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Region's getting a star billing from celebrities

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 10, 2012

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WE are asked to believe that the Cotswolds has more celebrities per acre than anywhere outside London. Is that true?

Many might argue the star count in the 20-mile stretch of the South West Wales coastline between Swansea and Porthcawl rivals anything on offer in the rolling hills of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.

If you're looking for sea air, a friendly community and affordable house prices, then it is this region that is increasingly living up to a star billing.

Swansea is home town of Gavin & Stacey stars Melanie Walters and Joanna Page.

The postcode SA3, covering Mumbles and West Cross, is where singer Bonnie Tyler has a seafront villa.

Go into Gower itself and at Southgate Social Club, in Pennard, you will see pictures of Catherine Zeta Jones and husband Michael Douglas pulling pints during their last visit.

Further along the M4 is Port Talbot, where Frost/Nixon star and man of the moment Michael Sheen lived as a boy. His parents are still there.

Actor comic Rob Brydon was brought up in Baglan and the Hollywood stars Anthony Hopkins and Richard Burton are both from nearby.

Anyone looking for a smart home in the town should inspect Water Street in Margam, a development of new houses close to a reservoir and a golf course.

More athletic types will prefer to look further up the Afan Valley from junction 40 on the M4 to the Afan Argoed area.

The country park is now a mecca for off-road cyclists who race around the forest trail. And a growing number of enthusiasts are buying holiday cottages for as little as £80,000.

From there, we move onto Neath, home town of singer Katherine Jenkins. She always speaks fondly of walking in Gnoll Country Park and visiting the Cross Keys pub.

Further east again is Porthcawl, where Gavin & Stacey star Ruth Jones was brought up and Rob Brydon and Eddie Izzard went to school.

So what draws people to the area?

"It's the region's diversity," says Phil Hillier, who moved to Swansea from the Midlands two years ago.

"Road links are pretty good and the atmosphere here really is something to celebrate: the difference between here and where we used to live is like light and day!"

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  • waldo99  |  April 16 2012, 3:25PM

    brilliant - except only Melanie Walters actually lives in Mumbles or indeed Wales Bonnie-Portugal Page -London CZJ-LA or maybe Bermuda not southgate. Thereis a picture of Michael douglas pyulling a pint in the Hancock so he may be thjere playing pool with Johnathan Davies Burton -dead i think Hopkins-LA etc etc