‘Swansea is a city in South Wales, UK, sitting on Swansea Bay and close to the coastal towns of Port Talbot to the east and The Mumbles to the west…’
Swansea (Abertawe in Welsh) is the second largest city in Wales and has a population of around 241,000 people. Although the city often plays second fiddle to its neighbour, Cardiff, it has so much to offer visitors, particularly in the coming year. These are just 8 reasons to visit Swansea in 2019
Enjoy a Weekend at The Wales Airshow
Wales Airshow will return to Swansea Bay for the annual show on 6-7th July 2019. Famous for its death-defying stunts, Red Arrows displays and fighter jets, it draws people from across the UK for a weekend of aviation-related fun.
2019 promises to be bigger and better, with vintage crafts, brand new military jets and, not forgetting, a view of the whole thing from the award-winning Blue Flag beaches of Swansea Bay.
Experience the Return of the Stereophonics
After a 20-year hiatus from the city, Welsh rockers, Stereophonics, have confirmed their return to Swansea on July 13th 2019. The last time they played the city was after the release of their second album, Performance and Cocktails.
This year, they’ll play Singleton Park to 20,000 people. The prospect of hearing one of the world’s greatest rock bands play to a home crowd is spine-tingling.
In other news, Jess Glynne has also confirmed dates for Singleton in 2019.
See Ben Fogle and Dan Snow at Swansea Grand Theatre
TV personalities and all round nice guys, Ben Fogle and Dan Snow both have shows on in February to help you throw off the winter blues.
Dan Snow continues his ‘History Hit’ UK tour with an evening in Swansea on February 9th. Snow will talk about his new book ‘This Day in History’, as well as presenting specific information about the history of Swansea, and conclude with a 20 min Q&A to give audience members the chance to chat with him.
Ben Fogle, who’s well known for his love of the outdoors, presents his show ‘Tales from the Wilderness’ at the theatre on February 28th. Fogle will recount stories from his adventures, including swimming with crocodiles, his year being a castaway in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, and conquering Mount Everest.
Take a Walk to the Wonder of Three Cliffs Bay
Three Cliffs Bay continually lists at the top of things to do in Swansea, Gower and Mumbles. It’s named after the three limestone cliffs that jut out from the Gower Penisula into the Bristol Channel and is a very popular place to walk and get some fresh sea air.
Three Cliffs Bay has a beach and parking is available close by. Swimming and water sports are not allowed because of strong currents and tides that exist year-round. However, dogs can walk on the beach whenever they please (with owners, presumably) Who needs more on a trip to the bay than incredible scenery and the prospect of meeting local puppers? That’s right: no one.
Check out Bansky’s Newest Masterpiece
Bristol-based elusive graffiti artist, Banksy, has just laid claim to the work of art painted on the side of a garage in Port Talbot’s Richmond Street. Located less than a mile from the town’s famous steelworks, the latest work appeared a few days before Christmas and has since been cordoned off to protect it from vandals.
The story goes that a resident of Port Talbot (and former steelworker) contacted Banksy in August of 2018 and asked him to do something in the town to highlight just how much dust was being generated by the nearby TATA plant.
He didn’t think for a second that anything would happen but it appears that his pleas did not go unheard. The newest mural depicts a young boy with his tongue out, apparently catching snowflakes. However, on the adjoining corner of the garage is a fire pit spewing ash and dust, indicating what’s really being ingested.
If visiting the mural, please be aware that the area is residential and should be respected.
Get Your Fit on at The JCP Swansea Half Marathon
Feeling fit? Get your trainers on a join in the fun at the annual half marathon on June 23rd 2019. The race route starts in front of Brangwyn Hall, before snaking its way through the city centre and along Swansea Bay. Runners will then approach the pretty Mumbles area and out towards the Gower Peninsula before heading back towards the Meridian Tower and Swansea’s pretty Marina area.
As well as a sense of achievement, who could say no to a 13.1 mile run through some of the most beautiful views in Wales?
Chill Out with Coffee and Castles in Mumbles
The coastal village of Mumbles is well known for its fantastic cafe culture. It’s located just a short drive from Swansea, next to the Gower Peninsula, and regularly draws in visitors and locals to its range of cafes, bars and restaurants.
There’s plenty for traditionalists who wish to camp out in Welsh cafes, eating local produce and enjoying a panad or pint. However, there’s also a range of international offerings, from Chinese to Turkish to Indian.
One of the most popular hangouts in town is PA’s Wine Bar, which can be difficult to get into in the summer months. It has a great menu at reasonable prices and, well…it has wine. Like, LOTS of wine. Nuff said.
Before you hit up the local hostelries and cafes, check out nearby Oystermouth Castle for its history and unparalleled views over Swansea Bay. Constructed of Norman stone and featuring a wonderfully modern glass bridge, the castle is a great spot for a leisurely and educational walk.
Oystermouth Castle is closed during the winter months, opening from Spring through Autumn.
Learn about the Great Welsh Poet at The Dylan Thomas Centre
Being the birthplace of Wales’ greatest writer and poet, it’s no surprise that Swansea has a centre dedicated to Dylan Thomas. The Dylan Thomas Centre displays an extensive array of works and memorabilia in their permanent collection, as well as hosting a range of special exhibitions and events throughout the year.
At present, the centre is ‘Starlight Order: from Y Gododdin to In Parenthesis‘. This details the writing of both work and their links to Thomas, who read an excerpt from the latter work in the BBC adaptation.
Buy Local at Swansea Market
No trip to Swansea is complete without buying Welsh food and souvenirs at Wales’ biggest indoor market. With more than 100 stalls, selling food, drinks, clothing, fabrics, cosmetics, jewellery and a host of other goods, this year-round shopping experience is a must.
As well as the plethora of stall, the market also has a range of cafes and eateries. My personal favourites are The Market Pantry for homemade hoagies and Thai Taste for a great Green Curry.
Whatever you decide to do, enjoy your visit to Swansea in 2019.