Gower Surfers Guide Quick links

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Visit Swansea Bay hosts the best Beach in Britain again!

Best beach in Britain, Britain's Best Beach, Rhossili Bay, TripAdvisor

Rhossili Bay - TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice
Have you heard? Rhossili Bay is still Britain’s best beach. It’s done it again! For a second year running!! And the visitswanseabay.com team have barely been able to contain their excitement since they were sworn into secrecy a little over a week ago. The Gower Peninsula became the UK’s first designated area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956 and, in 2014, Rhossili Bay has become the first beach to top the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award charts as the best beach in Britain twice in a row. It is Outstandingly Beautiful though, to be fair. For those of you who don’t already know, Rhossili Bay is only a 30 minute drive from Swansea, and it’s well worth a detour.
TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel website, reaching more than 260 million unique monthly visitors. TripAdvisor spokesperson, James Kay said:
“These awards recognise the best beaches in the UK and worldwide, according to the travellers that have visited and given them the highest levels of praise. To have a Welsh beach named among not only the best in Europe, but the best in the world, just goes to show how lucky we are in the UK to have such stunning scenery right on our doorstep.”
Winners of the Travellers’ Choice awards are chosen based on ratings and reviews left by TripAdvisor users. You could argue that they’re the people’s choice. And the ‘people’ on TripAdvisor are a savvy bunch when it comes to travel information. Rhossili Bay is home to Worms Head, which is arguably the Gower Peninsula’s signature landmark. Its’ name comes from ‘Wyrm’ which is a Viking word for dragon. And you can see why as it snakes out to sea from the easternmost point of Rhossili Bay. The more adventurous of people can tame the dragon by climbing out over it. Be sure to check the tide times though – it can be very dangerous if you time it wrong.
Rhossili Bay and Worms Head have had their fair share of the limelight over the past couple of years. They’ve featured as the sets of ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Torchwood’, the film ‘Edge of Love’ and the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony to name a few examples. This week marks the launch of the brand new visitswanseabay.com website and to celebrate, we’re running a fantastic competition. We’re offering the chance to win a 7 day stay in the National Trust’s Old Rectory on Rhossili Bay. Take alook at the video below. Why not enter now for your chance to make Britain’s best beach your front garden for a week?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Surf the summer away at Caswell Bay, Swansea with Gower surfing school

Surf girls heading out at caswell bay
Do I need to book my son/daughter in?
You will need to book in advance as the junior surf academy is very popular with visitors and Swansea Bay residents.
What age groups does it suit?
All surfers must be able to swim 50 meters. If under the age of 8 then a parent/guardian must stay at the beach. We do get 5 - 7 year olds attending for half a day plus weather dependant. Most surfers are between 8 - 14 years old.
What about food?
There are cafes at the beach for hot and cold snacks, so parents/guardians can provide a pack lunch and perhaps a few pounds for snacks that will keep the young surfers going all day.
When does the JSA run?
We run the academy all school even at Christmas time. The sessions run SEVEN DAYS A WEEK and this summer we are offering working parents the chance to drop off at 08.50 a.m and pick up time of 15.30
How much does it cost?
You can pay for Junior surfing Half day or all day junior surfing option of £30.  We also have a five day rate of £130 which can be used as week course or one day a week for five weeks or any combination that suits your needs.(NB you can pay online via the following link: Junior surf academy)
What do they need to bring with them?
The consent form which is emailed with booking or can be found here and printed off, warm clothing even if the sun is shining, a big bag to ensure their clothes are kept dry whilst surfing. Pack lunch and some snack money for hot drinks etc Any medication such as Asthma pumps which can be kept in the dry bag on the beach. Also SUNBLOCK.
What happens at the JSA?
We run it like a school day but more fun of course! There are three breaks throughout the day, morning, lunch and afternoon. In addition to the learning to surf we aim to build confidence in the ocean with water related games and training, we incorporate dry land games and activities and you will find that after a day on the beach the surfer sleeps well!
What if it is raining?
Even better for us as this means the beach will be empty and we get to have it all to ourselves, we will all be in wetsuits, so rain or shine it does not make any difference.
If the red flag is flying then we will not be going in the water and alternative activities will be arranged, this hs only happened twice at Caswell in the last 10 years.
After the summer do you keep on surfing?
Yes we keep surfing until the end of October, and this year we will be moving our surfing squads and sessions indoors at the LC Swansea. Which we are really excited about as this will help keep everyone fit and ready to go for April/May when we hit Caswell again.
Surf coach gower surf gower
Are the staff qualified and Is the surf school reputable?
GSD is the only licensed surf school in Swansea bay region (licensed by City & County of Swansea) We have been running surfing lessons here in the UK for 15 years with a high repeat customer visit rate; used by most Local Authorities here in South Wales; a member of 'Visit Wales in Style'; chosen by the LC in Swansea to help with the opening ceremony and to provide surfing lessons year round indoor at the flowrider; plus used by Kent County Council, Birmingham City Council, Millfield, Marlborough College, Clifton College and many more.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Summer surfing in the Swansea Bay region with SurfGSD the only licensed surf school in the area

Summer surfing in Swansea Bay Region

My office
Not long to go and the summer holidays will be upon us, we have our busy Junior Surfing  Academy running at Caswell Bay every day/week of the summer holidays.
Please see our surfing academy information page by clicking here: Summer surfing at Caswell Bay or you can simply book online here: Shop gsd junior surfing
Caswell bay surfing school

Stand Up Paddle boarding in Swansea Bay at the 360 centre

Stand up paddle boarding (or SUP, for short) was born in Hawaii in the 1950′s and has now become the latest craze to sweep our nation’s coastline.  It is the fastest growing water sport worldwide where you use a long single ended paddle to move through the water while standing on a surf style board.  The sport is a fantastic all over body work out, especially for strengthening core and upper body muscles.
This means all of our instructors are suitable ASI qualified and experienced and we meet all of the ASI’s tough health and safety requirements.  This will ensure you have fun and stay safe on the water.
Take part in our taster sessions and paddle your way into an exciting new sport.  Come and explore Swansea bay, learn new paddling techniques & boost your knowledge of the sport whilst meeting new people and gaining confidence on the water.  We offer 1 hour kids sessions priced at £9.50 which are suitable for those age 10+ and 1 hour adult sessions priced at £12.50 which are suitable for those age 16+.
Please ensure you read our terms and conditions before booking, if you have any questions or need a hand with your booking then feel free to call us on 01792 655844.
Your friends and family can relax in our Café Bar and watch you take part in your session.  Our Café Bar has fantastic views of the beach & Swansea Bay, so even if they’re not taking part they won’t miss out on any of the action.
If you would like to take your SUP skills to the next level then please drop us an email to info@360swansea.co.uk and we’ll send you more details about our intermediate and advanced courses.
Here at 360 we use excellent quality Fanatic soft top paddle boards with adjustable paddles to suit your height.  These boards are great for beginners, they provide a larger surface area for maximized balance helping you to build up your expertise and gain confidence.  Use of the boards and paddles is included in the session cost.
Safety comes first with us here at 360, as well as being an ASI school, we also hold an Adventure Activities License.  All customers will wear a buoyancy aid whilst on the water and should follow the instructions given by the instructor at all times.  360 will ensure that the weather and tidal conditions are suitable, so you can enjoy your SUP session to the max!
Please ensure you bring your swimwear to put on underneath the wetsuit we will provide you.  Although footwear is not provided, we do recommend you bring and wear suitable footwear to protect your feet whilst on the beach.   We will provide you with a waterproof top and buoyancy aid for your session.  All clothing we provide is included in the session cost.  Don’t forget to bring a towel as our changing, shower and locker facilities are free for you to use.  Please not our lockers require a padlock with a 6-8mm diameter shackle, bring your own or you can purchase a resettable combination padlock from 360 for £5.

It's summer are you fit?

Summer is here let's get fit!

4 Jun 2013
Summer is on its way, and there’s no better time to get that beach body you’ve always dreamed of!Fit for Summer
With over 100 fitness classes every week and a friendly fitness team on hand to help you shape up, lose weight and feel great – you’ll be proud to be seen in your swimwear this summer!
Memberships start from just £26 a month. So what are you waiting for, call us on 01792 466500 and start working on your beach body now!

Dylan Thomas favourite park set for Under Milk Wood, info from Visit Swansea Bay

Under Milk Wood set for Dylan's favourite park

Under Milk Wood's 60th birthday will be celebrated at a Swansea park that inspired some of Dylan Thomas' works

image depicting Cwmdonkin Park, Swansea
Cwmdonkin Park, Swansea
Children from the city's Dylan Thomas Community School will perform the play at Cwmdonkin Park on Wednesday July 3 and Thursday July 4.
The free performances are among several events taking place at the park in the build-up to its grand opening in September to mark the completion of a major refurbishment project.
The park's refurbishment is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Welsh Government's Sustainable Tourism Project backed by the European Regional Development Fund, Swansea Council and the Friends of Cwmdonkin Park.
Cllr Nick Bradley, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: "Cwmdonkin Park is located within a stone's throw of Dylan Thomas' childhood home on Cwmdonkin Drive and helped inspire some of his work.
"This is why it's hugely fitting that Under Milk Wood's 60th birthday should be marked with a series of performances at the park that will help open up Dylan's works to yet another generation of young people.
"It's also especially apt that the park's refurbishment will be complete in time for celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of Dylan Thomas' birth next year."
DT100 is a high-profile festival to mark the centenary of Dylan Thomas' birth in 2014. The Welsh Government is leading the co-ordination of activity in Wales along with its partners - the Arts Council of Wales; the British Council; Carmarthenshire Council; Ceredigionshire Council, Swansea Council and Cadw. The aim of all partners is to ensure the festival delivers educational, cultural and tourism benefits before, during and after 2014.
Other aspects of the park's refurbishment include the upgrade of the Dylan Thomasshelter, the restoration of the Dylan Thomas drinking fountain and the refurbishment of paths, railings and benches. A nostalgic tearoom recapturing the creative spirit of 1930s Swansea has also now opened in the park's refurbished bowls pavilion.
Other events upcoming at the park include a bat and moth night on Friday June 14 and a series of Dylan Thomas photography workshops.
Have a look at www.cwmdonkinpark.co.uk to see a brochure that outlines details of all the park's forthcoming events and activities. The brochure is also available from the Swansea Tourist Information Centre on Plymouth Street.
Visit www.ticketsource.co.uk/cwmdonkin to reserve tickets for Under Milk Wood

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

All you need to know if visiting Swansea Bay or Gower with your Dog courtesy of Visitswanseabay


Beach information for dog-owners

image depicting Dog-friendly beaches on the Gower Peninsula
Dog-friendly beaches on the Gower Peninsula
The Gower Peninsula is a very popular destination for dog-owners, with many of its beaches allowing year-round access for dogs.  These include Rhossili, voted the UK's No. 1 dog-friendly beach by The Times.
The full list of Swansea Bay and Gower beaches which allow year-round access for dogs is as follows:
  1. Swansea Bay from the slip (opposite Victoria Park) to the beach access at Sketty Lane Car Park (opposite the Wales National Pool/Singleton Boating Lake)
  2. Mumbles (as far as the lighthouse)
  3. Pwll Du
  4. Pobbles
  5. Three Cliffs Bay
  6. Tor Bay
  7. Crawley
  8. Oxwich Bay
  9. Horton (from the Lifeguard Station east towards Oxwich)
  10. Port Eynon (from the main steps west to the Salt House)
  11. Mewslade Bay
  12. Rhossili Bay
  13. Llangennith
  14. Broughton Bay, North Gower
  15. Whiteford Sands, North Gower
Seasonal dog ban
There is an annual, five-month access restriction for dogs on some beaches, which means that a small number are off-limits to dogs from May 1st to September 30th each year.  During this period, visitors with dogs are asked to keep to the beaches listed above, which allow year-round access.
Between May 1st and September 30th each year, dogs are not allowed on the following beaches:
  1. Swansea Bay from the River Tawe to the slip (opposite Victoria Park)
  2. Swansea Bay from the beach access at Sketty Lane Car Park (opposite the Wales National Pool/Singleton Boating Lake) to the Northern edge of the slip (opposite the West Cross Inn)
  3. Bracelet Bay, near Mumbles
  4. Limeslade Bay, near Mumbles
  5. Rotherslade Bay, Langland
  6. Langland Bay
  7. Caswell Bay
  8. Port Eynon beach (from the eastern edge of the steps to the eastern edge of Horton beach access)
Please keep your dog on a lead at:
  1. The entire promenade around Swansea Bay (from the River Tawe to the Knab Rock Car Park in Mumbles)
  2. The promenade at Langland Bay and Rotherslade
  3. The promenade at Caswell Bay (including the cliff path)
Any Council officer or Police Officer may require you to remove your dog from the beach. Any offenders may be liable for a fine of up to £500. 
Collars and tags
Dogs in public places must wear a collar with the name and address of the owner attached. If you are holidaying in Swansea, you may find it useful to have a temporary collar for your dog, with your holiday address on it.
Microchipping is not a legal requirement, but it helps the Local Authority contact you if your dog is impounded. If you have lost your dog, please contact City & County of Swansea as soon as possible on 01792 635 600.
Dog fouling
The City & County of Swansea has installed over 400 dog waste disposal bins and, in some areas, poop scoop dispensers. Dog owners who allow their animals to foul, without cleaning up, risk a fixed penalty notice of £75. Please help keep Swansea Bay clean and use the bins provided for your dog.

If you have any queries, contact the City & County of Swansea Environment Department on 01792 635 600, or email evh@swansea.gov.uk.