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South West Wales

South West Wales combines large areas of rural landscape and spectacular coastline with vibrant city life. Our second city Swansea has a multicultural population of about 239,000 and has two universities. You can also watch Championship football with Swansea City FC and the Ospreys Rugby Union team at the Liberty Stadium, or the Scarlets rugby team in Llanelli, the largest town in Carmarthenshire.

[The scenic harbour town of Tenby]

The region is best known for its scenery. There’s the Gower Peninsula Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty near Swansea and the UK’s only coastal National Park, Pembrokeshire Coast. The National Botanic Garden of Wales and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park are both located here and are also well worth visiting. There are two ferry ports that connect us to Ireland; Fishguard and Pembroke and rail links to the North and Cardiff, our capital city.

Dylan Thomas was born here and you can see his Thomas Boathouse at Laugharne. Other famous faces to be born in the region include Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Sheen, Catherine Zeta Jones and Bonnie Tyler.

Some of the highlights:  

  • Castles there are a few to choose from, but some favourites are the town fort of Pembroke, Manorbier or the ruins of Carreg Cennen where you can explore the dungeon by torchlight.
  • Seals and puffins – the Pembrokeshire coast, especially the offshore islands of Skomer and Ramsey, is home to a 5000 strong colony of grey seals. Lucky visitors may see dolphins and porpoise too. Atlantic Puffin numbers on Skomer island are now around 10,000 breeding pairs, the largest population in the UK. 

[Speed boat to Ramsey Island]

  • Preseli Mountains – see where the stones of Stonehenge came from.
  • St Davids - the smallest city in Britain is crammed full of great restaurants, art shops, galleries and an impressive cathedral.
  • Some of the most scenic areas of the Gower Peninsula include Three Cliffs Bay, Rhossilli and Oxwich Bay. The Gower peninsula has been recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty. The beach at Freshwater West has been used as a filming location for a number of Blockbuster films.

[Harry Potter filming location at Freshwater West]

  • Margam Country Park, boasts an Abbey, a Cistercian monastery, a Gothic country house and castle. The 850 acre site also has three breeds of deer to view and aviary including peacocks and birds of prey.
  • Swansea Market is the largest indoor market in Wales. It’s a great place to grab a picnic before you pick a spot on Swansea’s five mile long beach.
  • Award-winning cheese is produced throughout south west Wales and salt marsh lamb from the Gower is something special. It has been awarded protected geographical status by the European Commission in recognition of its unique quality.

[Coasteering in Pembrokeshire, a sport founded in Wales]