There are many lovely places to visit in and around Swansea including taking in the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Gower Peninsula, or enjoying water sports in the Bay. For those who want to venture further out, the Brecon Beacons National Park offers visitors the chance to enjoy the beauty of South Wales or enjoy the famous Penderyn Distillery. Here are a few of our local highlights and others further out.
Please be aware that museums in Wales are free entry.
Perfect for outdoor lovers, the Brecon Beacons National Park has masses of paths including a few to the summit of Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales. There is also opportunity to enjoy a variety of activities including high-adrenaline sports like paragliding and abseiling.
For those who prefer something less adrenaline filled, the Brecon Beacons has numerous market towns with restaurants featuring the best of local supplies, and shops the best of local artisans. Towns include Llandeilo and the Hay-on-Wye, host of the internationally renowned literary festival.
An arts centre located in Swansea Marina, the building was originally the city’s Guildhall. Opened by former US President Jimmy Carter in 1995, it offers a permanent exhibition about the life and work of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, as well as hosting many other events. dylanthomas.com/
Formally opened in 1998, the Egypt Centre holds a collection of over 4000 Ancient Egyptian artefacts. Run mainly by volunteers the centre focuses on educating future generations in Egyptology, helping students to find their passion working in museums and providing free lectures to the community. Free to the public, this fantastic museum is at the heart of the Swansea University’s Singleton Campus, across the Mall from our proposed conference building. For more information visit egypt.swan.ac.uk/
This internationally renowned art gallery opened in 1911 and was built in the Edwardian baroque style. It houses the collection of donor Richard Glynn Vivian as well as several old masters, and an extensive collection of the famous Swansea porcelain. Recently re-opened after extensive refurbishment, the Gallery is well worth a visit. glynnvivian.co.uk/
Swansea and the Gower, a small peninsula renowned for its beaches, have a rich heritage. Whether it’s learning about the Welsh-costumed cockle pickers, who supplied markets across the country, or just understanding the place Gower has in history, the Gower Heritage Centre is well worth a visit. gowerheritagecentre.co.uk/
Mumbles is usually the first stop for many visitors travelling west from Swansea and follows the curve of the bay. With restaurants of real distinction, excellent ice-cream parlours, shops selling original crafts, tennis courts, crazy golf, playground, and the famous lifeboat station and lighthouse, Mumbles is a must see for anyone visiting the Swansea Region. For more information visit Mumbles (visitswanseabay.com)
The National Waterfront Museum is housed in an original and listed waterfront warehouse linked to a new, ultra-modern slate and glass building. Here you can discover the Transport, Materials and Networks that were so important and the ‘big things’ that contributed so much to the industrial history of Wales. museumwales.ac.uk/swansea
In nearby Oystermouth there is the Norman castle overlooking the village of Mumbles, it is open to the public from April to September. Standing on a site of several earlier castles dating back to the year 1100, this is one not to miss. The first castles were built during the Norman invasion of Gower; they were basic structures probably built of wood on an earth mound. These early castles were easy targets for the Welsh, who burned them to the ground. The castle you see today was built in the mid-thirteenth century. For more information visit Oystermouth Castle - Swansea
These beautiful woods are perfect for a long walk or picnic. Beautiful in all seasons with charming lakes and waterways, this picturesque valley lies to the north of the city, providing a little haven on tranquillity for visitors. Welcome to Penllergare Valley Woods
At Rhossili bay you will find 3 miles of sandy shore, encompassing one of Gower’s most famous landmarks, Worms Head; water sports and in particular surfing, benefit from the Atlantic swell, whilst sand-castle builders benefit from the fine golden sand. The views are incomparable and are best enjoyed from one of the many walking routes, which feature the beach, Worm’s Head and the cliffs, you may even see some basking seals or dolphins playing in the surf. And of course, Rhossili Bay is part of the Gower Coast Path. Find out more at Rhossili Bay Beach - Visit Swansea Bay
The park comprises 250 acres of land. An ornamental garden is located to the south, near the entrance to Swansea University, and a walled botanical garden is located in the centre of the park. On the south-western corner, past the hospital and the university, there is a boating lake with pedalos available, as well as a Crazy Golf course. Find out more at Singleton Park - Swansea
The Gower Gin Company is an award-winning Welsh gin distillery located in the village of Port Eynon on Gower and was voted Industry Choice Distillery in the Gin Guide Awards 2022. Their passion for
Welsh gin drives the constant development of new recipes based on the botanicals found on Gower. Visit their gin garden. The Gower Gin Company - Home
Surrounded by the Bristol Sea and Atlantic Ocean, the Gower Peninsula has become a haven for wildlife. With stunning beaches, hills, valleys, dunes and marshes, and caves, as well as many historic monuments including castles, medieval churches and prehistoric standing stones, this landscape may be explored on foot, by cycle, car or bus. It was the first place in Britain to be designated as an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' (AONB) by the Countryside Agency on behalf of the UK government. Find out more Gower Peninsula (Gower Peninsula - visitswanseabay.com)
Home of award winning Welsh Whisky, Penderyn Distillery offer tours and masterclasses in the picturesque Brecon Beacons. Whisky isn’t the only item they produce with their passionate staff taking you through their unique process of developing all kinds of spirits. There is also opportunity to take home a piece of Wales from their gift shop.
This huge public hot-house, moments from the city centre, opened in 1990 and comprises two temperature zones: tropical and arid. Visitors can learn all about the flora and fauna and meet some rather special residents, including tarantulas, parrots, chameleons and geckos. There are hours of fun to be had at Plantasia, which has also been used as a location for the BBC cult show Doctor Who. plantasiaswansea.co.uk/
Britain’s walking charity working to protect and expand the places people love to walk and promote walking for health and pleasure. Walking information, advice and campaigns, walking news and events, group led walks and an online library of walking routes. First 3 walks are free. Ramblers – walking charity.
At The Tramway, visitors will find memorabilia, not only relating to the street trams of Swansea but also the world-famous Mumbles Train, which travelled around Swansea Bay, taking passengers from the city centre to the Mumbles Pier. With several examples of trams on display, this little museum of transport is great for a quick stop – and it is free to enter. Find out more at Tramshed (swanseamuseum.co.uk)
More Local Information
For more local information please visit
Countryside walks - Swansea
A History of Swansea - Local Histories
Nature and wildlife in Swansea and Mumbles - Visit Swansea Bay