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South Wales is home to some of the UK’s best beauty spots. The area surrounding Swansea Bay includes Gower and Mumbles, and there’s some real UK and Wales hidden gems found here. There are plenty of beauty spots and fantastic photo spots in Wales that often go overlooked.
Even if you are only spending a short time in the area, there’s still plenty of attractions in Swansea that you can enjoy over a couple of days. I only spent 2 days in Swansea Bay and was able to find plenty of things to see in Swansea.
Here’s my guide on some of the best things to do in Swansea Bay, including accommodation and food recommendations.
I visited Swansea Bay on a press trip gifted by Visit Swansea Bay. All the opinions shared here are my own based on my own experience.
Getting to Swansea Bay
Swansea Bay is found in south western Wales, and there are lots of great transport links in the area, making it straightforward and easy to get to Swansea Bay.
I travelled to Swansea Bay by car from the west midlands and it was a really easy journey made up almost entirely of motorways and A roads.
It’s really easy to reach Swansea Bay by car, as the M4 motorway provides access to all the best spots in the area.
It’s easier and more convenient to have a car when you are exploring more of the Gower Peninsula. All of the main attractions have car parks and the roads are easy to navigate.
There are a few coach services which provide transport to Swansea Bay:
- National Express provides direct services between Swansea and Central London, Gatwick and Heathrow Airports, Bristol, Birmingham and Cardiff.
- Megabus offers direct services between Swansea, Bristol, Cardiff and London, and services from Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester with one change.
- Flixbus runs a direct service from Bristol or London.
Once you’ve reached Swansea Coach Station there are plenty of local buses that leave here, linking you to other parts of the city, or other areas in the Swansea Bay region such as Mumbles and Gower.
I can’t comment on the quality of public transport in the area as I drove, but for more information check out www.swanseabaywithoutacar.co.uk.
You can get internal flights to Cardiff from Aberdeen, Anglesey, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.
Swansea does have its own airport on the Gower Peninsula that is suitable for small aircraft, but it doesn’t operate scheduled flights.
The nearest international airports to Swansea Bay are Cardiff and Bristol. From here there are good train links to the area. Cardiff International is around an hour away by road or rail.
There are good train and coach services from London Gatwick and Heathrow airports too.
Accommodation in Swansea Bay
King Arthur Hotel
If you’re looking for hotels in Swansea Bay, the King Arthur Hotel is a great choice!
The area surrounding the hotel has links to the ancient legend of King Arthur, hence the name.
They have a variety of room sizes, including double, king, twin and family rooms. They also offer self catering cottages.
Breakfast is included in all rates, and you can book dinner in the on-site restaurant. They have an extensive three course menu with veggie/vegan and gluten free options.
Where to eat when you visit Swansea Bay
What better way to spend a day in Swansea Bay than with a meal overlooking the sea?!
Langland Brasserie is one of the best restaurants in Swansea Bay, perfectly situated with views over the bay. So whether you’re after a full 3 course meal, or just a coffee and a cake, it’s the ideal spot.
They specialise in seafood dishes and dishes using local ingredients, and also pride themselves in excellent food presentation. They have special deals on 2 and 3 course set menus.
King Arthur Hotel
Not only is the King Arthur a great place to stay, it’s also a great place to eat, too.
Whether you’re a guest or not, you can enjoy a great dining experience here with a delicious, extensive menu, and fantastic staff!
In fact, it’s been rated one of the top 10 pubs in Britain, and also named The Times best ‘cosy pub’ in 2021.
The Lookout at Rhossili
This cafe is perfectly situated just up the road from Rhossili Bay, serving locally made cakes and ice cream, Gower Coffee, sandwiches, pizza, and gifts and souvenirs.
The Lookout Rhossili has both indoor and outdoor seating. They also have a cafe at Three Cliffs Bay.
Map of Swansea Bay
Things to do in Swansea Bay
1. Langland Bay to Caswell Bay Walk
We’ll kick off this list of things to do in Swansea, Wales, with a classic coastal walk.
The great thing about the Welsh Coast is it’s all linked by the same coast path. The Wales Coast Path is 870 miles long, and after its launch in 2012 it was acclaimed as the first dedicated path in the world to cover an entire country’s coastline.
Langland Bay is just over 5 miles outside of Swansea city centre, and is close to Caswell Bay. Both are popular surfing spots.
The walk from Langland to Caswell Bay is just shy of 1.5 miles and takes around half an hour via the Wales Coast Path. There’s plenty of benches along the way to stop at and admire the scenery.
2. Arthurs Stone Walk
This is the perfect short walk to do from the King Arthur Hotel. Arthur’s Stone is an early Neolithic tomb found on the Cefn Bryn ridgeway. It dates back to around 4400 BC (so just a tiny bit old!) and is protected by the Ancient Monuments Act.
According to legend the tombstone is made from a pebble from King Arthur’s boot which grew in size when he threw it from Carmarthenshire. In fact, it’s one of Wales’ most famous prehistoric monuments.
It’s only around a 20 minute walk from the King Arthur Hotel to reach the stone, and there’s fantastic panoramic views from it.
King Arthur’s Stone what.3.words – ///rehearsal.mourner.narrowest
3. Rhossili Bay
Rhossili Bay has been voted one of the top 4 UK beaches by TripAdvisor for the last 4 years running, and you can definitely see why!
Whilst the beach itself is beautiful, it’s the view from the cliffs that really makes it. Park at the National Trust car park and then walk down onto the headland towards Worms Head and you can see the best view across the bay. There’s also wild horses and sheep grazing along the headland.
If you visit here during the summer months you can enjoy the Rhossili sunflowers, definitely a reason to visit Swansea Bay!
As you carry along further, you come to the Coastguard Lookout Station, where there’s some binoculars you can borrow to try and spot some seals over on Worms Head.
4. Cross the causeway to Worms Head
From Rhossili Bay you can clearly see over to Worms Head, aptly named because it looks a little like a Worms Head!
It’s only accessible by foot, over a causeway, and the walk can only be done when there’s low tide. Usually Worms Head is accessible about 2.5 hours either side of low tide.
Check the tide times at the Lookout Station before you make the crossing, to make sure you will actually be able to get back over!
Once you’ve made the crossing onto the tidal island, there are great views back over to Rhossili Bay.
5. Wander around Mumbles Swansea Bay
Mumbles is a district of Swansea full of lots of character. Although it is small it still has a lot to offer from food and drink, to local crafts and luxury boutiques, so it’s definitely one of the best things to do in Swansea.
One of Mumbles most popular attractions is Mumbles Pier which dates back to 1898, and is home to an amusement arcade and the Beach Hut Cafe.
If it’s food and drink you’re after, Dark Horse Mumbles and Mumbles Coffee are some great spots.
Handmade Crafts in Mumbles
- Gower Gallery sells Welsh art, homemade jewellery, homewares, Welsh gifts and sculptures.
- The Lovespoon Gallery is home to the largest collection of Lovespoon designs, from the best carvers in Wales. The tradition of Lovespoon giving in Wales dates back to the 16th century, when they were given to a loved one as a ‘courting gift’. The handle of each lovespoon is uniquely decorated, with different symbols offering different meanings. The Mumbles Lovespoon Gallery is the worlds’ first of its kind devoted to Welsh lovespoons.
- Gill Clement Jewellery have been making handmade pieces at the Mumbles studio since 1982.
6. Oystermouth Castle
One of the best things to see in Swansea has to be Oystermouth Castle in Mumbles. The oldest parts of this Swansea attraction date back to the 12th century.
The best thing about Oystermouth Castle has to be the view! It sits on a forty foot high limestone ridge, so there are stunning views over the Swansea Bay.
The castle is open to the public daily from 1st April to 30th September, and during weekends in October. Standard admission is £6.
7. Three Cliffs Bay
This scenic, sandy beach is backed by three limestone cliffs (hence its name!).
It’s one of the most photographed areas in Gower, with sand dunes, salt marsh, rock pools and panoramic views from the cliffs. Three Cliffs Bay is overlooked by the ruins of Pennard Castle, which dates back to the 12th century.
There’s a car park just 400m from Three Cliffs Bay, or you can park at the National Trust car park in Southgate and walk along the Pennard Cliffs to reach the bay. There’s some beautiful scenery and views along here!
8. Discover the Gower Peninsula
Gower was the first designated Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) in the UK, receiving its accolade in 1956. There are now 46 AONB in the country.
Gower’s vast and varied landscape includes sand dunes, salt marshes, limestone cliffs, and sandy beaches.
9. Enjoy some good food
There’s plenty of spots around Swansea Bay and Gower for some great food and drinks, especially local eateries serving local coffee and produce.
Some great spots around the area include Langland Brasserie, The Lookout at Rhossili and Three Cliffs Bay, Dark Horse Mumbles, Mumbles Coffee and the King Arthur Hotel.
10. Water Spots
Depending on the time of year you visit Swansea Bay, there’s lots of activities in Swansea you can take part in.
Langland Bay and Rhossili Bay were both popular with surfers when I visited, as well as swimmers, but make sure you check the conditions before you head out!
In the summer season, you can try your hand at SUP, or take part in a surfing lesson.
Visit Swansea Bay FAQs
Is it worth visiting the Mumbles?
I really liked Mumbles. Yes it is small and you don’t need loads of time there, but it’s a nice place to wander around, grab a coffee and a bite to eat, and have a browse of some of the little shops.
In peak times pop into Oystermouth Castle for a look around, and enjoy the view from here.
How do I spend a day in Swansea?
All of the things to do in Swansea Bay I listed above are within a 30-60 minutes drive of Swansea, so there are plenty of things to do in the local area, if you didn’t want to spend the day in the city.
Is there a sandy beach in Swansea?
Yes – there are lots of sandy beaches within touching distance of Swansea city!
The closest to the city is Swansea Bay beach, but other great sandy beaches near Swansea include Langland Bay, Caswell Bay, Rhossili Bay, Three Cliffs Bay and Horton Bay Beach.
Is Swansea worth visiting?
In short, yes. The city itself is fast becoming one of the most popular places to live in the UK, but the surrounding areas are what really makes Swansea a great place to visit
The Swansea Bay area is fully equipped with great eateries, beautiful scenery and stunning beaches. All of the places I’ve mentioned above are within a 45 minute drive of Swansea City centre, so there’s plenty to do on a Swansea day out.
So if you’ve been wondering what to do in Swansea, hopefully this post has given you some inspiration and some ideas of things to do in Swansea Bay!
It might not have been somewhere you’d considered visiting before, but there’s definitely lots of lovely spots in the area so you can really enjoy Swansea Bay.
If you do choose to visit Swansea Bay, I’d love to hear about it. Either drop a comment below or get in touch via instagram!
If you’re planning a trip to Wales, you might find some of my other Welsh content helpful: