Superb views over the coast

Famous for its wonderful white sandy beaches and a clear blue sea, the Gower’s not a bad place for mountain biking either, with a great network of trails — many of which offer superb views over the coast.

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Two landforms dominate the western end of the peninsula: Cefn Bryn — a whaleback ridge that forms the spine; and Rhosili Down — a towering hill of sand and dune grass that guards the western tip. This ride explores both, linking them with a selection of quiet lanes and under-used green lanes to make a good-length medium-grade outing.

The initial pull at Cefn Bryn isn’t too bad — especially if you’re fit and raring to go. But the final few metres are steep and loose and threaten to wreck any chance of a clean run just when you think you’re home and dry. Once up, it rolls along nicely, with stupendous views over Oxwich Bay — enjoy.

A few quiet lanes follow but don’t get too comfortable; the drop to the packhorse bridge over Burry Pill is steep, muddy and peppered with slippery lumps of limestone, strategically placed to introduce you to the floor. The climb out’s a tough proposition too.

And then it’s on to Rhosili Down — the highlight of the ride and surely one of the finest coastal trails in the whole country? The sinuous serpentine of sand cuts a roller-coaster ride across the seaward flanks, and although the views are truly magnificent, you’ll barely notice as you struggle to keep everything pointing in the right direction. It’s worth having a moment to get your breath back just to be able to take it all in.

From Rhosili, it’s green lanes to Reynoldstone; and if you can avoid the pull of the King Arthur, then you’re just one steady pull away from a return leg along Cefn Bryn, and a sweeping downhill run all the way back to the car park.