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Sunday, June 28, 2009


Gower, WalesLook across from Devon on a clear day and you will see Swansea. Beyond Swansea is the peninsula of Gower - a peninsula that was deemed of such beauty and value that it became the first designated area of natural beauty in the UK.

Much of Gower is protected by the natural trust, and there are huge number of walks in pristine and protected country side. Head off at the right time, and you could see badgers, foxes and maybe even an otter. Birdwatchers are also often entranced by the huge range ofbirdlife that can be seen here. Buzzards, herons and kingfishers are all resident throughout the year but the diverse environment - marsh, woodlands, beaches, dunes, woods, bog - attracts a huge range of visitors throughout the year.

Gower is also a great place for a beach holiday. While a few places get busy, if you are prepared to walk for a few minutes it is always easy to avoid the crowds. One superb beach that never gets overcrowded, despite being awarded the best beach in Britain title by the BBC, is Three Cliffs. Head through a small, green wood along a burbling stream and you will break out into a little valley, where marsh ponies graze on short grass between two hills - one topped by an old castle. In front of you lies Three Cliffs beach, opposite the cliffs of Oxwich, and overlooked by the three great rocks that give the bay its name.

Gower is also visited by thrill seekers. Surfers have been visitors to the area for years, and more recently kite boarders have taken to the Gower Seas, but braver souls take to the cliffs at Rhossili and para glide up into the thermal currents. Others prefer throwing themselves off the cliffs, taking a long deep plunge into the foaming sea, or abseiling down into one of Gower's many caves.

In the summer Gower can get busy, and accommodation gets filled up fast, so it best to book in advance. The Gower Accommodation site, Gower Holiday Home, offers what is probably the best self catering accommodation available in Gower, as well as a guide to other accommodation in the area. Things get cheaper in the low season, and it is well worth signing up for the Gower Holiday Home newsletter for discounts and cheap holidays in the autumn, winter and spring.

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