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Travel / Tours / Wales / Swansea
Visit Swansea (Abertawe) and the Gower Peninsula
  Covered Market
  Swansea Castle
  Dylan Thomas
  Swansea Bay
  Swansea University
  Mumbles (Oystermouth)
  Gower coast (boat trip)
  Rhossili (Rhossili Bay / Worm's Head)
  Other activities
  Further information


This page provides a brief introduction to Swansea and the nearby Gower Peninsula. Swansea is the second largest city in Wales, with a population of about 285,000. Its Welsh name is Abertawe (meaning "mouth of the River Tawe").

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There are several free museums within the centre of Swansea:
- The National Waterfront Museum tells the story of Wales' industrial and maritime heritage
- Swansea Museum is the oldest museum in Wales, opened in 1841. It contains a variety of exhibitions connected to Swansea and its people.
- The Dylan Thomas Centre celebrates the life and works of the poet and writer Dylan Thomas (1914-1953).
- The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery contains a mixture of traditional and modern art as well as a collection of porcelain and Swansea china.

Other museums within the Swansea area include:
- 1940s Swansea Bay explains the history of the bombing raids on Swansea in the Second World War
- The Egypt Centre at Swansea University contains an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian objects

National Waterfront Museum

Swansea Museum

The Dylan Thomas Centre

Glynn Vivian Art Gallery

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There are several shopping centres in Swansea. Swansea Market is a daily covered market where you can find local specialities such as cockles and laverbread (there is a Cockle Festival here in October each year).

The Covered Market

Cockles and laverbread

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The ruins of Swansea Castle

Leaf/Boat statue

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Statue of Dylan Thomas
(outside the National Waterfront Museum)

Captain Cat: a character
from "Under Milk Wood"

The imaginary town name "Llareggub"
is written on Captain Cat's bell

Dylan Thomas' birthplace (right):
5 Cwmdonkin Drive

Dylan Thomas memorial stone
in Cwmdonkin Park

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Swansea Jack

Swansea Bay

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University of Wales Swansea

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Oystermouth Castle

Mumbles Pier

Mumbles Head


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Taking a boat trip is a good way to explore the Gower coast. The pictures below were taken during a trip with Gower Coast Adventures, from Knab Rock (Mumbles) to Three Cliff's Bay and back. Longer trips are available which go down to Worm's Head.

Hold on tight during the boat ride ...

Oxwich Bay

Prehistoric remains have been found in some of the caves

Birds make use of the safety of the cliff face

Three Cliffs Bay

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Bus from Swansea to Rhossili

There are fine views during the walk along the cliff-top

Rhossili Bay is on one side ...

... Worm's Head is on the other

At low tide it is possible to cross the causeway to Worm's Head ...

... but take note of the danger signs

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In 1956 the Gower Peninsula became the UK's first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This status has helped the region to protect its environment.

Some of the activities you can enjoy in the Gower Peninsula

Gower is a nature reserve

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* Visitor information
Welsh Tourist Board:
Tourism in the City and County of Swansea: or

National Waterfront Museum: (map)
Swansea Museum: (map)
The Dylan Thomas Centre: (map)
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery: (map)
1940s Swansea Bay: (map)

Grand Theatre: (map)
Shopping in Swansea city centre:

Swansea University:
The Egypt Centre:
Wales National Pool:

Gower Coast Adventures (boat trips):
Euphoria Sailing (watersports):
Gower Explorer (boat trips):

Gower Peninsula guides: or or
Rhossili Visitor Centre:

* Independent travel to Swansea
- The fastest way to travel to Swansea is normally by train. The fastest services from London Paddington to Swansea take about 3 hours. For train timetables and to buy a ticket, see: Shop/Company/TheTrainline.
- The cheapest way to travel to Swansea is by coach. The journey from London's Victoria Coach Station lasts about 4h30. For timetables and to buy a coach ticket, see: Shop/Company/NationalExpress.
- Note that accommodation in student rooms can be booked at Swansea University during the Easter and summer university holidays

* Local transport in/around Swansea

The Quadrant Centre is Swansea's bus/coach station

* Weather forecast for Swansea / Gower
Weather forecast:
Tide tables (for Swansea or Mumbles):
Gower Live (surfing information):

* More photos
Pictures of south-west Wales:

Lonely Planet verdict: Swansea
"Dylan Thomas grew up here and later called it an 'ugly, lovely town'. Some of the concrete development is unattractive, but the location is very fine. A 5-mile promenade, ideal for cycling and walking, curves around the broad sandy bay to Mumbles Head. A handful of worthwhile attractions include an excellent maritime and industrial museum in the regenerated docks and a lively literary centre. The options for eating out and drinking are rather good too"
(extracts from "Lonely Planet Great Britain - 2003 edition", used with permission)
Lonely Planet Great Britain
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Date: May 2007
Lonely Planet Wales
Author: John King
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Date: May 2007
Other Lonely Planet publications

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Visitor guide to Cardiff: Travel/Tours/Wales/Cardiff
Tour of Wales: Travel/Tours/Wales/All
Introduction to Wales: Britain/Countries/Wales

Water sports in the UK: Life/Sport/Water
Outdoor activities: Life/Sport/Outdoor
Newquay (another popular surfing location): Travel/Tours/England/Newquay

Home page: Home

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