Holiday rentals in Swansea
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Your guide to Swansea
Welcome to Swansea
Sitting on the eastern coast of the Gower Peninsula, Swansea is a seaside city surrounded by some of Wales’ best-loved beaches and countryside. The town is small and narrow, rolling down to the deep curve of Swansea Bay. This stretches out four miles west through Blackpill to the Mumbles, a popular area with ice-cream parlours, restaurants, and a Victorian pier. In recent years, the area around Swansea’s castle and old High Street have come alive thanks to fabulous street art, independent galleries, cafes, a punky theatre, and a cinema. Close by, too, are the BBC Hall (an amazing space that hosts small, adventurous gigs) and some jewels of 20th-century architecture. Also don’t miss the Brangwyn Hall and civic centre by the beach if you’re into your design. There are beautiful parks like Brynmill and Cwmdonkin around the popular Uplands area, and Singleton near the university, boasting impressive botanical gardens.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Swansea
Swansea’s weather is mild for Wales: it hardly ever gets snow, for instance, when it’s ankle-deep elsewhere. Its sunny summer days are delightful, and the bay has plenty of space to walk or paddle, although note that the sea is often far out. In hot weather, the Mumbles and beaches close by (such as Caswell and Langland) can get busy, but there are plenty of other beaches further out to explore via bus, bike, or car; Oxwich and Port Eynon have easily accessible stretches of sand, while the stunning Three Cliffs and Pobbles are worth the gorgeous dune walks. Summer also brings big gigs to Singleton Park and the Liberty Stadium (home to Swansea FC in football season), although music of all kinds continues all year in the land of song. Winter is an especially lovely time to book one of the area’s cottages as you can attend carol concerts from the town’s many famous male voice choirs.
Top things to do in Swansea
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery
Recently renovated and the centre of Swansea’s thriving art scene, the Glynn Vivian hosts adventurous exhibitions of artists from Wales and abroad. Its light-filled atrium often exhibits large-scale contemporary works, while its fast-paced rolling programme of artists-in-residence brings in unique talks and events. After your visit, pop around the corner to the independent Galerie Simpson and Elysium Gallery and Bar.
Swansea’s Maritime Quarter
By the waterside at Swansea Marina, you’ll find fantastic museums. There’s the National Waterfront Museum, a striking 21st-century slate and glass building, tracing Swansea’s industrial history to our technology-dominated present-day. Swansea Museum hosts progressive, fascinating exhibitions about cultural history, while the Dylan Thomas Centre explores the life of the city’s most famous poet. A statue of him sits outside, gazing out to sea.
A postwar design classic that’s still thriving today, Swansea Market is another great option for rainy days, especially for the town’s local cuisine. Cockles from the North Gower marshes are plentiful here, as are local delicacies such as laverbread (made from seaweed). For the less adventurous, don’t miss the Welsh cakes.