Three Cliffs Bay

Swansea, The Gower & Carmarthenshire

Three Cliffs Bay is named for the pyramid-like, triple-pointed crag pierced by a natural arch that juts out into the water at its eastern point. It's regularly voted one of the most beautiful beaches in Britain, and it's particularly impressive when viewed from the impossibly picturesque ruins of 13th-century Pennard Castle. Glinting below, the Pennard Pill stream empties into the bay, creating dangerous currents for swimmers at high tide. The craggy headland is a popular rock-climbing site.

The only way to reach the beach is on foot. For the castle view, look for the path across the road and down a bit from Shepherd's Coffee Shop in Parkmill (parking £3). Once you cross the bridge, turn right and then take the next left-hand fork heading up the hill. You'll skirt some houses and Pennard Golf Course before reaching the castle. For a flatter, quicker path, take the right-hand fork instead and follow the stream. Another approach is via the mile-long track along Pennard Cliffs from the National Trust car park in Southgate.

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