes lead to potential parking options which I’ll explain next.

Yellow bushes in the foreground and a beach in the Gower in the background.

Parking at Three Cliffs Bay

Bear in mind that you’ll need to walk between 15 and 30 minutes to get to the beach depending on which of the following options you park at.  

Option 1: Southgate National Trust car park

Distance from beach: 2 km

The National Trust has a car park located in Southgate village. The car park sits just off a roundabout where you’ll also find a convenience shop and Three Cliffs Coffee. This a great spot to grab a coffee and a bite to eat.

Simply join the Wales Coast Path from the car park and follow it in the direction of Three Cliffs Bay. After about 25 minutes walking you’ll come to the cliffs above Pobbles Bay, the smaller beach that separated from Three cliffs Bay by the namesake three cliffs.

From the cliffs you’ll see various routes through the sand dunes down to the beach. The descent is quite steep whichever way you choose and the shifting sand makes the underfoot a little tricky.

Option 2: Penmaen car park

Distance from beach: 1.1 km

The car park in Penmaen is your next and closest option to the beach. As you come into Penmaen on the A4118, the road forms a cross roads with North Hills Lane. Just off this cross roads on the opposite side to North Hills Lane is St John’s Baptist church. You’ll want to come off the A4118 here and head in the direction of the church. Continue past the church and shortly after the road forks. Bear right and on the right-hand side there is free parking.

To get to the beach, start by heading back down the rod you just came towards St John’s church. Cross the main road and walk down North Hills Lane. After a couple of minutes, you’ll have the option to turn right. Take this right turn and head downhill. A few minutes more and the road will fork. Both directions will take you to the beach.

Option 3: Shepherds of Gower (Parkmill)

Distance from beach: 2.5 km

Shepherds of Gower is a local convenience shop and café that opened its doors in 1896. The long-standing business has a small amount of parking available, for which you pay for in store. However, right next to the shop is a large field and during the summer months this is opened for parking — for which you must also pay.

From here it’s a scenic walk to the beach. Begin by heading over the river via the footbridge from the carpark into the woodland. Once in the woodland, head right and continue along the trail which follows the river.

After a few minutes walking you’ll have the option to turn left or continue on straight.

Turning left will take you to Pennard Castle. The trail here gets steeper and brings you up to Pennard golf course. Follow the edge of the golf course and you’ll come to Pennard Castle. From the castle you’ll see trails down to the beach through the sand dunes.

If you decide to head on straight instead of turning left to go to Pennard Castle, then, initially, the trail continues through more woodland. It then brings you alongside Pennard Pill before eventually leading you all the way to the sea.

Option 4: Gower Heritage Centre car park (Parkmill)

Distance from beach: 2.7 km

The Gower Heritage Centre car park (also known as ‘Three Cliffs Parking’) is another parking option. The car park is owned and operated by the heritage centre who charge different rates depending on how long you want to park for. Here’s a link to the heritage centre car park.  

The walk to Three Cliffs Bay from here is almost exactly the same as if you were to park at Shepherd’s of Gower car park. Come out of the Gower Heritage Centre car park and turn left. Head down the road and you’ll come to Shepherd’s of Gower. From here it’s the same route to the beach as I explained above.

Option 5: Find a space on a residential street

Distance from beach: depends on where you park

Your final option for parking is to find an available space on a residential street either in Penmaen, Parkmill or Pennard. Just be sure not to block access to any private property or to park on double yellow lines. Also have a quick look on the street for any signs that stipulate whether a parking permit is needed.

A bird flying above Three Cliffs Bay beach on the Gower.

Things to do at Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower

There are plenty of adventurous things to do at Three Cliffs Bay.

Three Cliffs Bay beach

The main attraction, Three Cliffs Bay beach is what most people come for. The hotter summer months make it one of the best places in Wales to go for a dip. And during the colder winter months, with swimming off the agenda, the moodier, greyer climate inspires a sense of serenity and a greater appreciation for the nature here.

Interesting features include Pennard Pill and, of course, the three cliffs. Pennard Pill is a large stream that flows from the valley into the sea by way of twisting and winding down the beach like a snake. The three cliffs are at the eastern side of the beach. They form a narrow spine that leads out into the water.

Walk along the cliffs

If the beach itself isn’t enough for you, then there are the cliffs above to enjoy too. The cliffs are lined with trails which form part of the Wales Coast Path and from these you get stellar views of Three Cliffs Bay.

To your left you’ll see the three cliffs, which you can walk out to along the clifftop trail. To the right there’s the Penmaen camping site nestled into the far side banks which lead up to Penmaen. And behind you, situated in what is arguable to best viewpoint of them all, is Pennard Castle.

Pennard Castle

The ruins of the once small yet mighty Pennard Castle are at the rear of Three Cliffs Bay atop the cliffs staring down the valley to the sea. The castle was built in the 12th century, but unlike other castle, couldn’t stand the test of time thanks to the shifting sand dunes beneath it.

Pennard castle looks picturesque against the scenic backdrop of Three Cliffs Bay and you get a view of Pennard Pill dissecting the beach, which looks pretty cool too.


Although it’s not one of Wales’ best beaches for surfing, time your trip well, and you will be able to catch a few waves at Three Cliffs Bay. The best time of year to surf here is in February, which, being winter, means you’ll also need a wetsuit. Here’s a surf report for Three Cliffs Bay for more information.

Pobbles Bay

The mighty three cliffs separate Three Cliffs Bay from the smaller Pobbles Bay. You can walk around the cliffs along the beach at low tide to get to and from Pobbles Bay. But at high tide, you’ll need to walk down to it from the cliffs above. As most people flock to Three Cliffs Bay, Pobbles Bay can be a convenient escape from the crowds.


As I mentioned before, Three Cliffs Bay makes up a section of the Wales Coast Path. If you want to explore a bit more of it and also see other parts of the Gower, then stick to the clifftop trials going either east or west.

A couple of miles to the west is the next big beach on the Gower: Oxwich Bay. A couple of miles to the east and you get to Pwll Du, a quaint shingle-lined beach home to a small cluster of lucky residents and great views.

Three Cliffs Bay beach on the Gower.

Other information about Three Cliffs Bay

Is Three Cliffs Bay Beach dog friendly?

Yes, dogs are allowed on Three Cliffs Bay beach. Unlike some of the other Gower beaches, you can bring your dog onto the beach here all year round.

How accessible is Three Cliffs Bay?

Three Cliffs Bay beach cannot be classed as ‘accessible’. Firstly, there’s the longish walk from wherever you park or get off the bus to the beach (which can be done my those with mobility issues). But then there are the steep dunes that take you down to the beach from the cliffs. These will make the beach inaccessible for some.

Get more travel guidance from A World Over

Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower peninsula is an incredible spot and I hope this guide helps you to organise your trip there. Head to this post to learn more about the beaches on the Gower. Or head to the A World Over blog where you’ll find all of my travel content full of guidance and recommendations.

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