Download GPX file for this article
51.621-3.947Map mag.png

Swansea

From Wikivoyage
Jump to: navigation, search
For other places with the same name, see Swansea (disambiguation).
This article is about the urban area of Swansea. The Swansea Rural is covered in a separate article.

Swansea (pronounced: Swan-zee; Welsh: Abertawe) is a city on the South Wales coast. With a population approaching 250,000, it is the second largest city in Wales, and located on the beautiful Gower Peninsula - the United Kingdom's first designated "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty".

Districts[edit]

  • Swansea Urban (this article) - from north to south covering areas from Morriston and Clydach to St.Thomas and Swansea Bay sea front and from east to west covering areas from Port Tennant to Caswell. Swansea Urban includes the city centre and the tourist areas of the Maritime Quarter, Mumbles, Limeslade, Langland and Caswell.
  • Swansea Rural - basically the Gower Peninsula, covering all points west of Bishopston, Pwll Du Bay, Fairwood Common and Upper Killay, and also including the highland areas of Pontardulais and Mawr.

Understand[edit]

History[edit]

During medieval times, Swansea was a prosperous market town, later gaining a certain prominence as a spa resort. It was during the industrial revolution, however, that the city flourished and its population grew. The city is home to the world's first passenger railway service known as the Mumbles Train, which bumped and bounced along five miles of Swansea foreshore, linking the city centre with the suburb of Mumbles. Much of the city centre's architectural heritage was lost through wartime bombing. However, the abundance of parks, stunning coastal scenery, lovely water-side suburbs, a magnificent bay-side maritime quarter, varied cultural events, medieval castles and golden sandy beaches have preserved Swansea's place as a major tourist destination. Furthermore, according to a survey conducted by an international health magazine that considered, among other factors, a city's crime rate, life-style, environment etc., Swansea was judged to be the most relaxed city in the UK, while two national surveys have ranked the city as the third friendliest place in the country with regard to customer service and the safest urban area in the UK. Citizens from Wales' second city are known as 'Swansea Jacks,' and the name 'Swansea' is derived from 'Sweyn's-ey,' the Scandinavian name for the original settlement.

Dylan Thomas was passionate about Swansea, and in his early days described it as an "ugly, lovely town, crawling, sprawling, slummed, unplanned, jerry-villa'd, and smug-suburbed by the side of a long and splendid curving shore." Later, he referred to it as "the most romantic town I know," and described it with great gusto as a "marble town, city of laughter, little Dublin" and screamed triumphantly "Never was there such a town!"

Incidentally, the Swansea seaside resort of Mumbles derives its name from the French word mamelles, meaning "breasts"; take a look at the two islets off Mumbles Head from across the bay, and it is easy to see why.

Climate[edit]

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 6 6 9 11 15 17 20 20 16 13 10 10
Nightly lows (°C) 4 4 7 8 12 14 17 17 13 11 8 8
Precipitation (mm) 71 52 45 49 36 42 41 50 55 81 71 71

Met office five day forecast for Swansea: [1]

Swansea has a wet and mild climate, with winter temperatures ranging from around 4 to 6°C, while the summer average high is about 20°C but often reaching to 26 or 27°C. Sun lovers should visit Swansea from June to August, which is the period that records the most hours of sunshine and is the main tourist season. However, those who prefer long solitary walks along cliffs paths or contemplative strolls through wooded valleys should consider September and October. During these months, the air is crisp and fresh and the area quiet, with most tourists having already departed. However, as Wales is one of the wettest areas in the UK, you should always prepare for rain when visiting the region. Even in the summer, pack some rain gear and an umbrella in your luggage.

Famous Faces

Swansea's rich and diverse history has created a city of character, which has proved to be very fertile ground for producing well known personalities. In the literary world, Dylan Thomas is Swansea's most famous son, and inscriptions of his verse can been seen throughout the city. The Oscar award winning actor Catherine Zeta Jones was born and raised here, as were actors Joanna Page and Matt Ryan. The 70s and 80s rock sensation Bonnie Tyler is also from Swansea and still lives in the seaside suburb of Mumbles. Sir Harry Secombe, who entertained the country for decades, hails from Swansea's East Side, and also in the entertainment world, the TV playwright and producer Russell T. Davies (of recent Dr. Who fame) has his roots in the city, as does actor-turned singer Steve Balsamo. In the upper echelons of religion, economics and politics, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, Nobel Prize Winner Professor Clive Granger, former deputy-prime minister, Sir Michael Heseltine, and a former leader of the Conservative Party, Michael Howard, were all born in Swansea, while among the city's most famous contributions to the sporting world were the soccer legend, John Charles, England cricketer Simon Jones and former WBO world cruiser weight champion, Enzo Maccarinelli.

Within a few miles of Swansea is the birthplace of Hollywood legends Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins and Ray Milland, and opera stars Katherine Jenkins and Paul Potts.

The city's most loved character, however, is undoubtedly Jack the black retriever. During his seven years of life, he rescued no less than twenty-seven people from drowning in the murky waters of Swansea docks, and there is a small memorial in honor of this little hero on the foreshore, near the St. Helen's Stadium.

Tourist information[edit]

  • City centre: Plymouth Street (Opposite the Bus Station). Tel:+44 1792 468321 - Winter opening hours: Mon to Sat: 09:30-17:30. Summer opening hours (Easter - end of September): Mon to Sat: 09:30-17:30, Sun: 10:00-16:00. - offers free maps, information on tourist sites and hotel room reservation service.
  • Mumbles: The Methodist Church, Mumbles Road. Tel:+ 44 1792 361302 - Opening hours (year-round):Mon to Sat: 10AM-5PM, Sunday (+ school vacations): 12:00-17:00 - offers same services as the main city center office.

Talk[edit]

Although it definitely has character, Swansea dialect (especially from east-side) can be hard to understand for the uninitiated.

The following usages are to be heard in Swansea:

  • bye-yer = here (example: "Put it bye-yer" means "Put it here.")
  • ewe = you (example: "Alright, arr ewe?" means "Are you OK?")
  • learn = teach, (example: "Will you learn me English?" means "Will you teach me English?")
  • likes = like, (example: "I likes it" means "I like it")
  • now = often used as an affirmative, not be taken literally (example: "I'll come over now later" just means "I'll come over later.")
  • tidy = not to be mistaken as a command to clear up something, but a statement of approval, meaning "I agree" or "that is acceptable".
  • fair dues = to give someone credit (example: "He is not rich, but fair dues he's always happy to lend money to his friends." means "He is not rich, but give him credit. He's always happy to lend money to his friends.")
  • there's = that's, how or what (example: "There's lovely" means "That's beautiful" or "How nice", whereas "There's a mess!" would in more standard English be expressed as "What a mess!")
  • butt/butty = friend/buddy. (example: "How're you doing, butt?" means "How are you doing, mate/friend?")
  • mun = used at the end of a statement for emphasis purposes (example: "Hurry up, mun, or we'll be late").
  • cowin' lush = not to confused with a fertile plain for herbivores, but a statement akin to approval (example: "That curry I 'ad last night was cowin' lush mun".
  • Evening Po = an abbreviated term for Evening Post (the Swansea evening newspaper) called out by road side vendors.
  • In addition, there is a tendency for those with a strong accent to speak in the third person. So if someone walks up to you and says, "eye nose ewe", don't be surprised. They are merely expressing the fact that they recognize you (i.e. "I know you")!

The Swansea accent is more noticeable in blue collar areas of the city, whereas in more affluent areas people speak with a more refined Welsh accent. However, even in these areas Wenglish phrases like "Uch a fi!" (dirty) can still be heard.

About 16% of Swansea's population can speak and read Welsh in addition to English, though the majority of these are residents of the northern suburbs (i.e. those closest to the counties of Powys and Carmarthenshire). People from the original town of Swansea, east-side, Mumbles and South Gower were not traditionally Welsh speaking, and so there are far fewer Welsh speakers in these areas.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

  • The M4 motorway links the city to Cardiff and London, with connections to the M6, M5, M32, M42 and M50. The main junction for Swansea is 42, but 43,44,45,46 and 47 also lead off into Swansea

By bus[edit]

  • National Express runs frequent bus services from Cardiff, London, the Midlands, and Heathrow Airport. All buses depart and arrive at the city's Bus Station. Enquires: 0990 80 80 80. The National Express ticket office is located next to the bus station. Megabus is a cheaper option.
  • Greyhound operate a frequent and efficient bus service from Cardiff (Central Station) to Swansea (Quadrant Shopping Centre). Enquiries: 0900 096 0000. Tickets are purchased on boarding the bus. No prior booking required. Discounts available when traveling outside peak times.
  • A convenient way to spend the day in Swansea city centre is to use one of the three Park and Ride systems National Park and Ride Directory. One is based at Landore on the A4067 - leave M4 at junction 45. The eastern 'Park and Ride' operates off the A483 (Fabian Way), which is the main artery into Swansea when coming off the M4 (junction 42) from the east Buses on this route follow an express bus lane into the city center. The western 'Park and Ride' operates off the A483 (Carmarthen Road) in Fforestfach. There is a £1.50 charge per car that includes all-day parking and return bus travel for up to 4 passengers, and the system operates from Monday to Saturday from 06:45 to 19:30.

By plane[edit]

  • Heathrow Airport has daily arrivals from the widest number of places around the world to the UK. By rail, take the RailAir coach service from Heathrow Central Bus station and change at Reading Railway Station for trains direct to Swansea. By Coach, National Express provide a coach service from Heathrow Central Bus station to Swansea.
  • Cardiff Airport (IATA: CWL), approximately fifty minutes drive to Swanesa. There are arrivals from various places in Europe. By rail, take the train from Rhoose Cardiff International Airport Railway station and change at Bridgend. Enquires: 01446 711111.
  • 1 Swansea Airport (IATA: SWS) (located in the Gower Peninsula),  +44 1792 20755. handles private aircraft only Swansea Airport on Wikipedia Q3544962 on Wikidata
  • Pembrey Airport, 17 miles to the west near Burry Port, handles private aircraft and offers charter flights from destinations in UK and Europe. Enquiries: 01554 891534.

By train[edit]

  • Arriva Trains Wales runs local trains throughout Wales. Timetables
    • West Wales services, west of Swansea. After leaving Swansea, the train follows of the contours of the coast. A left side seat will give you the best view. Inquires:08457 48 49 50
    • The famous Heart of Wales Line runs between the medieval town of Shrewsbury and Swansea, passing through some of Wales' most spectacular scenery and picturesque towns during its three-hour and forty minute journey. Trains depart Swansea at 04:36, 09:15, 13:17 and 18:21.
    • There are direct trains from Manchester Piccadilly to Swansea operating hourly during the daytime Mon-Sat, and every two hours during the daytime on Sundays. The journey time is about 4 hours 20 minutes. This service calls at Crewe, Shrewsbury, Hereford, Newport and Cardiff.
  • Airport connections:
    • Travellers arriving from Heathrow have the option of taking the shuttle bus to Reading and boarding the west bound train there - this saves travelling into London - or taking the Heathrow Express high speed rail link to London Paddington Station. This service runs every 15 minutes from terminals 1,2,3 or every 23 minutes from terminal 4 and takes 15 minutes: £13 (single); £25 (return).
    • Travellers arriving from Cardiff International Airport can take a train to Swansea, however this requires a change at Bridgend. Services are provided by Arriva Trains

By boat[edit]

  • Swansea Marina offers 750 berths for private boat mooring, and is a five gold anchor rated [2] marina with Blue Flag status offering comprehensive facilities for both short and long term stays.


By bicycle[edit]

  • National Cycle Route 4. Swansea is served by the NCR 4 which passes just south of the city centre. To the east, NCR 4 connects Swansea with Port Talbot, Newport and London. To the west, NCR 4 connects Swansea with Llanelli and St David's. From the east, NCR 4 follows the route of the A483 (Fabian Way), it then follows the route of the seafront promenade of Swansea Bay Beach and at Blackpill it continues up the Clyne Valley cycle track towards Gowerton.[3]
  • National Cycle Route 43. NCR 43 is still under development and will eventually connect Swansea with Builth Wells. Part of the route wholly within Swansea has been completed and signposted. The completed signposted section of NCR 43 begins at the Swansea Marina and follows the route of the River Tawe all the way to Ystalyfera, passing Pontardawe.[4]
  • National Cycle Route 47. NCR47 Connects Newport with Fishguard. Within Swansea, NCR47 follows the same route as NCR4. Whilst, NCR4 is a more coastal route, NCR47 is a mostly inland route. [5]

Get around[edit]

Buses[edit]

Bus companies First South West Wales maintain frequent services connecting all suburbs of Swansea and the Gower Peninsula. All buses depart from the Bus Station, and there are connecting links to/from Swansea's railway station. Visitors travelling to the Mumbles have the option of taking buses heading to these final destinations: Oystermouth (synonymous with Mumbles and the final stop is in the village), Limeslade (includes stops at Mumbles Square, Verdi's Cafe and Mumbles Pier), Langland, Newton and Caswell. All buses on these routes also make stops at St. Helen's Stadium, Swansea University/Singleton Park and Blackpill Lido.

First Cymru offer a one-day "FirstDay" bus pass for the Swansea urban area. It costs £4.00 per adult before 9:30AM and £3.50 after 9:30AM.

Taxis[edit]

There are several taxi ranks in the city centre. One is located at High Street Station for rail connections and one is located at Swansea Bus Station for bus/coach connections. A taxi rank beside St. Mary's church serves city centre shoppers. The taxi rank on Caer Street next to Castle Square is the most convenient for people returning home after a night out on Wind Street.

See[edit]

Landmarks[edit]

Oystermouth Castle, Mumbles, Swansea
  • 1 Swansea Castle. The ruins of this 13th century castle are located in the city centre. While the remains are not substantial enough to warrant a special visit, the contrast of the battlements against the more contemporary architecture of its surroundings does provide an interesting backdrop for souvenir photographs of Swansea city centre - the building is floodlit at night. Swansea Castle on Wikipedia
  • 2 The Guildhall. This elegant building of white Portland stone has graced the city centre's western approach since 1934. The main building only houses administrative offices and is of no interest to the casual visitor. However, Sir Frank Brangwyn's murals (originally intended for the House of Lords, but considered too frivolous) that grace the interior of the Brangwyn Hall are definitely worth viewing. The Brangwyn Hall is on the sea-facing side of the building and functions as the city's main concert and reception hall. Swansea Guildhall on Wikipedia
  • Arthur's Stone (Cefn Bryn, Gower). A neolithic burial chamber or cromlech dating from 2500BCE.
  • Dylan Thomas' Childhood Home5 Cwmdonkin Dr. Uplands. Restored to reflect the environment of Dylan's youth, Number Five Cwmdonkin Drive is open as a self-catering guest house - suitable for budding writers.
  • 3 Oystermouth Castle. Mumbles. The original castle was founded in the early 12th century by William de Londres of Ogmore and was constructed of ringwork and bailey. In the 13th century, the castle was the principle residence of the de Braoses, the lords of Gower (their other main residence was Swansea Castle), and most of the structure remaining today originates from this period. King Edward 1 is recorded to have visited the castle in December 1284. The present day remains are well preserved and the battlements offer commanding views over Swansea Bay. There is a small entry fee. Oystermouth Castle on Wikipedia
Swansea Guildhall
  • 4 Mumbles Pier. Mumbles. Built in the 1880s to encourage more passengers to use the Mumbles Train, the pier is an edifice to the Victorians' love of the ocean. Compared to many piers around the country, Mumbles is quite simple in design, but the 255m walk from beginning to end allows for spectacular views over Swansea Bay. In particular, Oystermouth Castle and the high rise buildings of the city centre are in clear view. Mumbles Pier on Wikipedia
  • Historical buildings. Much of Swansea city centre was destroyed in wartime bombing. Still, there are large pockets of the historic centre that did survive, and these have been painstakingly restored in recent times. Some of the best examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture can be found on Wind Street (pronounced Wined), with Salubrious Passage (linking Wind Street with Princess Way) being almost exclusively Georgian - though the accolade for oldest buildings in that area goes to Swansea Castle and the Cross Keys (inn), which are respectively relics of the 13th and 14th centuries. At the bottom end of Wind Street and across the main thoroughfare leading from the M4 into Swansea are several lovely Georgian terraces, with Somerset Place and Cambrian Place perhaps being the most stylish. The Dylan Thomas Centre on Somerset Place also represents a fine example of Doric style Georgian architecture, and the area (which leads onto the marina) also has an impressive mixture of Victorian and Edwardian buildings, such as the colonnaded neo-classical style Swansea Museum (1841) and Morgan's Hotel (1903). Across town, Alexandra Road offers some fine examples of baroque revival Edwardian architecture, with the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery acting as the focal point. British visitors may immediately recognize some of Swansea's historic streets as they have featured in the popular TV series Doctor Who.

Museums and Galleries[edit]

  • 5 National Waterfront MuseumThe, Maritime Quarter +44 1792 638950. Open daily 10AM-5PM. Housed in an iconic building clad in Welsh slate, the National Waterfront Museum represents an exciting and innovative way to explore the development of the industrial revolution - through the eyes of the people whose lives it touched and transformed. The toil, the achievements, the defeats and the joys are revealed through the museum's creative exhibitions. Children will particularly enjoy the working machinery. There are also cafes and gift shops overlooking the marina. This is one of the UK's most imaginative exhibition spaces and must-see destinations. Admission is free. National Waterfront Museum on Wikipedia Q10994022 on Wikidata
  • 6 Dylan Thomas CentreThe, Somerset Place, Marina +44 1792 463980. Tu-Su 9AM-10PM. This splendid example of early 19th century Doric style architecture served as Swansea Guildhall for over 100 years. It became the Dylan Thomas Center in 1995 when it was refurbished in commemoration of Swansea hosting the 1995 UK Year of Literature and Writing, and was opened by former US President Jimmy Carter. The center is dedicated to the works of Swansea's greatest literary son, and in addition to a theater, exhibition and events hall, the center also has a second hand book store and gift shop. The local cuisine served in the second floor restaurant is highly recommended. Admission free. Dylan Thomas Centre on Wikipedia
  • 7 Glyn Vivian Art GalleryThe, Alexandra Rd +44 1792 516900. Open: Tues-Sun 9AM-5PM. The gallery housed in a baroque revival Edwardian building has permanent exhibits of paintings by local artists and a good collection of Swansea china. In addition, it frequently hosts exhibitions of national and international works of art. Admission free. Glynn Vivian Art Gallery on Wikipedia Q5572991 on Wikidata
  • 8 Swansea MuseumVictoria Road, Maritime Quarter +44 1792 653763. Tu-Su 9AM-5PM. This grade two, neo-classic building was Wales' first museum, and displays artifacts as diverse as Swansea china and an Egyptian mummy. The museum gift shop sells good quality souvenirs. Admission free. Swansea Museum on Wikipedia Q7653706 on Wikidata
  • Gower Heritage CentreParkmill, Gower +44 1792 371206. A rural life museum based around a working water mill - gift shop and cafe on site.
  • Egypt Centre +44 1792 295960. Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM. The Swansea University campus (near the Taliesin Art Centre). One of the UK's best collections of ancient Egyptian artifacts outside London. Free.
  • Attic Gallery140 Cambrian Place, Marina +44 1792 653387. F 10AM-5:30PM, Sa 10AM-4:30PM. Wales' oldest independent gallery - specializing in grass roots Welsh art. free.
  • Mission GalleryGloucester Place, Marina +44 1792 652016. Mo-Su 11AM-5PM. A small independent gallery located in a converted seaman's chapel. free.
  • 1940s Swansea BayElba Crescent, Crymlyn Burrows (off Fabian Way - the main road linking the city center and M4 motorway),  +44 1792 458864, e-mail: . Open: March–Oct: 10AM–5PM, Nov–Feb:10AM–4PM (Closed 24–26 December, 1st January and Mondays Oct-March). This small museum invites visitors to experience life in Swansea during the second world war and through the blitz that devastated the city center. NB: This is definitely a museum in the making, and at present the entrance fee is probably a bit steep. However, for those interested in war memorabilia, it is worth a visit and the owners are very friendly and helpful. The museum offers free parking and has a gift shop and cafe.
  • Women in JazzQueen’s Buildings, Cambrian Place, Maritime Quarter +44 1792 456666. A collection of several thousand audio and visual records, photographs, periodicals, paintings, stained glass windows, stage gowns, a library and an oral history collection.
  • Oriel Ceri Richards GalleryTaliesin Arts Centre, Swansea University +44 1792 295526. Open Monday to Saturday. Taliesin’s Oriel Ceri Richards Gallery not only hosts regular touring exhibitions, but also stocks an excellent range of greetings cards as well as jewellery, ceramics and other craft items.
  • Elysium Art Space41 High St +44 1792 641313. Th-Su 11AM-5PM. A volunteer run space promoting the work of emerging artists. Admission free.
  • The Nick Holly Studio Gallery +44 7971 343366. Open: Tue-Sun 10AM-5PM. Exchange Building, Cambrian Place, Maritime Quarter. Showcases the work of local artists. Admission free.
  • Palterman and Thomas +44 1792 641441. Open: Tue-Sat 10AM-5:30PM. Norwegian Church, Lagdon Road, SA1. Exhibit of handcrafted jewellery. Admission free.
  • Swansea Bus Museum. Open: Mon-Fri 9AM-4PM, Sun 10AM-5PM. SA1 Business Park, Fabian Way, Port Tennant. An exhibit of over thirty buses that once plied the streets of Swansea and West Wales. Admission free - donations welcome.

Parks and scenic sites[edit]

  • Mumbles. A former fishing village located at the western end of Swansea Bay the quaint streets, a 12th-century castle, fashionable boutiques and excellent restaurants make this suburb of Swansea a must-see destination. The promenade at Mumbles offers a spectacular panoramic view over Swansea Bay, and Village Lane (behind Patrick's restaurant) is a street of picture postcard fisherman's cottages.
Three Cliffs Bay, Swansea
  • The Gower Peninsula - the first area in Britain to be designated an "area of outstanding natural beauty" - stunning scenery that extends from sandy beaches, hidden coves and lush country-side. In addition, (including the ruins of Swansea castle) there are seven medieval castles to explore. Home to Oxwich Bay - named the most beautiful beach in the UK and one of the most beautiful in the world by The Travel Magazine in 2007.
  • The Maritime Quarter. An international award winning bay-side development. The swinging masts and sails of the three marinas offer a great backdrop to the theaters, museums, hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants that jostle for positions in this tight little corner off the city center. The south-side faces the sea, where there are great views over Swansea Bay and the Mumbles Head.
  • 9 Plantasia +44 1792 474555. Open: Daily 10AM - 5PM. Parc Tawe. A chisel shaped hot house in the city center, complete with three different climate zones and exotic animals. Adult £3.70, Children and Concessions £2.70, Passport to Leisure £2.00, Under 4's admitted free and Family £12.00. Plantasia on Wikipedia Q7201595 on Wikidata
  • Singleton Park. Swansea's largest park meandering over several acres of gentle undulating hills and leading down to Swansea Bay botanical gardens located near the Sketty end of the park, and Swansea University located at the lower end, near the sea front. The main entrance to the park is on Mumbles Road, just past the St. Helen's Stadium.
  • Clyne Gardens and Country Park. No doubt the gem in the crown of Swansea parks. Originally a private garden, Clyne is bursting with flora and fauna meticulously collected from across the world. It is has an internationally recognized collection of rhododendrons and azaleas which are at their spectacular best in May. The Japanese style pond, complete with willow trees and oriental bridge is a great place to relax and watch the clouds sail by. Entrance behind the Woodman pub on Mumbles Road at Blackpill.
  • 10 Cwmdonkin Park. Located in the Uplands. A classic Victorian park that was a favorite with Dylan Thomas, and several of his works were inspired here. Cwmdonkin Park on Wikipedia
  • Brynmill Park. Swansea's oldest park, located in Dylan's Uplands famous for its large swan lake.
  • Lake Fendrod. Situated in the heart of the Swansea Enterprise Park. It has a large population of Swans and is stocked with a range of fishes like carp to 20 lbs, skimmers to bream of 8 lbs, tench to 6 lbs, roach to 2 lbs together with crucian carp, dace, orfe, perch & rudd. There are about 75 pegs, some of which are concreted. Lake Fendrod is surrounded by a public footpath.
  • Swansea Vale Nature Reserve. Located at the far north eastern end of the Enterprise Park. It is one of the few remaining places of wetland in Swansea and features streams, ponds and woodland. The nature reserve is accessible by bike or on foot and features a board walk and bike paths
  • Kilvey Community Woodland (Kilvey Hill). The south side of the woodland offers panoramic views of Swansea Bay right over to Mumbles Head and Port Talbot and also the city centre and docks, while the western face of the hill allows uninhibited views of the lower Swansea Valley, the northern part of the city centre, the Enterprise Zone and the Liberty Stadium. In addition, the hill itself has a sculpture trail, a number of footpaths and some dedicated white knuckle mountain biking trails.
  • View over the city and Swansea Bay. One of the best locations to gain a panoramic view of the city and the full sweep of Swansea Bay is from Pant-y-Celyn Road in Townhill (near the Townhill Campus of Swansea Metropolitan University). There are bay-facing parking areas along the road that allow the stunning views to be enjoyed from the comfort of your car. The scene is especially spectacular at dusk with the sun setting over Mumbles Head. For the adventurous and those possessing cars with strong brakes, return to the city center via the 1 in 3 incline of the cobbled street of Constitution Hill.
  • Blackpill Beach (located on the southern edge of Swansea Bay beach). Blackpill Beach and the Blackpill Stream which flows into it are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. Many types of gulls can be seen feeding there at high tide.
  • Crymlyn Bog. Crymlyn bog is the largest area of lowland fen in Wales located to the east of Swansea City Centre. It is a Ramsar site, a Special Site of Scientific interest and a protected National Nature Reserve. There is a visitor centre with car parking.
  • Swansea beach. A 5 mile stretch of beach from Swansea Docks all the way to Mumbles with a cycle way and promenade along its whole length.

Do[edit]

  • Swansea Airport +44 1792 208933. See Swansea and the Gower Peninsula from the air.Flying Lessons and recreational flights are operated by Swansea Sport Flying.Skydiving lessons and recreational skydives at Swansea Airport are operated by Skydive Swansea

Bowls[edit]

  • Swansea Indoor Bowls Stadium +44 1792 771728. Beaufort Road, Plasmarl, Swansea. The Swansea Bowls stadium is an international standard indoor bowling stadium which hosts the Welsh International Open, part of the World Bowls Tour, annually. The stadium features 6 bowling rinks with a function room and a bar.

Children's activities[edit]

  • Swansea Bay Rider. A colorful children's land train runs throughout the summer along the promenade from the St. Helen's Stadium to Southend Gardens, Mumbles.
  • Chocolate factoryThe Kingsway, Swansea West Industrial Park +44 1792 561617fax: +44 1792 561619, e-mail: . Enter the world of Willy Wonka at Swansea's own chocolate factory. There are organised tours for schools and members of the public, during which the process of turning cocoa into everyone's favorite snack is explained, and plenty of samples are available to try. In addition, there is a factory shop where souvenirs can be purchased. Reservations are necessary to guarantee admission.
  • Rowing and crazy golf. A boating lake and crazy golf course located between the junction of Sketty Lane and Mumbles Road and the entrance to Swansea University.
Swansea Marina
  • Discovery Centre (Brynmill Park). Mo-Fri 11AM-5PM, Sa&Su 11AM-4PM. The center offers the opportunity for children to observe and gain first hand knowledge about local wildlife and nature.
  • The LC. A state of the art leisure center. See 'Swimming' section for more details.

Cruises[edit]

  • The historic ship MV Balmoral runs day trips to Ilfracombe in North Devon and cruises around the Gower coast - summer only. The paddle steamer Waverley runs similar trips, but less frequently. Certain journeys continue on to Lundy Island. Starting point- Swansea Ferry Port. [6] Tel:+44 845 130-4647.
  • Euphoria Sailing Ltd +44 1792 234502, e-mail: . Motor boat and yacht cruises around the Gower coast - starting points Swansea Marina or Oxwich Bay.
  • Gower Coast Adventures +44 1792 540386. Offers trips around the Gower coast for up to twelve people on their ten meter sea serpent cruise boat.

Cycling[edit]

Swansea is connected to the National Celtic Cycling Trail, and there are four main routes in city.

  • The Jersey Marine and Fabian Way Trail. Traces the main road into the city center from the East few special sites of interest, it passes the Jersey Marine Tower and offers views of the heavy industrial plants in Baglan Bay and Port Talbot.
  • The River Tawe Trail. Runs along the banks of the river Tawe passing through a former industrial area that has been reforested, skirts the Liberty Stadium, a business district and finally heads out to the Swansea Valley.
  • The Promenade Trail. Runs along Swansea Bay foreshore to the sea-side suburb of Mumbles it passes through the Marina and offers stunning views over Swansea Bay. On a sunny day, with the blue water lapping at the side of the promenade, cycling along this trail must be the nearest thing to poetry in motion.
  • The Clyne Valley Trail. Runs through Clyne Country Park to the North Gower coast, where it rejoins the National Celtic Cycle Trail the first part of the trail passes through a forested area, then meanders through sprawling suburbs before reaching the Loughor Estuary near Loughor. This trail leads from the Promenade Trail at Blackpill (a child's paddling area marks the site). Mountain bike trails are located on the sides of the valley.

Bikes can be rented at the following city center stores:

  • Cycle Centre, 10 Wyndham Street. Tel:+44 1792 410710 (closed Sunday)
  • Action Bike, St. David's Square. Tel:+44 1792 464640 (open seven days and will deliver bike to hotel free of charge)
  • Mountain biking. Kilvey Hill has a dedicated downhill run and several other trails for the mountain bike enthusiast.

Driving[edit]

There are some wonderfully picturesque drives in Swansea. Below are a couple of popular ones:

  • City centre - Mayals - Bishopston - Caswell Bay - Langland Bay - Bracelet Bay - Limeslade Bay- Mumbles - city centre.

To start this drive, take the A4067 Mumbles Road from the city center and turn right onto B4436 Mayals Road. Follow road over Fairwood Common and take a left at Bishopston Village. From there, follow signs for the above places.

This drive takes in some beautiful coastal scenery. Recommended stops: Verdis cafe (Mumbles, Swansea Bay sea front), Castellamare cafe (Bracelet Bay sea front), and Mumbles Village (see listing under 'See').

  • City centre - Uplands - Killay - Parkmill - Reynolston - Rhossili - Llangeneth - Oldwalls - Killay - Uplands - city centre.

To start this drive, take A4118 through the bed-sit suburb of Uplands and then Killay. Finally, after leaving Upper Killay, the road passes through the heart of the Gower Peninsular. Follow signs for the above places.

This drive passes through some quintessential British countryside and culminates at stunning Rhossili Bay. Recommended stops: Parkmill is the location of the Gower Heritage Centre, with its working water wheel, and Shepards' village store and cafe is a good place to take refreshment. Near the village of Reynolston, you can take a short detour onto Cefn Bryn to see Arthur's Stone (see listing under 'See'). Also, in Reynolston is the beautifully renovated country inn, 'the King Arthur's Hotel', which is an excellent place for lunch. At Rhossili, there are tea houses, but the attraction here is definitely the stunning views.

As you drive along the beautiful country lanes with the smell of freshly cut grass pervading the air and the vista of a wide blue bay opening before you, the words of a famous Buddhist master - 'the journey is the goal' - will never ring truer!

Festivals[edit]

Spring/Summer[edit]

  • Swansea Bay Summer Festival. The umbrella term for a number of events occurring in the Swansea Bay area from May to September. Only the main festivals are listed below. For other events, check the official website.
  • Swansea Pride (Lacrosse field, Singleton Park). Gay pride festival. 30 April 2016 (all day event).
  • Skate, Street and Sports Festival. Castle Square, City Centre ramps, rails and quarter pipes fill Castle Square for boarders, bikers and rollerbladers to strut their stuff. 21 May 2016. 10:30AM-4:30PM. Admission free..
  • Swansea International Jazz Festival. Various venues throughout the Marina area. 15–18 June 2017.
  • Swansea Festival of Transport. City Centre. Display of classic and modern vehicles. 14–15 June 2014. Admission free.
  • Wales National AirshowSwansea foreshore. Spectacular displays by the red arrows. 1–2 July 2017. Admission free
  • Gower Festival. Live music performances at various venues across the peninsular. 1-15 July 2017
  • Dance Daysvarious locations throughout the city centre. 11AM-5PM.. Street dance performances. 8–9 July 2017. free.
  • Troublemaker's FestivalHigh Street +44 (0)1792 464790. "The Troublemakers’ Festival is about changing the world. More specifically, it’s about changing the world – starting with Swansea High Street." 13-16 July 2017
  • Vegan FestivalBrangwyn Hall. food, jewelry, ethical clothing, live music, talks and cooking demo. 15 July 2017. £2 (on the door), free for under 12s..
  • Gower Bluegrass Festival +44 1792 473276. Gower Heritage Centre, Parkmill. 11–13 September 2015. 10AM-10:30PM

Autumn/Winter[edit]

  • Swansea International Festivalvarious locations. An annual three week bash of culture in Swansea - The second largest such festival in the UK. 29 Sep to 14 Oct 2017.
  • Swansea Fringe FestivalVarious locations on High Street, e-mail: . 29-30 Sep 2017. A Mardi Gras-style party will accompany various fringe events
  • Do Not Go Gentle Festivalvarious venues in the Uplands. A festival of music and words held in the Uplands, the childhood home of Dylan Thomas - 21-23 October 2016
  • Dylan Thomas Festival. The Dylan Thomas Centre held annually between 27 Oct 9 Nov. During these two weeks, the centre built to commemorate the works of Thomas reverberates to the sound of his poems and plays. This is a must see event for fans of the bard. In addition, the festival hosts the awards' ceremony for the winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize a biannual writing competition for most outstanding literary talent in English, aged under 30.
  • Waterfront Wonderland. This event held next to the National Waterfront Museum includes stalls selling traditional Christmas goods, a big wheel offering views over Swansea Bay and an ice rink. 18 Nov 2014 8 Jan 2016

Flights[edit]

Golf[edit]

Swansea has a number of excellent golf courses, many with spectacular sea views:

Karting[edit]

Live music[edit]

Bars and cafes that provide life music:

  • Hyst216 High Street +44 1792 654366 07527246701. Mon- Wed: 9AM-5PM, Thur- Sat: 9AM-late. Live music and events. Serves coffee, alcohol and meals
  • Milkwoodjam50 Plymouth St +44 1792 477577. Live music venue, cafe/bar and recording studio.
  • No Sign Bar56 Wind St +44 1792 465300. A watering hole that dates back to the 18th century - relaxed atmosphere and good food - generally 40s+ crowd.
  • Swansea Jazzland +44 1792 466535. St. James Social Club, St. James Crescent, Uplands. - jazz, jazz and more jazz
  • Taliesin Arts Centre +44 1792 602060. Swansea University. - music from across the globe, including high profile jazz artists and other musicians of international acclaim.
  • The Chattery59 Uplands Crescent, Uplands +44 1792 473276. alt-country/Americana - attracts mostly student crowd.
  • The Garage47 Uplands Crescent, Uplands +44 1792 475147. hip-hop, metal, rock as well as stand-up comedy.
  • .
  • Uplands Tavern42 Uplands Crescent, Uplands +44 1792 458242. rock and folk - attracts student crowd.

Living in nature[edit]

Movie Theaters[edit]

  • Cinema.co17 Castle Street, e-mail: . 6PM-12 midnight nightly (screening starts at 8PM). Screening of art/indie movies. Discussion after screening. Adult: £5, Student: £4.
  • OdeonOdeon: Parc Tawe +44 333 006 7777. Multi-screen cinemas screening blockbusters.
  • Taliesin +44 1792 602060. Screens quality mainstream, independent movies.
  • VueYork Street +44 8712 24024. Multi-screen cinemas screening blockbusters.

Paintball[edit]

Puzzle Solving[edit]

Rock Climbing[edit]

Spectator sport[edit]

  • Cricket: Swansea is one of the home locations of the Glamorgan County Cricket Club, one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket league. Glamorgan play at the St. Helen's Stadium.
  • Football: Swansea is home to Swansea City AFC (also known as 'the Swans'), a professional team that currently plays in the Barclays Premier League. The Swans home venue is the Liberty Stadium in Landore.
  • Rugby. Swansea is home to two major rugby union teams: 1. the Ospreys a profession team playing in the Celtic League and competing for the EDF Energy, Heineken and European Challenge Cups. The Ospreys play at the Liberty Stadium. 2. Swansea RFC (also known as the 'All Whites'), a semi-professional team playing in the Welsh Premier League. The All Whites play at the St. Helen's Stadium.
  • Swansea Bay Rally. A major event in the UK rally calendar. Held annually in summer at locations near Swansea.

Swimming[edit]

  • Many of the bays on the Gower Peninsular are great for swimming. However, the most popular are the sandy bays of Langland and Caswell. Both these beaches are under seasonal lifeguard supervision, offer changing and toilet facilities and are in easy reach of the city center.
  • Welsh National Pool +44 1792 513513. Sketty Lane (near the university). - Serious swimmers will enjoy the waters of this Olympic size pool.
  • The LC. Mo-Fri 6:30AM-10PM, Sa-Su 8AM-9PM. Maritime Quarter. A cutting edge leisure complex that includes a wave making machine, hydro-slide, artificial beach, children's paddling area, Europe's only indoor surfing center and the world's first uphill water slide. LC offers an excellent rainy-day alternative to a day at the beach.

Tenpin Bowling[edit]

  • Swansea Tenpin BowlingParc Tawe, The Strand +44 871 873 2450. Tenpin is located next to an Odeon multiplex. It features 26 tenpin bowling lanes and an amusement arcade, two pool tables, a Wimpey burger bar and a drinks bar.

Theatres[edit]

  • Swansea Institute Theatre +44 1792 281280. Swansea Institute Campus, Townhill Road. This theater is home to Swansea based and internationally acclaimed Volcano Theater Company
  • Grand Theatre +44 1792 475715. The, Singleton Street. Swansea's largest theater, with everything from pantomime to opera.
  • Brangwyn Hall. The, Guildhall complex, Victoria Park. With its stunning British Empire Panels, originally commissioned for the British House of Lords, this grandiose concert hall is the focus for the annual Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts - the second largest such festival in the UK.
  • Dylan Thomas Centre +44 1792 463980. The, Maritime Quarter. Specializing in plays produced by the bard himself.
  • Dylan Thomas Theatre +44 1792 473238. The, Maritime Quarter. Home to the Swansea Little Theatre group - Where Dylan Thomas was an actor/member along with Catherine Zeta Jones.
  • South Wales Evening Post Theatre219 High St (Urban Village). The theatre is part of a so-called creative hub based in the Urban Village.
  • Taliesin Arts Centre +44 1792 602060. The, University Campus, Singleton Park. This lively venue hosts a broad programme of events including cinema screenings, an average of ten visiting exhibitions per year, and a great variety of live performances, from dance and drama to jazz and world music. The emphasis at Taliesin is on quality and innovation.

Volunteer[edit]

  • Swansea Environment Centre +44 1792 480200. Old Telephone Exchange, Pier Street, Marina (behind the 5 star Morgan's Hotel on Adelaide Street). [7]. The center organizes volunteer environmental work in the area - a great opportunity to meet local people and inject more purpose into your stay in Swansea.
  • Swansea City Farm2 Pontarddulais Rd +44 1792 578384, e-mail: . Fforestfach. (Directions: bus numbers 110, 111, 112 and X13 from city center to Ivorite Arms bus stop). A project that aims 'to provide a sustainable community farm which is stimulating and educational and offers enjoyable and safe activities.' Everyone is welcome to contribute their energy and time to this on-going project (call first).

Walking[edit]

Swansea is a great place if you are into walking. Here are a few easily accessible routes:

  • Swansea Marina to Mumbles Pier - about five miles of flat walking - great views over Swansea Bay.
  • Limeslade Bay to Caswell Bay - about three miles of cliff path walking - stunning scenery.
  • Bishopston Valley - about three miles of riverside walking, starting just below Bishopston church - a peaceful and lush valley that spills out onto a storm beach. The return journey can be made over the cliff path to the left of the beach when facing the sea.

Water sports[edit]

Tor Bay and Three Cliffs Bay, Swansea

The calm waters of Swansea Bay and Oxwich Bay are ideal for watersports such as skiing, wakeboarding, kayaking, dinghy sailing and Power boat training - Contact:

Some of the best surfing spots in the UK are in Swansea, with Llangenith, Caswell and Langland bays being the most popular - contact:

Yoga[edit]

Learn[edit]

Universities[edit]

  • Swansea University has a student population approaching 20,000, and for the past few years has been the successive winner of 'The Times' award for the best student experience in the UK. The university is also listed as one of the top 200 universities in the world according to QS World University Rankings.
  • University of Wales Trinity St David, Swansea. Located at several campuses throughout the city, the university is famous for its courses in stained glass design and digital media.

Colleges[edit]

Sailing[edit]

Sailing lessons are available at several training schools in the Swansea area:

  • Mumbles Sailing Club, Mumbles. Tel:+44 1792 864499.
  • Rainbow Sailing14 Cambrian Pl +44 1792 467813. Marina.
  • Euphoria Sailing, 34 Eastlands Park, Bishopston. Tel:+44 1792 234502. [8]

Buy[edit]

What[edit]

  • Welsh Love Spoons - large spoons carved in wood that are traditional gifts between lovers.
  • Woven cloth - available in traditional Welsh designs and sold as shawls, skirts and purses.
  • Monopoly - one of the series of this famous game is based on the streets and landmarks of Swansea.
  • Laverbread - the Swansea specialty dish made from seaweed.
  • Salt Marsh Lamb Locally produced Gower salt-marsh lamb, from sheep reared in the salt-marshes of Loughor Estuary is available from many local butchers and in Swansea Market.

Where[edit]

Handicrafts[edit]

  • Love Spoon Gallery492 Mumbles Rd (near junction with Newton Road). Mumbles. - offers the largest range of love spoons in the city.
  • Oriel Ceri Richards Gallery +44 1792 295526. Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea University. Taliesin’s Oriel Ceri Richards Gallery not only hosts regular touring exhibitions, but also stocks an excellent range of greetings cards as well as jewellery, ceramics and other craft items. Open Monday to Saturday

General[edit]

The Quadrant Centre and Oxford Street are the main shopping centres, and host all the usual department and chain stores. Between these two areas lies the much more interesting city market. Although housed in a modern building, Swansea Market can trace its history back to medieval times, and is the largest market in Wales. It is also a good place to purchase the local delicacy of laverbread (though note that laverbread requires refrigeration to keep fresh. If traveling, request vacuum packed or canned).

On the edge of the city centre is an array of large, utilitarian shopping centres collectively known as Parc Tawe. Within the complex there is also a UCI multiscreen cinema and bowling alley. Parc Fforestfach is an out-of-town shopping centre that houses several huge retail stores. And, for night owls, the huge Tesco supermarkets located between the Quadrant Centre and Oystermouth Road in the city centre, Parc Fforestfach and Llansamlet are all open 24 hours.

  • High Street (near the junction with College Street) has several stores specializing in backpack and hiking equipment. So, if your tent is springing a leak or your hiking shoes wearing thin, this is the best place to replenish your equipment before heading into the wild Welsh countryside. High Street is Swansea's creative hub, and so among the theatres and galleries, there are also niche shops.
  • Sketty Local Produce MarketBishop Gore Comprehensive School, Del-La-Beche Road, Sketty. Times: 9:30AM-12:30PM. Occurrence 1st Saturday each month
  • Swansea Market. Located in the heart of Swansea City Centre, opens 6 days a week and contains a number of stalls selling locally sourced produce.
  • Uplands and Marina MarketsGwydr Square, Uplands and Dylan Thomas Square, Marina. Uplands: 9AM-1PM, last Saturday of each month. Marina: 10AM-3PM, second Sunday of each month. Fully fledged street markets selling fresh breads, fruit, plants and handicrafts

Books[edit]

  • Dylan'sKing Edward Road.. Second-hand books.
  • Dylan Thomas CentreSomerset Place, Marina. Good selections of local poetry and history.
  • Uplands27 Uplands Crescent. Specialist in maps and guide books, also a selection of novels.
  • Waterstones (Oxford Street and University).

Eat[edit]

What[edit]

Laverbread for sale in Swansea Market
  • Ice-cream. Due to an influx of Italian families into the area during the early 20th century, Swansea has developed quite a reputation for its tubs and cones. While there are several excellent brands, the nationally acclaimed Joe's Ice-cream is by far the most famous, and their parlors are venerable institutions in the city - in fact it is often said that no visit to Swansea is complete until you've had a Joe's.
  • Laverbread. This Swansea specialty breakfast made from seaweed is delicious rolled in oatmeal and lightly fried or just heated and served on buttered toast. Request your hotel serve it for breakfast or pick up a can or vacuum pack from Swansea Market.
  • Welsh Cakes. Scone-like cakes studded with raisins and dusted with sugar. Available at most bakeries, but best served hot off the griddle at Swansea Market.
  • Welsh Rarebit. Swansea is a good place to sample this Welsh specialty of melted cheese spiced with ale and herbs. It is generally served on toasted bread with a side salad.
  • Cockles These are harvested from the mud-flats in the nearby Loughor Estuary. Cockles are sold in Swansea Market.
  • Salt Marsh Lamb This is the meat from lambs which graze in salt marshes. The meat from these lambs have a subtly different taste to lamb sold in supermarkets. Local Gower salt-marsh lamb comes from sheep reared in the salt-marshes of the Loughor estuary. Salt marsh lamb can be bought in many local butchers and in Swansea Market and is served in the premier local-cuisine restaurants in the city like Bizzy Lizzies Bistro and the Fairyhill restaurant. (see below)

Where[edit]

Swansea is teaming with quality restaurants - over one hundred in the city center alone. Wind Street for theme bars and quality international cuisine. Quality Chinese food on High Street and Princess Way. St.Helen's Road for take away and sit down Indian (also quality restaurants on Walter Road and off the Mumbles Road at Blackpill), Italian, Turkish and Indonesian. Cheap and excellent vegetarian at 8 Cradock Street, off Kingsway. The Environment Centre, Pier street, Marina offers cheap and excellent fair trade coffee and snacks.

Grape and Olive at the top of the Meridian Tower in the Marina has incredible views over Swansea Bay

Mumbles Road in Mumbles has a wide range of restaurants. Check out Verdi's on Mumbles sea front for great views over a cappuccino.

Joe's Ice-cream parlors are located on St. Helen's Road, near the Guildhall, and near the post office on Mumbles Road in Mumbles.

Below is a very brief list of popular restaurants in the city center and marina area.

V = vegetarians catered for.

Budget[edit]

American

  • Charlie's Chowder2 Prospect Pl +44 1792 411074. Marina (near Morgan's Hotel). Open: Mon-Tue 11AM-5PM, Wed-Sat 11AM-midnight. Serves up great New England dishes in simple New England style.

Cafes (English Breakfast)

  • Coffee's BeenGround Floor, 55 Walter Rd.
  • Espresso Bar65 High Street +44 1792 653469. This is an unpretentious little cafe located just opposite Swansea railway station. They serve fry-up breakfasts in the morning. During lunch hours, they serve several British classics like cottage pie and roast dinners. In addition to the plated food, they serve made to order sandwiches and baugettes and coffee. This is an excellent place to fill up when there is some time to kill before the next train leaves.
  • KardomahMorris Buildings, 11 Portland St.
  • Sams CafeSt. Helens Road.
  • Uplands Diner69 Uplands Crescent. home of the "Beast" a massive breakfast, has to be seen to be believed

Cafes (Fish and Chips)

  • RomaBryn-y-Mor Road.
  • Windsor Cafe3 Cradock St.

Chinese:

  • April's Cafe19 Mansel St +44 1792 455422.
  • April's Cafe 283 Brynymor Rd +44 1792 455422.
  • China Deli and Cafe42 St. Helens Rd. tasty authentic Chinese cafe dishes, superb value
  • Oriental Garden18-23 Anchor Court, Victoria Quay, Maritime Quarter (close to Waterfront Museum and The LC),  +44 1792 464600. Buffet style cuisine - at least 40 dishes on rotation.

Indian:.

Indonesian:

International:

Thai:

  • Lemongrass43 St Helens Rd +44 1792 654764. Thai cuisine.
  • 1 The Bay View400 Oystermouth Rd +44 1792 652610. Located near the Guildhall, the restaurant offers wonderful views of Swansea Bay, and is connected to a lounge bar - good, inexpensive meals.

Vegetarian:

  • Govinda's8 Cradock St (off Kingsway),  +44 1792 468469. cheap and really excellent food - Indian dishes are a specialty, but the desserts alone are worth the visit. Mo-Thu 12 noon -3PM, Fri-Sa 12 noon - 6PM. Closed on Sunday.
  • Retreat2 Humphrey St (off Walter Road),  +44 1792 457880. Vegan - small, backstreet cafe.
  • Khusi Khana36 St Helens Rd +44 1792 411076. Indian snacks and fast food.

Welsh/British

  • The Kitchen Table626 Mumbles Rd +44 1792 367616. Mumbles. Wholesome meals made with locally sourced ingredients. Open: Tu-Sat 10AM-4PM, Sat 6:30-9:30PM

Mid-range[edit]

American:

  • Frankie and Benny's +44 1792 461774. Salubrious Place, Wind Street. - V

Chinese (Cantonese):

  • The Emperor206 High St +44 1792 652888.
  • Evergreen Cantonese9 St Helens Rd +44 1792 466787.
  • Rendez-Vous +44 1792 467113. St. Davids Square, Princess Way. French and Chinese cuisine, great food, great service.
  • Sea Garden +44 1792 872886. Penclawdd Road, Penclawdd,
  • Dragons Nest12 High St +44 1792 644868. The only Chinese restaurant in the Swansea area to serve Dim Sum. Excellent food and great service.
  • Wild Swan14 Orchard St +44 1792 472121.

French:

Indian:

  • Anarkali Tandoori Restaurant80 St. Helens Rd +44 1792 650549.
  • Bengal Brasserie67 Walter Rd +44 1792 641316. Uplands.
  • Cafe Saffron1 Wind St +44 1792 477771.
  • K291-92 Mansel St +44 1792 465015.
  • MiahsSt. Helens Rd (located in a listed former church building),  +44 1792 466244.
  • MumbaiMill Lane, Blackpill (opposite the Blackpill Lido on Mumbles Road),  +44 1792 402402. modern and spacious ambiance - amazing food - very highly recommended.
  • Patti RajVictoria Park, Gorse Ln (Located in the splendid Patti Pavailion in Victoria Park),  +44 1792 475444.
  • Rasoi Waterfront3-4 J Shed, Kings Road, Marina (Off Langdon Road),  +44 1792 462350, e-mail: . Fri–Sun and Bank Holidays 12noon–11.30PM, Mon–Thurs 12noon–2.30PM / 5.30PM–11PM. Located in a converted warehouse. The cozy and warm decor compliment the excellent meals and service
  • The Seaview Tandoori728 Mumbles Rd +44 1792 361991. Mumbles
  • 2 Vojon13 St. Helens Road, SA1 4AW +44 1792 466658. Excellent value for money, service is a bit slow. 7-18€.

International:

  • Chelsea Cafe17 St. Marys St (off Wind Street),  +44 1792 464068. Popular with young up-and-comings.
  • Ice64 Wind St +44 1792 646111.
  • The River HouseKings Road, SA1 (near Sail Bridge),  +44 1792 649060. Chic restaurant and lounge with views over the Sail Bridge. Delicious and innovative cuisine.

Italian:

  • Ask6 Wind St +44 1792 477070.
  • Bella Napoli66 Wind St +44 1792 644611.
  • Vivaldi Ristorante29 Singleton St +44 1792 456780.
  • Castellamare (cafe and restaurant), Bracelet Bay, Mumbles +44 1792 369408. Built on the edge of cliff, this restaurant offers unrivaled sea views as a backdrop to your pizza and latte. Buses traveling to Limeslade make a stop here. From Mumbles Village, it is a twenty to thirty minute walk.
  • La Bussola217 Oxford St +44 1792 655780.
  • Pizza Express40 Castle St +44 1792 474320.
  • Pizzeriea vesuvio200-201 Neath Road, Landore +44 1792 648346.
  • Topo Gigio55 St. Helens Rd +44 1792 467888.
  • Verdi's (cafe and restaurant), Knab Rock, Southend, Mumbles +44 1792 369135. Probably the nearest thing the UK has to an authentic Italian sea-front cafe-cum-restaurant, and the huge plate glass windows offer spectacular views over Swansea Bay. Buses traveling to Limeslade stop here. Alternatively, it can be reached on foot via the promenade - a ten minute walk from Mumbles Village.

Mediterranean :

  • Grape & Olive (Brains), Meridian Tower, Trawler Road +44 1792 462617, e-mail: . A penthouse restaurant located in the tallest building in Wales with spectacular views of central Swansea and the bay. Wifi access is available and parties are catered for.
  • The Mediterranean640 Mumbles Rd +44 1792 363666. Mumbles. A small restaurant with loads of character and excellent food.

Japanese:

  • Wasabi49 Uplands Crescent, Uplands +44 1792 464999. Excellent sushi and noodles with sake or green tea to wash it down.

Lebanese/Persian:

  • Kan Zaman Restaurant67 Brynymor Rd +44 1792 465665. Relaxing atmosphere and wide choice of dishes.
  • Shiraz Restaurant696 Mumbles Rd +44 1792 107760. Mumbles. Great selection of Middle Eastern dishes - uninhibited view over Swansea Bay.

Mexican:

  • Chiquitos15 Salubrious Pl (bottom end of Wind Street). Unit.

Pan Asian

  • Cosmo16 Castle Street, SA1 1JF +44 1792 456666. Buffet restaurant. Serves a range of Asian cuisine. Very nice decor.

Thai

Turkish:

  • 3 Istanbul22B St Helens Road, SA1 4AP +44 1792 654966. 10:00 - 23:00. Non-pretentious but excellent Turkish restaurant with a very friendly staff. Portions are big and cheap. 8-20€.
  • Mediterranean640 Mumbles Road, Mumbles +44 1792 363666. Great, no-nonsense Turkish cuisine.

Vegetarian:

  • Bizzy Lizzies Bistro55 Walter Road, Uplands +44 1792 473379.
  • Crumbs Kitchen2 Gwydr Square, Uplands +44 1792 456258. Delicious, healthy and innovative

Vietnamese:

  • Vietnam Restaurant36 Uplands Crescent, Uplands +44 1792 650929.

Welsh/British:

  • Bizzy Lizzies Bistro55 Walter Road, Uplands +44 1792 473379.
  • Dylan Thomas Center +44 1792 463980.
  • Hanson at the ChelseaTy Castell House, 17 Mary St +44 1792 464068.
  • The Gower Kitchen39 Uplands Crescent +44 1792 476344.
  • Sketty HallSketty Lane, Sketty +44 1792 284011. located in a beautiful white Georgian Mansion within the spacious grounds of Singleton Park, this restaurant offers an especially peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
  • The Pump House +44 1792 651080. Pump House Quay, Maritime Quarter,

Splurge[edit]

French:

  • 4 Didier and Stephanie56 St Helens Rd +44 1792 655603. French country cuisine.

Indian

Italian:

International

Mediterranean/Spanish:

Welsh/British:

  • Norton HouseNorton Road, Mumbles +44 1792 403210.
  • Langland's BrasserieBrynfield Road, Langland +44 1792 363699, e-mail: . A fine modern British restaurant located with a fantastic view overlooking Langland Bay. Ingredients are organic when available
  • Patrick's638 Mumbles Road, Mumbles +44 1792 360199.
  • Quay ThreeTrawler Road, Marina (five minute drive from city centre),  +44 1792 462251. Tues-Sun 8:30 until late (closed Sunday evening). A chic deli, bar, cafe and restaurant. Great place to to boat-watch over a cappuccino.
  • Papa SanchosCollege St +44 1792 454647. stone grill restaurant
  • Slice73-75 Eversley Road, Sketty (five minute drive from city centre),  +44 1792 290929. Thu-Sat - lunch 12noon-2PM, Dinner 6:30-9PM. Excellent dishes made with locally sourced produce and seasonal ingredients. Slice has won two covered 'Which' awards for cuisine
  • SwiggUnit 18 Waterfront Museum, Marina +44 1792 655666, e-mail: . 7:30AM-11PM. Located right on the waterfront, Swigg functions as a cool café by day and a sophisticated bar by night.

Drink[edit]

  • Swansea's busiest and liveliest watering hole is on historic Wind Street (appropriately pronounced Wined) and surrounding area, which is also the home to many of Swansea's best restaurants.
  • Wind Street marks the centre of the city's night club and bar area, and on a Friday or Saturday night the words of Dylan Thomas, although originally referring to death, seem somehow appropriate in describing the mood of the revelers: "Do not go gentle into that good night, .... burn and rave at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light."
  • Another popular watering hole is the Brynymor Road area. This area has a more laid-back atmosphere than Wind Street and is popular with the many university students who live nearby. There are also several excellent international restaurants in the area - serving Italian, French, Mediterranean, Thai and Indian cuisine.

Cafes/Tea Rooms[edit]

Swansea enjoys a wonderful cafe culture, originally sparked by an influx of Italian families to the city in the early 20th century and later expanded with the establishment of local independents.

City Centre

  • AmericanosPrince of Wales Docks, Kings Road, SA1 +44 1792 468230. A waterside jazz cafe/bar serving snacks and tapas live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Open: Thur-Sun 3PM-12midnight, Closed: Mon-Wed.
  • Baguette Du Jour9 Caer St +44 1792 651165. An open fronted cafe offering great views over Castle Square. A good place to grab a light snack and a coffee for those changing trains in Swansea as the cafe is about ten minute walk from the station (walk down High Street to Swansea Castle and turn right onto Caer Street. The cafe is in the mock Tudor building on the left).
  • Café Nissé11 Wind St. A cafe-cum-gallery.
  • Waterfront Cafe (National Waterfront Museum),  +44 1792 456100. A large cafe great views over marina huge selection of coffees and teas.
  • Cafe TwocannJ-shed, Kings Road, Swansea Waterfront +44 1792 458000. A cafe in a listed building over looking marina includes small gift store alcohol served.
  • Coffee Punk32 Kingsway.. Exposed wood and concrete gives the cafes an urban charm. Vegan cakes are a specialty.
  • Gershwins Coffee House14 Nelson St +44 1792 474000.
  • Holbrook's28 Union St +44 1792 477797. Centrally located with a pleasant and warm atmosphere. Excellent coffee, including Fair Trade, and good selection of cakes.
  • Java Tading Company10 Picton Archade +44 1792 458141.
  • Kardomah11 Portland St +44 1792 652336. The original Kardomah was a favourite haunt of Dylan Thomas.
  • Matt's CafeMathew House, 82 High Street. Sun: 6:30-9PM, Mon, Tues: 10AM-4PM. Matt's offers healthy, wholesome meals on a pay-as-much-as-you-like basis
  • MosaicUrban Village, 218 High St +44 1792 655225. A chic bistro-cafe. great coffee, innovative dishes (including a wide selection of vegetarian options) and interesting wines.
  • Pure RefreshmentTy John Penri Building, St. Helen's Road (near junction with Kingsway). A juice and smoothies bar using all natural ingredients.
  • Sapore6 Plymouth St +44 1792 480031. Close to bus station. Open: mornings and afternoons only.
  • Strudles Coffee ShopWhitewalls +44 1792 650011.
  • StarbucksOxford Street (near Market entrance). From Seattle to Swansea, the same standard decor and coffee.
  • The Sub-Cafe6 Shoppers Walk Archade +44 1792 476334.
  • TapestriLlys Glas (corner of Orchard Street and Alexandra Road). A social enterprise cafe that uses fairtrade and locally sourced products.
  • Tiffanys57-58 Plymouth St, City Centre +44 1792 646048.

Mumbles

  • Cafe Valance50 Newton Rd. The leather sofas, wood flooring, brick walls and open fronting give this cafe a very trendy but homely atmosphere.
  • The Coffee Denn34/36 Newton Rd +44 1792 360044. Simple, but excellent value meals
  • Ocean61 Newton Rd +44 1792 363462. Alcohol served.
  • Pavilion Bistro (Mumbles Pier),  +44 1792 365225.
  • Also Verdis and Castellamare - see Eat listing.

Swansea Beach

  • 360 Beach and Watersports Cafe BarMumbles Road +44 1792 655844. This is a cafe and snack bar Located near St Helen's Rugby Ground on the beach front. Open 7 days a week.
  • the junction cafeOld Station Building, Mumbles Road +44 1792 406000. A quaint cafe and snack bar based in a building that was once a station for the historic Swansea to Mumbles Railway.
  • Also see see Mumbles section above.

Uplands

  • The Chattery59 Uplands Cres +44 1792 473276. Live music and Fair Trade Coffee. Friendly, but uninspiring decor.
  • Chambers Cafe Bar87 Brynymor Rd +44 1792 480699. Modern and cosy serves wholesome beverages and snacks, such as fair-trade coffee, teas, smoothies, local produce, hummus and ciabattas.
  • Noahs Yard38 Uplands Rd. Mon-Thu: 4-12PM, Fri-Sat: 4PM-3AM, Sun: 4-11PM. An Italian inspired cafe/bar. Live jazz every Monday from 8:30-11PM. Excellent atmosphere. Cosy and earthy artwork, including an original Banksy.
  • One Shoe Cafe1 King Edward Rd +44 1792 439595. Located in a former cobblers, this small, cosy cafe serves excellent coffees and wholesome snacks - very competitive prices.

Bars and pubs[edit]

City centre: Wind Street vicinity

City centre: Kingsway vicinity

City centre: Bryn-y-Mor Road vicinity

  • Cardamon LoungeSt. Paul's Church, St. Helens Road.
  • The Brunswick Arms3 Duke St.
  • The Bryn-y-Mor17 Brynymor Rd.
  • The Mill75 Brynymor Rd.
  • The Westbourne1 Brynymor Rd.
  • The Wig134 St. Helens Rd.

Uplands

  • Noahs Yard38 Uplands Rd. An Italian inspired cafe/bar. Live jazz every Monday from 8:30-11PM. Excellent atmosphere. Cosy and earthy artwork, including an original Banksy. Open: Mon-Thu: 4-12PM, Fri-Sat: 4PM-:3AM, Sun: 4-11PM
  • Uplands Tavern42 Uplands Crescent, Uplands. Live bands play on most nights of the week. Features a large fenced outdoor area at the front. This can be a very lively pub at weekends and on special occasions.
  • Mozart's76b Walter Rd,Uplands +44 1792 649984. bar and music venue

Sleep[edit]

There is a whole row of B&Bs on the sea-facing Oystermouth Road and also many in the spacious suburb of Uplands. Both locations are near the city center, though lodgings in the Uplands area tend to be of better quality. Mumbles Road in Mumbles also has a wide selection of B&Bs with sea views.

Youth Hostels[edit]

Swansea has four youth hostels - three in rural setting (See Gower Peninsula) and one in the city area:

Camping/Caravans[edit]

  • Riverside Caravan ParkYnysforgan Farm, Morriston, Swansea, SA6 6QL +44 1792 775587. This is a very convenient caravan park located just off the M4 Motorway Junction 45. It is set in a very green location surrounded by trees and is the nearest caravan park to Swansea city centre.
  • River View Touring ParkThe Dingle, Llanedi, Pontarddulais, Swansea, SA4 0FH +44 1269 844876. situated in a beautiful rural location in south-west Wales. It is easily reached from junction 49 of the M4 and other major routes.

Bed & breakfast[edit]

Self catering[edit]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget below £60
Mid-range £60-100
Splurge £100+


Self Catering Accommodation Agencies[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • Alexander Private Hotel3 Sketty Road, Uplands +44 1792 470045. Small and pleasant hotel with friendly and helpful staff. Conveniently located for city centre, Swansea University and Gower Peninsula.
  • Hotel IbisFabian Way +44 1792 638800. Located off motorway connecting road - car essential. Not convenient for tourists.
  • 2 Hurst Dene Guest House10 Sketty Road, Uplands, Swansea, SA2 0LJ +44 1792 280920fax: +44 1792 280920, e-mail: . Hurst Dene is located in the leafy suburb of Uplands just off Uplands Square on the main road to the heart of the Gower peninsula. They offer guest rooms and self-catering apartments at affordable prices.
  • Premier Travel Inn:
    • Salubrious Place (off Wind Street),  +44 870 990 6562. Convenient for city centre, marina and 'Swansea-Cork Ferry.' Extremely noisy at weekends as Wind Street is Swansea's main watering hotel and many of the out-of-town revelers stay at this hotel.
    • Swansea North (in the enterprise park), Upper Forest Way, Morriston +44 870 990 6562. Quieter than the city centre one and located next to a popular Taybarns eat as much as you like restaurant.
    • Swansea WaterfrontLangdon Road, SA1 8PL +44 871 527-9212. This hotel is set in a tranquil location adjacent to the Prince of Wales marina. A Beefeater restaurant and a Tesco convenience store is located on the ground floor. Recommended for business people and tourists.
  • 3 Swansea UniversitySingleton Park, SA2 8PP +44 1792 602403, e-mail: . Swansea University offers accommodation to the public during Summer and Easter holidays. They can offer a wide range of accommodation ranging from bed and breakfast non-ensuite single rooms through to self-catering apartments. They can accommodate large groups for events and conferences in the local area. Accommodation is available in Swansea University's Singleton Park campus set in beautiful parklands which is 5 minutes walk to the beach.
  • Travelodge Swansea Central Hotel +44 870 191 1826. Princess Way. A modern but very basic hotel. Located in city centre.
  • Travelodge Swansea M4 HotelSwansea West Services, Penllergaer, SA4 9GT +44 871 984-6055.

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

Morgan's Hotel

Cope[edit]

Media[edit]

  • BBC. The BBC's Swansea and Region-wide news website.
  • The South Wales Evening Post. The city's main evening paper - available from Monday to Saturday at news stands throughout the city - the best publication for finding out about job openings, events or just for keeping up to date on developments in the city.
  • Swansea Sound. One of the first local radio stations to take to the air in the UK. Popular oldies music is a regular feature as well as news, current affairs and discussion programs. Welsh language programming is broadcast daily when the station is known as Sain Abertawe. Swansea Sound broadcasts at 1170MW and DAB digital radio.
  • The Wave. Covers similar ground as their sister station, Swansea Sound, but is aimed at a younger audience by providing a mix of popular music including mainly current chart and contemporary hits, as well as news, local information and entertainment. The station is available on 96.4FM and DAB.
  • Bay Radio Broadcasts to the same area as The Wave & Swansea Sound. Includes easy listening music as well as an adult orientated format. Available on 102.1FM.
  • What's On. This is monthly information booklet published by the city council listing up-coming events and movie information. The booklet is available free from the main tourist office or from cafes, restaurants and hotels in tourist areas.[9]
  • Compass. A bi-monthly booklet issued free and covering the mystical and spiritual aspect of Swansea. A good resource to find information on local Buddhist groups, tai'chi and yoga classes and reiki and shiatsu practitioners. Compass is available from the main tourist office and from cafes and restaurants, particularly those in the Mumbles and bed-sit area of Uplands.
  • Swansea Life Magazine. A glossy magazine covering all the hot topics in the Swansea area. Sold at most newsagents in the city.
  • Swansea.com. Information guide on hotels, bars, nightclubs and what to do in the city.

Keep fit[edit]

  • Bishopston Leisure Centre, The Glebe, Bishopston. Tel+44 1792 235040. Bishopston features a well equipped gym, a sports hall and tennis courts.
  • The LC or Swansea Leisure Centre (see Swimming section above) features a comprehensive gymnasium and spa.
  • Village Swansea Health & Fitness Club, Langdon Road (Off Fabian Way), SA1 Waterfront. Tel:+44 844 847-2970. Offers state of the art leisure facilities on a truly impressive scale. Open to both hotel guests and club members. Features a 25m swimming pool, cardio and resistance training equipment, sauna, aerobic studio and whirlpool spa.

Religious Services[edit]

There are many religious and spiritual groups meeting in Swansea. Below is just a representative of the most common.

  • Dzogchen Community (Buddhist - Nyingma Tradition) [10] e-mail: andrew.cadmore@dzogchencommunity.org (Regular meetings in Fforestfach).
  • Friends Meeting House, 168 St Helen's Road. [11]. Quaker.
  • The Heyokah Centre, The Retreat, 2 Humphrey Street. Tel:+44 1792 457880. Native American practices.
  • Swansea Congregational Jehovah Witnesses, Kingdom Hall, Uplands. Tel:+44 1792 411861
  • Pulpung Changchub Dargyeling (Buddhist - Kagyu Tradition), 7 Benbow Close, Sketty Tel:+44 1792 524282 (Annzella Gregg). e-mail: palpungchangchubdargyeling@ymail.com (meetings on Wednesdays 7-9PM)
  • Radha Krishna Temple (Govinda's)8 Cradock St +44 1792 468469.
  • St. Joseph's Cathedral, Convent Street, Greenhill. [12] Tel:+44 1792 652683
  • St. Mary's Church, St Mary’s Square. [13] Tel:+44 1792 655489 (joint Anglican and Greek Orthodox)
  • Swansea Mosque 14/15 St Helens Road. [14].
  • Tridev Meditation Society, 5A Beechwood Road, Uplands. [15] Tel+44 1792 208373. Hindu.
  • Yungdrung Bon Meditation Group122 Clydach Rd +44 1792 207474. Morriston.

Stay safe[edit]

Beaches and Coast[edit]

As a coastal city, visitors inevitably come into contact with the sea. Be aware of local conditions before swimming or undertaking boating activities.

Among the popular beaches, Three Cliffs is dangerous for swimming due to the strong under currents caused by a tidal lagoon. Worm's Head off the tip of Rhossili Bay has also claimed many lives. Ensure that you know the times of the tides before venturing out the island. Many people have been swept away trying to return through a fast rising tide. The cliffs between the Rhosilli village and Worms Head have also claimed lives, some of the grass and earth on the cliff edge is eroding and walkers should heed local warnings and stick to the path. Indeed, care should always be taken while taking clifftop walks in the Gower.

From the beginning of May, Caswell, Langland, Bracelet and Port Eynon beaches are all patrolled by professional lifeguards during the weekends. From June until September the beaches are patrolled 7 days a week

Advice for safe swimming:

  • A red flag means danger. Do not enter the water if the red flag is flying
  • Consider bathing at a beach that's under lifeguard protection
  • Don't swim alone at a deserted beach
  • Don't use inflatables. They are easily swept away by strong currents
  • If you see someone in trouble, call 999 and ask for Coastguard
  • Inquire about swimming conditions at local tourist offices prior to venturing to a beach without lifeguard cover
  • Read warning notices posted near beach access sites
  • The area between the red and yellow flags marks the area patrolled by lifeguards. Don't swim outside this area

Crime[edit]

Crime occurs in Swansea as in most other cities, and sensible precautions should be taken. As elsewhere in the UK, there can be drink related problems in those areas with high concentrations of pubs and clubs, such as Wind Street. In general, however, Swansea is a very safe city and violent crime is rare.

Hospitals and clinics[edit]

In an emergency, dial 999 and request ambulance service.

  • Morriston Hospital, Heol Maes Eglwys, Morriston (near the M4). Tel:+44 1792 702222 - the largest hospital in the city - operates a specialist burns center and accident and emergency unit.
  • Singleton Hospital, Sketty Lane, Sketty (in the west of the city). Tel:+44 1792 205666 - a large hospital but no accident and emergency unit.
  • Sancta Maria, Ffynone Road, Uplands. Tel:+44 1792 479040 [16] - a small private hospital located in the Uplands area - non emergency treatment only.
  • Swansea Clinic of Natural Medicine20 Walter Rd +44 1792 644362.
  • Swansea Treatment Centre (WCADA), 40/41 St James Crescent, Uplands +44 1792 472519, e-mail: . Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre

Connect[edit]

Internet[edit]

The city centre is a Wi-Fi hotspot zone, with a charge of £10 for 2 hours to access the system. There is also a Wi-Fi hotspot at Crossfire, on the Kezone/BT Openzone network, with single-hour access available for £6 or four hours for £10.

Internet Cafes[edit]

City Centre:

  • Swansea Central Library, Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road. Access is free, but ID required for registration. Closed on Sundays. Use is intended for research, and so some websites may be blocked.
  • Crossfire Internet & LAN Gaming Centre, on the junction of Kingsway, Princess Way and College Street. Has 58 computers across 2 floors.
  • YMCA, St Helens Road, near junction with Kingsway. Has six computers on the second floor.
  • Mike-O-Soft Computers, Swansea Market. Has three computers in a corner section.

Mumbles:

  • Mumbles Library, Dunn's Lane - access is free, but ID required for registration.

Post office[edit]

  • City Center: The city's main post office is located above the W.H. Smiths store in the Quadrant Shopping Centre.
  • Mumbles: The post office is on Mumbles road, between the Tourist Office and Joe's Ice-cream Parlor.

Many other smaller sub-post offices can be found throughout the City and County of Swansea, including in many Gower villages.

Go next[edit]

Other places of interest in the Swansea area:

  • Dan-yr-Ogof Caves are located in the Swansea Valley (on the A4067 - main Swansea to Brecon Road). Voted Britain's "favourite natural wonder" in a nationwide competition organized by T.V. Channel 5, it is the largest complex of show caves in Western Europe. There is also a craft shop and restaurant.
  • National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire (off A48, between Swansea and Carmarthen). For public transport information, call 0870 608 2608.
Carreg Cennen Castle
  • Half day drive from Swansea: Join M4 at Swansea and take until the end. Follow A483 and then A40 through Llandeilo and the market town of Llandovery. Both towns are very picturesque, though Llandovery is larger and has more places to relax and visit. Instead of traveling directly to Llandovery, it is possible to take a detour to the river-side village of Trap and the spectacular Carreg Cennen Castle. There are handicraft gift shops and cafes at the castle and near Trap. From the castle there is the option of returning to Llandeilo and rejoining the A40 or traveling through the lanes to Llandovery. From Llandovery, follow signs for Sennybridge and then take a right onto the A4067. This road leads to the Dan-yr-Ogof show caves and back to the M4, (Head west for Mumbles and Gower and leave the motorway at 'Exit 47', 'Swansea West,' or head east for Swansea City Centre and leave the motorway at 'Exit 42.' Follow signs for 'The National Waterfront Museum'). During this half day journey, you will pass through some of Wales' most breathtaking pastoral scenes, and along the way take in quaint villages and towns, mountains, caves, lakes and waterfalls.
  • Tenby — a medieval walled town - great beaches - 90+ minutes by car, bus or train.
  • Cardiff — Wales' capital city - castle - shopping - around 50 minutes by car, bus or train - frequent connections by bus and train.
  • Pembrey Circuit — a racing circuit that is deemed to be the home of Welsh motorsport. Has held the British Touring Car Championship twice and has been popular with F1 testing. Sometimes has monster truck rallies and other events. A 40min drive away (also, on the X11bus route to Carmarthen)
  • Gower Peninsula — The beautiful Gower Peninsula is the United Kingdom's first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Located in Swansea, the peninsula is famous for its stunning coastal scenery, wide sandy beaches and medieval castles. Llangennith, in particular, is very popular with surfers and is considered to be one of the best surf areas in the UK.


This city travel guide to Swansea has guide status. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions and travel details. Please contribute and help us make it a star!