Swansea is Wales' "City by the Sea" being perfectly situated on the edge of a five-mile wide bay. Renowned as the birthplace of Wales' greatest poet and playwright Dylan Thomas, and home to the Dylan Thomas centre, where his memory is kept very much alive.
The City has world-class cultural facilities and is a lively and vibrant maritime city and regional shopping centre. Swansea is home to Wales' biggest indoor market where you can sample traditional Welsh delicacies like laverbread and fresh cockles from Penclawdd. Locally caught fresh fish can also be bought along with local souvenirs including Welsh ladies' hats and intricately carved love-spoons. Youngsters enjoy the nightlife in the many pubs and bars centred on Wind Street. Some say they enjoy it too much!
National Waterfront Museum: Swansea was once a great port and is once again exploiting its coastal location and its long association with the sea. The new National Waterfront Museum, detailing Wales' industrial and maritime heritage, is located in the Maritime Quarter.
Castles and Forts
Swansea Castle: Little remains of Swansea Castle which is why it is not widely publicised. Therefore, it comes as some surprise to many on visiting the busy shopping centre of Swansea for the first time to suddenly be confronted by a massive medieval wall slap bang in the middle of the city. The original castle would have been of motte and bailey construction and nothing above ground can now be seen of this. The walls we now see date from the late 13th to early 14th century.
Dylan Thomas Centre: The Dylan Thomas Centre has a permanent exhibition on Dylan Thomas and his life, as well as a shop stuffed with books, posters and memorabilia. The Centre is also home to the Ty Llen literature programme, which puts on many literary events throughout the year, including the annual Dylan Thomas Festival during October and November. Entry is free to the Centre's permanent exhibition, 'Dylan Thomas: Man and Myth'
Dylan Thomas Theatre: The Dylan Thomas Theatre is Swansea's only waterside theatre venue. We are a thriving community theatre in the heart of the Maritime Cultural Quarter. The Dylan Thomas Theatre has been the home of the multi award-winning Swansea Little Theatre for over 30 years. We are a registered charity with a membership of over 150 actors and technicians, all working on a voluntary basis.
Maritime Quarter and Marina: At the very heart of the award-winning Maritime Quarter is Swansea Marina, surrounded by restaurants, shops and marine businesses and bordered on one side by a sandy beach. Existing historical buildings have been turned into modernised dockside apartments, restaurants and hotels.
Gower Peninsula: To the west of the City is the Gower Peninsula, Great Britain's first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty whose west facing beaches are Wales' premier surfing location. Traditional seaside resorts such as Mumbles intermingle with award winning beaches, golden sands and clear blue water, a surfer's paradise. Mumbles itself is an extraordinary place to visit, and its magic never fails as you see the view for the first time. On your left, there is the great sweep of Swansea Bay, and then, glimpsed first through pine trees, a huddle of small houses cascade down hill and cling together beneath a steep cliff, as the coast arches sharply to those two islets and the Victorian Pier.
Waterfall Country: To the east of Swansea is the 'Waterfall Country' of Afan and the Vale of Neath a haven for walkers and cyclists alike, stretching across the wooded valleys from Neath to the southern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. From spectacular waterfalls to some of the UK's best mountain biking, few places in Wales offer more richness and diversity within such a small area!
Therefore, whether you want a City break, a beach holiday, or for the more adventurous, an active break, walking, cycling, mountain biking or surfing Swansea is the place for you.
Must see places in Swansea and vicinity include: Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea Museum, Singleton Park and Botanic Gardens, Neath Abbey, Margam Country Park, Gower Heritage Centre, Oxwich Castle.