The City of Swansea offers a host of activities and sights to entertain the most energetic visitors. Active visitors can sail, water ski, surf, and enjoy a number of water sports or walk or cycle along the Celtic Trail or the National Cycle Network (offering several traffic-free routes). The area offers several golf courses as well. With an inviting nightlife, the Port of Swansea has varied bars, clubs, pubs, and restaurants as well as a couple of casinos.
The Port of Swansea also has a variety of beaches on the Gower Peninsula’s Oxwich Bay. In 2007, travel writers selected Oxwich Bay as the most beautiful beach in Britain. With more than five kilometers of golden sand, it is a favorite family attraction. In addition to the gorgeous sands and sea, the beach is lined with breathtaking cliffs that make it a romantic spot for glorious sunsets. Nearby Llangennith Beach has been listed as a great place to learn to surf and one of Britain’s 10 best surfing beaches. Gower Beach has also been recognized as one of the country’s best beaches, and it is a great camping beach. The Swansea Marina has won the coveted Blue Flag Beach Award.
The ruins of the 13th Century Swansea Castle stand in stark and photogenic contrast to the modern architecture that surrounds it. The elegant Guildhall, made with white Portland stone, houses the city’s administrative offices. Within Guildhall, Brangwyn Hall contains murals that were created for the House of Lords, and it is the site for many concerts and receptions. History lovers will want to see Arthur’s Stone, a Neolithic burial chamber believed to date from 2500 BC.
The Port of Swansea is the birthplace of world-famous poet Dylan Thomas, and budding writers can let his childhood home as a guest house. Ostermouth Castle, in Mumbles, was founded in the early 12th Century, but most of the structure dates from the 13th Century. King Edward I visited the castle in 1284, and visitors can tour the well-preserved remains and battlements that overlook Swansea Bay.
While much of the Port of Swansea was destroyed during World War II, historic pockets survive and have been restored. On Wind Street are great examples of Georgian and Victorian Architecture. On Somerset Place, The Dylan Thomas Center is a wonderful example of Doric-style Georgian architecture, and the area also contains a mix of Victorian and Edwardian buildings like the Swansea Museum and Morgan’s Hotel. On the other side of town, Alexandra Road has many baroque revival Edwardian structures, particularly the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. Some of the city’s historic streets may be familiar, as they have been used in the Doctor Who television series.
The Port of Swansea is home to a wide variety of museums and galleries, and just a few are mentioned here. The National Waterfront Museum is a must-see that explores the industrial revolution from the viewpoint of the people’s lives. It contains working machinery that kids will love. The Dylan Thomas Centre was Swansea’s Guildhall for more than 100 years, and it was opened by President Jimmy Carter in 1995 as the Dylan Thomas Centre, commemorating the UK Year of Literature and Writing. The Egypt Centre contains one of the United Kingdom’s best collections of Egyptian artifacts.
The Port of Swansea also houses a number of beautiful parks and scenic locations that visitors will not want to miss. Again, just a few of them are mentioned here. Mumbles is an old fishing village at west Swansea Bay that features a 12th-Century castle, quaint village streets, fashionable shops, and some great restaurants. Village Lane in Mumbles is a picturesque line of fisherman’s cottages that photographers will want to see.
An official “Area of Outstanding Beauty,” the Gower Peninsula holds sandy beaches, secret coves, and lush country. In addition to its breathtaking scenery, Gower Peninsula contains seven medieval castles and the most beautiful beach in the UK, Oxwich Bay.
In the city center is Plantasia, a chisel-shaped green house with exotic animals and three climate zones. The Port of Swansea’s biggest park, Singleton Park, covers several acres of hills leading to Swansea Bay and containing lovely botanical gardens. However, Clyne Gardens and Country Park is the must-see park in the Port of Swansea. It was once a private garden, and it contains flora and fauna from around the world, including famous collections of rhododendrons and azaleas and a Japanese pond with willow trees and bridge.