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Being a relatively small city, and conveniently situated close to transport links in South Wales, Swansea is the perfect location for a weekend break. From the city hub and trendy Maritime Quarter, to the long open stretches of beach, via some pretty good food and drink venues, you’ll be completely astounded by what Swansea has to offer.
Wake up to the sound of the sea and enjoy a full cooked breakfast in one of the many hotels and bed and breakfasts overlooking the internationally famous Swansea Bay. Five rivers flow into this area of water and it’s tidal so don’t be caught out. For a really traditional Welsh breakfast you must try Laverbread. This seaweed-based delicacy is Swansea’s flagship dish and is actually very tasty, especially with one crisp bacon and buttered toast. For those who just don’t fancy it. how about this to tempt you?
Enjoy a brief walk along the beach taking in some fresh sea air and being at one with nature. In the past, Swansea Bay was an important oyster fishery, however today you are more likely to glimpse the Swansea to Cork ferry as it sails past on its way to southern Ireland.
Head to beautiful Mumbles for an indulgent cake and barista style coffee. Mumbles was once home to the world’s first railway, a horse-drawn bus took visitors from the city, around the bay to Mumbles village where they walked the pier and enjoyed the sites. Nowadays you can enjoys lots of little cafés where you can tuck yourself away from any inclement weather whilst enjoying great sea views.
Visit the Swansea Museum and learn a little bit more about the seaside city and its people. The oldest museum in Wales, Swansea Museum also has a fascinating Egyptology section complete with mummy. There are also excellent sections relating to Swansea’s history during World War II when a lot of the old town was destroyed by German bombs. Discover the cultural and social history of this once famously industrial city.
Lunch, and you’ll be spoiled for choice. How about visiting the famous Indoor Market, buying a few yummy foods and heading to one of the cities pretty parks to while away an hour or so, or try one of Swansea’s great fish and chip shops, perfect for autumn and winter breaks when it can get a little chilly. Traditionally, fish and chips were cooked in beef dripping (fat) but these days healthier oils are used. Don’t forget to order Irish curry sauce to dip your chips into! The name comes from the original makers of the sauce, and today it’s still served in most Welsh fish and chip shops.
Spend the afternoon enjoying a spot of shopping in one of the city’s quirky galleries or visit the nationally renowned Glynn Vivian Gallery to culture-up before heading to the Maritime Quarter for a cocktail or two. The Glynn Vivian Gallery was created at the behest of Swansea philanthropist and art lover, Richard Glynn Vivian, who used his substantial family inheritance to fund his art buying. The resulting gallery contains paintings by the great masters, elegant period Swansea pottery and some surprisingly modern additions.
Dine at one of the super-cool and highly rated restaurants in Swansea Marina. Very much a flagship area, the Marina is now a prime example of regeneration. Hosting some the city’s coolest new venues, waterside apartments and moorings for dozens of boats, the marina is a lovely place to visit. Sit back and relax, enjoy some local Welsh lamb, ask for the pudding menu and wash it all down with one of Wales’ excellent real ales or ciders.
Enjoy a romantic night stroll, watching the moonlight dance over the waves or head into the city to catch a gig at one of Swansea’s live music venues. A popular student town, there is a good live music vibe in the city and there are some really good gigs so you dance the night away before returning to your hotel.