We recently worked alongside the wonderful people over at Visit Swansea Bay – they sent us to stay in Wales for three days and we had a brilliant time. We wanted to share with you exactly what we got up to and how you can spend three days making the most out of a beautiful part of South Wales!
Where to stay
We stayed in the 4* Dragon Hotel set in the heart of Swansea. The hotel leisure club features an 18-metre indoor swimming pool, male and female saunas, a state-of-the-art gymnasium with plasma screen TVs and a beauty treatment room. The location here was perfect – situated in Swansea town and incredibly close to Mumbles and Gower (where we spent most of our time). The hotel was clean, family friendly and hosted a brilliant buffet breakfast every morning. We loved the mini cinnamon swirls and full english – what more could you want to start your day?!
Mumbles is a beautiful little seaside village. It’s incredibly cosy but with a little cosmopolitan feel to it! We spent the first part of our first day wandering around the village and taking in its local character and charm. We walked along the pier and loved it – it’s small compared to many but has a gorgeous Victorian feel to it. We ate a lot of ice-cream here as it has arguably the world’s best ice-cream! It was definitely the best we’ve had in the UK. We visited the Lovespoon Gallery and the Gower Gallery which has lots of stunning paintings, ceramics and sculptures.
We then headed straight to lunch at the recently opened, two floor restaurant called Bistrot Pierre. It was absolutely delicious. Definitely one of my favourite places I’ve ever eaten lunch. It had a lovely cosy feel to it (it helped that it had started to rain outside) and floor to ceiling windows with stunning French styled interiors. We sat right next to the window and had a gorgeous view of the beach. The food was delicious – pudding was my favourite – and the staff were incredibly welcoming and friendly.
“Open seven-days-a-week serving breakfast, lunch and dinner we have something for everyone, from the two-course prix-fixe lunch for £11.95 and a two-course pre-theatre menu for £14.95 to the sumptuous a la carte menu, and for those with little time we also offer a one-course lunch menu for just £9.95.”
We then headed a 7 minute walk over to Oystermouth Castle sitting majestically on the hills in Mumbles. We were shown around by a lovely gentleman called Roger. He knew an awful lot about the castle and talked us through all the interesting facts and histories behind each room. He works a few times a month and we really recommend asking for a tour to make the most out of your visit to the castle. Over recent years the castle has undergone conservation work to ensure it’s safe and sustainable for the public to explore. It’s incredibly interesting to wander around all the stairwells, head into the dungeons, spot the toilets, old graffiti and see the beautiful views from the top. This was definitely one of our favourite parts of our trip.
Open daily, Saturday 1 April – Saturday 30 September 2017, 11am – 5pm
£3.50 standard, £2.50 concessions and £2 PTL
Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) £9.50
Children under 5 go free
We then headed back to the hotel before setting back out again for Dinner. We went to The Grape and Olive and thoroughly enjoyed our experience there. It’s situated at the top of Wales tallest building and the views are amazing. We had a lovely dinner whilst people watching from above. The meal was delicious and the staff were friendly and loved talking to Daisy. The whole restaurant and bar in general has a very relaxed and cosy vibe. It was a little dark and muggy outside (lovely UK summer!) but we can imagine the view on a nice sunny day when the sun is just about to set.
“We have a comprehensive wine list, which we have carefully put together, to perfectly compliment our menu. Our wine list is globally sourced and caters for everyone from the cautious wine drinker, to the more adventurous sorts!”
The Gower Heritage Centre is a rural museum and attraction set around a water mill from the 12th Century. We love this kind of thing as we love reading and experiencing how life used to be. This attraction was also perfect for children and Daisy had lots of fun! There was a bouncy castle, children’s story telling time, tea rooms, craft workshops, puppet shows, children’s play areas, animals and so much more. There’s also lots of little tours throughout the day along with duck racing and animal feeding. The whole centre has a really lovely medieval feel to it with people wandering around dressed up and lots of little old board games dotted around. We had lunch in the tearooms and really enjoyed their menu as it had a wide variety of food to pick from – plus they gave us huge portions which is always a good thing for me!
We then headed to Rhossili bay. The beach is situated in Gower and has 3 miles of beautiful sandy shore. I’ve also heard that if you look closely out to shore you might be able to spot some basking seals or dolphins playing in the waves! Amazing. We had a little paddle in the water and forgot about the chilly wind for a while. I love how the beach is almost in a little cove – it feels cosy and secluded which makes it more special. After a little walk we headed to a local shops to get some of ‘Joe’s Ice-cream’ as we’ve only heard good things about it! It was THE best ice-cream I’ve had in UK. We decided after ice cream it was obviously a good time to go for dinner (totally makes sense, right?) and so we headed to the Worm’s Head Hotel – Helvetia restaurant – for something to eat. It was delicious food with a beautiful view. If you’re ever in the area – Rhossili Beach is an absolute must.
This beautiful coastline has been voted Wales best beach in 2017 by Trip Advisor. It’s also been voted one of the UK’s Top 10 Beaches for five years running in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards – what more do I need to say to assure you how beautiful it is? See my full post on Rhossili Bay here.
After getting breakfast from the hotel we then headed over to Swansea Bay leisure Centre. Daisy loves swimming and so we was super excited to take her – we’d heard only good things about this centre! The swimming centre was absolutely huge and Daisy was in her element. We started in the wave pool and Daisy’s had a huge smile on her face the entire time which really made the trip for me. She’s always been a bit of a water baby and as soon as she’s near water it’s almost as though she turns into a mermaid. I love it! The inside water park has lots of different slides, water rapids, a children’s splash play area and so much more.
We then headed to the soft play area. I’m not a fan of soft play but this one was brilliant. We had so much fun and it was huge! I think I had more fun considering Andrew went and played with Daisy for 90% of the time whilst I sat with a coffee browsing Instagram. Daisy really didn’t want to leave but when we did manage to hit the exit she was absolutely knackered after a fun packed morning and fell asleep in the car. We then headed to 360 for a spot of lunch. This was a really cute little cafe sat by the side of Swansea Bay beach – it was rainy and cold but we sat inside and had a lovely spot of lunch. It felt really cosy and the food was delicious!
If you’re looking at a little staycation within the UK this year then hop on over to Wales because Swansea Bay is beautiful! Mumbles and Gower are two places we really would like to head back to at some point – especially Gower because of the beautiful Rhossili beach.
*A HUGE thanks to Visit Swansea Bay for organising this trip for us. We received complimentary accommodation and meals but all words and opinions are 100% honest! We loved Swansea!