Swansea (Abertawe) Tourism And Travel Guide
11.5° C / 52.7° F
May to October
2 to 3 Days
Formally known as the City & Province of Swansea, Swansea is basically a coastal town and one of the largest cities in Wales after Cardiff and the 25th in the whole of the UK. Situated within the historic peripheries of the district of Glamorgan, the county includes the Lliw Uplands and the Gower Headland, with a populace of 241,300 as of 2014. There are a number of ways you can reach Swansea and here’s a travel guide to help you with all that tourism information within and around the city.
How to Reach
While one of the best ways of reaching Swansea is to fly from New Delhi to Bristol and then make the onward journey by train, the cheapest option is to fly to London Heathrow. Roughly the travel time between New Delhi and Swansea ranges between 15 to 18 hours plus at an estimated one-way fare of INR 1,00,000 one way. Alternatively, you’d also explore traveling to Cardiff/Birmingham or Exeter and then travel by train to the city.
From Bristol International Airport Terminal, there’s a bus every 15 minutes that can take you to the Bristol Temple Meads Train Station for an 8 minute journey to Bristol Parkway, from where you can take another train to Swansea at an estimated fare of INR 1.500 (starting) and reach there in about an hour and 33 minutes. Alternatively, you can travel from London Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 to London Paddington and then Swansea by train in approx. 3 hours plus.
From Birmingham Coach Station to Swansea Bus Station the road distance is about 245km and takes roughly 3 hours and 45 minutes. At an estimated fare of INR 700, you can travel via National Express Coach to Swansea. Alternatively, you can drive down to Swansea in 2 hours and 32 minutes at approx. fuel cost of INR 3,300, covering a distance of 232km.
There’s an extensive transport network when it comes to local road access, which allows visitors to move around easily within and around Swansea, Mumbles and Gower. With a variety of local buses serving the city, the valleys, Gower, Mumbles and Port Talbot, you can make use of unlimited access to most local buses throughout Swansea Bay and Wales with the South Wales Pass. It allows for 8 days of bus travel and 4 days of the train journey. You also have the option of hiring bicycles for getting around the city.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The city of Swansea has an oceanic climate with rainfall through most part of the year. The Bay region experiences a mild climate of about 9°C with the advent of humid air. The area is also protected from the cold northerly winds thanks to the Brecon Beacons Mountains and its closeness to the sea, which acts as a blanket during winters.
Swansea receives a fair proportion of sunshine during May and June of about 7.5 hours a day. The city’s relatively cold owing to the humidity level. The average temperature oscillates between 9°C and 17°C, while rainfall’s fairly common ranging from 6 to 8 days every month. March through May is also the second time of the year when there’s a high inflow of tourists within the city and accommodation can be expensive.
Summers are usually cool and comfortable in Swansea, although July and August face rather unsettling weather, making it slightly warm during the day. With a significant rainfall of 7-10 days a month, June through August is one of the busiest times of the year for the city’s tourism industry.
The fall season in Swansea is relatively chilly with an average temperature of 19°C and possibilities of rain or snowfall for about 6-14 days each month. This leads to less flow of tourists in the city, and anyone looking for lucrative travel deals can cash in on the accommodation options during this time.
December through February experiences intense cold in Swansea and isn’t ideal for those who enjoy the warm weather. With temperature oscillating between 7°C-10°C, rain or snowfall is common between 9-13 days every month, further slowing down tourism.
Things To Do
LC Swansea Waterpark:
One of the largest in Wales, the LC Swansea is an indoor waterpark with a 30 feet high mounting wall, a multi-purpose exhibition & sports hall, an indoor surfing machine and a 4 tier interactive play area, making it an ideal place for varied activities all under a single roof. With over 180 Technogym Stations, its 2 level Gym also provides picturesque city views and relaxing spa experience as well.
Beach & Water Activities:
Swansea has a number of family-friendly and solo beach spots with incredible coastal views and walking trails spread out. Right from the Langland Bay to the Caswell Bay that offers popular surfing experiences, green canvas beach tents and sporting activities that include skateboarding, fiberglass canoeing, surfing and more! There’s the Brandy Cove at the end of a valley and the Port Enyong Beach Bay at the Gower Peninsula that are worth visiting too. Swansea Watersports have varied outdoor activities that are tailored to suit all age groups and abilities, inclusive of events like windsurfing, jet skiing, sailing, kayaking or powerboating.
The Swansea Proms are the most popular events in the genre of family entertainment and music, much appreciated and looked forward to by locals and visitors alike. With an incredible finale to 2 months of continuous music events, the BBC Proms in the Park occur at various venues, right from the Royal Albert Hall in London, moving between place to place, forming a series of wondrous musical events.
Nature and Wildlife:
Plantasia is a large greenhouse that’s open to visitors in the Park Tawe Retail Park and one of the most popular attractions in the city. It offers a series of enthralling outdoor adventures through a tropical rainforest, having close encounters with the wildlife and getting to know all about the rare and exotic varieties of plants at the Plantasia, with a unique rope bridge trail through a canopy and a waterfall experience too.
Where To Eat
From Fine Dining to Thai to Indian and more, there are some top of the line eateries in Swansea to explore when it comes to food. The Belle Vue Bistro is popular for its homemade fresh and cook to order classics at the City Centre, with its Fillet Steak, dressed rocket and homemade chips being one of the best. The Brewstone is a resto-bar with amazing décor and a fine craft beer list with other cocktails and drinks on the menu as well, while Castellammare offers authentic Italian delicacies by the Bracelet Bay with a variety of Daily Specials.
The Oxwich Bay Lobster, Grapefruit, Laverbread Potato and Crispy Sweetbreads at the Beach House are a big hit that reflects on the restaurant’s captivating scenic location just as well as its delicious offerings. The Bistro, Gallini’s, Slice, Istanbul, Gigi Gao’s Favorite Authentic Chinese, Bistrot Pierre are some other popular places to explore.
Where To Shop
The chief premium stores can be seen all in the city centre, with most big brands at Oxford Street and near Castle Square, with over 50,000 people every week flocking the pedestrian area. There are 40 retail stores inclusive of the Debenhams Departmental Store here. The Swansea Indoor Market offers unique shopping experience with over 100 stalls. Home to one of the largest indoor markets in Wales, Swansea has a range of branded and independent stores, right from food, clothing, electrical items to gifts, accessories, cosmetics and jewelry. The trendy suburbs, west of the City’s Centre have a number of easy cafes, pubs and stores with numerous quaint gift shops and boutiques.