Tor Bay and Great Tor

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Gary B. on South Edge, Great Tor


See individual crags.


No Bolting.


Lying between Oxwich and Three Cliffs Bay are a number of agreeable cliffs. Their surrounding golden beaches, sand dunes and tussocked gorse moorland, combined with an abundance of low grade single and multi-pitch routes makes the area ideal for families, novices and solo forays. Great Tor is the very prominent feature at the end of the headland separating Oxwich Bay from Three Cliffs Bay. Little Tor is a smaller headland set back a couple of hundred metres west across the beach and West Tor is a little further west and, for the most part, is well above the beach.


A parking bay on the A4118 next to the 'Old Post Office' (which no longer exists) in Penmaen, gives access via a wide gate on the left of the parking area, to a lane descending after 600 metres to a wooden gate. Directly after, a path leads off right (west) across the plateau to the back of Tor Bay. Towards the end of the plateau one path bears left along the top of the cliff to the col at the top of Great Tor. Follow this path to access routes on the upper tier of Great Tor. For Great Tor East, take the left (east) gully down from the col to arrive at beach level.

From the plateau a second twisting path descends right to beach level, from where Great Tor lies to the east (left) and Little Tor to the west (right). West Tor lies beyond Little Tor. It is possible to access West Tor from the cliff top path when the tide is in. Follow the cliff top path west from the end of the plateau to a point about 100m before the first stile and follow a steep trail down and left with care to reach Great Tor Upper Tier.

The Climbing

This area is a popular area, especially for those climbing in the lower grades. Climbing is often from beach level and this makes for very relaxed climbing and an ideal place for groups and families. You can also find some very easy and sea-level bouldering to the west of Little Tor, usually with soft and sandy landings.

Climbing on Great Tor can be somewhat more demanding. The classics here are the popular East Ridge and South Edge. A little exploration of the climbing at the front and back of the Tor will be rewarded with some gems.

Odin's Wall provides some enjoyable low-grade climbing on some of the best quality rock in the whole of Gower.

The west side of the Tor, Great Tor Lower Tier, is much under-rated. There are some harder routes here too, and now good belay stakes have been placed at the top of these routes |(09/11/20).

Little Star Wall holds a popular test piece. Superdirect at E1, 5c. You can find a good and well-protected Severe at Little Tor; Central Flake is ideal for a first lead at this grade. Good anchors are now in place at the top of this popular crag.

On West Tor you can escape the incoming tide and climb some short little test pieces in a magnificent situation on its Main Slab. At beach level and below Curving Crack, you'll find Fartlek E1, 5c, another popular short test piece. Fortunately, it usually has a soft and sandy landing!

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