Perfect Weekend: 48-Hours in Swansea BayBy Rebecca Reid
Dylan Thomas called Swansea a “lovely, ugly town” and if you’re looking at the town centre, you might be tempted to agree with him. But less than half an hour from the centre of Swansea is one of Wales’ most precious hidden gems, the Gower Peninsular. If you’re looking for a very special weekend getaway, here’s how to spend 48-hours in Swansea Bay in style:
Swansea Bay: Where to Stay
The Gower Hotel sits in the Welsh hills, next to the beautiful and ancient St Teilio’s church. Rooms are comfortable, large and sunny with huge baths and squashy beds. The hotel restaurant, Dylan’s, has beautiful food – classic without being dull, and an extensive wine list. After a long journey to the Gower, dinner at Dylan’s and drinks on the terrace are the perfect way to ease into the weekend.
Swansea Bay: Where to Eat
For lunch, Verdi’s in The Mumbles is the perfect destination. Looking out over the whole of Swansea Bay and sitting in a perfect sun trap, the staff are charming and friendly and the ice cream is famous all over Wales.
For dinner, The Grape & Olive, Wales’ tallest building, is the perfect getaway. The views over the bay are stunning, the cocktails and delicious and the fish is incredibly fresh, having come straight out of the sea you’re looking at over dinner. I had the lobster and my date had the lamb. They were both delicious, though we were eventually defeated by the pudding tasting menu which claimed to have miniature versions of every desert on the menu. We weren’t complaining, but they weren’t miniature!
Swansea Bay: Where to Explore
The Mumbles. A perfect seaside high-street complete with stores to buy beautiful homeware, art galleries and of course shops selling yellow wellies and striped t-shirts. I popped into Lara Johnson Hair Salon on a whim, and ended up getting the best cut and blow dry of my life for £30. The Love Spoons Gallery is well worth a browse.
Swansea Bay: What to Do
Stand up paddle boarding with SUP Gower. Because a weekend of eating and drinking would be far too relaxing, wriggle into a wetsuit and try your hand at paddle boarding. The water isn’t actually as cold as you might think, which is lucky because paddle boarding looks a lot easier than it actually is. That said, there’s nothing like the feeling of being warm and dry on the shore after you’ve exhausted yourself in the salt water.
Rhossili Bay isn’t just the most beautiful beach in Wales, it might just be the most beautiful beach in the UK. It’s located right at the end of the world, which is what makes it so special. The ground feels ancient under your feet and your lips taste like salt by the end of your walk. Skip the stylist, pull on some converse and trek along the hills, marvelling at only being able to hear the sea, the birds and the wind.