The village of Oxwich sits in a beautiful location between Oxwich Point and Three Cliffs Bay on the south coast of the Gower, South Wales. Whether your interests are walking, beachcombing, history and heritage, water sports or simply lazing on beautiful beaches, Oxwich has it all.
Oxwich is a picturesque village with a population of less than two hundred. The village has thatched cottages and more than its fair share of attractions including Oxwich Castle, Penrice Castle, the Oxwich Burrows National Nature Reserve, a 13th century Church and one of the best beaches in Wales.
Oxwich beach is a wide expanse of golden sands that stretch for miles, backed by both a nature reserve and huge sand dunes. Walk approximately two miles and you arrive at Three Cliffs Bay, probably the most photographed of the beaches in Wales. In 2007 the beach was named the most beautiful in the UK by travel writers who visited more than 1,000 around the world in search of the perfect sands.
Oxwich beach is so popular at the height of the season, that Oxwich Bay beach may appear overcrowded for some people's tastes. Bathers and wind surfers, mix with speedboats and jet skies.
A short walk however to Nicholaston Burrows, a mile or so toward Three Cliffs Bay, will find wide-open spaces a-plenty. The Nicholaston sand dunes form an impressive backdrop to the beach, and beachcombers will love the wide variety of shells that appear after each new tide.
On the day we visited there were more scallops and cockles then I've seen on a beach for a long time.
Castles and Forts
Oxwich Castle: Oxwich Castle is a Tudor mansion that sits on the site of an original castle. The present building is more of a mock-fortified manor house, constructed during the peaceful and prosperous years of the 16th century. The castle is in the care of Cadw, the Welsh Heritage authority and sits close to the western end of Oxwich Beach.
Penrice Castle: Penrice is the largest castle on the Gower and it's origins can be traced back to the 12th Century when a Norman knight by name of de Penrice was gifted the land that became the Penrice Estate. The keep, gatehouse, and much of the surrounding walls stand sentinel overlooking Oxwich Bay. Their ruinous condition bears testimony to the turbulent history of Wales. Penrice Castle suffered much damage during the Civil War and was abandoned soon afterwards. The castle is on private land, but a public footpath allows viewing of parts of the curtain walls and the towers.
Oxwich Burrows: Oxwich Burrows National Nature Reserve is a wetland site located behind the huge sand dunes on Oxwich beach. It is a flatland of pools, salt and freshwater marshes, and ancient woodlands.
St Illtyd's Church: The church of St Illtyd's is to be found hidden among the woodlands that cover the headland of Oxwich Point. The church is dedicated to St Illtyd and Christianity has been practised on the site for over 1400 years. The current building with its castellated tower dates largely from the 13th century. The church contains the effigies of an armed Knight and his Lady who it is said were drowndead in Oxwich Bay in the early 14th century. Others suggest that the effigies are of Sir John Penres and his wife who held the manor of Oxwich in the 15th Century. The tiny chancel is the oldest part of the church leading some to speculate that this may in fact be part of the original 6th century "Llan" or church. There is an interesting font within the church that some suggest came to Oxwich with St Illtyd himself. The church bell dates back to the 14th century.