Last updated on September 24, 2020
Located on the western tip of South Wales’ glorious Gower peninsula, Llangennith beach (and village) is one of the best places to surf, camp and run wild in the UK.
Here’s your guide on what to do and where to stay – by your local Gower galavanting guide, Ben Holbrook.
I love Llangennith, or ‘gennith as we refer to it.
This is where I spent much of my sunburnt youth, where I grew up.
Well, no, actually that’s not quite true. It’s not where I grew up at all, it’s where I never had to grow up.
And it’s where I still go to feel young and free again.
Llangennith is Neverland.
This is where I fell in love with the sea, with the waves beneath my surfboard. Nights dug in at the dunes with salt in my soul. Bonfires and warm beers, our toes cold in the sand and heads in the clouds.
Llangennith is my happy place. It could be yours, too.
Things to Do and See in Llangennith – Gower Peninsula, South Wales, UK
Explore the village of Llangennith
With its rural charm and laid-back surfer vibes, the tiny village of Llangennith is a must-visit destination in its own right.
Llangennith – or ‘Llangenydd’ in Welsh – translates as ‘Church of Saint Cenydd’. And it’s around this church, which dates back to the 6th century, that the village originally grew.
But there’s a different type of religious site in Llangennith that I and most of my friends have made the most frequent and earnest of pilgrimages to…
Sip a few frosty jars at the King’s Head
Local life in Llangennith revolves around the King’s Head pub.
This is one of my favourite pubs in the Gower and where I spent (too) much of my youth.
With multiple spaces – in door and out – there’s room for everyone here, from young families and hippy surfers to older locals and tourists.
There’s a pool table and jukebox, real wood fires and a gorgeous terrace area out front (which is prime real estate on a sunny day on the Gower).
Be sure to try some local Gower Brewery beers – they really are ‘Ales of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. They serve some bangin’ pub grub too!
Eat breakfast, lunch and ice cream at Eddy’s Bistro
Ah, Eddy’s… This beachy cafe-cum-bistro overlooking the dunes is where I worked for many a summer as a young man.
I got free camping as part of the deal, which meant I lived in my tent for months at a time, eating nothing but chips and beans (also free for staff) and darting off across the hot sand for quick surf sessions during my lunch breaks.
They were, in every sense, some of the happiest days of my life.
Pop in early for the beastly full breakfast or swing by at lunch for everything from sandwiches and pizzas to curries and fish feasts.
It’s also a nice place for a quick coffee and cake between meals – especially after a spending a few days/weeks/month in a tent (I would know).
Walk from Llangennith to Rhossili along the downs
My favourite thing to do when there’s no surf (and it’s too early for the pub).
The footpath starts just near the gateway to Hillend Campsite (where you pay to get to the main carpark).
From here you literally just follow the footpath across the downs and enjoy the sweeping views of Llangennith and Rhossili.
Once in Rhossili you’ll find more great little cafes (don’t miss the Bay Bistro) and shops.
Stop for a well-earned pint at the Worm’s Head Hotel and, if you still have energy, walk along the sheep-strewn cliffs to the serpentine outcrop of Worm’s Head, which is home to a rather raucous colony of Atlantic grey seals.
Note: Just to clarify as I understand it could be a little confusing, Llangennith beach basically becomes Rhossili beach (and vice versa) – there’s no barrier or line in the sand that separates the two.
Take a surf lesson and ride Llangennith’s legendary waves
Llangennith is the best surf spot in Wales – if not the UK – and is perfect for both beginners and pros alike.
Book a lesson with WSF (Welsh Surfing Federation surf school) or, if you already know your way around a surfboard, rent a board and wetsuit at PJ’s Surf Shop (the original Gower surf shop run by Welsh surf champ and all-round legend Pete Jones – located just opposite the King’s Head in the village).
Buy a surfboard and become a full-time surf addict
Caught the surf bug? Yeah dude, that tends to happen – it only takes one gnarly wave!
Swing by PJ’s Surf Shop to speak to Pete, his son James (another local surf legend) or daughter Lucy (an old school friend of mine).
They have all sorts of surfboards for all levels and styles of surfing (great second hand boards too). I’d do anything for one of their own-brand ‘Cool Change’ longboards!
I’d also highly recommend popping in to see my old mate (literally my best mate from school) Tom Purton at JP Surfboards. Their factory is located in Crofty, just 10 minutes away. They make some of the sexiest boards out there, ranging from high-end performance shortboards to retro fishes and nose-rideable longboards. Aloha!
Hit the beach!
Lest we forget, the main attraction at Llangennith is Llangennith beach itself!
This vast and glorious 3-mile stretch of golden sands is a haven for sun worshippers (in summer at least), surfers, dog-walkers (in winter) and families.
Note: I’d like to mention that I took all of these photos on one day in February. The landscape changes drastically throughout the year, and depending on the weather, which is part of its beauty. You never quite know what you’ll find.
At low-tide, Llangennith beach offers enough space for all of its visitors to stretch out and claim their own little plot of land to call their own.
Where to Stay: Llangennith Camping & Accommodation Options
Located just behind the dunes, within strolling distance of the beach/surf (and just about stumbling distance from the King’s Head pub), Hillend Campsite is arguably one of the finest campsites in Wales, if not the UK. It can get booked up pretty quickly so be sure to arrive early to secure your spot. Check rooms, rates and availability here.
Tip: If you don’t manage to get in at Llangennith’s legendary Hillend Campsite then check out my guide to the best campsites on the Gower peninsula here.
King’s Head Inn (4* Hotel)
If camping’s not your thing then the rooms at the King’s Head will be right up your street. Whether staying here during the summer or winter, you can really make the most of Llangennith’s famous village/pub life. Oh, and dogs are welcome too! Check rooms, rates and availability here.
Western House Bed & Breakfast
Run by some really great people, this beautiful dog- and family-friendly B&B is located right in the heart of village and is the perfect base from which to explore the very best of Llangennith. Check rooms, rates and availability here.
If you’re travelling as a family or group and would prefer to book an entire house for your stay in Llangennith, then this is your best bet. The cottage itself is gorgeous, with three rooms (sleeps 5), while the terrace area offers sensational views over the sea (pretty much my dream home). Check rooms, rates and availability here.
Worm’s Head Hotel (Rhossili)
Although this hotel is actually in Rhossili and not Llangennith, it does look directly out over Llangennith and is, if you don’t mind a little stroll, within walking distance of Llangennith (though Rhossili is equally as charming). Check rooms, rates and availability here.
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What about you? Have you been to Llangennith? What do you love about it?