YHA Port Eynon is a youth hostel that could not be closer to the sea. On Wales’ beautiful Gower coastline, it’s a converted life boat station with the slipway to the water still intact. The only way you can get nearer the water is if you take the plunge and jump right in. The hostel looks out onto the rockier part of the beach, perfect for rockpooling, and the 7 children we’d taken between us were all straight out finding crabs, jellyfish and shrimps. The vast sandy expanse of the Gower stretches beyond the rocky shoreline up the sand dunes to the new lifeboat station at the other end of the bay. On the other side of the hostel lies an old ruined salt works and a short stroll up the hill affords 360 degree views of this part of the beautiful peninsular. If it’s sand and sea you’re looking for, Port Eynon YHA is perfect.
The hostel has 28 beds in 8 rooms, a combination of dorm beds and family rooms. As 4 families we occupied 3 family rooms, some of which were en suite, and 2 x 2 bed rooms. Downstairs is a cosy lounge/diner area with spectacular sea views and a good sized kitchen for self catering. This YHA does not offer a restaurant service and neither is it licensed but you can bring your own alcoholic drinks if you fancy a sundowner tipple. Picnic tables outside were the perfect location for the first coffee of the day watching the tide ebb. This hostel is absolutely immaculately clean and well maintained. In the lounge you can read about the history of the lifeboat station and the brave rescues carried out from this very slipway. If you’ve a large group you can hire the hostel for exclusive use and this would be a great way to get together with friends and family.
One thing to note is that you cannot park at the actual hostel. You have to park in a lane nearby and carry your kit for the night across a field. If you arrive late like we did, you’ll be needing a torch and wishing you’d packed a bit lighter!
You can hire wetsuits and bodyboards for a small charge and they have sizes to suit children and adults. We borrowed some suits and boards and the kids hit the sea. No big surf here, small waves that kept the children and the hardier of us adults occupied for hours. Digging holes, jumping in the dunes, playing rounders. The huge sandy beach here is perfect. We stayed at the hostel the weekend of the Gower Triathlon and so were kept entertained by sea swimming and runners throughout the day. Many triathlon participants also stayed right at the scene at the hostel.
Port Eynon itself has parking, a couple of fish and chip shops and pubs and a couple of shops. We stayed for 2 days and didn’t leave the beach. The early September sun was welcome and perfect for a family break away but equally dramatic waves lashing the shore as you watch from the huge picture windows of the hostel would be quite a view. This would be a great place to hole up for Christmas with breezy walks and cosy meals.
5 THINGS TO DO NEAR PORT EYNON
If you can drag yourself away from Port Eynon’s beach:
Rhossilli Bay Beach is one of Tripadvisor’s Top 10 Beaches in the UK and well worthy of the accolade. Walk out to Worm’s Head for stunning views of the 3 miles of sand. It’s a 7 mile walk from Port Eynon along the knock-out coastline.
Photo: Andrew Bennett
Three Cliffs Bay – more fabulous Welsh beach and coastline. Three limestone cliffs guard the entrance to this huge beach, part of the Gower coastal path. Camping at Three Cliffs is my earliest holiday memory and you can read more about that here at What Ali Sees blog.
Mumbles – on a rainy day, the traditional seaside pursuits of amusement arcade, fish and chips and the famous Joe’s Ice Cream may appeal! I grew up seeing Mumbles Pier and lighthouse from my house so it’s a welcome view for me.
Swansea has a whole host of things to do if it rains, the Waterfront Centre, Dylan Thomas Centre and Swansea Museum are all under cover as well as the leisure centre. Plentiful parks and yet more beaches are popular in good weather.
Caswell Beach is another childhood favourite of mine and I remember hours spent building sandcastles here. Now it’s popular with surfers as well as families.
For sunshine, surfing, the fabulous Gower coastline and a beachside trip that doesn’t break the bank, YHA Port Eynon is perfect.
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