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Top 10 places to visit in South Wales this summer

By This is SouthWales  |  Posted: July 09, 2012

  • Three Cliffs Bay

  • Swansea's Waterfront Museum

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The summer may have got off to a soggy start but there is plenty going on in Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Neath Port Talbot to brighten up the next few months.

From concerts to food festivals, there are events to suit people of all ages and tastes.

Many of these are part of the annual Swansea Bay Festival which offers activities, exhibitions and live entertainment throughout the summer.

Highlights of the eclectic programme include the colourful Pennard Carnival and Big Band Years, a night of swing music at Oystermouth Castle on August 17.

Councillor Nick Bradley, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Plenty of events are organised every year in Swansea as part of the Swansea Bay Festival to ensure there’s something for all ages and interests.

“This year’s line-up features another wide variety of entertainment from live pop music and outdoor Shakespeare, to live classical music and the annual Swansea Bay 10k run.”

And Cllr Bradley said that the city also has plenty to offer visitors whatever the weather.

He said: “We have a great selection of indoor attractions which means there’s plenty to do in times of bad weather. Places like the National Waterfront Museum, the Wales National Pool, Plantasia, the Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea Museum, the Egypt Centre and the Taliesin Arts Centre complement our network of community leisure centres and pools.”

But with some of the UK’s most picturesque scenery, people in South West Wales will be hoping for some sunshine to get out and explore the great outdoors.

From walks along the Wales Coastal Path, to surfing lessons at Llangennith and an array of beautiful beaches, you will be spoilt for ways to enjoy the natural world.

For more on these and our pick of the top 10 places to visit in South West Wales this summer check out our list below.

Get Active

1. Urban Sports Skills Day, National Waterfront Museum

Activity/attraction: Urban sports demonstrations and workshops.

When: July 29, 11am, 12.30p, 2pm and 3pm.

Tickets/price: Free but booking required.

Billed as the urban alternative to the London 2012 Games, the event at the Waterfront Museum offers you the chance to see three of the very best exponents of football freestyling, basketball and BMX biking.

The world record-breaking trio include football freestyler Ash 'A-R' Randall who has performed in TV ads alongside the likes of Wayne Rooney, European Streetball Basketball champion Tom 'Con Man' Connors and Keelan 'Total' Phillips - a 2 time European BMX Flatland Champion.

They will be showing off their skills and passing on their knowledge at four shows during the day.

2. Surfing Lessons, Welsh Surfing Federation Surf School.

Activity/attraction: Surfing.

Open: Email surfwsf@aol.com for dates.

Tickets/price: Two hour lessons from £20 (all equipment included).

If you want to experience the thrills and spills of surfing then there are few better places to learn than the beautiful Gower coastline.

Operating from Llangennith Beach the Welsh Surfing Federation’s Surf School offers a range of lessons for everyone from beginners to experts.

You can learn on-on-one with a qualified instructor or in a group and all equipment is supplied.

There is also a chance to have your technique analysed on video.

Family

3. Jolly Totz Children’s Festival, Margam Park.

Activity/attraction: Children’s festival.

When: July 14, 10am-5pm.

Tickets/price: £7.50 each or £28 for a family of four.

For an unrivalled day of family fun this summer head to Margam Country Park on July 14.

Jolly Totz is a brand new arts festival for children aged from four to 12-years-old and their families, with the aim of creating an artistic and adventurous atmosphere.

Over the course of the day the festival will play host to a wide range of entertainers including comedians, dancers, musicians, storytellers, circus performers and a theatre.

You will also be able to come face to face with a Dalek and the Tardis from Dr Who or try your hand at balloonology.

4. Push The Boat Out Day, Mumbles.

Activity/attraction: Boat race.

When: July 21, from 6.30pm.

Tickets/price: Free.

In support of the British Olympic and Paralympic sailing teams the Royal Yachting Association is encouraging people to board their boats and take to the water on July 21.

The event will see craft of all shapes and sizes race along Mumbles front to create an amazing spectacle.

All classes of boats are welcome from dinghies to CATs and cruisers and there will be a competition for the best dressed boat.

5. Beach Days, Gower.

Activity/attraction: Beach.

Tickets/price: Free.

Beach fans are spoilt for choice in Gower but there are few spots that are more picture perfect than the magnificent Three Cliffs Bay.

One of the most photographed views in Wales, there is something magical about the famous trio of peaks descending from the cliff-top into the golden sands below.

The beach itself is a breathtaking expanse of unspoilt sand popular with families, horseriders and walkers alike.

Food and drink

6. The Welsh Menu, Swansea City Centre.

Activity/attraction: Food festival.

When: August 25-27.

Tickets/price: TBC.

Celebrating Wales’ fabulous food and drink, the first ever Welsh Menu festival promises to be a mouthwatering event.

Over August Bank Holiday, Swansea city centre will come alive with stalls, demonstrations and hands-on sessions showcasing the very best in fresh local produce.

There will be talks and tips from experts and an array of delectable treats to try and buy from beer and artisan breads to handmade cheeses and cupcakes.

7. Swansea Bay Beer Festival, Brangwyn Hall, Swansea.

Activity/attraction: Beer festival.

When: August 23, 5pm-11pm, August 24-25, 12pm-11pm.

Tickets/price: £5 non CAMRA members, £3 CAMRA members.

With live music and more than 100 ales, ciders and perries the Swansea Bay Beer Festival is a great place to let your hair down this summer.

The three-day event at Brangwyn Hall celebrates both the big brands and growing number of boutique breweries in Wales.

There will also be a wide range of food on offer and a number of live acts performing on the main stage.

These include The Brothel Creepers on the Thursday night, the Swansea Hit Squad the following evening and Afternoon In Paris on the Saturday.

8. Cafe culture,Mumbles.

Activity/attraction: Eating out.

Whether you are after a quick coffee or a three course gourmet meal, Mumbles has something for everyone.

The sea front boasts a cafe culture to rival anywhere in the UK and there are few more pleasant places to sit back and relax on a summer’s day.

From the fine dining of Langland's Brasserie or Patrick's With Rooms, to the simpler pleasures of an ice cream from Joe’s or Verdi’s there are any number of great places check out, all with stunning sea views.

Arts and culture

9. The National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire.

Activity/attraction: Gardens, shops, cafes and botanical exhibitions.

Special event(s): Ffestiva! – world music festival (July 8) Four Seasons Summer Craft Fair (August 4 and 5) and Tree Festival (August 18 and 19)

Open: 10am-6pm daily.

Tickets/price: Adults £8.50, children (5-16) £4.50.

From dance festivals to falconry, few places are offering a more eclectic line-up of events this summer than the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

The Garden’s are also hosting Festiva! A celebration of world music and a Tree Festival complete with guided walks, wood carving demonstrations and numerous exhibitors.

And as well as the packed programme of special events the Gardens themselves are also looking at their magnificent best. Don’t miss the chance to check out an array of natural attractions including the best collection of Mediterranean plants in the Northern Hemisphere, the fascinating Victorian pharmacy, and the double walled garden.

10. Tawe Fest In The Park, Singleton Park, Swansea.

Activity/attraction: Music festival.

When: August 25-27.

Tickets/price: £35 Saturday and Sunday, £25 Monday.

With a heady mix of live music, entertainment and fairground fun Swansea’s Singleton Park is the place to be over the August Bank Holiday.

From the catchy rock of Status Quo, to the singalong pop of Steps and the classical power of the Welsh Battle Proms there is something to suit every age and taste.

Other attractions include and art and crafts area, children’s activities and a spectacular firework display.

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