Rhossili Bay – One of the Best in Europe

Rhossili is a small village and community on the southwestern tip of the Gower Peninsula in Wales and its beach has just come third on TripAdvisor’s list of best beaches in Europe beaten only by one in Sicily and one in Galicia in Spain.  It is within an area designated as the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the United Kingdom.  Rhossili Bay was one of three UK beaches that made the top 10 European list, joining Woolacombe Beach in Devon in fifth, with Porthminster Beach at St Ives in ninth.
 
Rhossili Bay curves along an arc running northwards from the village. The sandy beach is three miles long and is backed with sand #dunes. Locals refer to the beach as Llangennith Sands. Behind the beach just north of the village is Rhossili Down with the highest point on the Gower Peninsula. It is between Rhossili Down and the beach proper that the Warren is found.
 

Rhossili Bay

At the southern end of the Bay is the small tidal island called the Worm’s Head.  At the north is Burry Holms.  These islands are accessible at low tide only.
 

Worm’s Head

Also at low tide, it is possible to see the remains of several shipwrecks, wood from the wreck of the “Helvetia” being the most prominent which ran aground on Rhossili Bay in November 1887.  It bears witness to the challenging weather conditions and the tales of our ancestors, who lured boats ashore to plunder their holds.
 

“Helvetia”

Rhossili Bay featured in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, a youth choir began a cappella performances of “Bread of Heaven” live on the beach which was broadcast at the Olympic Stadium.  The bay has been used as the setting of New Earth in the sci-fi show Doctor Who and the bay including the Old Rectory, seen in the distance in the first image, was used in Torchwood: Miracle Day.
 
With all these incredible views and interest the only surprise is that Rhossili Bay didn’t finish in the first place especially when you consider that on 19 June 2011, almost four hundred people attempted to break the world record for the largest number of people skinny dipping at one time in the sea.
 
 
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