We stayed on the Penrice Estate, and our home for the week was the Towers built in the 1790s as a folly Gatehouse. Of course now it has been fully upgraded with a very large circular bedroom and living room. With the warm sunshine it was a joy to sit outside on the terrace with our back to the stone walls soaking in the warmth and enjoying the scenery and the wonderful flock of sheep, and the many birds.
With free access to the whole Estate, we wandered around the garden, enjoying the pleasure garden, the orangery, and the kitchen gardens.
There are some magnificent old Trees which are managed with a light touch these days, with old branches left to better enhance habitat for wild life. As well as many venerable old Oaks there is a programme of planting mainly oaks and chestnuts...with other interesting specimen plantings close to the Pleasure Gardens.
Just beyond the Estate the lakes and woodland, the views open out but then give way to the dunes and the wide sandy expanse of Oxwich Bay. With woodland floor carpeted with a variety of plants and ferns, and mosses and fern dripping from tree trunks, we walked down to the coast skirting the lakes. There was much of interest even at this time of the year.
The Dunes were very interesting as was the beach...and during the summer I am sure there would be an even wider variety of wild plants and flowers to enjoy.
The little river crossing is a delight!
On our very last day we visited Oxwich Castle
...a real gem which after its construction, meant the old Penrice Castle was abandoned.
Penrice Old Castle is now a ruin and out of bounds to visitors and residents, but it still forms a wonderful and romantic high point attracting the eye.
Not far away is Roshilli Bay, an absolutely wonderful long stretch of sand, and as we viewed this from the cliff top walk towards Worm Head, we also had views beyond.
To one side of Oxwich Bay is the Old 13th Century Church of St Illtyd
On one day we tried to get in at the Beach House Restaurant, and was told that we could only book by phoning and no booking could be taken at the bar....what a shame. In the end, most meals out were taken at the King Arthur Hotel, and an early arrival is certainly wise as the place fills up quickly. Meals were very good and it was nice to taste local produce including Gower Salt Marsh Lamb.
Lunch at the Britannia Pub was a little underwhelming in comparison, and Mr S's crumble felt put together from tins and packets. Having looked at the Menu on line, now that we have returned, I do think that the meal we had was underparr for sure, maybe it was Chef's day off, or having won their award were putting their feet up and resting. Had the little Community Shop at Llanmadoc served savouries that would have been the better option!
Overall a superb place and we shall be sure to return!