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Swansea

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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.

modern, traditional, and ancient buildings in Swansea

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]

Swansea Bay and Mumbles Head

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 affectionately 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. Gower is known to have a micro climate and has half the rainfall of East Swansea. Local farmers say they have the same weather as the Channel Islands and early Gower new potatoes are evidence of the many extra hours of sunshine.

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 and TV actor Joanna Page were also born and raised here, with both maintaining close links with the city. 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.
  • Official tourist website for Mumbles: [2]
  • Official tourist website for Swansea, Mumbles and Gower: [3]
  • Official website for Swansea City Centre: [4]
  • Official video of Swansea: [5]
  • Official events calender: [6]
  • Official website for art events: [7]

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 peculiar to Swansea:

  • bye-ya = here (example: "Put it bye-ya" means "Put it here.")
  • ewe = you (example: "Alright, arr ewe?" means "Are you OK?")
  • learns = teach, (example: "Will you learns 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.")
  • 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").
  • 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 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.

By bus[edit]

  • National Express [8] 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 [9] is a cheaper option.
  • Greyhound [10] 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 [11]. 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[12] 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 [13] (IATA: CWL) (ICAO: EGFF), 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.
  • Swansea Airport located in the Gower Peninsula handles private aircraft only [14] (IATA: SWS) (ICAO: EGFH), Tel:+ 44 1792 207550.
  • Pembrey Airport ICAO: EGFP, 17 miles to the west 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 [16] 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 [17] 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 [18]

By boat[edit]

  • Swansea Marina [19] offers 750 berths for private boat mooring, and is a five gold anchor rated [20] 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.[21]
  • 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.[22]
  • 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. [23]

Get around[edit]

Buses[edit]

Bus companies First Cymru and Veolia maintain frequent services connecting all suburbs of Swansea and the Gower Peninsula [24][25]. 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.[26]

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][add listing]

Landmarks[edit]

Oystermouth Castle, Mumbles, Swansea
  • Swansea Castle [27]. The ruins of this 13th century castle are located in the city center. 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 flood lit at night.
  • The Guildhall. This elegant building of white Portland stone has graced the city center'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.
  • Arthur's Stone, Cefn Bryn, Gower. A neolithic burial chamber or cromlech dating from 2500BCE.
  • Dylan Thomas' Childhood Home, 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Uplands [28]. 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.
  • Oystermouth Castle, Mumbles. [29]. 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.
Swansea Guildhall
  • Mumbles Pier, Mumbles. [30] 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 rises of the city centre are in clear view.
  • Historical buildings. Much of Swansea city centre was destroyed in war time bombing. Still, there are large pockets of the historic centre that did survive, and these have painstakingly been 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.

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Museums and Galleries[edit]

  • the National Waterfront Museum, Maritime Quarter. Tel:+44 1792 638950 [31]. 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.
Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea
  • the Dylan Thomas Centre, Somerset Place, Marina. Tel:+44 1792 463980 [32]. 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.
  • the Glyn Vivian Art Gallery, Alexandra Road. Tel:+44 1792 516900 [33]. 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. Open: Tues-Sun 9AM-5PM. Admission free.
  • Swansea Museum,
    • Swansea Museum Main Collection Victoria Road, Maritime Quarter. Tel:+44 1792 653763 [34]. 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.
    • Collections Centre The Collections Centre displays exhibits from Swansea's maritime and industrial history and the Swansea Museum reserve collection. The Collections Centre is open to visitors on Wednesdays from 10am to 4pm and is located at the Landore Park and Ride facility at Cross Valley Link Road, Landore, Swansea, SA1 2JT.
    • Boats The historic boats, the Helwick lightship and the Canning Tug boat are moored in Swansea Marina near the main museum. The interior of the Helwick is open for public viewing.
    • The Tramshed The tramshed has a display of trams which once served swansea and the Mumbles railway. The tramshed is open on Bank Holidays and for special events and is located near the main museum. Admission Free.
  • Gower Heritage Centre, Parkmill, Gower. Tel:+44 1792 371-206 [35]. A rural life museum based around a working water mill - gift shop and cafe on site.
  • the Egypt Centre, Swansea University campus (near the Taliesin Art Centre), Tel:+44 1792 295-960, [36]. Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM. One of the UK's best collections of ancient Egyptian artifacts outside London. Free.
  • Attic Gallery, 140 Cambrian Place, Marina. Tel:+44 1792 653387 [37]. Open: F 10AM-5:30PM, Sa 10AM-4:30PM. Wales' oldest independent gallery - specializing in grass roots Welsh art. Admission free
  • Mission Gallery, Gloucester Place, Marina. Tel:+44 1792 652-016. A small independent gallery located in a converted sea-man's chapel. Open: Mo-Su 11AM-5PM. Entrance - free.
  • Exposure Art Gallery, 9 College Street. Tel:+44 1792 641313 [38]. M-Th 10AM–5PM, F,Sa 11AM–4PM. A city center gallery established by the Swansea Guild of Artists and sponsored by Air Wales. Admission free.
  • 1940s Swansea Bay, Elba Crescent, Crymlyn Burrows (off Fabian Way - the main road linking the city center and M4 motorway) Tel:+44 1792 458-864, e-mail: [mailto: mail@1940sswanseabay.co.uk mail@1940sswanseabay.co.uk] [39]. 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. Open: March–Oct: 10AM–5PM, Nov–Feb:10AM–4PM (Closed 24-26 December, 1st January and Mondays Oct-March). The museum offers free parking and has a gift shop and cafe.
  • Mellow Mango, Café Nissé, 11 Wind Street, [40]. A gallery in a cafe. Exhibits focus on the work of local artists.
  • Women in Jazz, Queen’s Buildings, Cambrian Place, Maritime Quarter. Tel:+44 1792 456-666. E-mail: enquiries@womeninjazzswansea.org.uk [41]. A collection of several thousand audio and visual records, photographs, periodicals, paintings, stained glass windows, stage gowns, a library and an oral history collection.
  • Mumbles Lifeboat Museum [42], located on the slip road running off Mumbles Road to Mumbles Pier (near Verdi's Cafe). This small museum is dedicated to the memory of the heroic and sometimes tragic events in the history of the Mumbles Lifeboat. Open Mon-Sat and Sun morning.
  • Oriel Ceri Richards Gallery, Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea Univeristy. Tel:+44 1792 295-526 [43]. 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.
  • Elysium Art Space, 41 High Street. Tel:44 1792 641-313. Th-Su 11AM-5PM. A volunteer run space promoting the work of emerging artists. Admission free.
  • The Nick Holly Studio Gallery, Exchange Building, Cambrian Place, Maritime Quarter. Tel: +44 7971 343-366. [44]. Showcases the work of local artists. Open: Tue-Sun 10AM-5PM. Admission free.
  • Palterman and Thomas, Norwegian Church, Lagdon Road, SA1. Tel: 44 1792 641441. [45] Exhibit of handcrafted jewllery. Open: Tue-Sat 10AM-5:30PM. Admission free.
  • Swansea Bus Museum, SA1 Business Park, Fabian Way, Port Tennant. [46]. An exhibit of over thirty buses that once plied the streets of Swansea and West Wales. Open: Mon-Fri 9AM-4PM, Sun 10AM-5PM. Admission free - donations welcome.
  • The Hidden Gallery, 79b Catherine Street (off Brynymor Road). Water colours by local artist Chris Last.

Parks and scenic sites[edit]

  • Mumbles [47]. A former fishing village located at the western end of Swansea Bay - the quaint streets, a 12th century castle [48], 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 [49].
  • 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.
  • Plantasia, Parc Tawe. Tel:+44 1792 474-555 [50]. A chisel shaped hot house in the city center, complete with three different climate zones and exotic animals. Open: Daily 10AM - 5PM. Admission:Adult £3.70, Children and Concessions £2.70, Passport to Leisure £2.00, Under 4's admitted free and Family £12.00.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. A community park spread over Kilvey Hill. The hill itself has a sculpture trail, a number of footpaths and some dedicated white knuckle mountain biking trails.

Views over the city and Swansea Bay[edit]

  • Townhill 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.unfortunately For the adventurous and those possessing cars with strong brakes, you are unable to return to the city center via the 1 in 3 incline of the cobbled street of Constitution Hill as the road has now been made one- way in an upward direction only.
  • 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. Kilvey Hill must be climbed on foot and the views from the top are well worth the effort.
  • Meridian Tower. Located in the heart of the Maritime Quarter, this is the tallest building in Wales. There is a restaurant and bar at the top of the tower which is acessible by lift. The bar-restaurant offers stunning 360 degree views over the surrounding area from Mumbles head to Portthcawl and from the lower Swansea valley to the North Cornish coast on a sunny day.

Do[edit][add listing]

Bowls[edit]

  • Swansea Indoor Bowls Stadium Beaufort Road, Plasmarl, Swansea, Tel: (+44 1792) 771-728. 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]

  • The 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 factory, The Kingsway, Swansea West Industrial Park. Tel:+44 1792 561-617, Fax:+44 1792 561-619, E-mail:sales@michton.com. [51]. 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 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. The center offers the opportunity for children to observe and and gain first hand knowledge about local wildlife and nature. Open: Mo-Fri 11AM-5PM, Sa&Su 11AM-4PM.
  • The LC. A state of the art leisure center. Offers a dedicated children's play area called The Core which consists of a climbing wall and a 4 storey interactive play area. See 'Swimming' section for more details of waterpark activities.

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 journies continue on to Lundy Island. Starting point- Swansea Ferry Port. [52] Tel:+44 845 130-4647.
  • Euphoria Sailing Ltd, Tel:+44 1792 234-502. E-mail: info@euphoriasailing.com [53] - motor boat and yacht cruises around the Gower coast - starting points Swansea Marina or Oxwich Bay.
  • South Wales Cruising Company, Tel:44 7850681003. E-mail:Mike@SouthWalesCruising.com [54] - private cruises.
  • Gower Coast Adventures, Tel:+44 1792 540-386. [55] - offers trips around the Gower coast for up to twelve people on their ten meter sea serpent cruise boat.

Cycling[edit]

Bike Paths

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

  • Kilvey Hill has a dedicated downhill run and several other trails.

Bike Rentals

  • The Hub, 78 St Helens Road. [56] Tel:+44 1792 466944. (Open Mon-Fri 9AM-5.30PM, Sat 10AM-5PM)
  • Cycle Centre, 10 Wyndham Street. Tel:+44 1792 410-710 (closed Sunday)
  • Action Bike, St. David's Square. Tel:+44 1792 464-640 (open seven days and will deliver bike to hotel free of charge)

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 Penisular. 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

  • Swansea Bay Summer Festival is 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: [57]
  • Escape into the Park, Singleton Park. [58] and [59] 11 June 2011. (mid-day to midnight). An annual pop and dance extravaganza held late summer. Capacity 25,000. £41:50.
  • Swansea Festival of Transport, City Centre. [60] Display of classic and modern vehicles. 10:30AM-4PM. Admission free.
  • Swansea Pride, (gay pride festival), Lacrosse field, Singleton Park. [61] 29 June 2013 (all day event).
  • Wales National Airshow, Swansea Bay. [62] 13-14 July 2013. Spectacular aeronautical displays led by the world famous Red Arrows.
  • Mumbles Raft Race, Mumbles sea-front. Rafts of all shapes sizes compete in the this annual race across Swansea Bay. 21 July 2013.
  • Summer Roller, Museum Park. [63] Roller skating with side attractions. 10AM to 9PM, 14-27 August 2013. £5 to £6.
  • Gower Bluegrass Festival, Gower Heritage Centre, Parkmill. 12 noon to 12 midnight, 6-8 September 2013. Tel: +44 1792 371-206.

Autumn/Winter

  • Bae Fest [64] Free beach festival held on Swansea Beach on 28/29 September 2013. Features beach sports, live music, childrens activites and other entertainment.
  • Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts, [65] 4-20 Oct 2012. An annual (October) three week bash of culture at various locations in Swansea, and the second largest such festival in the UK.
  • Dylan Thomas Festival The Dylan Thomas Centre, - held annually between 27 Oct - 9 Nov 2013. 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 [66] - a biannual writing competition for most outstanding literary talent in English, aged under 30.
  • Dylan Thomas Fringe [67] - compliments the main events at the Dylan Thomas Festival and is held at various venues throughout the city. 26 Oct - 8 Nov 2011
  • Beyond TV International Film Festival, Dylan Thomas Centre [68] - an annual festival of social and environmental themed films. 22-23 Nov 2008
  • Waterfront Wonderland [69]. 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 2011 - 8 Jan 2012

Flights[edit]

  • See Swansea and the Gower Peninsular from the air. Flights from Swansea Airport. Tel:+44 1792 208-933. [70]

Golf[edit]

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

  • Clyne Golf Club, 118-120 Owls Lodge Lane, Mayals [71]. Tel:+44 1792 401-989
  • Fairwood Park Golf Club, Blackhills Lane, Upper Killay [72]. Tel:+44 1792 297-849
  • INCO Golf Club, Clydach Tel:+44 1792841-257
  • Morriston Golf Club, 160 Clasemont Road, Morriston [73]. Tel:+44 1792 796-528
  • Langland Bay Golf Club, Mumbles. [74] Tel:+44 1792 361-721
  • Pennard Golf Club, 2 Southgate Road, Southgate. Tel:+44 1792 233-131

Karting[edit]

  • SKIDZ Karting, Unit 1, Rear of Queensway, Swansea West Business Park, Fforest-Fach, Swansea, West Glamorgan, SA5 4DJ, +44 (1792) 580-927 (), [75]. 10am to 8pm, 7 days a week.  edit

Live music[edit]

Bars and cafes that provide life music:

  • The Chattery, 59 Uplands Cresent, Uplands. Tel:+44 1792 473-276 - alt-country/americana - attracts mostly student crowd.
  • Cafe Smooth, National Waterfront Museum. Tel:+44 1792 456-100 [76] - large Bohemian style cafe - great views over marina - huge selection of coffees and teas - jazz/poetry readings.
  • Monkey Cafe 13 Castle Street. Tel+44 1792 480-822 - cosmopolitan and eclectic venue - great views of Swansea Castle from plush leather sofas - live music upstairs.
  • No Sign Bar, 56 Wind Street. Tel:+44 1792 465-300 - a watering hole that dates back to the 18th century - relaxed atmosphere and good food - generally 40s+ crowd.
  • Swansea Jazzland, St. James Social Club, St. James Crescent, Uplands. Tel:+44 1792 466-535 [77] - jazz, jazz and more jazz
  • Uplands Tavern, 42 Uplands Crescent, Uplands. Tel:+44 1792 458-242 [78] - rock and folk - attracts student crowd.
  • Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea University. Tel:+44 1792 602-060 [79] - music from across the globe, including high profile jazz artists and other musicians of international acclaim.
  • Milkwoodjam, 50 Plymouth Street. Tel:+44 1792 477-577 [80] - live music venue, cafe/bar and recording studio.
  • The Garage, 47 Uplands Cresent, Uplands. Tel:+44 1792 475-147 [81] - hip-hop, metal, rock as well as stand-up comedy.

Living in nature[edit]

  • Dryad Brushcraft, 53 Woodcote, Killay. Tel:+44 1792 547-213. Email:Info@dryadbushcraft.co.uk [82] - offers unique wilderness survival courses at various locations on the Gower.

Movie Theaters[edit]

  • Multi-screen in Parc Tawe (Odeon [83]) and at Salubrious Place at the bottom end of Princess Way (VUE [84]).
  • Quality mainstream, independent and world film at Taliesin Art Centre, Swansea University campus. Tel:+44 1792 602-060. [85]

Paintball[edit]

  • Teamforce UK Paintballing & Activity Centre, Llangyfelach Road, Swansea, SA5 7PE. Tel:+44 845 257 9381 [86]

Spectator sport[edit]

  • Cricket: Swansea is one of the home locations of the Glamorgan County Cricket Club [87], 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') [88], a professional team that currently plays in the Barclays Premier League. The Swans home venue is the Liberty Stadium in Landore. Travel information to the Liberty Stadium: [89]
  • Rugby: Swansea is home to two major rugby union teams: 1. the Ospreys [90] 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. [91] 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, Sketty Lane (near the university). Tel:+44 1792 513-513. [92] - Serious swimmers will enjoy the waters of this Olympic size pool.
  • The LC, Maritime Quarter, [93]. 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. Open: Mo-Fri 6:30AM-10PM, Sa-Su 8AM-9PM.

Tenpin Bowling[edit]

  • Swansea Tenpin Bowling, Parc Tawe, The Strand, Swansea, SA1 2AX, Tel: 0871 873 2450. Tenpin is located next to an Odeon multiplex. It features 26 tenpin bowling lanes and a amusement arcade, two pool tables, a Wimpey burger bar and a drinks bar.[94]

Theatres[edit]

  • Swansea Institute Theatre, Swansea Institute Campus, Townhill Road. Tel:+44 1792 281-280. This theater is home to Swansea based and internationally acclaimed Volcano Theater Company [95]
  • The Grand Theatre, Singleton Street. Tel:+44 1792 475-715 [96]. Swansea's largest theater, with everything from pantomime to opera.
  • The Brangwyn Hall, Guildhall complex, Victoria Park [97]. With it's 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.
  • The Dylan Thomas Centre, Maritime Quarter. Tel:+44 1792 463-980. Specializing in plays produced by the bard himself.
  • The Dylan Thomas Theatre, Maritime Quarter. Tel:+44 1792 473-238 [98]. Home to the Swansea Little Theatre group - Where Dylan Thomas was an actor/member along with Catherine Zeta Jones..
  • The South Wales Evening Post Theatre, Urban Village, 219 High Street. The theatre is part of a so-called creative hub based in the Urban Village.
  • The Taliesin Arts Centre, University Campus, Singleton Park. Tel:+44 1792 602-060. [99]. 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, Old Telephone Exchange, Pier Street, Marina (behind the 5 star Morgan's Hotel on Adelaide Street). Tel:+44 1792 480-200 [100]. 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 Farm, 2 Pontarddulais Road, Fforestfach. Tel:+44 1792 1792 578-384. E-mail: ray@swanseacommunityfarm.org.uk [101] (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/Rambling[edit]

Swansea is a great place if you are into walking [102]. 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.

For more information on rambling in Swansea and the surrounding area, take a look at the Swansea Ramblers website.

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:

  • Watersports 4 All, Bishopston, Tel:+44 1792 234-502, E-main fun@watersports4all.com [103].
  • Mumbles Yacht Club, Southend, Mumbles. Tel:+44 1792 369-321, [104].
  • Mumbles Motor Boat and Fishing Club, The Pier, Mumbles, Swansea, SA3 4EN, Tel:+44 1792 363832.
  • Swansea Yacht and Sub Aqua Club, South dock, Pumphouse, East Burrows Road, Marina. Tel:+44 1792 469-096. [105].
  • Bay Watersports, seafront at the Slip (near St. Helens stadium). Tel:+44 1792 534-858 [106]. Lessons in windsurfing and kayaking on Swansea Bay. May to October, seven days a week.
  • Swansea Watersports, The Pilot House, Pilot Wharf, Swansea Marina, Tel:+44 7989 839-878, Email: info@swanseawaterports.com, [107]. Offers training in the following activities at various locations around the Gower Peninsula: powerboating, sailing, kayaking, jet skiing, first aid and sea survival.
  • Cable Wake Boarding, Prince of Wales Dock, SA1. [108]

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

  • Gower Live, [109]. real time view of the surf at Langland Bay
  • Gower Bays Surf Club, Mumbles, Tel:+44 1792 362-192. [110]
  • Langland Board Riders, 19 Croftfield Crescent, Newton, Tel:+44 1792 386-104.
  • See also "LC" listed under Swimming.

Learn[edit]

Swansea Bay and Swansea University

Universities/Institutes of Higher Education[edit]

  • Swansea University [111] 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 [112]. 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 [113]. Located at several campuses throughout the city, the university is famous for its courses in stained glass design [114] and digital media [115].

Colleges[edit]

  • Gower College Swansea [116]

English (as a second language)[edit]

  • English Study Centre, 81 Mansel Street. Tel:+44 1792 464-103. Email: info@escwales.co.uk [117]. Founded in 1979, this is the city's oldest language center.
  • City School of Languages, 102 Walter Road. Tel:+44 1792 459-615. [118] In addition to English, the center also offers classes in several other languages.
  • Oaklands Educational Travel Services Ltd, 30 Oakland Road, Mumbles. Tel:44 1792 539-184. Email: Abacusaupairs@aol.com

Sailing[edit]

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

  • Mumbles Sailing Club, Mumbles. Tel:+44 1792 864-499. [119]
  • Rainbow Sailing, 14 Cambrian Place, Marina. Tel:+44 1792 467-813. [120]
  • Euphoria Sailing, 34 Eastlands Park, Bishopston. Tel:+44 1792 234-502. [121]

Buy[edit][add listing]

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.
  • Murroughs Welsh Brew Tea [122] - Quality African and Indian teas blended in Swansea
  • Michton Chocolates [123] - Luxury chocolates made in Swansea.
  • Salt Marsh Lamb Localy 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]

  • The Sheep Shop, 38-39 Castle Street. Tel:+44 1792 645-718 [124] - sells irresistible stuffed toy sheep of all shapes and sizes. The shop also has a wide selection of other gifts, including jewellery, love spoons, Celtic crafts, traditional toys and woven blankets.
  • Love Spoon Gallery, 492 Mumbles Road (near junction with Newton Road), Mumbles. [125] - offers the largest range of love spoons in the city.
  • Crundles, 80 Brynymor Road. Tel:+44 1792 462-585 - quality handicrafts and ethnic clothes/jewelry from Asia.
  • Treasure, 29-33 Newton Road, Mumbles. Tel:+44 1792 361-345. E-mail: sales@treasuremumbles.co.uk - an up-market gift shop with an emphasis on local goods.
  • Goose Island, 78 St. Helens Road. Tel:+44 1792 458-222 - handicrafts from Asia - gallery upstairs.
  • Celfi Gallery and Gift Shop, Llys Glas Building, 1 Alexandra Road. Tel:+44 1792 477-707 [126] - a store offering space for former homeless people and the unemployed to exhibit and sell their handicrafts - some lovely framed black and white photographs, jewelry and wood items. Open Tues - Sat 10AM - 4PM
  • Oriel Ceri Richards Gallery, Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea Univeristy. Tel:+44 1792 295-526 [127] 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
  • The Chocolate Factory, The Kingsway, Fforestfach. Tel:+44 1792 561-617. Michton luxury chocolates hot from the mould [128].
Swansea City Center from Kilvey Hill

General[edit]

The Quadrant Centre and Oxford Street are the main shopping centers, 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 center is an array of large, utilitarian shopping centers 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 center 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 replemish your equipment before heading into the wild Welsh country-side.

Books[edit]

New:

  • Waterstones, Oxford Street and University.
  • Uplands, 27 Uplands Crescent - specialist in maps and guide books, also a selection of novels.

Second Hand:

  • Dylan Thomas Centre, Somerset Place, Marina - good selections of local poetry and history.

Eat[edit][add listing]

What[edit]

  • 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 [129] 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 differnt 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 [130], Pier street, Marina offers cheap and excellent fair trade coffee and snacks.

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

V = vegetarians catered for.

Budget[edit]

Cafes (English Breakfast)

  • Coffee's Been, Ground Floor, 55 Walter Rd
  • Espresso Bar, 65 High Street, Swansea SA1 1LN, +44(01792) 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.  edit
  • Kardomah, Morris Buildings, 11 Portland St
  • Sams Cafe, St. Helens Road
  • Uplands Diner, 69 Uplands Crescent, [131]. home of the "Beast" a massive breakfast, has to be seen to be believed  edit

Cafes (Fish and Chips)

  • Roma, Bryn-y-Mor Road
  • Windsor Cafe, 3 Cradock St

Chinese:

  • China Deli and Cafe, 42 St. Helens Road. tasty authentic Chinese cafe dishes, superb value  edit
  • Oriental Garden, 18-23 Anchor Court, Victoria Quay, Maritime Quarter (close to Waterfront Museum and The LC), Tel: +44 1792 464600. Buffet style cuisine - at least 40 dishes on rotation.

Indian:.

  • Indian Scooner, 18 Anchor Court, Victoria Quay, Marina. Tel:+44 1792 649-301 - V
  • Nawab Tandoori, 12 Christina Street. Tel:+44 1792 470-770 - V
  • Anarkali Tandoori, 79-80 St. Helens Road. Tel:+44 1792 650-549 - V
  • Gulshan, 74 St. Helens Road. Tel:+44 1792 456-390 - V

Indonesian:

  • Garuda, 18 St. Helens Road. Tel:+44 1792 653-388 - V

International:

  • Cafe Continental, 37 Castle Street. Tel:+44 1792 654-663
  • Peachy Keens, 18 Little Wind Street, Swansea, SA1 1ED, +44(01792) 463222 (), [132]. Offers a range of international cuisines which can be cooked in front of you from ingredients of your choice.  edit

Thai:

  • The Bay View, 400 Oystermouth Road. Tel:+44 1792 652-610 [133]. Located near the Guildhall, the restaurant offers wonderful views of Swansea Bay, and is connected to a lounge bar - good, inexpensive meals.

Vegetarian:

  • Crumbs Kitchen, 2 Gwydr Square, Uplands, Swansea SA2 0HD. Tel:+44 1792 456-258 - V Cafe and coffee shop specialising in vegetarian and vegan food.
  • Govinda's, 8 Cradock Street (off Kingsway). Tel:+44 1792 468-469 [134] - V - 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.
  • Retreat, 2 Humphrey Street (off Walter Road). Tel:+44 1792 457-880 - Vegan - small, backstreet cafe.
  • Khusi Khana, 36 St Helens Road. Tel:+44 1792 411-076 - V - Indian snacks and fast food.

Welsh/British

  • The Kitchen Table, 626 Mumbles Road, Mumbles. Tel:44 1792 367-616. [135] Wholesome meals made with locally sourced ingredients. Open: Tu-Sat 10AM-4PM, Sat 6:30-9:30PM

Mid range[edit]

American:

  • Bloomburger [136], 27 Wind Street. Tel:+44 1792 655-141 - Freshly made burgers in New York style tenement building - V
  • Frankie and Benny's, Salubrious Place, Wind Street. Tel:+44 1792 461-774 - V

Chinese (Cantonese):

  • Golden Choice, 12 High Street. Tel:+44 1792 644 868 - V
  • Evergreen Cantonese, 9 St Helens Road. Tel:+44 1792 466-787 - V
  • Rendez-Vous, St. Davids Square, Princess Way. Tel:+44 1792 467-113 - V - French and Chinese cuisine, great food, great service.
  • Sea Garden, Penclawdd Road, Penclawdd, Tel: +44 1792 872-886
  • The Emperor, 206 High Street, Tel: +44 1792 652-888
  • Wild Swan, 14 Orchard Street. Tel:+44 1792 472-121 - V

French:

  • Bouchon De Rossi [137], 217 Oxford Street, Swansea. Tel:+44 1792 655-780
  • Pant-y-Gwydr [138], 178 Oxford Street, Swansea, SA1 3JG. Tel:44 1792 455-498.

Indian:

  • Anarkali Tandoori Restaurant, 80 St. Helens Rd. Tel: +44 1792 650 549
  • Bengal Brasserie, 67 Walter Rd, Uplands, Tel: +44 1792 641 316
  • Cafe Saffron, 1 Wind Street. Tel:+44 1792 477-771 - V
  • K2, 91-92 Mansel St, Tel:+44 1792 465 015
  • Mumbai, Mill Lane, Blackpill (opposite the Blackpill Lido on Mumbles Road). Tel:+44 1792 402-402 - modern and spacious ambiance - amazing food - very highly recommended.
  • Patti Raj, [139] Victoria Park, Gorse Lane, Tel:+44 1792 475 444. Located in the splendid Patti Pavailion in Victoria Park
  • The Seaview Tandoori, 728 Mumbles Road, Mumbles Tel:+44 1792 361-991 - v

International:

  • Chelsea Cafe, 17 St. Marys Street (off Wind Street). Tel:+44 1792 464-068 - popular with young up-and-comings.
  • Ice, 64 Wind Street. Tel:+44 1792 646-111

Italian:

  • Ask, 6 Wind Street. Tel:+44 1792 477-070 - V
  • Bella Napoli, 66 Wind Street. Tel:+44 1792 644-611
  • Vivaldi Ristorante, 29 Singleton Street. Tel:+44 1792 456-780
  • Castellamare (cafe and restaurant), Bracelet Bay, Mumbles Tel:+44 1792 369-408 - V - 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 Bussola, 217 Oxford Street. Tel:+44 1792 655-780 - V
  • Pizza Express, 40 Castle Street, Tel:+44 1792 474-320 - V
  • Pizzeriea vesuvio, 200-201 Neath Road, Landore, Tel: +44 1792 648 346
  • Topo Gigio, 55 St. Helens Road. Tel:+44 1792 467-888 - V
  • Verdi's (cafe and restaurant), Knab Rock, Southend, Mumbles. Tel:+44 1792 369-135 [140] - V - 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, Swansea, SA1 1JW, +44(01792) 462617 (), [141]. 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.  edit
  • The Mediterranean, 640 Mumbles Road, Mumbles. Tel:44 1792 363-666. A small restaurant with loads of character and excellent food.


Japanese:

  • Wasabi, 49 Uplands Crescent, Uplands. Tel:44 1792 464-999. Excellent sushi and noodles with sake or green tea to wash it down.

Lebanese/Persian:

  • Kan Zaman Restaurant, 67 Brynymor Road. Tel:44 1792 465-665. Relaxing atmosphere and wide choice of dishes.
  • Shiraz Restaurant, 696 Mumbles Road, Mumbles. Tel:44 1792 107-760. Great selection of Middle Eastern dishes - uninhibited view over Swansea Bay.


Mexican:

  • Chiquitos, Unit 15 Salubrious Place (bottom end of Wind Street).

Pan Asian

  • Cosmo 15 - 16 Castle Street, SA1 1JF, Tel:44 1792 456-666. Buffet restaurant. Serves a range of Asian cuisine. Very nice decor.

Thai

  • Thai Elephant, Ice House, Kings Road, SA1. Tel:44 1792 650-050 [142] - small but cosy restaurant serving authentic Thai dishes.

Turkish:

  • Mediterranean, 640 Mumbles Road., Mumbles. Tel:+44 1792 363-666. - great, no-nonsense Turkish cuisine.

Vegetarian:

  • Bizzy Lizzies Bistro, 55 Walter Road, Uplands. Tel:+44 1792 473-379 - V
  • D'lish Healthy Eating Cafe and Del, 2 Kingsway. Tel:+44 1792 463-838 - Healthy and locally sourced food.

Vietnamese:

  • Vietnam Restaurant, 36 Uplands Crescent, Uplands. Tel:+44 1792 650-929

Welsh/British:

  • Bizzy Lizzies Bistro, 55 Walter Road, Uplands. Tel:+44 1792 473-379 - V
  • Dylan Thomas Center, Tel:+44 1792 463-980 - V
  • Hanson at the Chelsea, Ty Castell House, 17 Mary Street, Swansea. Tel:+44 1792 464-068
  • The Gower Kitchen, 39 Uplands Crescent, Swansea. Tel:+44 1792 476344
  • Sketty Hall, Sketty Lane, Sketty. Tel:+44 1792 284-011 - 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, Pump House Quay, Maritime Quarter, Tel:+44 1792 651-080
  • Number 13, 13 Dyllwyn Street. Tel:44 1792 522-950 [143] - an excellent little restaurant located near the Grand Theatre. Amazing food and excellent service.

Splurge[edit]

Austrian:

  • Mozart's, 766 Walter Road. Tel:+44 1792 649-984 - V

French:

  • L'amuse, 93 Newton Road, Mumbles. Tel:+44 1792 366-006
  • Didier and Stephanie, 56 St Helens Road. Tel:44 1792 655-603. French country cuisine.

Indian

  • Rose Indienne [144], 73-74 St. Helens Road, Swansea. Tel:+44 1792 467000- v

Italian:

  • The New Capriccio, 89 St. Helens Road. Tel:+44 1792 648-804 - V

International

  • Truffle, King Edward's Road. Tel: +44 1792 547246 [145]
  • Truffle Too, 68 Brynymor Road. Tel: +44 1792 547246 [146]


Mediterranean/Spanish:

  • La Braseria, 28 Wind Street. Tel:+44 1792 469-683 - a favorite with Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Paco's, 22A St. Helens Road. Tel:+44 1792 301-522
  • La Parilla, Unit 5, J Shed, King's road. Tel: +44 1792 464-530

Welsh/British:

  • Abernethy's, Marriott Hotel, Marina. Tel:+44 1792 642-020 - V
  • Norton House, Norton Road, Mumbles. Tel:+44 1792 403-210
  • Patrick's, 638 Mumbles Road, Mumbles. Tel:+44 1792 360-199
  • Atrium Restaurant, Morgan's Hotel, Adelaide Street. Tel:+44 1792 484-848 - V - top-notch restaurant.
  • Papa Sanchos, College Steet. Tel:+44 1792 454647 - stone grill restaurant
  • Knabrock Hotel, 734 Mumbles Road, Mumbles. Tel:+44 1792 361-818. Uncomplicated, but excellent cuisine. Restaurant offers uninhibited views over Swansea Bay.
  • Langland's Brasserie, Brynfield Road, Langland, +44 (1792) 363-699 (), [147]. A fine modern British restaurant located with a fantastic view overlooking Langland Bay. Ingredients are organic when available  edit
  • Slice, 73-75 Eversley Road, Sketty (five minute drive from city centre), +44 (1792) 290-929, [148]. 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  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Swansea's busiest and liveliest watering hole is on historic Wind Street (appropriately pronounced Wine) and surrounding area, which is also the home to many of Swansea's best restaurants.
  • The Kingsway is the night club 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, Meditarranean, 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

  • Americano Jazz Cafe, Prince of Wales Docks, Kings Road, SA1. Tel:44 1792 468-230 [149]. 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 Jour, 9 Caer Street. Tel:+44 1792 651-165. 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 Nissé, 11 Wind Street. A cafe-cum-gallery.
  • Cafe Smooth, National Waterfront Museum. Tel:+44 1792 456-100 [150]. A large Bohemian style cafe - great views over marina - huge selection of coffees and teas.
  • Cafe Twocann, J-shed, Kings Road, Swansea Waterfront. Tel:+44 1792 458000 [151]. A cafe in a listed building over looking marina - includes small gift store - alcohol served.
  • Eleos Brasserie, 33 The Kingsway, Swansea. Tel:+44 1792 648-609. Centrally located, but nothing special.
  • Gershwins Coffee House, 14 Nelson Street. Tel:+44 1792 474-000
  • Holbrook's, 28 Union Street, Tel:+44 1792 477-797 [152]. Centrally located with a pleasant and warm atmosphere. Excellent coffee, including Fair Trade, and good selection of cakes.
  • Java Tading Company, 10 Picton Archade. Tel:+44 1792 458-141
  • Kardomah, 11 Portland Street. Tel:+44 1792 652-336. The original Kardomah was a favourite haunt of Dylan Thomas.
  • Monkey Cafe 13 Castle Street. Tel+44 1792 480-822. Cosmopolitan and eclectic venue - great views of Swansea Castle from plush leather sofas - live music - alcohol served..
  • Mosiac [153], Urban Village, 218 High Street. Tel:+44 1792 655-225 - a chic bistro-cafe. Great coffee, food and selection of wines.
  • Pure Refreshment, Ty John Penri Building, St. Helen's Road (near junction with Kingsway). A juice and smoothies bar using all natural ingredients.
  • Sapore, 6 Plymouth Street. Tel:+44 1792 480-031. [154] Close to bus station. Open: mornings and afternoons only.
  • Strudles Coffee Shop, Whitewalls. Tel:+44 1792 650-011
  • Starbucks, Oxford Street, near Market entrance. From Seattle to Swansea, the same standard decor and coffee.
  • The Sub-Cafe, 6 Shoppers Walk Archade. Tel:+44 1792 476-334
  • Tapestri, Llys Glas, corner of Orchard Street and Alexandra Road [155]. A social enterprise cafe that uses fairtrade and locally sourced products.
  • Tiffanys, 57-58 Plymouth Street, City Centre, Swansea, West Glamorgan, SA1 3QQ. Tel '+44 1792 646-048
  • Weaver's Tearoom, Unit 1, Victoria Quay, Marina. Tel:44 1792 645-688. [156]. An art-deco tea room overlooking the marina. Excellent cakes and wholesome meals. Open: 10AM-6PM Tue-Sun.

Mumbles

  • Cafe Valance, 50 Newton Road, the leather sofas, wood flooring, brick walls and open fronting give this cafe a very trendy but homely atmosphere.
  • The Coffee Denn, 34/36 Newton Road. Tel:+44 1792 360-044 - simple, but excellent value meals
  • Ocean, 61 Newton Road. Tel:+44 1792 363-462 - alcohol served.
  • Pavilion Bistro @ Mumbles Pier. Tel:+44 1792 365-225
  • Also Verdis and Castellamare - see Eat listing.

Swansea Beach

  • 360 Beach and Watersports Cafe Bar [157], Mumbles Road, Swansea, SA2 0AY Tel:+44 1792 655-844. 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 cafe [158] Old Station Building, Mumbles Road, Swansea, SA3 5AS. 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 Chattery, 59 Uplands Cres. Tel:+44 1792 473-276. [159] - live music and Fair Trade Coffee. Friendly, but uninspiring decor.
  • Chambers Cafe Bar, 87 Brynymor Road. Tel:+44 1792 480-699 - modern and cosy - serves wholesome beverages and snacks, such as fair-trade coffee, teas, smoothies, local produce, hummus and ciabattas.
  • Noahs Yard, 38 Uplands Road. An Italian inspired cafe/bar. Live jazz every Monday from 8:30-11PM. Excellent atmosphere. Cosy and and earthy artwork, including an original Banksy. Open: Mon-Thu: 4-12PM, Fri-Sat: 4PM-:3AM, Sun: 4-11PM
  • One Shoe Cafe, 1 King Edward Road. Tel:44 1792 439-595. 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

  • Pitcher & Piano, 59 Wind Street. Tel:+44 1792 461-312
  • Revolution, 24 Wind Street. Tel: +44 1792 475-189
  • Bar SA1, 2-5 Wind Street. Tel: +44 1792 630-941
  • Bar-Co, 8-9 Wind Street. +44 1792 460-658"
  • Idols, 10 Wind Street. Tel: +44 1792 474-240
  • Varsity, 63 Wind Street. Tel: +44 1792 463-520
  • The Cross Keys Inn, 12 St Mary's Street. Tel: +44 1792 630-921
  • Exchange Bar, 10 The Strand. Tel: +44 1792 510-919
  • La Cantina, Wind Street. Tel +44 1792 472874

City centre: Kingsway vicinity

  • Bar Quarter, Oceana 71-72 The Kingsway. Tel: +44 1792 653-142
  • The Potters Wheel (Wetherspoons) 85 The Kingsway. Tel: +44 1792 465-113
  • Eli Jenkins 24-25 Oxford St. Tel: +44 1792 641-067

City centre: Bryn-y-Mor Road vicinity

  • The Brunswick Arms, 3 Duke Street [160]
  • The Bryn-y-Mor, 17 Brynymor Road
  • The Mill, 75 Brynymor Road
  • The Westbourne, 1 Brynymor Road [161]
  • The Wig, 134 St. Helens Road

Uplands

  • Noahs Yard, 38 Uplands Road. An Italian inspired cafe/bar. Live jazz every Monday from 8:30-11PM. Excellent atmosphere. Cosy and and earthy artwork, including an original Banksy. Open: Mon-Thu: 4-12PM, Fri-Sat: 4PM-:3AM, Sun: 4-11PM
  • Uplands Tavern, 42 Uplands Crescent, Uplands, Swansea, SA2 0PG. 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.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

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:

  • Swansea Bunkhouse, Huntington Close, West Cross. Tel:+44 1792 401-548. Fax:+44 1792 403-750. E-mail:mary.devoy@swansea.gov.uk [162] - a large Victorian house near Mumbles Village and seafront - groups only - Open: Fri-Sat nights and school vacation times.

Camping/Caravans[edit]

  • Riverside Caravan Park, Ynysforgan Farm, Morriston, Swansea, SA6 6QL, +44 1792 775-587, [163]. 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.  edit

Bed & breakfast[edit]

There are far too many B&Bs to list all, but here is random selection: 1) Leonardo's Guest House, 380 Oystermouth Road Tel:+44 1792 470-163, 2) The Oyster Hotel, 262 Oystermouth Road Tel:+44 1792 654-345, 3) Devon View, 394-396 Oystermouth Road Tel:+44 1792 462-008, 4) The White House Hotel, 4 Nyanza Terrace, Uplands Tel:+44 1792 473-856, 5) Cefn-Bryn Guest House, 6 Uplands Crescent, Uplands Tel:+44 1792 466-687, 6) Carlton Hotel, 654-656 Mumbles Road, Mumbles Tel:+44 1792 360-450, 7) Shoreline Hotel, 648 Mumbles Road, Mumbles Tel:+44 1792 366-233, 8) The Coast House, 708 Mumbles Road, Mumbles Tel:+44 1792 368-702, 9) Glenview House, 140 Langland Road, Mumbles Tel:+44 1792 367-933, 10) Langland Cove Guest House, 4 Rotherslade Road, Langland, Mumbles Tel:+44 1792 366-003, 11) The Mirador Town House [164], 14 Mirador Crescent, Uplands. Tel:+44 1792 466-976, E-mail: info@themirador.co.uk

Self catering[edit]

  • Bay Apartments, 29 Camona Drive, Maritime Quarter. Tel:+44 1792 645-566. E-mail:mail@bayestateagents.com [165]. Apartments in the Maritime Quarter.
  • Clyne Farm Cottages & Clyne Estate, Westport Avenue, Mayals. Tel:+44 1792 403-333. E-mail:info@clynefarm.com [166]. Converted barns and cottages plus horse riding and other activities. Located near Mumbles.
  • Gower Edge Self Catering, Killan Road, Dunvant, Swansea. SA2 7TH. Tel:+44 1608 674467. E-mail:enquiries-gower-edge@live.co.uk [167]. Spacious detached property which sleeps 8 in comfort. Wales Tourist Board 4*. Children and pets welcome. £390-874.
  • Hendrefoelan Holiday Apartments, Gower Road, Sketty. Tel:+44 1792 208-929. E-mail:n.s.edmonds@swansea.ac.uk [168]. Housing and apartments in student village - vacation times only.
  • Hurst Dene Guest House, 10 Sketty Road, Uplands, Swansea, SA2 0LJ, +44 1792 280-920 (, fax: +44 1792 280-920), [169]. 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. (51.620442,-3.946629) edit
  • Tan yr Eglwys Cottages, Pontardawe, Swansea Valley. Tel:+44 1792 863367. E-mail:rees.lloyd@btinternet.com [170]. 4 star accredited self catering cottages in quiet rural location convenient for Swansea, Brecon, Gower and Afan Argoed Mountain Centre.
  • Welsh Holiday Cottages, Pontardawe, Swansea Valley. Tel:+44 1792 864611. E-mail:enquiries@walescottages.com [171]. Luxury self catering farm cottages in the Swansea Valley.
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]

  • Home from Home, 101 Newton Road, Mumbles, Swansea SA3 4BN, +44 (1792) 360624 (, fax: +44 (1792) 361626), [172]. They offer a range of holiday cottages and apartments in Mumbles, Gower, Swansea Marina and other areas of south west Wales.  edit

Budget[edit]

  • Alexander Private Hotel, 3 Sketty Road, Uplands. Tel:+44 1792 470-045 [173]. Small and pleasant hotel with friendly and helpful staff. Conveniently located for city centre, Swansea University and Gower Penisula.
  • Hotel Ibis, Fabian Way. Tel:+44 1792 638-800. Located off motorway connecting road - car essential. Not convenient for tourists.
  • Hurst Dene Guest House, 10 Sketty Road, Uplands, Swansea, SA2 0LJ, +44 1792 280-920 (, fax: +44 1792 280-920), [174]. 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. (51.620442,-3.946629) edit
  • Premier Travel Inn:
    • Salubrious Place. (off Wind Street). Tel:0870 990 6562 [175]. 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. Quieter than the city centre one and located next to a popular Taybarns eat as much as you like restaurant. Tel:0870 990 6562
    • Swansea Waterfront, Langdon Road, Swansea, SA1 8PL, +44 0871 527-9212, [176]. 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.  edit
  • Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP, +44 1792 602-403 (), [177]. 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. (51.609722,-3.980556) edit
  • Travelodge Swansea Central Hotel, Princess Way. Tel: 0870 191 1826 [178] A modern but very basic hotel. Located in city centre.

Mid-range[edit]

  • The Grand, High Street, (across from Swansea Railway Station entrance). Tel:+44 1792 645-898 [179] A beautifully renovated classic hotel. Convenient for city center and rail travel.
  • Dragon Hotel, 39 Kingsway Circle. Tel:+44 1792 657-100. E-mail: info@dragon-hotel.co.uk [180]]. Swansea's oldest and one of its most popular hotels in the heart of the City Center.
  • Marriott Hotel, Maritime Quarter. Tel:0870 400-7282 [181] Convenient for city center. Wonderful views over Swansea Bay and marina.
  • Mercure Swansea Hotel, Phoenix Way, +(44 844) 815-9081 (fax: +(44 1792) 797-535), [182]. Set in landscaped grounds in Swansea Enterprise Zone, Mercure functions primarily as a business hotel. Internet access and satellite TV are available in the 119 contemporary rooms.  edit
  • Norton House, Norton Road, Mumbles. Tel:+44 1792 404-891 [183]. A converted small Georgian manor house.
  • A Space in the City, Pricess Way. Tel:44 8452 607-050 [184] Serviced apartments in the city centre - clean, spacious and within a five minute walk of leisure centre, casino and shopping.
  • The Village, SA1 Waterfront, Fabian Way. [185]. Tel:+44 0870 066 5013. Fax:+44 1792 479-946. Located in the prestigious SA1 Waterfront area - twenty minute walk to city center - two minutes to sea front. Opened March 2007.
  • Winston Hotel, Church Lane, Bishopston. Tel:+44 1792 232-074 E-Mail: email@winstonhotel.com [186]. A small family run hotel in quiet location over looking the Bishopston Valley and close to sandy beaches.

Splurge[edit]

Morgan's Hotel
  • Morgan's Hotel, Adelaide Street, Marina. Tel+44 1792 484-848 [187]. Five star luxury in listed building. Convenient for city center and marina.
  • Knabrock Hotel, 734 Mumbles Road, Mumbles. Tel:+44 1792 361-818. A boutique hotel offering unobstructed views of Swansea Bay. Excellent cuisine and service.
  • Patrick's with Rooms, 638 Mumbles Road, Mumbles. Tel:+44 1792 360-199 [188]. A sixteen room hotel overlooking Swansea Bay - famed for its 'seriously good food'.

Cope[edit]

Media[edit]

  • BBC [189]. The BBC's Swansea and Region-wide news website.
  • The South Wales Evening Post [190]. 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 - The Heart of South West Wales [191]. 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 - Today's Best Mix for South West Wales [192]. 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 - South West Wales' Most Music & All You Need To Know! [193] 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.[194]
  • 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.
  • Tonnau [195]. A locally produced magazine dedicated to the surfing community. Copies can be picked up at stores selling surfing equipment and newsagents in sea-side locations.
  • Swansea Life Magazine [196]. A glossy magazine covering all the hot topics in the Swansea area. Sold at most newsagents in the city.
  • Swansea.com [197]. 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 235-040. 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.

Anglican:

  • St. Mary's Church, St Mary’s Square. [198] Tel:+44 1792 655-489 (joint Anglican and Greek Orthodox)

Bon

  • Yungdrung Bon Meditation Group, 122 Clydach Road, Morriston. [199] Tel:+44 1792 207-474

Buddhist:

  • Pulpung Changchub Dargyeling (Kagyu Tradition), 7 Benbow Close, Sketty [200] Tel:+44 1792 524-282 (Annzella Gregg). e-mail: palpungchangchubdargyeling@ymail.com (meetings on Wednesdays 7-9PM)
  • Dzogchen Community (Nyingma Traditon) [201] e-mail: andrew.cadmore@dzogchencommunity.org (Regular meetings in Fforestfach).

Hebrew:

  • Swansea Synagogue, Ffynone Road, Uplands. [202] Tel:+44 1792 206-404

Hindu:

  • Tridev Meditation Society, 5A Beechwood Road, Uplands. [203] Tel+44 1792 208-373

Islam:

  • Swansea Mosque 14/15 St Helens Road. [204]

ISKCON:

  • Radha Krishna Temple (Govinda's), 8 Cradock Street. [205] Tel:+44 1792 468-469

Jehovah Witnesses:

  • Swansea Congregational Jehovah Witnesses, Kingdom Hall, Uplands. Tel:+44 1792 411861

Native American Practices

  • The Heyokah Centre, The Retreat, 2 Humphrey Street. Tel:+44 1792 457-880

Quakers

  • Friends Meeting House, 168 St Helen's Road. [206]

Roman Catholic:

  • St. Joseph's Cathedral, Convent Street, Greenhill. [207] Tel:+44 1792 652-683

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 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, e.g. Wind Street and Kingsway in the City Centre and the Mumbles Mile.

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 702-222 - 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 205-666 - a large hospital but no accident and emergency unit.
  • Sancta Maria, Ffynone Road, Uplands. Tel:+44 1792 479-040 [208] - a small private hospital located in the Uplands area - non emergency treatment only.
  • Swansea Clinic for Alternative Medicine [209], 20 Walter Road. Tel:+44 1792 644-362

Contact[edit]

Area code[edit]

Swansea's area dialling code is 01792. To call from overseas, dial +44 1792 XXXXXX

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 five 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.

Get out[edit]

Other places of interest in the Swansea area: (see also Swansea Bay for more highlights of the immediate surrounding area)

  • Dan-yr-Ogof Caves [210] are located in the Swansea Valley (on the A4067 - main Swansea to Brecon Road). Voted Britain's "favourite natural wonder" in a nation-wide 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.
  • Middleton, the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire (off A48, between Swansea and Carmarthen). [211] 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 Trapp and the spectaular Carreg Cennen Castle [212]. There are handicraft gift shops and cafes at the castle and near Trapp. 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-Ogaf 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 Center 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.
  • Ffos Las Race Course [213] — a brand new horse racing course that opened in 2009.
  • 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 peninsular 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.






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