PET friendly cottages in Gower.
If you're walking your faithful dog along the promenade from Mumbles to Swansea, under the majestic pine trees, and you see the full moon smiling across the bay when the tide's in, you would be right in thinking you were in a very special place indeed.
It doesn't take a full moon, a bay, a couple of pine trees, Rover and good timing to have you leaving a trip to the Gower coast with a host of very special memories though. The area abounds with opportunities to create lasting memories for you and your favourite pooch. At Home from Home the feedback we receive from happy pet loving visitors testifies to the quality of a Gower experience.
Mumbles, which is about 4 miles west of Swansea, may not produce mouth watering oysters any more but it is still a haven for visitors wishing to soak up its inimitable charm, its proud castle, its vibrant shops, its bustling wine bars and its bay front cafes and restaurants. The Cafe Valance on Newton Rd is famously welcoming for dog lovers as is the bar in the Carlton Hotel. Search too, for The Park, (tucked away behind the front on Park Street) which is a traditional real-ale pub with a roaring fire where between 4.30 and 7.00pm you and the hound can absorb the best of Welsh cheer, ale and ambiance.
Further west Caswell Bay, though strictly a canine-free beach in summer, is a veritable Mecca for dog walkers the rest of the year. Here you can lead your best friend into Surfside one of the cosiest retreats south of the Arctic Circle. Its wood burning stove belts out waves of fur-drying heat and its glass walls allow you to sip hot chocolate while watching the shivering surfers tumble in the freezing froth.
Following the setting sun takes the pet lover to Oxwich Bay where, after your mutts run on seemingly endless sands turns it into a panting wreck you can take a well earned drink in the bar at the Oxwich Bay Hotel while Ol Red curls up in front of the log fire in the Bar.
Among the five accolades attributed to Rhossilli bay is that it is Britains No.1 dog-friendly beach (The Times). Many beaches on the Gower allow year round access to dogs (see table).
Along the Gower's famous coastline the many bays that are joined together by the National Coastal Path give the visitor an almost endless selection of scenic dog-walks
Some bays are cherished for their historical interest. Pwll Du, for instance, (which means black pool!) a relatively inaccessible pebble beached bay, has a gully called Grave's End where are buried the victims of a wrecked ship called Caesar in 1760. During WWII a U-boat used to call in at this bay in the dead of night and take fresh water from a stream. The three pubs are gone and smuggling no longer adds to the intrigue of the bay but that does not diminish the experience you and your pet will have visiting this quiet pebble strewn bay.
If you dont want your favourite Crufts contender showering you in brine take him through any of the many parks and gardens that can be found in the Gower: Cwmdonkin, Singleton and Brynmill parks just outside Swansea; Underhill park in the Mumbles; the beautiful Clyne gardens and many others.
Swansea Bay and Gower beaches which allow year-round access for dogs is as follows:
Our Winter 'Whats on' warmer
It maybe winter in Wales but the Gower coast does not hibernate: the warm south westerly that drives up the Bristol Channel keeps hang gliders floating over Llangennith sands through to spring time; keen eyed archers fire arrows over the snow into straw stuffed targets above Oxwich Bay in the Perriswood centre where even keener eyed birds of prey swoop down among the llamas and Rheas from Argentina that graze there, under the guidance of their handlers.
At Home From Home the constant positive feedback of delighted visitors makes us wonder at how the secret has stayed so well kept.
The jewels in the Gower crown are undoubtedly its bays and the centre stone has to be Three Cliffs Bay, the seventh most photographed scene in the world. Of course the now famous Wales Coastal Path passes through all of them and so one or more can be experienced as part of a days circular walk. The other bays are Blue Flag winners too such as Llangenith, Rhossili and Oxwich.
If the sea fret has veiled these natural beauties from sight then there is plenty to offer the visitor within the city walls; Swansea Marina is always good value, million pound yachts are free to look at and the National Waterfront Museum hosts events up to Christmas for all ages. On the 17 & 18 November for example Claymation is a two day workshop where children from seven up can create their own cartoon character and film it using the same method as Nick Parks Wallace and Gromit.
The Waterfront Winter Wonderland arrives in front of the Museum on the 16th November until the 6th January 2013. There is the Main Admiral skate rink for adults and a childrens Rocky rink; visit Santas Grotto, experience the family funfair, taste delicious food and of course, brave the Giant Wheel.
Charles Dickens Christmas Carol is on at Swanseas Little Theatre from the 12th to the 15th December or for the more kinaesthetic culture vulture go along to the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and after absorbing Bedwyr Williams exhibition My Bad try their hand at expressing themselves at the Saturday Adult Class on the 24th November between 11am and 4pm.
Weve information and leaflets on all these facilities in our Mumbles village HQ. We moved into our new Home From Home home in 2011 and, were told, its enhanced the visitor experience enormously which is great news given this year marks our 40th anniversary of providing self catering Gower Holidays
01 Nov 2012 - I was invited to a get together at the new 360 beach and watersports centre last night. The facility really is superb with many sports on offer, conference facilities and a cafe. To find out more info about this excellent new activity centre just click on this link www.360swansea.co.uk
06 July 2012 - 1619pm Phone exchange now fixed so our phones are back up and running
06 July 2012 - 1255pm Phone fault in Mumbles - Unfortunately there is a major fault with the phone lines in Mumbles. This means that we are unable to receive or make calls until it is fixed. We can still be contacted by email as the broadband line is not affected. We will update this message when we have any news.
Olympic Torch is coming on 26/27 May 2012
Please be aware that if you are travelling to Swansea and Mumbles this weekend there could be severe delays travelling through Swansea between the hours of 3.30pm and 7pm on Saturday 26th and 6am - 9am on Sunday in Mumbles. This is due to the festivities surrounding the Olympic Torch procession.
PEAK OF FITNESS FOR CHARITABLE GROUP OF LOCAL BUSINESSMEN
Five Peaks, Five Nations, Three days
A group of local businessmen from Swansea including Home from Home MD Matthew Bound are preparing to take part in a gruelling challenge that will see them climb five peaks in five nations over three days later this year (June 2012).
Matthew is one of 16 men training for the Five Peaks Challenge. The charity that he has chosen to raise funds for is The Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation. The charity provides much-needed respite breaks at two Haven parks in England for children suffering from life threatening illnesses.
In just three days, from 23 to 26 June, the group will attempt to climb a staggering 17,000 ft covering 40 miles of mountain paths, 800 miles of tarmac and crossing four national borders and one sea. Matthew, a former Swansea City player, says: Its going to be a huge task but the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation is an amazing charity. We have set ourselves a target of 53 hours to complete the challenge including travelling time, so we will have to see how realistic that is when we get started'.
Their work of the foundation is invaluable in that they help support families and provide fun holidays when they are most needed. mountain Explains Matthew: It wont be possible for all 16 of us to climb together as we are all at different levels of fitness so we plan to split into groups of five and travel together between the peaks by mini bus. Training is well underway and the donations are rolling in and wed like to thank everyone for their support and donations so far.
To learn more about the 5 Peaks Challenge and the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation, and to make a donation, visit http://www.justgiving.com/matthewbound.