Pick up a tourist brochure or guide book to this part of Wales and, chances are, it’ll feature a picture of Three Cliffs Bay on the cover. And justifiably so. It’s indisputably one of the finest beaches on the Gower Peninsula, with an almost round sandy beach encircled by unique rock formations. A series of limestone peaks rises dramatically into the air, finally disappearing into the Bristol Channel like a retreating monster. It’s a distinctive silhouette that has led to claims that this is the ‘best view in Wales’ and the ‘most beautiful bay in Britain’, but whatever you want to call it, there’s no denying it’s a bit special.
As luck would have it, a campsite perches on the high ground behind the beach, quietly taking it all in. Three Cliffs Bay Caravan Park, also known as North Hills Farm Campsite, has been in the Beynon family since 1951, although back then it was sheep and cattle that had the benefit of the views. Five acres of the 150-acre farm are now set aside for camping, providing just enough space for 100 families to camp in peak summer season; although, the popularity of the site means that the summer months are not the best time to go.
There are other drawbacks, too – the sloping ground, the fact that not all the pitches have views and the occasional whipping wind that screeches in from the sea and blows unprepared campers around the site. However, if you’re lucky enough to get one of the pitches at the edge nearest the bay, you’ve certainly acquired one of Europe’s finest camping spots. And even if you don’t get a view from your tent, the beach itself makes staying here worthwhile.
The campsite is a highly organised affair. Two onsite wardens keep things in check and the facilities block, a study in 1970s chic with brown-tiled interior and pebbledash exterior, is well maintained. The key to the new family room is closely guarded, but can be borrowed on production of suitably aged children. Pitches are arranged neatly in rows, with caravans to one side of the field, tents to the other, and a separate field is used as a spacious kids’ play area for most of the year as well as for additional camping during the busier summer holidays.
No matter how many photos you might see of Three Cliffs Bay, none can match the beauty and majesty of the real thing. Come and experience it for yourself. And, don’t forget your camera.
Stayed here twice now - and it really is a friendly and well maintained site. The views to the beach below are difficult to beat anywhere in the UK - and the steep walk up and down are well worth it. Definitely a site we will returrn to ...
Beware tides - as the stepping stones across the river to the beach are covered and impossible to safely navigate at high tide.
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Faerie ThymeCrwbin, Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire SA17 5DR
A truly magical place that will spirit you away from your usual troubles.
Lone WolfGlyn y Mul Farm, Aberdulais, Neath, Glamorgan SA10 8HF
Owned by one of the last existing werewolves. Ok, obviously not, but this is prime woodland camping which will leave you howling with delight.
Eastern Slade FarmOxwich Gower, Swansea SA3 1NA
Wonderfully friendly owners, stunning views and a fantastically unpopulated nearby beach is all you need to know about this site.
HillendLlangennith, Swansea SA3 1JD
A big site, which took advantage of its size, pulled back its shoulders, took a deep breath and shook its fists at those troublesome chavs. Hillend, now available in’grown-up’.
Carreglwyd Camping and Caravan ParkPort Eynon, Swansea SA3 1NN
A well-located, well-organised, well-facilitised, well welllsh site. (facilitised may not be a word. Ahem. But rest assured, this is a campsite. and a half).