Eastern Slade Farm
Oxwich Gower, Swansea SA3 1NA
There’s been a campsite in this field on the Gower Peninsula for 60 years, and there are no prizes for guessing why. High above Port Eynon Bay (the climb up from Oxwich is not for the faint of leg), Eastern Slade Farm commands tremendous views across the Bristol Channel to Ilfracombe and Hartland Point in Devon. Even far-off Lundy can be seen on a clear day: look along Port Eynon Point to the Helwick marker, whose bell rings dolefully out in misty weather, and the island is beyond it on the horizon. However, it’s not just the views that make this a great campsite.
Many campsites in the Gower aim big, and as a result they cater for the masses, with lots of facilities but not much soul, and not always the greatest of locations. For a Cool Camper there’s no real escape. East Slade Bay has just two facilities: a tap and a portable chemical toilet in the slopey half-acre field.
Offsite facilities are also pleasantly sparse. It’s a 10-minute scramble over rocks with no formal footpath down to Slade Bay, but once you’re down there it’s virtually your own private beach – a world away from the chips and postcards of the nearby resorts. The rockpooling opportunities are also excellent.
If the sun doesn’t shine on this south-facing beach there are also plenty of walks to do, best of which are those in the opposite direction to Rhossili. Or there’s an excellent multi-terrain route, which takes in Three Cliffs Bay, Nicholaston Woods, Penrice Castle estate, the King Arthur pub in Reynoldston and the Gower ridge walk. If you’re hankering for a touch of civilisation, the breakfasts at Oxwich Bay Hotel come highly recommended. And there’s also The Mumbles, which is a more refined choice of seaside town.
For all their protestations that they are ‘dairy farmers first and campsite owners second’, the owners are extraordinarily sociable. They are often to be found around a fire of an evening offering an open invitation for campers to join them for a bottle of beer or a glass of wine. Their conviviality tends to rubs off on all who visit, making this definitely not the sort of site where people use windbreaks to stake out their own personal fiefdom.
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I have stayed at this site on a number of occasions, and will continue doing so. It is the friendliest most laid back site my family and I have experienced.
Kate, and her family make you feel instantly at home, and nothing is too much trouble.
They have the balance between providing support and privacy just right. a few times a day you'll hear the tractor pass by, with Kate stopping to check the toilets and collect your rubbish and recycling if you choose to catch her eye, otherwise your left to enjoy the peace and beautiful views. The beach is amazing. You are often the only people on there.
if your looking for low cost, no fuss, welcoming camping holiday in a stunning place this is the one
A Little Piece of Heaven
Well...where to start?! We both work in schools so we booked for a lengthy stay of a month! We visited the site last year and just had to book again for this summer (very unlike us). It is a stunning location! The site is ALWAYS well looked after and maintained to high standards. The toilets are checked at least twice a day and the owner is always on hand if you need anything. There is an amazing atmosphere and we were made to feel very welcome. We met some lovely people and although we had a few evenings of mingling by fires we never felt that our privacy was invaded. This is a back to basics campsite and I would recommend it to anybody who needs a break from routine, a short walk to the beach and a chilled out lifestyle. This will definitely become a regular site for us. Go get yourself some Gower 'maybe' time! xXx
Not what we'd hoped
We know the area well and were hoping for a basic site near to the beach. A fortnight before staying here we'd done wild camping in Herefordshire with no facilities at all, so it's not that we want anything fancy. However if you're going to provide toilets, even portaloos, surely they ought to be clean or cleanish? These were left dirty and unpleasant and weren't inspected by the owners at all during our stay. Access to the beach at Slade turned out to be a difficult trek so we ended up taking the car to other beaches instead. Our young kids - who usually make loads of friends camping and end up off on adventures for hours - found the owner's kids a bit intimidating and unwelcoming, so they didn't get that experience here. Also unfortunately my six-year-old was exposed to their strong swearing - not the end of the world, but it did spoil things. On the plus side the views from the site as quite good and the owner herself was friendly.
As me and 4 friends pulled up were greeted by a fantastic view of the sea and the hill surrounding. We parked the campervan and began setting up tents at tgis point a friendly lady came over and asked if we were booked after confirming she then queried if we'd been here before 'no' I said 'that way is the beach that way is the rest of the world!' Thats all we needed to know she asked if we were gonna start a fire and then continued to inform us not to do it on the grass but she would order her bous to get a fire pit from the farm itself we then continued on with our campin the beach was small and lovely a few other people shared with us but by night tine we didnt see or hear from them we stayed on the beach until 4 in the morning wandered back to the field and crashed out ... in the morning we used the pit the boys brought for us to cook brekkie and have a cuppa we re asked to pay whenever we wanted and leave when we were good and ready we left about 4 that day after more chit chat and laughing ... we been back 3 tines with a fourth time this month ... friendly, comfortably basic and a beach 2 minutes walking down the road ... what more do you need ? 5 * perfect in my eyes
basic and friendly !! that is all i feel i need to say !!
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- Trusted for 10 years
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Stayed two nights on our round Britain trip. A back to basic site carefully explained to me by the owner when I booked. Stunning views and really friendly people made this one of the highlights of our three week tour. This place reminded me so much of camping as a child in the 1970s- a cold water tap and a toilet, but who needs more! My kids thought it great fun to hose down dad in cold water as a shower. The short walk to the secluded beach gets you in the mood for a swim or surf as long as you don't mind jellyfish (non-stingers). Good surf for belly boarding with the kids on a beautiful beach with a handful of people on it. An absolutely stunning spot. We were all very reluctant to leave as the kids and dog had made loads of friends. Will definitely return
Lovely Camping at Eastern Slade Farm
Camped here for three nights with my sister and her two toddlers. We all had a lovely time.The views are just beautiful and as site's so small everyone can camp in a spot with a view. We didn't feel in the least bit "crammed in" and had all the privacy we needed. I am not a 'seasoned' camper but had no problems with the basic facilities. Who needs a shower when you've got the sea? Kate (the owner) is friendly and helpful and pretty much leaves campers to get on with it. No grumpiness, no silly rules, no excessive charges. With so little traffic movement, so few people, and such a small site we could let the children roam around without worries. And they got to sit on Kate's tractor! Lots of dogs on site but all well behaved and under control and no dog poo anywhere.
We did two visits to Oxwich Beach, one to Port Enyon (rockpools, sandcastles, ice cream, chips!!), and had much fun at nearby Oxwich Castle. AND we made it down to Slade Bay, or as we now call it, Jellyfish Beach. Stunning spot and for well over an hour we were only people there. If we'd been without children think we'd have spent every day there. But we got down there in about 20 mins, with 2 and 3 yr old walking whole way. Took longer on way back up but totally do-able even with v young children and SO well worth it.
Re July 30 review by SD and mention of crying child at 5am - hmm, think that was us. We did hush him, honest! We endlessly hushed him! But who's tried to hush a 2yr old with a tummy ache at 5am in an unfamiliar place and been succesful? Tents are made of thin, non-soundproof fabric. May I humbly suggest they are a poor choice of holiday accomodation for those who require quiet. May I also humbly suggest ear plugs?
Great camp site - we'll be back....
Stunning location but not for those of us who like privacy
A wonderfully basic campsite (a tap and portaloos are the only resources) with a stunning view across the sea and easy access to secluded bays. Eastern Slade is not though for people who are looking for remote camping.
This busy little field seems to attract groups of campers who are happy to be crammed in and sociable with their neighbours. My husband and I chose this site because of the basic facilities and out of the way location, hoping to have some peace and quiet. With kids waking up and not being hushed by parents at 5am and dog owners who do not adhere to the simple rule of tethering their dogs, shouting across the site at any hour as their dog wanders off to eat someone's barbequed steak or to bare its teeth at your dog (who is on a lead) you might find yourself wanting to do anything other than sit around your camp fire.
I would say that this campsite is an acquired taste but good value if you're happy with noise and close proximity.
Response from campsite owner:
Thanks for your feedback. Our site is very popular with families and couples as we are the only ‘back-to-basics’ farm site on the Gower. While I agree that the site is busy on sunny weekends and school holidays, we always maintain the peace and quiet when dusk falls. We are a working dairy farm and work long hours so we are not always on hand to 'patrol' the site. Ultimately, if we are unaware of problems we cannot rectify them. It has always been our policy to allow the field to self-manage. We don’t enforce strict rules as generally people are very considerate – maybe this will now have to change.
I would dispite the claim that people are “crammed in”. Campers are always told to take enough space so that they have privacy. Some families who come as a group like to pitch next to each other so they do not disturb others in the field. I have an overspill field to accomodate the weekend campers leaving my main field free for people who are staying much longer. I encourage the children to be allowed to play freely in the open field space and not be glued to an ipod/ipad etc, allowing parents to relax and unwind.
People who have dogs have always been told that they should be kept under control at all times as we have dairy cattle and our neighbour has sheep, and it is always explained that our cattle can damage dogs (as well as the other way round).
I am very surprised at the comments that have been made as I regularly make sure the toilets are cleaned and rubbish is collected. We never receive negative comments and we do our utmost to promote remote, traditional camping in the beautiful Gower.
Eastern Slade Farm
We have just returned from four days at Eastern Slade, and the description does not mislead in any way. This is our second visit, though we have known about the site for many years. It is idyllic, very friendly, well cared for, and very out of the way. The owners are as genuine and welcoming as people say, but we learned this time that their milking business is still very precarious. This means that the campsite really is important to the future of the farm. Don’t wait, ring up now and book your space. There are plenty of campsites in the Gower, but most of them are crowded and noisy. This is the only one where you can sleep deeply and peacefully at night and wake to the sound of birds, cows and the sea.