YOU might not think you know Rhossili Bay but you do.

The sweeping three-mile stretch of beach on Wales’ Gower Peninsula is a star of the small screen. It features in an advert, complete with black horses galloping along in moody weather.

But nothing can prepare you for its beauty in real life. It really is a stunner of unspoiled natural beauty.

Viewed from Worm’s Head at the southern end you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere as beautiful in the world. And all that, just a couple of hours from Wiltshire.

When families think about a quick getaway many will head south to Devon and Cornwall.

But for our mini-break we headed west and in the same time in takes to get to those south-west hotspots, you can be in the beautiful surroundings of the Gower Peninsula.

On the way we stopped off in Swansea’s Maritime Quarter. As ever, food first, so we headed to the top of Wales’ tallest building.

My two (seven and five) were excited enough about the lift before we even got to the 28th storey. But getting into the restaurant were were confronted with a breathtaking vista. On a warm sunny clear autumn day, we had amazing unspoiled views across Swansea Bay from our window seats.

With glass on all sides, my children made sure we took in every single view possible, while we enjoyed our lunch. The menu caters for all tastes, whether you want a steak or something a bit more fancy. And the children’s menu had pizza on it, which is all my son ever really wants to see. If you have the time, Swansea Museum and the National Waterfront Museum are close by and well worth a visit.

We headed off to our base, the King’s Head Inn in Llangennith. It’s in a fantastic spot, near Rhossili Bay and a great start-point for walks.

We headed out to explore Three Cliffs Bay. After a stroll through the woods it opened up - a ruined castle high on the hill to the left, the sea far in the distance. My son fancied a scramble up a sandbank to the castle, so that’s what we did. And it was worth the effort.

Then we headed to the sea and, bar my daughter testing how deep the water was and spending the rest of the day with wet feet having discovered the answer was ‘too deep’, enjoyed every minute.

After the beach, it was lunch at the Gower Heritage Centre. It might not look like much from the street, but the labyrinthine attraction really was something special.

We had a bowl of cawl, before heading to the blacksmith. As my daughter’s socks dried above his fire, he created a now much-loved ‘unicorn’s horn’ before my children’s eyes - they were transfixed. They got hands-on at pottery, checked out the animals, looked at Wales’ oldest mill and much more. And there was air hockey - lots of air hockey.

We came home via a much-needed pit-stop at the cosy and cosmopolitan Mumbles, on the opposite side of Swansea Bay.

We took a bracing stroll along the front before repairing to a rammed Verdi's for lunch. Three pizzas and a carbonara later, we left replete.

We had a fab time discovering what the Gower had to offer and will be back, although next time, with my daughter’s wellies.

For more information, go to www.visitswanseabay.com