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Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2007, 14:03 GMT
Gower beach named Britain's best
Oxwich Bay
Gower was made an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956
A Gower beach has been named the most beautiful in the UK by travel writers who visited more than 1,000 around the world in search of the perfect sands.

Oxwich Bay was praised by The Travel Magazine for "magnificent and unspoilt" scenery and as a "great place for adults and children to explore".

It is the latest recognition for beaches in west Wales.

Last year Barafundle in Pembrokeshire was named the UK's best picnic spot by another magazine, Country Life.

And a tourist expert who devised a mathematical formula to calculate the best beaches in the world ranked Whitesands in Pembrokeshire in his top 20.

Malcolm Ridge, chairman of the Gower Society, said he thought Oxwich deserved the title - especially as Gower was celebrating the 50th anniversary of becoming the UK's first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

"Oxwich really is a tremendous beach - very long and curving," he said.

"At the one end who've got Oxwich Church and then along the bay who've got the dunes and the nature reserve.

"It's a place that's very accessible compared to some."

Pink Beach, Antigua
Ensenda Grande, Mexico
Kovalam Beach, India
White Island, Philippines
Praia da Lopes Mendes, Brazil
Whitehaven Beach, Australia
Oxwich Bay, Gower, UK
Guludo Beach, Mozambique
Super Paradise Beach, Greece
Eilat, Israel
One Foot Island, Cook Islands
Playa Flamenco, Puerto Rico
Source: The Travel Magazine

He said he hoped it would help encourage more people to appreciate the area.

Nic Havers, co-author of the article which appears in the latest edition of the magazine, said it was the culmination of more than a year's work.

Travel experts covered over 28,000 miles and set foot on more than 1,000 beaches worldwide.

He said Oxwich was the "hands-down" winner for the UK.

"We went looking for beaches that had a refined quality," he said.

"We wanted to include beaches not just with natural beauty, good sand and sea quality, but also eco-friendly beaches with a 'just-this-minute-discovered' feel."

"What makes Oxwich so special is its Arcadian quality, there are 2.5 miles of wonderful pale sand, with safe, shallow seas.

Even on the hottest of days, this secluded beach is quiet - the scenery is magnificent and unspoilt.

"The beach is overlooked by Penrice Castle, and surrounded by extensive dunelands and wooded areas, which are great for children and adults alike to explore."

Barafundle 'UK's top picnic spot'
12 May 06 |  South West Wales
Welsh beauty celebrates 50 years
09 May 06 |  Science/Nature
Welsh beach adds up to perfection
15 Jul 05 |  South West Wales


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