If you’re thinking of a beach holiday this summer, try Wales. In a recent Trip Advisor survey, Rhossili Beach in Gower was named one of the top ten beaches in the world, and number one in the UK for the second consecutive year.
Cornwall, Devon and Dorset tend to hold a bit of a monopoly in terms of the UK’s best beaches, so it may come as a surprise to some readers that our best beach is located in Wales. The accolade is excellent news for the Welsh tourist industry and may change many preconceptions of Wales.
Rhossili is a half-hour drive west of Swansea, on the Gower Peninsula. Locals often refer to it as Llangennith Sands. The bay stretches for three miles and is characterised by its broad sweeping expanse of sand, backed by verdant sand dunes and dramatic cliffs.
Rhossili beach has the kind of vast geographical drama you might associate with the great Australian beaches. If you haven’t seen it before, you’ll be taken aback by the fact that this beach forms part of the Welsh landscape.
The title of ‘Best Beach in the World’ went to Baia do Sancho which is on the Brazilian owned archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. The Baia do Sancho has a stunning backdrop of sheer cliffs and it represents a very different character to Rhossili. It’s a big beach, but more of a cove than a long sandy stretch.
Rhossili comes in at ninth in the world list, and charts as third best European beach, behind Rabbit Beach in Sicily and Playa de Ses Illetes in Formentera.
Everyone has a slightly different view of what makes a good beach and it’s nice to see that people have the imagination to pitch Rhossili Bay alongside the turquoise waters and white sands of the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Sometimes beaches have a rugged beauty or a dramatic charm, rather being simply ‘idyllic’. The Welsh coastline certainly exudes these attributes, but at the same time one might be forgiven for mistaking Rhossili for somewhere far more exotic.
For anyone touring the UK’s best beaches, you’d do well to focus your efforts on the South West. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t hire a car from Hertz and travel from Cornwall to Dorset and then Gower, or you could even get a train to Swansea before catching a bus to Gower.
If you’re travelling by car, you could visit beaches like Perranporth and Porthminster in Cornwall, before heading for Woolacombe Beach in Devon. Finish your tour on the majestic sweeping sands of Rhossili.
Photo Source: Tasmin Bahla