SWANSEA BAY– A PLACE LIKE NO OTHER
Ask anyone in Swansea why they enjoy living here so much and the one thing regularly topping the list is the friendliness of its people. There’s a warmth here like nowhere else in the UK, no matter the weather – and yes it does rain, occasionally!
You see the Welsh are a nation of talkers. They like to stop and chat. Add to this the splendour of the Gower Peninsula, and the fact you are never far from a view of the ocean, and it’s easy to see why the area has scooped so many awards.
Britain’s Best View; Best beaches in the UK, Europe and the world; Most Photogenic Coast and in 2018, the Sunday Times awarded Mumbles ‘Best Place to Live in Wales’. With so many plaudits, people really are inclined to stay.
Gower was the first area in the UK to be Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). It spans 38 square miles; has 18 miles of coastline (part of the continuous Wales coast path) and is split broadly between south and north Gower.
Swansea, Wales’ second capital, sits at the gateway to the peninsular, with the village of Mumbles, often called ‘the jewel in its crown’, a little further along.
There are delightful variations when it comes to topography. South Gower boasts Blue Flag, family-friendly beaches including Caswell, Rotherslade, Langland, Three Cliffs and Rhossili. As to where to live, popular villages include Bishopston and Pennard, Three Crosses, Reynoldston and Oxwich.
The northern part however presents a completely different landscape, one that is far flatter. It is here that low tide exposes a wide expanse of salt marshes, and a number of estuarine villages slope down to them including Llanmorlais, Llanrhidian and Penclawdd.
A life lived here is a chance to enjoy life to the full. This maritime city once an industrial port and the leading producer of copper, combines the best of all worlds, offering endless opportunities to embrace the great outdoors given its accessibility to sea, sand and stunning coastal scenery.
The city is undergoing something of a renaissance currently. Millions of pounds are being invested in new parks and urban walkways as well as community facilities including international arenas and retail areas.
Its universities – there are two spread across several campuses – are investing heavily, expanding on student numbers and building on a knowledge economy that makes for a diverse and clever population.
As numbers grow and projects complete so Swansea is emerging as a city with a way of life that’s hard to beat whatever your age. From youthful singles to working families and those enjoying retirement, opt for the urban cool of Uplands, Brynmill and Sketty. Or, settle into the safety and quiet of suburban living around the areas of Derwen Fawr, Killay and Dunvant.
There are plenty of options for central living in the Marina and the redeveloped docklands of SA1.These popular waterfront locations offer newly built apartments and townhouses as well as renovated dwellings steeped in character and local history. Linked by a promenade, the ‘maritime quarter’ is bordered on one side by a vast expanse of sandy beach and bustling Swansea on the other.
At the far end of the curve of Swansea Bay is Mumbles with its pastel-washed cottages dotted across hilly winding streets. A former Victorian fishing village, its residential enclaves include Oystermouth, Limeslade, Bishopston, Newton, Norton and West Cross.
It is a destination in its’ own right and a popular place to live, providing tourists and residents with a veritable mix of ‘really nice things to see and do’.
It has a pier, a sweeping promenade, a lighthouse and even a Norman castle. There are shops, galleries, cafés and bars, micro pubs and breweries. Traditional independents from fishmongers and butchers to delis and wine merchants keep everyone smiling, as does its award-winning ice cream made for a long time now by a bloke called Joe!
Much like the city centre, Mumbles is undergoing its own transformation with those responsible eager to preserve its character and old-world charm. Oyster Wharf is a shining new development which has created a Mediterranean style plaza fronting onto the seafront and which provides a mix of restaurants all with sea views and the opportunity to just chill out and look out to sea. What’s not to like?