Adventures around Swanseawith PlusBus
What could be better than a city by the sea? Swansea’s underrated charms include five miles of gentle sandy beach, a host of great pubs and cafés, and some world-class museums. Best of all, with a PlusBus ticket, you can reach the beautiful Gower peninsula and spot seals in the bays below as you walk the coast path through wild flowers and butterflies. You can explore the Victorian pier at Mumbles, the characterful village full of galleries, ruined Oystermouth castle and much more. These are just a few of the hundreds of adventures you can have with a PlusBus ticket around Swansea.
1. Castles, cafes, beaches and museums
To explore Swansea and the beautiful coast and countryside nearby, a PlusBus ticket is just £3 (or £2 with a railcard) on top of your train ticket and gives you unlimited bus travel in and around the city all day.
- Getting to Swansea castle, market and museums: Swansea’s ruined medieval castle is less than ten minutes’ walk from the railway station and buses to all kinds of interesting places leave from the bus station near the castle. Dozens of regular buses also run from the High Street outside the railway station, direct to the bus station. These include bus 4, bus 34 and lots of others.
- Swansea market is the largest indoor market in Wales and is right next door to the bus station. Don’t miss the central stalls selling cockles and laverbread (boiled, pureed seaweed). Or try a raisin-filled welsh cake, fresh off the hotplate. It’s a five-minute stroll from here, along Princess Street, to the National Waterfront Museum with its pioneering engines and aircraft and maritime gallery. Close by, the neoclassical Museum of Swansea is the oldest museum in Wales. It is full of quirky treasures, from a mammoth’s tooth to the gold cockerel from a church weather vane.
- Getting to the beach: just a couple minutes’ walk from the museums and you can be on the sand. But for quieter and less urban stretches of Swansea’s fantastically long beach, hop on bus 2, bus 3A and lots of others to ride along the seafront. There are great views across the water to Mumbles with its pier and lighthouse.
- Refreshments: There are cafés in the market and the Waterfront Museum has a café overlooking the harbour and Spanish-style seafood restaurant El Pescador also has a view of the boats and the pine-covered hills beyond.
- Don’t miss: The Secret Beach Bar and Café, a bit further along the bay on one of the seafront buses, right on the sands by the Cricket Ground bus stop. Nearby are Swansea Botanical Gardens and, beyond them, the suburb of Uplands where poet Dylan Thomas grew up.
2. Mumbles, Bracelet Bay and Langland
Mumbles is a vibrant village just a short bus ride along the coast from Swansea. It has a Victorian pier, an eighteenth-century lighthouse and a lot of great cafés and galleries. You can also walk a lovely mile along the coast path from here to Langland and then walk back or catch a different bus back to Swansea. It’s all included on your PlusBus ticket!
- Getting to Mumbles and refreshments: From Swansea bus station bus 2B and bus 3A run all the way along the coast, with great views, and through Mumbles to stop near the lighthouse at the end of the peninsula. From here it’s a ten-minute walk down to the pier or a fabulous half hour stroll along the clifftop path (look out for seals!) to the beach at Langland. There are plenty of great places to eat nearby, including the fabulous Gower Seafood Hut on the promenade.
- And more: One of the best places for a sit-down meal is Langland’s Brasserie serving up views of the beach and green-topped rocky cliffs along with gourmet takes on seaside favourites (like herb-crusted cod with crispy cockles or vanilla ice with Amarena cherries). If you don’t want to walk back along the cliffs to Mumbles, head for the far end of the beach from the brasserie and turn inland along Rotherslade Road to find regular buses back to Swansea from Langland Corner. On the way, the buses pass the ruins of twelfth-century Oystermouth Castle, the Lovespoon Gallery, and lots more that is worth exploring.