Best known for being the birthplace of poet Dylan Thomas, if you were to travel to Swansea you will find it is not the most exotic of locations, but still has some appeal. It is a coastal city on the south west Welsh coast and, after Cardiff, it is the second most populous city in Wales. About five miles away from the city of Swansea lies Mumbles, a peaceful seaside village with idyllic beaches and cosy restaurants. In fact, Gower Peninsula provides an array of golden beaches as well as rolling countryside. Parts of Swansea were rebuilt after the Second World War and the city has a marina, complete with numerous museums. In terms of sports facilities, Swansea has Wales National Pool and the Liberty Stadium, which can seat 20,000 people. Swansea is roughly an hour's drive from Cardiff and offers a combination of old and new, with medieval castles and state-of-the-art museum exhibits. On the one hand it is a frantic, modern city, while on the other it is a historical place with a fascinating background.
Swansea is a busy, bustling city with plenty going on. As the birthplace of Dylan Thomas, there is a museum dedicated to the Welsh poet - the Dylan Thomas Centre. In the marina there is also the National Waterfront Museum and Swansea Museum. Slightly further afield lies Afan and the Vale of Neath, which is perfect for walkers and cyclists alike. Covering an area of 30,000 hectares it can also be explored on horseback.
Swansea has many different activities to offer as a typical seaside town. You can visit one of its beaches, go mountain biking, play golf, go pony trekking, try out some watersports or even just take a stroll by the waterfront.
+ Best of both worlds: the old and the new.
+ Great for surfing and relaxing at the beach when the weather is warm.
- As with many British seaside towns, the weather cannot always be guaranteed.
It pays to be very careful when swimming or surfing in the sea. There are no lifeguards on some of the beaches and there can at times be strong rip currents.
You might need to bring wellies to go in the sea as it is not always heat wave weather conditions in Swansea...
Avoid driving through Mumbles on a sunny day as it will be hectic. It is best to circumvent the centre and go on foot.
Many of the restaurants in Swansea use locally sourced products, such as Llanrhidian salt-marsh lamb, Welsh Black Beef, fish and shellfish from local fishermen's boats, as well as cider and real ale. Cockles from Swansea and are famous, having been hand-gathered from Gower since Roman times.
To bring back
If you're looking for souvenirs, head to Swansea Market, the largest indoor market in Wales. You could take home some freshly collected cockles and mussels.
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