Pwll Du Beach is a secluded National Trust bay in south Gower, with the beautiful sandy beach being accessible at low tide it is commonly known as one of the safest swimming environments on the peninsula due to it’s curious rock formation, known as the Needles, at the western end of the bay. The beach does not have any lifeguards. Pwll Du is largely backed by a substantial pebble bank, flanked by limestone cliffs. The pebble bank has partially blocked a stream which has formed a large pool just behind the beach, given the bay its name which translates to ‘Black Pool’.
The bay is steeped in history having once been a haven for local smugglers, there is a nearby gully called Graves End which is marked by a circle of limestone rocks, so called due to the burial of several people who were found dead on the bay following a ship called The Caesar ending up wrecked upon the shore in 1760. The Caesar was an Admiralty tender ship on a recruitment mission, when rough sea conditions on the channel drove it against the headland of Pwlldu. Although a few officers of the ship escaped with their lives, around 90 press ganged men all imprisoned below deck on the ship, were not so lucky.
Later, during the 19th century, it was a centre for Limestone quarrying and its these rocks that give it it’s unique topography. Near the top of the cliff on the west side is the now overgrown remnants of one of the quarries which is reportedly a fascinating place to explore if you can find a way to access it.
There are two cottages situated on the Western side of the beach known as Seven Slades, these cottages were originally inns called The Ship and The Beaufort
It is one of the more remote beaches and is not easily accessible by car but there are three narrow footpaths leading down to the beach. There are no facilities at the beach, but there is a small shop at Pyle Corner about a mile away. Dogs are allowed at all times.