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Swansea Bay City Region

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Swansea Bay City Region

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Swansea Bay City Region is a cultural and economic region of Wales located in the western part of the South Wales.[48]


The Swansea Bay City Region is based around the city of Swansea, but also includes Neath/Port Talbot Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. The region extends from the beaches of the Gower Peninsula and Tenby to the south to the Black Mountain range of the Brecon Beacons to the north; and from Saint Davids in the west to Port Talbot to the east, and has a population of around 700.000.

This article aims to provide highlights of the larger area surrounding Swansea. For more detail of Swansea or the Gower peninsula, see the Swansea and Gower articles.

When to go[edit]

The best time of the year to visit region is from late spring to early autumn since most of the attractions in the area are outdoor orientated. The warmer weather and longer days allows for maximum enjoyment of the sites the region has to offer.

Tourist information[edit]

  • Swansea 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.

Tourist websites[edit]


Get in[edit]

By Car[edit]

  • The M4 Motorway links the region with Cardiff, Bristol and London with connections to the M6, M5, M32, M42 and M50.
  • The A40 is a rural trunk road which takes a northerly route through the region linking major the major western towns of Carmarthen and Haverfordwest with London.
  • The A465, with its mountain scenery links Swansea Bay with Birmingham and the midlands avoiding the Severn toll bridges.
  • The A483 links Swansea Bay with north Wales and Chester.
  • The A487 links Haverfordwest in the western part of the region with Bangor in north Wales with much of the road following the scenic west Wales coast.

By bus[edit]

  • National Express operates a regular coach service from Swansea to London, Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham. Coach services also operate directly from Haverfordwest, Carmarthen, Llanelli, Neath and Port Talbot to Cardiff and London.
  • First Cymru operates a frequent Shuttle coach service to Swansea from Cardiff. Tickets can be bought on the bus.

By air[edit]

  • Haverfordwest Aerodrome, a small airport near Haverfordwest which caters for light aircraft ☎ +44 1437 765283 [55]
  • Swansea Airport Swansea is served by its own regional airport, light aircraft only [56] (IATA: SWS) (ICAO: EGFH), ☎ +44 1792 207550.
  • Pembrey Airport ICAO: EGFP offers charter flights to destinations in UK and Europe. Enquiries: ☎ +44 1554 891534.
  • Cardiff International Airport [57] (IATA: CWL) (ICAO: EGFF), which is about a fifty minute drive from the city and offers scheduled domestic and international flights to Europe, Africa and North America. Inquires: ☎ +44 1446 711111.
  • Heathrow and Gatwick airports. There are frequent National Express coach services to Swansea from Heathrow Airport, offering the widest choice of international flights.

By train[edit]

  • 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 [59] 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 [60]
  • Arriva Trains runs routes 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: ☎ 0845 748 49 50
  • The famous Heart of Wales Line [61] 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.

By boat[edit]

  • Swansea Marina [62] offers 750 berths for private boat mooring, and is a five gold anchor rated [63] marina with Blue Flag status offering comprehensive facilities for both short and long term stays.
  • Burry Port Marina [64] just west of Llanelli offers 243 berths for private boat mooring.
  • Milford Marina [65] in the town of Milford Haven with direct access to the Milford Haven waterway.
  • Rosslare - Fishguard ferries[66] - Stenna Line operate ferries to Fishguard in West Wales which is about 1.5 hours drive to Swansea Bay.
  • Rosslare - Pembroke Dock[67] Irish Ferries operate a ferry service from Rosslare to Pembroke Dock in West Wales. Pembroke Dock is about 1 hour 20 minutes drive to Swansea Bay.

Get around[edit]

The best means of transport for exploring the region is by private car.


Buses depart from Swansea Bus Station to most of the suburbs and rural areas of Swansea as well as to other towns in the region. Towns with central bus stations to their suburbs inlclude Neath, Port Talbot, Llanelli and Carmarthen. Most services are operated by First Cymru[68] and Veolia Transport Cymru[69].


Arriva trains operate suburban and rural train services from Swansea station to Llansamlet, Skewen, Baglan, Briton Ferry, Gowerton, Bynea, Llangennech, Pontarddulais, Pantyfynnon, Ammanford, Llanelli, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest and Tenby.

Car Hire[edit]

  • Avis - Orchard St, Swansea, SA1 5AS. ☎ 0844 581-0014‎ [70]
  • Europcar 187-189 Oxford St, Swansea, SA1 3JA‎. ☎ +44 1792 650526‎ [71]

See[edit][add listing]

Parks and gardens[edit]

  • Aberglasney Gardens. Ten acres of historic gardens surrounding Aberglasney House in Carmarthenshire.[72]
  • Afan Forest Park - largest urban forest in Europe, set in the steep sided Afan Valley just north of Port Talbot. The forest contains several world-class mountain biking trails as well as long established graded walking trails. [73]
  • 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.
  • Craig y Nos Country Park, located in the Upper Swansea Valley Craig y Nos is part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Craig y Nos Country part was once part of the estate of opera star Adelina Patti who made her home in Craig y Nos Castle at the entrance to the park.[74]
  • 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.
  • Pembrey Country Park features 500 acres of parkland backing Cefn Sidan beach. The grounds include a ski slope and the longest toboggan run in Europe. There is a visitor centre with bike hire shop. [75]
  • Plantasia, Parc Tawe. ☎+44 1792 474555 [76]. 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.
  • Gnoll Estate Country Park. Features a lake and historic landscaped gardens in a setting in the lower Vale of Neath.[77]
  • Margam Country Park. Once part of the Talbot family estate, Margam Country Park is set in about 1,000 acres of parkland. If features an 18th century Orangery and a splendid Tudor Gothic style Victorian Mansion House. [78]
  • National Botanic Garden of Wales. This garden was created in the new millennium and features over 100,000 plants set in a 568 acre regency park. The gardens features the world's largest single span glass house. [79]
  • Singleton Park. Swansea's largest park - meandering over several acres of gentle undulating hills and leads 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.


  • Black Mountain - this is the range of mountains forming the western portion of tbe Brecon Beacons National Park. A great base for hiking in the Black Mountain range is at Brynamman.[80]


  • Cefn Sidan. A 7 mile long sandy beach stretching from Burry Port to Kidwelly
  • Gower coast, the headland immediately west of the city of Swansea with numerous beaches.
  • Aberavon beach. A three mile stretch of beach in Sandfields, Port Talbot
  • Millennium Coastal Park [81] A 10 mile stretch of coastline on the northern edge of the Burry Estuary which features a walking/cycle path along most of the coastline.
  • Tenby. An historical walled town with sandy beaches.
  • Pembrokeshire Coast National Park - the only coastal National Park in the UK.

The beaches in the Swansea Bay region which were awarded Blue Flag status in 2008 are: Aberavon Beach, Bracelet Bay, Caswell Bay, Langland Bay, Cefn Sidan, Port Eynon, Rest Bay and Trecco Bay.[82]


  • Dan-yr-Ogof - The National Showcave Centre for Wales The showcaves centre features several showcaves formed from carboniferous limestone. The showcaves centre features a dinosaur park, childrens' activity centre and farming history exhibition. The caves can be found on the A4067 road in the Upper Swansea Valley at the foothills of the Brecon Beacons.[83]


  • Vale of Neath The Vale of Neath is also known as Waterfall Country for the numerous falls which are found there.
    • Aberdulais Falls One of the most famous waterfalls of Wales, the Aberdulais Falls can be found near the village of Aberdulais in the lower Neath Valley. The waterfall area is now a National Trust property who operate a visitor centre. The waterfall exhibition features a working waterwheel [84]
    • The Melincourt Falls are located near the community of Resolven. The eighty foot high falls are part of the Melincourt Brook, a tributary of the River Neath. [85]
    • Hepste and Mellte waterfalls The rivers Hepste and Mellte can be found in the Upper Neath Valley and fall within the Brecon Beacons national park zone. The Hepste and Mellte feature numerous waterfalls along their length but they do require some hiking to view. They can be accessed from a car park near the village of Pontneddfechan.[86]


  • Neath Canal The historic Neath and Tennant Canals are currently the subject of a major restoration project by the Neath and Tennant Canals Trust. A boat trip can be taken along part of the Canal starting from Neath town centre heading inland. The boat trip operates from Easter until the end of summer annually. The canal features a walkable towpath.

Museums and Galleries[edit]

  • Cefn Coed Colliery Museum found in near the village of Crynant in the Dulais Valley features a permanent exhibition of the Cefn Coed Colliery - once the deepest anthracite coal mine in the world.[87]
  • Glyn Vivian Art Gallery situated in Alexandra Road, Swansea features work from local artists [88]
  • Kidwelly Industrial museum is located near the village of Kidwelly about 5 miles from the town of Llanelli. This is the only tinplate museum in the UK and is developed on the site of the oldest surviving tinplate works in the UK. [89]
  • National Waterfront Museum in Swansea's Maritime Quarter features a permanent exhibition of the industrial history of South Wales.[90]
  • Swansea Museum located in Swansea features artifacts from Swansea's past.[91]

Nature Reserves/Bird Watching[edit]

  • Blackpill Beach, Swansea, located on the southern edge of Swansea Bay beach, Blackpill Beach and the Blackpill Stream which flows into it are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. Many types of gulls can be seen feeding there at high tide.
  • Crymlyn Bog, Crymlyn bog is the largest area of lowland fen in Wales located to the east of Swansea City Centre. It is a Ramsar site, a Special Site of Scientific interest and a protected National Nature Reserve. There is a visitor centre with car parking. [92]
  • Cwm Clydach, Craig Cefn Parc Swansea, ☎ +44 1792 842927, [93] RSPB nature reserve surrounding the Lower Clydach River.
  • Kenfig National Nature Reserve, Ton Kenfig, Bridgend, CF33 4PT, ☎ +44 1656 743386
  • National Wetland Centre Wales, Llwynhendy, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, SA14 9SH, ☎ +44 1554 741087 [94]
  • Pant-y-Sais Fen, Special Site of Scientific Interest in Jersey Marine, the wetland site features a boardwalk which is accessible from a free car park just outside Jersey Marine village.
  • Swansea Vale, Swansea contains a 6 hectare nature reserve which is accessible by bike or on foot along a boardwalk. [95]

Do[edit][add listing]


  • Swansea Airport+44 1792 208933. [96] See Swansea and the Gower Peninsula from the air.
    • Flying Lessons and recreational flights are operated by Swansea Sport Flying at Swansea Airport.
    • Skydiving lessons and recreational skydives at Swansea Airport are operated by Skydive Swansea
  • Pembrey Airport - local leisure flights and chartered flights to UK and Europe. ☎ +44 1554 891-534 [97]


  • Millenium Coastal Path (part of NCR 4) This route follows the Carmarthenshire coast south of Llanelli.
  • Tawe Valley Trail (part of NCR 43) This trail begins in the Swansea Marina and follows the River Tawe all the way to the upper Swansea Valley. The scenery varies from the Urban and industrial areas at Swansea to the more tranquil rural areas of the Swansea Valley. Most of the route avoids road traffic.


There is a lot of beautiful countryside and mountain scenery to be seen in Swansea Bay and the wonderful Brecon Beacons National Park lies just north of the region. Here are some recommended driving routes:

  • M4 Motorway (J43) - Neath - Glynneath - Hirwaun - Brecon - Sennybridge - Abercraf - Pontardawe - M4 Motorway (J45)

This is quite a long drive which will take several hours and a fairly sporty car is recommended. Exit the M4 Motorway at Junction 43 and on the roundabout head onto the A465 road. The A465 is known locally as the Heads of Valleys Road. Once past neath, the road heads up the beautiful Vale of Neath with a wide valley floor with lakes flanked by steep wooded hills on both sides. At Hirwaun, head onto the A4059, which leads to a gentle climb into the central Brecon Beacons. Once in the mountains, the A4059 becomes a twisty country road with lots of sweeping ups and downs. Beware of sheep crossing the road in this section. The A4059 descends and meets the A470. Head north on the A470. The A470 passes by the western tip of ridge line which includes Pen-y-Fan (the highest peak in south Wales). Further north, the A470 crosses the side of a deep U-shaped valley. Head onto the A40 westwards at Brecon. Then at Sennybridge, head onto the A4067 (known as the Swansea Valley Road). The road passes scenic spots like the Cray reservoir and continues all the way to Swansea where the M4 can be re-joined at Junction 45.


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

  • Ashburnham Golf Club, Cliffe Terrace, Burry Port. ☎ +44 1554 833846 [98] 18 hole links course
  • Carmarthen Golf Club, Blaenycoed Road, Carmarthen, SA336EH. ☎ +44 1267 281588 [99] 18 hole par 71 course.
  • Clyne Golf Club, 118-120 Owls Lodge Lane, Mayals, Swansea [100]. ☎ +44 1792 401989. 6323 yard 18 hole course built on moorland, par 70 sss72.
  • Fairwood Park Golf Club, Blackhills Lane, Upper Killay, Swansea [101]. ☎ +44 1792 297849. 6,658 yard 18 hole parkland championship course.
  • Parc Garnant Golf, Dinefwr Road, Garnant, Ammanford. ☎ +44 1269 823365 [102] 6575 yard 18 hole course.
  • Glyn Abbey Golf Club, Trimsaran, Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire. ☎ +44 1554 810278 [103] Features a 6202 year 18 hole par 70 main course for experienced players and a 9 hole par 3 course for beginners
  • Glynhir Golf Club, Glynhir Road, Llandybie, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, SA182TF. ☎ +44 1269 851365 [104] 6033 yard 18 hole 69 par parkland course
  • Glynneath Golf Club, Penygraig, Pontneddfechan, Glynneath, SA11 5UH. ☎ +44 1639 720452 [105] 6,100 yard, par 71, 18 hole course set in a mix of parkland and woodland
  • Gower Golf Club, Cefn Goleu, Three Crosses, Swansea. ☎ +44 1792 872480 [106], 18 hole course set on rolling countryside
  • Havefordwest Golf Club, Haverfordwest SA61 2XQ. ☎ +44 1437 764523. 18 hole par 70 course. [107]
  • INCO Golf Club (aka Tawe Vale Golf Club), Clydach ☎ +44 1792841257, 18 hole couse set beside the River Tawe
  • Lakeside Golf Club, Water Street, Margam, Port Talbot. ☎ +44 1639 899959, 18 hole course.
  • Machynys Peninsula Golf & Country Club, Designed by Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus Avenue, Machynys, Llanelli. ☎ +44 1554 744666 [108] 18 hole links championship course overlooking Carmarthen Bay.
  • Milford Haven Golf Club, Milford Haven SA73 3RX. ☎ +44 1646 697822, par 72 18 hole course [109]
  • Morriston Golf Club, 160 Clasemont Road, Morriston [110]. ☎ +44 1792 796528. 5708 yard 18 hole course
  • Neath Golf club, Cadoxton, Neath. ☎ +44 1639 632759 [111] 18 hole hilltop course
  • Langland Bay Golf Club, Mumbles. [112]+44 1792 361721. 18 hole links course set on moorland overlooking Caswell Bay and Langland Bay
  • Pennard Golf Club, 2 Southgate Road, Southgate. ☎ +44 1792 233131 [113]. 6,225 yard, 18 hole par 71 links golf course
  • Pontardawe Golf Club, Cefn Llan, Pontardawe. ☎ +44 1792 863118 [114] 6101 yards, par 70, 18 hole course overlooking Pontardawe
  • Saron Golf Club, Saron ☎ +44 1559 370705, 9 hole putt and play course [115]
  • South Pembrokeshire Golf Club Pembroke Dock, SA72 6SE ☎ +44 1646 621453. Par 70, 18 hole course [116]
  • Swansea Bay Golf Club, Jersey Marine, SA10 6JP ☎ +44 1792 812198. 6605 yard, par 72, 18 hole links course set in Crymlyn Burrows overlooking Swansea Bay.
  • Tenby Golf Club, Tenby SA70 7NP ☎ +44 1834 842978, 18 hole links course adjacent to Tenby town centre
  • Trefloyne Manor, Tenby SA70 7RG ☎ +44 1834 842165, 18 hole golf course situated just inland from the coatal town of Tenby.

High-wire forest adventure[edit]

  • Go Ape, Margam Country Park [117] an outdoor obstacle course set on the trees of Margam Country Park

Horse Riding[edit]

  • Pembrey Riding Centre [118] at Pembrey Country Park. Offers a good range of horse and pony rides thoughout extensive woodland in Pembrey Country park and rides on Cefn Sidan beach are available.


  • Dragon Karting, 90 Colonel Road, Betws, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, SA18, +44 1269 592759.  edit
  • Race Hire, Stormy Down, Pyle, Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan, CF33 4RS, +44 1656 7730737 (too many digits).  edit
  • SKIDZ Karting, Unit 1, Rear of Queensway, Swansea West Business Park, Fforest-Fach, Swansea, West Glamorgan, SA5 4DJ, +44 1792 580927 (), [1]. 10am to 8pm, 7 days a week.  edit

Motor Racing[edit]

  • Pembrey Circuit Cefn Sidan, Carmarthenshire SA16. Several car, motorbike and truck racing events are held every year at the circuit. A driving school operates on a number of dates during the summer. See the British Automobile Racing Club site for details. BARC Pembrey 2009 Events

Mountain Biking[edit]

  • Afan Forest Park located in the Afan Valley and home to world class mountain dedicated biking trails. Afan Forest park was named in the top ten places in the world to "ride before you die" by What Mountain Bike Magazine. There are two visitor centres, one located off the Afan Valley Road just north of Pontrhydyfen and another located in the village of Glyncorrwg.
    • The Glyncorrwg visitor centre features a bike shop and cafe. [119]
    • The Bryn Bettws Lodge site is home to the Afan Valley MTB Mountain Biking Training Centre[120]
  • Clyne Valley Country Park. The entrance to the Clyne Valley is located in Blackpill Swansea. The Clyne valley features a gently sloping cycle road which connects Blackpill with Gowerton. Mountain bike trails are located on the sides of the valley.
  • Kilvey Hill in Swansea features a dedicated downhill run and other cross country trails.
  • Margam Mountain [121], set at the back of Port Talbot overlooking the steelworks. Margam Mountain offers a gentle mountain biking route suitable for younger children 10+. There is a Forestry Commission car park located at near Llangynwyd near Maesteg.


  • Culla Park Paintball Culla Rd, Trimsaran, SA17. +44 1554 811181
  • Go Ballistic Ammanford Paintballing Hengenin, Llandyfan, Ammanford, SA18 2UD. tel. 0870 141 7490
  • L & A Outdoor Centre Goytre, SA13 2YP. ☎ +44 1639 885509 [122]
  • Nationwide Paintball Kenfig, Porthcawl, Port Talbot, CF33 4PU. ☎ +44 8483 707570 [123]
  • Top Gun Paintball Oaklands, 1B Brynteg Road, Seven Sisters, Neath, SA10 9ET. ☎ +44 1639 700487 [124]


  • Pembrokeshire Adventure Centre Offers sailing courses, based in the Milford Haven waterway. [125]
  • Swansea Sailing Club [126]


  • Pembrey Country Park, contains a training slope and a 120m main slope. There is a visitor centre which hires out and sells skiing equipment and skiing lessons are provided. ☎ +44 1554 834-443 [127]

Theme Parks[edit]

  • Oakwood Theme Park, Canaston Bridge, Narberth, Pembrokeshire SA67 8DE. ☎ +44 1834 815170 The only major theme park in Wales and one of the most innovative in the UK. [128]

Cable Wakeboarding[edit]

  • Go Wake, Prince of Wales Dock, Swansea Docks, Swansea. [129]

Indoor Waterparks[edit]

  • Blue Lagoon Waterpark Canaston Wood, Narberth, Pembrokeshire, SA67 8DE ☎ +44 1834 862 400, part of the Bluestone National Park Resort [130]
  • The LC (or Swansea Leisure Centre) Oystermouth Road, Swansea, SA1 3ST ☎ +44 1792 466500 [131]

Wildlife Parks[edit]

  • Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo [132] Offers a fantastic day out for families with young children. The park features a classic fairground which includes merry-go-round, bumper cars, ghost train, faiground games and many more rides. The fairground is all indoors and sheltered from the rain. There are numerous Children's soft play areas including a large indoor one. Desipite the name, Folly Farm has more than farm animals. There are Zebras, Giraffes, wild cats, monkeys and other exotic creatures.
  • Manor House Wildlife Park [133]

Spectator Sports[edit]

  • Football Premier League side Swansea City AFC[134] play at the Liberty Stadium in Landore, Swansea.[135]
  • Horse Racing, Ffos Las Racecourse, Culla Road, Trimsaran, KIDWELLY, SA17 4DE, ☎ (+44 1544) 811092. A new National Hunt and Flat horse racing venue is opened near Trimsaran on 18 June 2009 - the first new National Hunt venue in the UK for 80 years. [136]
  • Rugby Union
    • Ospreys[137], a professional side who play in the Mangers League, their home ground is the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.
    • Scarlets[138], a professional side who play in the Mangers League, their home ground is Parc Y Scarlets in Pemberton Llanelli.
    • Aberavon RFC [139], semi-professional side who play in the Welsh Premier League, their home ground is the Talbot Athletic Ground in central Port Talbot
    • Llanelli RFC[140], semi-professional side who play in the Welsh Premier League, their home ground is Parc Y Scarlets in Pemberton, Llanelli
    • Neath RFC[141], a semi-professional side who play in the Welsh Premier League, their home ground is The Gnoll in Neath
    • Swansea RFC[142], a semi-professional side who play in the Welsh Premier League, their home ground is the St Helens Rugby and Cricket Ground in Swansea.
  • Rallying
    • Swansea Bay Rally, the event takes place every year, in mid-summer, at various locations in the Swansea Bay area. [143]
    • Wales Rally GB, the Wales Rally GB is usually the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship and takes place at near the end of each year. Several legs of the Wales Rally GB take place in various locations in the Swansea Bay region most notably the Vale of Neath and the Margam Forest[144]


There are a number of festivals within the city of Swansea. These are other festivals in the Swansea Bay area:

  • British Mountain Bike race series. Margam Country Park plays host to one of the events of the British Mountain Bike series. In 2013, the event will be held on Sat 19 May.
  • Gwyl Pontardawe Festival, Pontardawe. The Gwyl festival is an annual music festival featuring contemporary artists from Wales and the rest of the UK. The next Gwyl Pontardawe Festival is scheduled for 20-23 August 2009. [145]
  • Llanelli Music & Jazz Festival. The Llanelli Music & Jazz Festival is held every year during August Bank Holiday in the Diplomat Hotel in Llanellli.[146]
  • Margam Festival. The Margam festival is held annual at the Orangery in Margam country park featuring musical performances. [147]
  • Neath Festival. The neath festival is held in Neath during mid summer featuring a fete at Gnoll Country Park and music performed at various locations in Neath. [148]
  • South Wales Boat Show, a manufacturers event showcasing their boats held in Margam Park in June every year. [149]
  • Swansea Bay Summer Festival This is an umbrella term for a number of events ocurring in the Swansea Bay area from May to September. See website for details. [150]



  • Swansea University [151]
  • University of Wales Trinity Saint David [152]


  • Coleg Sir Gâr/Carmarthenshire College [153]
  • Gower College Swansea [154]
  • Neath Port Talbot College [155]
  • Pembrokeshire College [156]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Swansea city centre has the widest range of shops in the region, which includes Wales's largest indoor market.[157]

For stocking up on essentials, other shopping centres hosting national high street chains are:

  • Parc Trostre/Parc Pemberton, Llanelli
  • Llanelli Town centre
  • Maesteg Town Centre
  • Morfa Shopping Park, Swansea
  • Parc Fforestfach/Pontarddulais Road retail park, Swansea
  • Neath town centre
  • Port Talbot town centre
  • Carmarthen town centre
  • Haverfordwest town centre

Mumbles and Llandeilo feature collections of upmarket shops. As well as Swansea Market, fresh food indoor markets can be found in the town centres at Carmarthen, Llanelli and Neath.

Temporary markets[edit]

  • Clydach Market, Players Industrial Estate, Clydach, SA6 5BQ. Wednesdays 8am - 2pm, Sundays 9am - 3pm. Clydach Market is located in a former factory on the outskirts of Clydach. It is signposted from the M4 motorway junction 45.
  • Port Talbot Market Station Road, Port Talbot, SA13 1LB. Tuesdays 9am - 2pm, Saturdays 9am - 2pm. The market can be accessed from junctions 38-41 of the M4 motorway.
  • Rheola Market a.k.a Vale of Neath Market, Rheola, Neath, SA11 4DT. Located near the hamlet of Resolven just off the A465 Road, Rheola market is open every Saturday morning and features over 200 stalls plus a car boot sale.
  • Stormy Down Market, Stormy Down near Pyle, Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan, CF33 4RS. Market and car boot sale held every Sunday.

Farmer's markets[edit]

  • Carmarthen Farmers Market, Carmarthen Town Centre, held 1st Friday of every month.
  • Mumbles Local Produce Market, Oystermouth Square, Mumbles, in the car park near the junction of Oystermouth Road and Newton Road. Held on the second Saturday of every month from 9am to 1pm.
  • Sketty Local Produce Market, Bishop Gore Comprehensive School, Del-La-Beche Road, Sketty, Swansea, SA2 9AP. Times: 9.30am-12.30pm. Occurrence 1st Saturday each month
  • Swansea Market, located in the heart of Swansea City Centre, opens 6 days a week and contains a number of stalls selling locally sourced produce.[158]
  • Uplands Market located in Gwydr Square, Uplands on the last Saturday of every month [159]

Eat[edit][add listing]


The local culinary specialities are lavabread, cockles and salt-Marsh lamb. See Food in Swansea for mote details. Another Welsh produce sold in butchers and served in many restaurants in the region is Welsh black beef. Fresh local produce is availble in the indoor markets in Swansea, Neath, Llanelli and Carmarthen.


Swansea offers the best opportunities for meals and has many international standard hotels.

Llanelli area[edit]

  • Moods (Indian), 14 Station Rd, Llanelli, SA15 1AL, +44 1554 756733. one of the first in the UK to offer a chocolate based curry.  edit
  • Stradey Park Hotel (Welsh/British), Furnace, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, SA15 4HA, +44 1554 758171 (fax: +44 1554 777974), [2]. An upmarket Welsh/British restaurant  edit

Neath Area[edit]

  • New Road in Skewen has many restaurants and take aways [160]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Swansea and its seaside suburb of Mumbles have an array of excellent cafes, pubs and wine bars.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Swansea and the Gower offer a huge selection of hotels from five star boutique to country cottages. Hotels outside of Swansea are:


  • Black Lion Caravan Park, +44 1269 845365, [3]. features a caravan park and campsite near Cross Hands. Ideal for visiting the National Botanical Gardens of Wales and Aberglasney.  edit
  • Gateway Caravan Park, +44 1554 771202, [4]. Located on the Millennium Coast overlooking the Burry Inlet in south Carmarthenshire between Swansea and Llanelli.  edit
  • Glyncorrwg Ponds, Ynyscorrwg Park, Glyncorrwg, Port Talbot. SA13 3EA, +44 1639 851900, [5]. A small camp site set right in the heart of Afan Forst Park  edit
  • Llwynifan Farm, +44 1554 820420, [6]. caravan site located at Llangennech near Llanelli.  edit
  • Pembrey Country Park Caravan Club Site, +44 1554 834369, [7].  edit
  • River View Touring Park, The Dingle, Llanedi, Pontarddulais, Swansea, SA4 0FH, +44 1269 844876, [8]. situated in a beautiful rural location in south-west Wales. It is easily reached from junction 49 of the M4 and other major routes.  edit
  • Trecco Bay Holiday Park, Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan, South Wales, CF36 5NG, 0871 641 0410, [9]. One of the largest holiday parks in the UK. It offers a variety of fixed lodges as well as sites for camping and caravans.  edit
  • Waters Meet Caravan and Camping Site, +44 1792 863-038, [10]. located near Pontardawe between Swansea and the Brecon Beacons  edit

Self catering[edit]

  • Bluestone National Park Resort, Bluestone Resorts Ltd, Canaston Wood, Narberth, Pembrokeshire, SA67 8DE, +44 1834 862 400, [11]. Set within Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Bluestone boasts luxury accommodation in lodges, cottages and studios. The Bluestone village features shops, restaurants, a pub, wine store and a superb spa, while in the neighbouring valley are two of Pembrokeshire’s premier leisure facilities: the Adventure Centre and the Blue Lagoon water park.  edit
  • Bryn Bettws Lodge and Log Cabins, Gyfylchi Farm, Pontrhydyfen, Port Talbot, Wales, U.K. SA12 9SP., +44 1639 642040 (), [12]. Bryn Bettws features single room log cabins which accomodate 2-5 people with kitchenette and washroom. There's also a shared onsite restaurant. This is an ideal location in the Afan Valley for mountain bikers and walkers who want to explore Afan Forest Park and the surrounding area.[13]  edit
  • Ffos Las Holiday Lets, +44 1554 811261 (), [14]. Located in Trimsaran, minutes from the Ffos Las racecourse, comprising of 9 properties. They can cater for large or small groups of up to 60 people. Ample car parking. The Bird in Hand pub is also located on site, serving wines, beer, spirits, real ales and home cooked meals.  edit
  • Gellifelgaws Farm, Tyllwyd Rd, Bryncoch, Neath, SA10 7DX, +44 1792 321670, [15].  edit
  • Hafodwen Holiday Cottage, Bryngaws Farm, Cilfrew, Neath, Wales SA10 8NF., (), [16]. Highly sought after large detached house sleeps up to 14 in 6 large bedrooms. Stunning countryside views. Dogs welcome. 4 star accredited self catering accommodation. Situated in the beautiful Vale of Neath. Ideal for visiting Brecon Beacons, Neath waterfalls, Gower beaches and Swansea[17]  edit
  • LLygad yr Haul, LLygad yr Haul, Meinciau, Kidwelly, SA17 5LF, +44 7718 897495. Beautiful luxury spacious bungalow with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside . Ten minutes from the Ffos Las racecourse. Sleeps eight. Sky and WI-FI internet.  edit
  • Millennium Quay Self-Catering Apartment, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire SA15 2LQ, +44 1684 291288, [18].  edit
  • Tan yr Eglwys Cottages, Pontardawe, Swansea Valley, +44 1792 863367 (), [19]. 4 star accredited self catering cottages in quiet rural location convenient for Swansea, Brecon, Gower and Afan Argoed Mountain Centre.  edit
  • Welsh Holiday Cottages, Pontardawe, Swansea Valley, +44 1792 864611 (), [20]. Luxury self catering farm cottages in the Swansea Valley.  edit
This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget below £60
Mid-range £60-100
Splurge £100+
  • Welsh Coast and Country Cottages, +44 1239 881397, [21]. operate a large portfolio of self-catering holiday cottages in various scenic locations in Wales including a number of cottages in east Carmarthenshire. Their portfolio range from small cottages for just 2 people to larger houses for up to 12 people.  edit

Self Catering Accommodation Agencies[edit]

  • Home from Home, 101 Newton Road, Mumbles, Swansea SA3 4BN, +44 1792 360624 (, fax: +44 1792 361626), [22]. They offer a range of holiday cottages and apartments in Mumbles, Gower, Swansea Marina and other areas of south west Wales.  edit

Bed and breakfast[edit]

B&B accommodation is available throughout the Swansea Bay region. Here is a small selection:

  • Adeline Guest House, 5 Randall Square Pembrey SA16 0TY, +44 1554 832407, [23].  edit
  • Beudy Bach Bed and Breakfast, Bethania Road Upper Tumble Llanelli Carmarthenshire SA14 6EB, +44 1269 842702, [24].  edit
  • Bryncoch Farm, Llandyfan, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, SA18 2TY, +44 1269 850480, [25]. A rural guest house situated high in the Amman Valley on the edge of the Black Mountain  edit
  • Caulfields Hotel, 11 Station Road Burry Port SA16 0LR, +44 1554 832288, [26].  edit
  • Four Seasons Guest House, 62, Gwscwm Road, Pembrey, Burry Port, Carmarthenshire, SA16 0YU, +44 1554 833367.  edit
  • Harbour House, The Harbour Burry Port Dyfed SA16 0ER, +44 1554 833414, [27].  edit
  • Southmead Guesthouse, 72 Queen Victoria Road Llanelli SA15 2TH, +44 1554 758588, [28].  edit
  • Stag & Pheasant Inn, Llandeilo Rd Carmel Llanelli SA14 7SE, +44 1269 842485, [29].  edit
  • The Waun Wyllt Inn, Horeb Road, Five Roads, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, SA15 5AQ, +44 1269 860209, [30].  edit


  • Premier Inn:
    • Llanelli Central East, Llandafen Road, Llanelli, SA14 9BD, 0870 850 6392, [31].  edit
    • Llanelli Central West, Sandpiper Road, Llanelli, SA15 4SG, 0871 527 9342, [32].  edit
    • Port Talbot, Baglan Road, Baglan, Port Talbot, SA12 8ES, 0870 197 7211, [33].  edit
    • Swansea City Centre, Salubrious Place, Salubrious Quarter, Wind Street, Swansea SA1 1EE, 0871 527 9060 (fax: 0871 527 9061), [34]. Located at the bottom of Wind Street, this is very convenient hotel for enjoying the nightlife in Swansea. This hotel can be quite noisy on busy nights in Wind Street.  edit
    • Swansea North, Upper Fforest Way, Morriston, Swansea SA6 8WB, 0871 527 9062 (fax: 0871 527 9063), [35]. This hotel is located at the heart of the Swansea Enterprise Park and is better suited to the business traveller. A Taybarns eat-as-much-as-you-like restaurant and an Asda superstore is short walk away. Taybarns can be extremely busy on Weekends.  edit
    • Swansea Waterfront, Langdon Road, Swansea, SA1 8PL, 0871 527-9212, [36]. 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
  • Travelodge:
    • Llanelli Central, Lanmark Building, Stepney Place, Llanelli SA15 3YN, 0871 984 8484, [37].  edit
    • Llanelli Cross Hands, Cross Hands, SA14 6RD, 0871 984-6230, [38].  edit
    • Pembroke Dock, Pier Road, Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, SA72 6TR, 0871 984 6299, [39].  edit
    • St Clears, A40/A4066 Roundabout, Tenby Rd, Carmarthen, SA33 4JN, 0871 984 6053, [40].  edit
    • Swansea M4 Hotel, Swansea West Services, Penllergaer, SA4 9GT, 0871 984-6055, [41].  edit

Mid range[edit]

  • Best Western Diplomat Hotel, Felinfoel Llanelli Carmarthenshire SA15 3PJ, +44 1554 756156, [42].  edit
  • Bluebell Hotel 14 The Parade Neath, SA11 1RA. A four star boutique hotel in the centre of Neath. ☎ +44 1639 644000
  • The Cawdor, Rhosmaen St, Llandeilo, SA19 6EN, +44 1558 823500, [43]. Boutique hotel set in a grade II listed building  edit
  • Craig y Nos Castle (Craig y Nos Castle), Brecon Road, Penycae, Ystradgynlais SA9 1GL, +44 1639 731167, [44]. A boutique hotel in a stunning location in the foothills of the Black Moutain, part of the western Brecon Beacons.  edit
  • Express by Holiday Inn (Express by Holiday Inn), Neath Road, Llandarcy, SA10 6JQ (This hotel is located just of M4 junction 43), 0871 423 4896. It is located right next to the sports club facilities of Llandarcy Academy of Sport.  edit
  • Stradey Park Hotel, Furnace Llanelli Carmarthenshire SA15 4HA, +44 1267 267270, [45].  edit
  • Three Rivers Hotel & Spa, Ferryside,Carmarthen,Carmarthenshire.SA17 5TU, +44 1554 758171, [46]. (,-3.861868) edit
  • The Towers Hotel and Spa, Jersey Marine, Swansea, SA10 6JL, +44 1792 814155, [47]. Located next to the Jersey Marine Tower which is the tall octagonal tower visible from the Fabian Way. The tower itself is the hotel's premier suite and the top floor bedroom offers views of Swansea Bay. (51.631018,-3.862038) edit

Get out[edit]

  • Powys and more of the the splendid Brecon Beacons National Park lies immediately to the north east
  • Cardiff, the Welsh capital is about an hours drive away to the east offering excellent cultural, shopping and recreational facilities.
  • Republic of Ireland, take a ferry from Pembroke Dock or Fishguard Harbour.

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