Weekend in Wales

A Weekend Away in Swansea, Mumbles and Gower, Wales

Weekend in Wales

‘Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore’ I shouted through the window of my car as my friend Elle emerged from the Kings Head with directions to our guesthouse. Forgetting we were in rural Wales, I had relied on Google Maps for most of the journey from Manchester but my 3G coverage no longer stretched as far as the little village of Llangennith.

This was the getaway I had been longing for- time away from the city, where things move at a much slower pace. Due to Friday afternoon traffic the motorway journey took a little longer than expected so we headed straight to the pub for a bite to eat before checking into our B&B. Of course the Welsh speciality is lamb, so I had the lamb shank, followed by a selection of Welsh cheeses.

It was late at night by the time we arrived at Tallizmand guesthouse in Llandmadoc but our host David did his utmost to make us feel at home. We had tea and cake in the cosy guest lounge, while flicking through brochures and magazines for ideas on local coastal walks.

Cake Slice at Tallizmand Guesthouse

Tallizmand Gower

The B&B is has been awarded 4-stars and it’s incredibly comfortable- we felt right at home. Our bedroom was tastefully furnished and nice and warm, while the bathroom was huge, with an electric shower.

Tallizmand Bed and Breakfast

In the morning we were served fresh smoked salmon with brown bread and helped ourselves to fresh fruit and cereals from the dresser. A great way to start the day, especially with the classical music in the background!

Tallizmand Dining Room

Tallizmand Breakfast

With the unspoilt village of Llandmadoc as our base, we spent Saturday and Sunday morning driving around Gower, discovering some of the sights that the Gower peninsula and Swansea have to offer. The scenery is breathtaking and it’s pleasant enough just pottering around in the car admiring the views from the window.

Gower Wales

Oxwich

There are so many beaches and bays along the Gower Peninsula but we decided to visit Oxwich Bay because it’s easily accessible by car with a car park right next to the beach. There were quite a few people walking their dogs and beachcombing- we didn’t stay too long but it was nice to get out and breathe some salty sea air!

Oxwich Bay Gower

Oxwich Beach

Mumbles

Mumbles is a cute little seaside town with colourful houses, restaurants, boutiques and galleries. We took a walk along the sea front towards the Victorian pier, had a browse of the homeware in Oyster Gallery then stopped for a drink in town at Cafe Valance, where people were watching the rugby. I know nothing about rugby but I gathered from the oohs and ahhs that this was quite a big match for Wales. Mumbles is also home to a world class ice cream shop- Joe’s– with a history dating as far back as 1898.

Mumbles Waterfront

Mumbles Buildings

Mumbles Colourful houses

Dinner At the Grape & Olive

In the evening we drove to Swansea city centre, where we dined at the Grape & Olive– a restaurant at the top of the Meridian Tower, which mainly houses residential apartments next to the marina.

Swansea Marina

The restaurant has incredible panoramic views of the marina, Swansea Bay and Mumbles and we were seated in a booth facing the window. While the restaurant is quite a casual affair for a rooftop restaurant (my jeans and sweater didn’t make me look underdressed), the food was tasty- I had the seared scallops with minted pea puree and chorizo crumb to start, while Elle had the pigeon breast, roasted hazelnut and beetroot salad to start. For main I had the rack of lamb with Dijon mustard herb crust and she had the fillet steak. This was all washed down with a bottle of house red and finished with a selection of Welsh cheeses.

Grape and Olive Swansea

Grape and Olive Cocktails

Grape and Olive View from the Meridian Tower

Grape and Olive Scallops

Grape and Olive Pigeon

Rack of Lamb Grape and Olive

Fillet Steak Grape and Olive Swansea

Grape and Olive View of Swansea Bay

Welsh Cheeses Grape and Olive

Grape and Olive Swansea

Rhossili Bay

We spent our Sunday morning having lunch at the Worm’s Head Hotel, which is strategically perched on the cliff overlooking Rhossili Bay. This 3-mile stretch of sand was voted Britain’s Best Beach by TripAdvisors Travellers’ Choice and has been praised by numerous travel writers. It was a rather brisk, chilly March day so we didn’t venture down but we did stand and watch the surfers riding the wild Atlantic swells from the balcony of the restaurant! At lunch I tried two Welsh specialities that I’d never had before- Welsh Rarebit and Welsh cake. The rarebit tasted like a posh cheese on toast, while the Welsh cake was kind of like a raw, doughier scone.

Worms Head Hotel

Worms Head Gower

Welsh Rarebit at Worm's Head Hotel Gower

Sunday Roast at Worms Head Hotel Gower

Sea Bass at Worm's Head Hotel Gower

After lunch we took a walk out to Worm’s Head and spent most of our time trying to chase the sheep for a photo, but as soon as we got close they would run away again! It was good to get some fresh air before we commenced the drive back up the country.

Rhossili Bay Gower, Wales

Welsh Sheep, Gower, Wales

Worm's Head, Gower, Wales

Rhossili Beach, Gower Wales

Gower Coastline, Wales

If I go back to Gower I’ll definitely try to go in summer when the weather’s a bit warmer and I can appreciate the beaches a bit more!  I also have my sights set on a few more activities- namely dinner at Fairy Hill and pony trekking as I absolutely love riding horses! On this trip we were supposed to go kayaking at 360 watersports but due to arriving so late the night before we were exhausted. Located in Swansea Bay, they have a number of watersports on offer including Stand Up Paddle boarding with inflatable paddle board, and Kite surfing- great for the summer months. I’d also like to do the walk to the stunning Three Cliffs Bay to snap some photos. Next time!

I was a guest of Visit Swansea Bay on this weekend away. All opinions expressed in the article are my own. You can find out all about the various things to do in Gower, Mumbles and Swansea by visiting their website http://www.visitswanseabay.com/

Have you been to the Gower peninsula? If so, what are your favourite spots? Leave your comments below!

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Victoria Brewood
victoria@pommietravels.com

Hi I'm Victoria, a British girl from Manchester. After graduating from university I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I packed my journalism degree into my suitcase to travel the world and find a way to make money at the same time. I now call London home, although I still travel whenever I can. I hope to inspire you to be your own boss, live life and see the world.

3 Comments
  • Mel
    Posted at 21:03h, 15 April Reply

    Oh I love Wales and Worm’s Head is definitely one of my favorite spots! I lived in Glamorgan for nearly a year on a study abroad programm and fell in love with the area. Time deffinitely has another pace in Wales. I have to come back soon, to these rolling hills and rough beaches. Another awesome place is the book town Hay-on-Wye by the way! 🙂

  • Dave
    Posted at 08:43h, 16 April Reply

    Love the Gower, camped for a week last year. Gorgeous beaches. So much to do along that peninsula. Were the hang gliders and paragliders out at Rhossili bay?

    • Victoria
      Posted at 12:22h, 18 April Reply

      Hey Dave, I didn’t spot any gliders out. Would love to go back and appreciate the beaches in the sunshine!

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