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                            National flag of Wales featuring the Welsh red dragon

                        Swansea Days, City Nights

                         

If you're planning to visit the golden coasts of Swansea, you'll discover a city and county which serves a banquet of choice. Take in the glorious scenery of Swansea Bay, the Maritime Quarter or the golden sands of Gower Peninsular; take the plunge with a surfboard, jet or water ski; take a microlight, propeller flight or hang glide across the hills and sea, climb the cliffs of the bays or sleep in the cool shade of a romantic castle. You may prefer to order a pint of beer and watch the pleasure boats glide past in the marina - or you could join them. If your thirst is cultural, there's galleries, museums, concert halls, theatres, craft exhibitions, and a myriad of festivals - from sea shanties to shell fish! When the evening finally sweeps over the bay there's hundreds of restaurants - Welsh, French, Spanish, Vietnamese, Italian, Austrian, Mongolian, Indonesian and Cantonese - clubs, shows and bars.

 

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 Museums  Galleries  Theatres  Castles

   Night Clubs  Visitor Attractions   Swansea Parklands   Restaurants   

    Caswell Bay, Gower, Swansea, Wales  

     City of Secrets!    

     

  Vintage South Wales Transport bus at Oystermouth Square, Mumbles, Swansea

~ Everyone rekindles their favourite Swansea moment in a hundred daydreams ~

Swansea is a world of secret charms. After a lifetime in Swansea, I am still surprised by her many facets.  Take time to explore Swansea's hidden depths - medieval Salubrious Passage with live jazz and dusty Dylan Thomas Book store; the breathtaking panoramic view of the bay from Marine Walk, Townhill or Kilvey; the bayside ice-cream parlours such as Joe's, Verdi's or the kiosks at Blackpill, West Cross and Limeslade Bay; fresh cockles with vinegar from Swansea Market; the lighthouse and the crazy lighthouse; the Slip Bridge view of the sands backed by the elegant, white, art noveau clock tower of Swansea Guildhall; a stroll down Mumbles pier to the quaint red-roofed lifeboat museum; the Swiss cottage at Singleton Park; the fishermen's cottages that roll down to the boats which litter the promenade in Oystermouth. Along Gower peninsular, almost every step you take treads upon secrets which have lain undiscovered since Neolithic times, every cove and stone you touch has an associated legend or its own true story to tell.

~ But not everything in Swansea's a secret ~ 

the city is a famous centre for stained glass excellence, the setting for Iris Gower's historic novels, it's the place comedians Morecambe and Wise first met, it was responsible for the world's first passenger railway service, the U.K.'s first designated "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" and Europe's first concrete building (the "Weavers" flour mill, sadly demolished). In the 19th Century, Swansea produced fine porcelain, harvested oysters by the ton and was the centre of the world's copper trade. Swansea was the birthplace of world famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta Jones, singers Bonnie Tyler and Mary Hopkin, rock drummer Spencer Davis, groups Man and Badfinger, entertainers Sir Harry Secombe, Rob Brydon and John Sparkes, vintage broadcaster Wynford Vaughan Thomas, yachts-woman Tracey Edwards, newscaster Martin Lewis and politician Michael Hesseltine were all born here, as was chemist John Dillwyn Llewelyn & artist Calvert Richard Jones who were photographic pioneers. Socialite Beau Nash, who fashioned the City of Bath as a playground for the most affluent in 18th Century British society, was born in St Mary's Street, Swansea, whilst Thomas Bowdler, who "bowdlerised" (i.e. censored) Shakespeare's plays, lays buried in Mumbles.

 Historical tugboat, Swansea Maritime Museum 

"Wherever I have been in Wales, I have experienced nothing but kindness and hospitality, and when I return to my own country I will say so".

George Borrow 1803 - 81

The Action!   

    

Boats on Swansea Bay, Wales     The National Cycle tour taking on the challenge of Swansea's Constitution Hill 

Swansea's all-action attractions will leave you breathless! Here's a sample of the endless array of activities to choose from:

Surfing, windsurfing, yachting, fishing, deep sea fishing, jet skiing, water skiing, powerboating, canoeing, rowing, in & outdoor tennis, squash, volleyball, dry skiing, roller blading, skateboarding, laser shooting, cycling, indoor & outdoor bowling, cayaking, ten pin bowling, aerobics, golfing, rock climbing, rambling, caving, horse riding, microlighting, gliding, para/hang gliding, parachuting, greyhound racing, indoor and outdoor swimming, all athletics.

Swansea's magnificent bays are perfectly situated for a quality water sports experience - and whether fishing, windsurfing, water or jet skiing, swimming or sunbathing - Swansea has the highest proportion of awards for clean sea water in northern Europe. Gower peninsular is famous for some of the finest surfing beaches in the U.K. On a national and international level, Swansea Bay is a prime location for yacht regattas, numerous power boat and windsurfing championships. Several Swansea golf courses and tennis courts can boast stunning bayside views. The city is host to the Wales National Pool and a string of community leisure centres. Nearby Aquadome Indoor Water Park boasts a virtual UFO and Inca Temple! At  Swansea Airport in Fairwood you can learn to fly a light aircraft, microlight or glider or just take advantage of the spectacular birds eye views of the peninsular's golden coast.

#festivalsCelebrate Swansea! - Guide to Swansea festival life

     

Carnival, Castle Square, Swansea

Swansea's Festival Life is an all-year carnival of the city's cultural, artistic and contemporary identity. Swansea's annual Music and Arts Festival, marked in October, is the second largest of its type in the U.K. and attracts some of Europe's finest orchestras, soloists and opera companies - which includes the internationally respected National Orchestra of Wales and Welsh National Opera. The city of Swansea revels in its talents year long, every year, with an incomparable array of celebrations.

Dylan Thomas Festival  - a suite of literature festivals, with internationally acclaimed Welsh poet Dylan Thomas at its core. October 27 - November 9 is the official annual festival of Dylan Thomas, between the dates of his birth and death. This year's exciting festival will commemorate the 51st anniversary of the poet's death in New York in 1953. Featuring theatre, readings, lectures, interviews, music and poetry celebrating Swansea's most famous author who is recognised as one of the finest lyrical poets of the 20th Century. Controversial New York sculptor, David Slivka, presented the city with a bronze sculpture produced from the death mask the artist produced as Dylan lay in a coma.

Dylan Thomas Festival includes the participation of authors, artists, poets, critics, academics and dignitaries such as Peter Blake, Louis de Bernieres, Malcolm Lowry, Paul Ferris and biographer Michael Gray. Dylan Thomas Literature Centre box office: +44(0)1792 463892 dylanthomas.lit@swansea.gov.uk

Swansea Festival of Music & Arts  - The second largest music festival in the UK after Edinburgh, last October's celebrations marked over half a century of the city's international reputation for classical music. Concerts throughout Swansea at venues such as the majestic Brangwyn Concert Hall and Swansea Grand Theatre included performances from the Detroit and Sapporo Symphony Orchestras. Lsst year's festival (1st-23rd October 2005) provided performances from from Welsh National Opera, together with The National Orchestra of Wales, in addition to London and Austrian orchestras, Leipzig String Quarter and very much more. 

City of Swansea Show  - The massive annual carnival held every year in August at bayside Singleton Park is an extravaganza of displays, balloon rides, sports as diverse as rifle shooting and horse jumping, Celtic and international craft demonstrations and open-air performances of every genre!

Swansea Maritime & Sea Shanty Festival  - July celebrates Swansea's Victorian ocean-faring era as one of the most significant sea ports in the world. A convergence of sea shanty ensembles and folk singers at Swansea Maritime Quarter captures the nautical spirit of life on the oceans of the world. You can also see demonstrations of rope tying, woodcarvings and coracle making (a traditional round Welsh river vessel), and a sea food cookery workshop. The tall masted ship "The Phoenix" will be moored on the River Tawe to complete the scene! Free event.

Gower Festival - A blend of churches and heavenly music from choirs and orchestras to Welsh harps and folk music. A perfect end to a peaceful July evening.

Flower & Botanical Festivals   - a regular winner of the "Wales in Bloom" contest, Swansea is a riot of colourful flower festivals all summer long. Clyne in Bloom (May) is a famous blaze of pink and red rhododendrons - the festival of  Clyne Park's fine collection of specimens which are rated as internationally significant. Other celebrations encompass fuschias in August and the Botanics In Bloom - featuring the city's excellent botanical collections of rare and endangered flower and plant specimens at Singleton Park and Plantasia in the city centre.

Mumbles Raft Race  - a Swansea institution, on one Sunday in July you can't imagine what will plop into Swansea Bay next, as hoards of crazy home made vessels sink or swim in an insane race beckoned across the sea by Mumbles lighthouse. All funds raised help the local lifeboat crews to continue to save lives at sea.

Pontardawe International Music Festival  - once a closely guarded secret, "the Ponty" now attracts forty thousand visitors over an August weekend. Marquees and street performances feature many hundreds of performers from the world over, from dancers in national costume to some of the world's best contemporary, folk and rock music artists. A must for the whole family, some visitors camp on site. Tel: +44(0)1792 830200 pontardawe_festival@eclipse.co.uk

Cockles & Celts   - Swansea's famous delicacy, the penclawdd cockle (a shellfish) is celebrated in an off beat Celtic festival every October.

Swansea Market  is the colourful place to be for Welsh cuisine tasting sessions, with a Celtic soaked atmosphere provided by Welsh choirs and musicians. Dare you try Swansea's black delicacy - laverbread (derived from seaweed) ?

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Swansea Market 

Tune Town  - Every summer, Castle Square rocks to a week long showcase for local rock band talent. A justly popular free event.

This year's Swansea Bay Festival's successful program of colourful events built on the unquaified success of last year's celebration of the new millennium.

Swansea Christmas Market - a traditional Victorian Christmas market featuring cabins and decorated stalls stocked up with Welsh crafts and quality gifts such as hand carved wooden toys, lanterns and candles, sweets and seasonal mulled wine. In 2001, the traders were dressed as 19th Century Dickens characters and an authentic French market was in attendance at Castle Square. Swansea Market is always the first choice for the finest in fresh local produce.

St Davids Mumbles Festival  - Early March - marks the life of the Patron Saint of Wales with festivities including plays, pantomime, jazz and music performance, crafts and exhibitions. St David's Day is celebrated in Wales and throughout the Welsh communities of the world on 1 March - don't forget to wear your leek or daffodil with pride!

& That's not all ! - other festivals included  Green Futures Eco-fest (environmental celebrations, issues and awareness) supported by Swansea Environment Centre, vintage vehicle festivals, Swansea MAS Carnival (a Caribbean style celebration of Swansea's cultural diversity), Abertawe Festival of Young Musicians, Party in the Park and medieval battle reinactments at Oystermouth Castle.

 

 

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Swansea City Football Club ("the Swans" in white) at home in the Vetch

Swansea City Football Club  (the Swans in white playing at their old home in the Vetch. The Swans now play in the Premiere league at the magnificent Liberty Stadium - the pride of Swansea!

                           Click here for Swansea - Maritime city of Walesthe unique heritage of our bayside city .....Home to Swansea, WalesClick here for the spectacular bays of Gower Peninsularclick here for Swansea's golden yesterdays gallery

                                   

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