Arriving at Hael Farm, down its hidden driveway, you can’t help but feel the relaxation set in.
Being ¼ mile away from the nearest house really helps to achieve the “off the grid” feeling that we were looking for. After a warm welcome from Jon and Julie – not forgetting their grandchild, Alfie, a gorgeous golden Cocker Spaniel – we settled into the cottage before heading out down the bridle path in search of Pwlldu Bay on Jon’s recommendation.
A short 30 minute walk down a well-marked path led us to the pebbly beach – a beautiful haven inaccessible by road and with just a handful of dog walkers for company. A wonderful introduction to Gower’s dramatic coastline. Not knowing the local area, we brought some supplies to cook our own evening meals. And I’m glad we did!
Settling down for the evening at Hael Farm was blissful. Living in a built up area ourselves, the peace and quiet of the cottage was just what the doctor ordered. The cottage was comfortable and well-equipped with everything you need to feel at home.
To get to know the lay of the land we made a beeline for the Gower Rambles book on the shelf, written by members of the local Reynoldston Ramblers club. After a short browse, we’d set our itinerary for the week.
The following morning, armed with our new favourite book, we headed for Rhossilli Bay, a scenic 30-minute drive from the cottage. We set off on Walk 12 from the book, and after a steep initial climb (yielding fantastic views over Rhossilli’s famous beach) we could relax into a gentle and picturesque 4.5-mile tour of the area.
En route we discovered Mewslade Beach, another hidden gem off the beaten track, and followed the coastal path back to Rhossilli, taking in the breath-taking views over the coastline and Worm’s Head.
Returning to Rhossilli with our sights set on lunch, we nabbed an outdoor table at The Bay Bistro with a stunning view of the beach. From lunchtime staples such as paninis and jacket potatoes, to modern options such as curry and Buddha bowls, I couldn’t recommend this restaurant more.
After lunch we headed down to the beach to dip our toes in the Bristol Channel and collect some shells as a souvenir of our day – a must-do to cap off a day at Rhossilli.
Another cosy evening in the cottage beckoned, with Sky TV and a great collection of board games for the evening’s entertainment.
Day 3 began with breakfast at the local Dandelion Café, another of Jon and Julie’s recommendation. Take a look at their Instagram account for a glimpse of their mouth-watering dishes. Appetites satisfied, we set off with our trusty book to tackle Walk 1, which conveniently starts and ends in Southgate village, just 10 minutes on foot from the cottage.
This beautiful 4-mile walk takes you along the coastline towards the photogenic Three Cliffs Bay and along the lush green valley towards Pennard Castle. This walk is a must-do for Hael Farm guests. Don’t forget to stop at the Pobbles gift shop on your way back to browse the work of talented local photographers and artists.
After a quick cup of tea back at the cottage, we set off for a browse in Mumbles, just a 20-minute drive down the road. Armed with a picnic, we strolled down the famous seafront admiring the boats as we went. And of course, no trip to Mumbles would be complete without a taste of the local institution that is Joe’s ice cream.
On the way back we stopped for a coffee overlooking the beautiful Langland Bay, before heading back to get cosy for our final night at Hael Farm. In our two and a half days, we barely scratched the surface of this beautiful corner of the UK, and the Gower certainly left me itching for more. I would recommend this “staycation” to anyone and I couldn’t imagine anywhere better than Hael Farm to call home for the visit.