SWANSEA is a Welsh wonder with epic coastline and world-class cuisine.

The welcoming locals and simple transport links from the south of England make it a destination to behold.



BE A BAY-CITY ROLLER

The Swansea area covers not just the city, but also the entire Gower Peninsula, a stretch of stunning coastline to the west that was the UK’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It’s a mecca for beach-goers, but make a beeline for Rhossili Bay, which is widely regarded as one of Europe’s best.

Don’t expect ice-cream shops and amusement arcades, and instead savour the three miles of unspoiled golden sands.

On a fine day, a walk out to tidal island Worm’s Head is what locals would call “lush”, while the remains of the Helvetia, a ship wrecked in 1887, are visible on the beach at low tide.

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Recharge with a cuppa and a doorstop Reuben sarnie, crammed with salt beef and melted cheese, £6.95, from The Bay Bistro, perched on the cliffside (Thebaybistro.co.uk).

WELSH YOUR APPETITE

There’s much more to the food scene than Welsh cakes and rarebit (though those are both great).

Garuda is Wales’ only Indonesian restaurant, and it’s a stonker. Owner and chef Ani serves the country’s best dishes, starting with her specialty chicken satay, £6.50.

Don’t miss the beef rendang of dreams, £14, and if you have room, finish with black rice pudding with coconut, £4.50. (Garudarestaurant.co.uk).

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Mention ice cream to anyone in Swansea and they will immediately point you in the direction of local chain Joe’s.

Trying to guess the secret recipe of the vanilla gelato, £1.85 a scoop, is the stuff of local legend (Joes-icecream.com). 

GO ON A PUB CRAWL

The stretch of pubs along the Mumbles seafront is one of the most famous pub crawls in Britain, known as the Mumbles Mile.

While we wouldn’t recommend having a pint in each all in one day, it’s hard to beat a drink in The Vic at Mumbles Ale House, a traditional pub nestled in the backstreets.

Friendly strangers will strike up conversation with you and make you feel like part of the furniture.

Afterwards, walk along the promenade following signs to Oystermouth Castle, a Norman stone fortress with rolling green grounds.

Climb up the hill for awesome views overlooking the horseshoe-shaped Swansea Bay.

As well as being a historical landmark, in the summer, the castle also hosts productions in the outdoor theatre.

Bring a blanket in case it gets chilly and snuggle up to enjoy classics including Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream or bring the family along for adaptations of children’s stories (Swansea.gov.uk/oystermouthcastle).

SET SAIL FOR ZZZS

From the super-soft beds to the home-made Welsh cakes you’ll find thoughtfully placed in your room, every detail has been thought of at Morgans Hotel.

This luxe boutique hotel is just minutes from the Maritime Quarter in one direction and the city centre in the other.

The main property has 20 rooms, and the townhouse across the road has another 22.

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Ours was spotless with a seriously comfy king-size bed. Staff could not be more attentive, and the relaxed restaurant serves up a delish breakfast buffet as well as à la carte lunch and dinner menus, with great kids options, too.

Double rooms cost from £125 per night, including breakfast (Morganshotel.co.uk). 

BTW

Train tickets from London to Swansea cost from £30.80 each way with Great Western Railway (Gwr.com).

Plan your trip at Visitswanseabay.com and Visitwales.com.



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