Worm's Head

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  • Location: Worm's Head to Whitford Point.
  • Distance: 9.5 miles
  • Time: Approx 3 hours
  • Description of this walk: A long and winding walk through an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Gower Peninsula.

This walk can be a race against the tide, so it is vital that you check the tide times before setting out on your walk.

If you do get caught out - don't try to swim back, wait for help to come to you.

Worm's Head

Starting from Worms Head this walk goes above Rhossili Bay, across Hardings Down, down towards Llanmadoc before finishing at Whitford Point.

Derek was accompanied by two separate guides - Sian Musgrove, the National Trust area warden for Rhossili and Sion Brackenbury - Projects Officer for the Gower Commons Initiative.

First stop on the walk was Worms Head itself. To make sure it's safe always check with Coastwatch who've taken over the old Victorian Coastguard hut.

They provide information on tide times, when to go across, what the weather is going to be like, what you need to take and what do if they see anyone in trouble.

Worm's Head is approx 1 mile long and a couple of hundred yards at its widest point.

The poet Dylan Thomas, was trapped here as a boy and later wrote of his terror at being cut off with nothing but a bag of sandwiches and a good book to keep him company.

Worm's Head takes its name from the old English word for dragon, and with a bit of imagination it looks just like a giant one has landed on the edge of the peninsula.

The worm is a nature reserve and visitors should stay away from the outer heads when birds are nesting. If you do get around there, look out for sea water shooting out of the blow hole!

On the way back watch the rocks can be a bit slippery but this is where you'll see crabs and fish in the rock pools, plus a wide variety of other marine wildlife.

Shipwrecks

Another interesting item to look out for on Worm's Head is an anchor which is partially buried in the sand.

The ship was deliberately lured onto rocks by local 'wreckers' and you'll find more wrecks on Rhossili beach.

Back up on the cliffs there's evidence of historic civilisations living in the area and over looking Rhossili beach are remains of an Iron Age hill fort - the first of three you'll encounter on this walk.

St Mary's church

Before Derek and Sian parted company she showed him St Mary's church at Rhossili. There is a memorial here to Edgar Evans, who was from Rhossili and a member of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's expedition to the Antarctic.

Hardings Down hill fort

For the next leg, Derek was joined by Sion Brackenbury - Projects Officer for the Gower Commons Initiative, and the first thing they found was another hill fort.

'Hardings Down' is the biggest of the three forts on this walk, it measures one hundred and ten metres, by seventy-five, and in its time would have been a bustling settlement.

Nowadays it's a great place to check out the views offered by the Gower peninsula appreciate the variety of scenery on offer.

Even when all the beaches are packed you can always find a quite spot, if you're prepared to look and go that extra mile you can find beautiful places.

Whitford lighthouse

Whitford lighthouse is the last stop on the walk and takes about twenty minutes to get across to the lighthouse. Again as with Worm's Head, it is important to time your walk right, as you will have to deal with same dangerous tides.

It's difficult to reach both Worms Head and Whitford lighthouse on the same walk, due to the tides - so check times for both points and start at the end you wish to see most of.

This walk was done as part of Weatherman Walking, Series 2 in 2008.


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