Three Cliffs Bay

Penmaen SA3 2HD, United Kingdom


Three Cliffs Bay beach offers a wilder experience. Picture a spectacular shoreline of sand dunes, salt marsh and of course, the signature three limestone cliffs. A particularly photogenic part of the Gower Coast Path and a great spot to stop for a picnic.

Very occasionally after a hot spell of weather, it is one of the few beaches in the UK where bioluminescent plankton (Noctiluca scintillans) also known as sea sparkle can been seen during the night.

Although rare it has been sighted on several occasions in recent years. Chances are greatest during a warm spell, with lots of daytime sunshine together near the date of a new moon. The less light in the sky the more visible any bioluminescent will be.

In daylight the phenomenon presents itself as a ‘red tide’, with water turning a deep red, brown, or orange colour.

During the night the plankton glow bright blue when disturbed by waves or currents

Our Photo Expert Alyn Wallace  

“When I realised it was new moon on an extraordinarily hot day as the tide was coming in at night I thought I’d try my chances.

“I could see the blue glow as the waves broke on the shore so I descended the cliffs … It was like being in the film Avatar, every step I made and every splash of the sea just lit up with an incredibly beautiful blue glow.

“Shortly after I took a few shots I stripped off and went for a swim under the stars surrounded by the bioluminescent glow, one of the most magical and surreal experiences of my life.”


Stay safe, this is one of our most beautiful beaches, but nature can be wild too – watch out for strong tides and currents at all times. Because of this, we advise against swimming or participating in watersports at Three Cliffs Bay.

Lifeguards: Yes, full time during the Easter & Summer holidays and weekends in May and June (until 4th September).

Car park: Yes, some distance away (approx. 400m). The distance between car park and beach may include difficult or rough terrain.

Toilets: Yes, in nearby Holiday Park (courtesy of Three Cliffs Holiday Park).

Refreshments: Not on the beach, but at nearby Parkmill or Pennard (depending on where you’ve walked from!)

Public transport: Yes, some distance away (approx. 400m). The distance between stop and beach may include difficult or rough terrain.

Dogs allowed on beach all year

Wheelchair access: No

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