The Gower Peninsula attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year during the summer months, but I’m lucky enough to call this little pocket of outstanding natural beauty my home.
Gower has an abundance of natural assets which appeal to those who simply want to get away from it all and immerse themselves in nature. We’ve got it all here - dramatic coastline, award-winning beaches, breath-taking countryside and scenic villages – not to mention some great pubs and restaurants, so it’s little wonder that Gower is so popular with holiday-makers, particularly during the spring and summer months when the region comes alive in a blaze of seasonal beauty.
However, when summer gives way to autumn, and moves into winter and the pace of life in Gower slows down, in my view it isn’t any less spectacular than in the peak of summer tourist season. It’s just a different kind of splendour.
In fact, I’ve always felt autumn and winter is when Gower truly comes alive - the wild waves, rugged headlands and moody skies, coupled with the shorter daylight hours, gives the landscape a whole new mood and character.
Sometimes I just sit on the beach and listen to the waves crashing on the shore. You feel very connected to nature here. And when the cold begins to bite, what’s better than heading to the warmth of the local pub? There’s always a log fire and the smell of the embers and the cosy atmosphere makes you feel like you belong. There is something about Gower that resonates deeply with me. It’s a special place.
Back when my father and grandfather were running the farm, there were sheep, horses and cattle, but so much has changed in the last 30 years in terms of agriculture and farming. When I took over, I had to find a way to keep the farm going. As a result, my farm, now called Gower Fresh Christmas Trees, has become home to half a million Christmas trees, 36 reindeer and an indoor Winter Wonderland.
Clearly, it is not your traditional farm anymore but I’m proud of what we have created here. I have 40 different types of Christmas tree with each and every one taking 12-years to grow to the perfect height. It’s a long process that can’t be rushed. Environmentally, the trees are great for Gower, not only do they pump out oxygen and take in carbon dioxide, but we also recycle the old trees into mulch to fertilise the new crop of trees. The old trees produce the new trees – it’s a full circle here on the farm, and that’s really important to ensure continued sustainability.
After converting the former lambing sheds into a Winter Wonderland, I went a step further and bought some reindeer too. What started as two reindeer has now developed into one of the largest herds in the whole of the UK. I love watching the reactions of people when they see them. I suppose with the reindeer, Christmas trees and Winter Wonderland, it really is Christmas all year round for me.
Spending so much time in among the trees means I need a place to escape. So I go to the beach 365 days of the year, and swim on virtually every single one of those. The water energises me after the chaos and stress of the day, particularly when the Christmas season starts.
It is amazing to feel the waves around you, the calm in the storm. Pwll Du Bay is probably one of my favourite beaches in Gower to swim at. You’ll find it between Caswell Bay and Three Cliffs Bay, and while most people will have heard of those iconic beaches, Pwll Du is a real hidden gem. It’s tucked away down a rocky track that very few really know about. With holidaymakers opting for Gower’s showstopper beaches, like Rhossili Bay, it means Pwll Du is always quiet and calm.
A dip in the sea in December might not be for everyone, but Pwll Du is more than just the water. It’s a great place to stretch your legs on a walk with the dog, or a run, or even do some yoga.
After a long walk along the coastline, or a day exploring the rest of Gower, the area is not short of great places to warm up – my favourite being The Britannia Inn. Tucked away in the north-west of the peninsula, the food is outstanding. To top it off, many of the dishes, particularly the seafood, is sourced within four miles of the pub. It’s great to see businesses supporting local producers and farmers, keeping the local economy in Gower thriving. When you go to Britannia Inn, head to the back of the pub, where you can look over the estuary to Burry Port and watch the tide come in.
You don’t have to have grown up in Gower to realise what a magical place it is. Everyone who comes here gets the very same feeling I do – a sense of calm and contentment.
In every direction there is something different and exciting to explore. The landscape of Gower rejuvenates me each and every day
For more information about Gower Fresh Christmas Trees see the website or follow their social channels:
- Gower Fresh Christmas Tree website
- Gower Fresh Christmas Tree Facebook
- @gowerfreshchristmastrees Instagram