Cefn Bryn is a 5 mile long Old Red Sandstone ridge in the heart of the Gower Peninsula in Wales. Local people colloquially refer to it as the “backbone of Gower”. The highest point on the ridge (188m/617 ft ) is the second highest point in Gower, offering panoramic views of the surrounding Gower countryside. The swathes of grassland around the ridge are known as Cefn Bryn Common. Along the ridge of the hill, banked by grassy common on both sides is the road from Cilibion to Reynoldston. The road was previously known as the Old Coal Road and Red Road. Wandering sheep, wild ponies and cows can be seen along the road. Large swells and dips can be encountered along the route, formed by swallets and sinkholes in the limestone. The highest point of the road intersects with the ridge summit.
There is a small fresh water pool called Broad Pool at the foot of the eastern approach to the ridge. This pool is known to have existed since 1645 and has dried out and been re-excavated twice. Today it is a protected nature reserve. It lies in a shallow basin on the limestone plateau beneath Cefn Bryn and consists of an acidic pond, heath and bog, which is important for aquatic plants, amphibians, dragonflies and wetland birds.
It is believed that during the Bronze Age, Cefn Bryn was used extensively for ceremonies and rituals. Beneath the bracken on the hill, over sixty cairns have been discovered. Most of these mounds are likely to be nothing more than a collections of stone cleared by local farmers. However, just north west of Arthur’s Stone, three prominent cairns were excavated proving their role in ancient history, with the largest being Great Cairn, a circular heap of stones above a central grave.
King Arthur’s Stone
Just north of the ridge summit of Cefn Bryn, there is a neolithic burial ground, known as “Arthur’s Stone” (Welsh: Maen Ceti) Its name comes from a legend that King Arthur threw a large stone from Llanelli which landed on this spot.
In an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB) with long stretches of golden sand which are ideal for activities like building sandcastles or flying your kite. There are many water sports available from kite and windsurfing to kayaking, or why not go for a gallop along the sand at Oxwich Beach if you’ve brought your horse with you?
Located on the northern end of Rhossili Bay and recognised as one of the premier surf beaches in the UK, Llangennith has acted as a nursery for rising surf stars for many years! ‘The Observer’ even listed it as the ‘best place to learn how to surf in Britain’. ‘The Guardian’ is just as keen on Llangennith’s famous break and has named it as one of 10 ‘classic surfing beaches’ in Britain. Facilities include a café with outside seating area and disabled access. The picturesque Llangennith village 10 min away has a trendy pub and surf shop.