Swansea BayPosted on: 10 October 2016 by Eloise Craven-Todd
Escape to Swansea's 5-mile sandy shoreline. Offering cultural activities, beautiful coastal walks and great food - this city has it all!
Swansea, a waterfront city in south west Wales with its 5-mile sandy bay – not a UK holiday destination that instantly comes to mind but with its beautiful sea views, stretching from the valley to the shore, Its interactive museums and quirky pubs, cafés and restaurants – this seaside city has a lot to offer.
Just a short walk through the city centre from the station to the bay, The Swansea Marriot hotel is idyllically located with both Marina and Sea views – having been welcomed into Wales by the sunshine – the views stretching from Gower Peninsula to Mumbles iconic lighthouse are spectacular. On a clear day the commercial ports can still be seen across the 5 mile sandy stretch.
Taking a stroll around the Marina that backs off the promenade, there are plenty of quirky cafés and bars that overlook the water and serve everything from homemade ice-cream to Moroccan tagine dishes (something that is surprising popular in the area). We stopped at Swigg – a café right at the water’s edge to take in the views and enjoy a glass of locally-sourced wine and Greek mezze platter (the freshly made humus was incredible!)
In need of a Welsh history lesson, the National Waterfront Museum provides an interactive approach to Swansea’s history from its mining and industrial past to its modern and innovative approach to fashion, culture and lifestyle. However, if you’re in search of a more historical experience, The Swansea Museum described by poet Dylan Thomas as, “a museum that belongs in a museum”, takes a more old-fashioned approach to the historical events of Swansea’s past.
The city centre is a hub of activity but just a short bus ride or leisurely stroll along the promenade, is the beautiful headland, Mumbles – home to a host of family run cafés and shops that offer an array of classic Welsh treats. The lighthouse can be reached at low tide and with breathtaking views across the bay it is well worth the short climb. Walking from Bracelet Bay to Langland Bay, along the scenic coastal path, it is easy to forget you’re in Wales’ second largest city. In need of a post-walk re-fuel, Verdi’s family fun café and in particular the ice-cream parlour, is a must visit come rain or shine!
“An ugly, lovely town ... crawling, sprawling ... by the side of a long and splendid curving shore. This sea-town was my world.” – Swansea – an honest description from poet Dylan Thomas. Having grown up in this seaside town, the city is host to many memorials to the famous poet – including his restored family home. Wandering through the house is like taking a step back to the 1930s with impeccable attention to detail, the house is a truly authentic representation of what life in Swansea held for a young boy like Dylan.
Where to eat
Swansea is full of wonderful places to eat, many with incredible views across the city but two restaurants, in particular, are not to be missed. The Grape and Olive occupies the highest floor in the Meridian Tower, the tallest building in Wales. With locally sourced meat and fresh fish, we were able to enjoy our meal with amazing views stretching across the bay toward Mumbles.
Back on the ground but still with scenic views of the Marina, award winning café TwoCann was the highlight of the weekend. Located in a grade two listed building that was originally the docks grain store, the café and restaurant serve high-quality food using local and homemade produce in generous portions. The service was excellent and we enjoyed a homely Sunday lunch – leaving us with a delicious taste of what Wales has to offer.
Swansea fact box
In the bustling Maritime Quarter on the enchanting Swansea Bay, the Swansea Marriott Hotel captures the charm and beauty of its Gower surroundings.
Head to www.marriott.co.uk to book your stay
To learn more about Swansea's museums and tours of Dylan Thomas's house, visit Swansea Bay.
Details about Swansea's best walking routes can be found at Visit Swansea's top 5 walking routes.
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