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Wales Beach Guide

Pwlldu Bay & Bantam Bay

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Pwlldu Bay

Once a haven for smugglers and later a centre for limestone quarrying, Pwlldu is a secluded National Trust bay south of Bishopston. The beach is sand at low tide, backed by a substantial pebble bank and flanked by limestone cliffs which provide shelter from winds. The pebble bank has partially blocked a stream, forming a large pool just behind the beach (Pwlldu translates as "Black Pool"). The beach is approximately 300 yards wide at high tide extending to ½ mile at low tide. Swimming here is generally safe and grassed areas behind the pebble bank would make ideal locations for picnics. There are two cottages on the western side of the valley, which were originally inns (The Ship & the Beaufort). Near the top of the cliff on the west side is one of the quarries, now overgrown, which is an unusual place to explore if you can find a way to reach it.

The closest (roadside) parking to the beach is at Pyle Corner, Bishopston (Grid Ref: SS580882) from where Pwlldu Lane leads to the clifftop, thence becoming a track down to the east side of the beach. The total distance is about a mile. A few footpaths lead westwards from Bishopston village, descending into the wooded Bishopston valley which can then be followed to the beach. Alternative access is via the coast path from Southgate or Caswell.

Bantam Bay is a small secluded bay which is just around the point from Pwlldu (at the top left, above), and can be reached by walking along Pwlldu's rocky western shore. Some minor scrambling is required to get past the point. This beach is mostly sand with limestone rocks and cliffs. A little further west from here in a gully is a sombre circle of stones known as Grave's End, where 65 press-ganged sailors from the Caesar (wrecked in December 1760) were buried.

There are no facilities at these beaches, but there is a shop / post office at Pyle Corner which sells much needed ice creams. Dogs are allowed at all times.

Pwlldu BeachPwlldu Beach
Bantam BayBantam Bay
Grave's EndGrave's End
Pwlldu Beach
Pwlldu Beach
Bantam Bay
Bantam Bay
Grave's End
Grave's End
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