A walk up Llanmadoc Hill
A walk up Llanmadoc Hill.
The second highest point on Gower, Llanmadoc Hill is a great place to spend an afternoon. At 186 metres it has wonderful views across North and West Gower with the sand dunes and pine forest of the NT nature reserve of Cwm Ivy and Whitford Burrows forming a spit of land which juts out into the Loughor estuary below. To the West of this landmark is Broughton Bay and to the East the salt marsh at Llanrhidian, where the soft ground is cut through with veins of water, which from a distance gives the striking appearance of craquelure in paint.
On clear days you can see over the Estuary to the Pembrey Country park in Llanelli and across the sea to Pembrokeshire with Caldey island in the foreground. Bird watchers will enjoy this walk as the area is known for linnets, lapwings, curlews and skylarks.
An Iron Age hill fort called the Bulwark lies near the summit of the hill, recognisable from the circular ditches and ridges running like contour lines around the slopes. The warriors in the Bulwark were in conflict with the occupants of a fort at nearby Hardings Down on the common towards Llangenith.
Carrying on walking to the west of the Bulwark and you reach a cairn and then a triangulation point where you can look out towards Rhosilli and Llangenith Sands and the must be seen Worms Head. This is a very rewarding walk which we did with two young children who admittedly are good walkers. They slept very well that night. Our walk was inspired by the Gower Commons Initiative walks leaflets available to download off their website. http://www.gowercommons.org.uk We set off and retraced our steps to Llanmadoc Green in the village of the same name, but you can carry on to the Kings Head pub in the village of Llangennith detailed on the ‘Llanmadoc Hill’ leaflet or you can do a circular walk following the ‘Hardings Down and Ryers Down’ walk leaflet.
According to the Gower Common Initiative almost half of the total land area of the Gower Peninsula is common land open to all for recreation and for grazing any sheep you may be bringing on holiday with you. This makes Gower a brilliant area for walkers free to roam without the worry of ‘get off my land’ moments. Added to this the National Trust owns 5,500 acres of Gower and they are also a good source of information and walks.