Coast Path, Llanmadoc Hill and Stonemill Bridge (Free Route)

Route Summary

This walk in north west Gower includes part of the Welsh Coast Path, Llanmadoc Hill’s ridge with excellent views, an iron age hill fort, a design winning building, a picturesque ancient pack horse bridge and the oldest inhabited house on Gower.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance:  7.8 miles (12.5 km)

Walking Time: 04h 00m

Type: Circular

Start location

Whiteford Beach Car Park SA3 1DJ grid ref SS439935

lat: 51.61831

lon: -4.2551678

Getting there

By car: On arriving in Llanmadoc follow the road through the village until the Church of St Madoc is reached. Take the right fork, downhill, signposted Cwm Ivy. After a short distance the car park is on the right.

By bus: There are buses from Swansea that travel to Llanmadoc, however a change of bus may be necessary. Alight at the post office. With Orchard Park farm on the left walk down the road to the Church where the right fork, signposted Cwm Ivy leads to the start of the walk.

Route Map

coast path route map



On leaving the car park turn right, downhill, through Cwm Ivy to pass a National Trust Gate. At the bottom of the hill the walk joins the Welsh Coast Path, excluding the Whiteford Point option. Do not enter the woods but continue up a slight rise with Cwm Ivy Tor towering above on the left. At the end of the track veer left though a gate with a sign for the Gower Clay Pigeon Shooting Club. Continue along the sandy track to the top of the hill. After a gate follow the way marked path around the headland to reach a stone wall on the left. After left and right turns the path meanders downhill to reach a caravan park on the left. The ground opens up following a sign that requests users to keep off the Burrows. Ignore the sandy path, by a water safety notice, which leads to the beach and take the smaller gate on the right that is a few yards further on. Continue over a stream through the dunes ignoring a footpath on the left. When a barn appears ahead, look for a finger post hidden in the bushes. As the route descends, after the headland, Llanmadoc Hill dominates the view; the climb will be from the other side.


Leave the Coast Path, turn left, towards Llangennith, along a narrow path through two gates. Continue through two fields with the fence on the left. At the third field cross to a stone road and continue slightly uphill with the fence now on the right. Continue on this road; it has a tarmac surface after Ty r Ceiliog. After passing two houses on the right take the bridleway on the left where the road begins to descend. Follow this path as it curves upwards, around the hill, ignoring paths to left and right. As the path begins to level out and there is an electricity pole about 100 yards to the right, take the left fork way marked with a Gower Walks sign. Turn left onto a crossing track which is followed to the topograph at the top of the hill. There are fine views of Worms Head from the road section.


Walk along the ridge, passing the trig point and a large pile of stones to reach the Bulwark (A), an Iron Age hill fort. Continue in the same direction, now downhill, with a group of fir trees coming into view. On reaching a stony track follow it downhill until it turns to the left when a grassy track passes Stormy Castle (B), a flat roof building, on the right. Rejoin the stony track until it reaches a road. On the left of the ridge there are fine views of Whiteford Point and its lighthouse, the Loughor Estuary and Burry Port. The remains of Llanmadoc school are visible on the left on the descent to the road.


Turn right along the road and take the stile on the left, just before the third electricity pole. Enter the field to the right and walk down the field with the fence on the left. Cross a stile at the corner and continue to a further stile next to a wooden bridge. Take the left fork at the way mark post and follow the path through the gorse to reach a stony road. This is followed to the left past a copse of Silver Birch trees and Briarly Hill where the road becomes a grassy track. Leave the track as it turns right, and follow the way marked path steeply downhill past some electricity posts. Take the left fork towards a couple of bridleway way marks. Turn left, though a metal gate, and, ignoring the wooden gate immediately on the left, follow the sunken lane downhill. Continue across a three arched pack horse bridge over Burry Pill to reach a crossing footpath. Take the footpath on the left along the valley floor through three fields with a fence on the left and then enter a section of woodland before arriving at another field that is crossed to reach a road at Cheriton. The pack horse bridge is one of Gower’s hidden gems. It is a grade II listed building, probably 17th Century and taken to be contemporary with Western Mill; it is mentioned in a lease renewal of 1667. There is an information board nearby.


Turn right and walk up the road past Glebe Farm (C) to reach a way mark post indicating the Welsh Coast Path’s high tide route. This route is followed until the stepping stones are reached. Walk up a narrow path and turn left through a kissing gate and continue with a sporadic fence on the left through two fields to reach another kissing gate.. As you emerge onto the salt flats, continue straight ahead, aiming for the right hand of two white cottages. This will bring you to stepping stones across a stream (Burry Pill). Once across, continue straight ahead, close to the stream on your left hand side. The path narrows and descends to a further gate and the end of the high tide route. Take care on the road past Glebe Farm as it can be quite busy. If there is a spring high tide then it is not possible to cross the stepping stones. In this case turn left and continue along the road, up the hill and through the village of Llanmadoc to the Church to the start.or, rather than trudge the tarmac all the way back uphill to the church, a bit of a disappointing end to a great walk, you can turn off right into Frog Lane, right again and down through the gate to rejoin the main route by the electricity pole.


Turn right, pass an old pig house and white house on the left to reach a gate; ignore the first footpath on the left. As the Cwm Ivy wall has been breached and is impassable it is necessary to take the diverted coast path at this point. Turn left and follow the well defined path between Betty Church and Ivy Wood nature reserve and the marsh land. The path ends at a gate to become a stony track with barn on the right that rises to a road. Turn left up the road to return to start. The marsh land on your right used to be Gower’s mini Holland. There were a number of fields that were lost to the sea when Cwm Ivy wall was breached.


Refreshments are available at the village shop in Llanmadoc; this is close to the bus stop.

The grid references of the way points are:-

[1] SS 439935    [2] SS 419929    [3] SS 430923      [4]  SS 449926    [5]  SS 450931     [6]  SS 446936