Swansea is a small, friendly and safe university city that boasts beautiful rural surroundings. The city is located in a scenic natural harbour, and along its length are a number of communities and towns, which make up the Swansea Bay area.
Within the city boundaries are the old fishing village of Mumbles and the award-winning Gower Peninsula, declared the UK's very first region of outstanding natural beauty after the Second World War. Here you can visit and enjoy some of the finest beaches in the world.
There are a lot of places to visit in Swansea, and you will be able to reach many sights and attractions on foot. Here is a list of a few places you shouldn't miss while living in Swansea.
Although a relatively small city, Swansea is rich in history and culture and is home to a number of permanent museums and temporary exhibits such as; the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea Museum, the Dylan Thomas Centre and the Egypt Centre. These are amongst the finest in Wales and worth a visit.
City School of Languages is within walking distance to Swansea city centre where you will find many high-street brands mixed with local independent stores. Visit the Quadrant Shopping Centre or explore the historic Swansea Market.
The city has two multi-screen cinemas, theatres and a great variety of music-based entertainment, from live bands to clubs.
Swansea Grand Theatre provides a cross section of events from music to comedy to dance, whilst the Brangwyn Hall is used for classical concerts, and every October hosts the Swansea Festival, which attracts orchestras from around the world. The Taliesin Centre, in the grounds of Swansea University, stages world cinema and a variety of music.
Swansea is well known for its vibrant nightlife and offers a variety of bars, clubs and restaurants to choose from. Most are located in the famous Wind (pronounced to rhyme with ‘kind') Street where you will find a mixture of locals, people from other parts of Wales and university students. Please note this street gets busy on a Friday and Saturday night!
Swansea is a great place to keep fit and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. You will find many gyms around the city including the very popular 24 hour ‘The Gym' located in the city centre and the ‘LC2' which includes the largest indoor waterpark in Wales.
You can also visit or watch a football or rugby match at the Liberty Stadium, home to Swansea City FC and the Ospreys Rugby Club. For cricket enthusiasts, you can watch Glamorgan play on the grounds at St Helen's Cricket and Rugby Club.
For outdoor enthusiasts, you are spoilt for choice as Swansea is home to many natural attractions including Swansea Bay where you can walk and use the free exercise facilities along the historic promenade.
Mumbles is great for frequent visits. Relax in one of the many cafes and browse the wonderful assortment of independent shops, selling everything from hand-made toys to exotic clothes, pottery to paintings. Follow the seafront till you reach the Victorian Pier, a rare structure every seaside town once had. Eat ice-cream or buy from the monthly farmers market, stocked with local produce.
There is a frequent bus service from Swansea to Mumbles. For more information, visit the Visit Swansea Bay website.
The Gower Peninsula, known simply as the Gower, was the UK's first designated "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" (1956). Today the area is popular with walkers, watersport lovers and anyone who enjoys nature. The stunning countryside and beaches, which make up the Gower, include 34 miles of coastline, 19 sandy beaches, 83 ancient monuments, 67 ancient woodlands and 6 nature reserves.
The Gower is one of the best places to surf in the United Kingdom The area has the second greatest tidal range in the world and some of the finest surfing beaches in the UK. You can learn to surf at a number of the accredited surf schools in the area and experienced surfers come here for the secret spots and reef breaks. Other water sports are available including wind surfing, kite surfing, canoeing and water skiing. Horse riding, fishing, walking, golf, sailing and mountain biking are all offered and more information is available from the Swansea Bay Activities Guide.
There is a frequent bus service from Swansea to the Gower. For more information, have a look at the Gower Transport Map and interactive timetable. More information about the Gower is available from the Gower page of the Visit Swansea Bay website.