Swansea, Mumbles, Gower AONB and Rhossili beach, Wales

Swansea, Mumbles, Gower AONB, Rhossili were some of the nice spots I visited on a day out during my stay in UK's Newport, Wales.

I had originally planned a day trip to Birmingham from Newport, but return ticket fares on weekday were as high as 86 Pounds- I found it to be bit expensive so scouted for an alternate option-friend suggested Swansea. Rhossili beach was also considered but google maps was NOT showing any public transport option to this beach, so I set out that day mainly with intention of visiting Swansea and nearby areas.

A return ticket on GWR (Great Western Railway) cost me about 17.8 GBP, from Newport to Swansea High street and back.

While I was waiting for my train to Swansea, spotted this single compartment train at Newport Train station. Initially thought this is for some maintenance, but indeed this was a fully functional train with driver section in front and back with passenger seating in the middle. I was told this train goes to some remote areas which doesn't have too many population.
Took the 8.40 train to Swansea which took about an hour and a half to reach Swansea. Now I had to figure out what all to do and where to go from here. Walked around the city centre- city was still waking up- most shops were not yet open. There was a Plantasia, which appeared similar to indoor garden I had seen in Dubai and Singapore, but much smaller. Plantasia had a 7 Pound ticket and would open at 10 AM. I decided to walked along the waterfront across the street.


Walked to Swansea Castle, but that was a disappointment- only remains could be seen. A church was nearby. Next visited Swansea Waterfront Museum- this had free entry and had lots of exhibits showcasing historical events, important people, major industries and inventions that happened in and around Swansea. Was a good visit. Learnt that Royal Mint in Wales mints coins for 60 countries around the world. Saw many interesting cars, machinery units and other stuff.
Next destination was Mumbles beach. This was some 5 miles away. I was contemplating if I should walk all the way or take a bus. Considering time, I felt I should try bus. Got into a bus, bought day pass (Adult, Day to Go) pass for about 4.7 GBP. This would give me unlimited travel in Swansea area for that day.

Reached Mumbles area, bus stopped very close to Oystermouth Castle, went close, took a few photos.


Oystermouth Castle had a 4 Pound entry fee. Walked around the castle for a while.
Walked towards Mumbles Pier. Visited life boat centre, walked a trail, took a bus back to city. Walking trail offered great views. There was a light house in an island- didn't have proper access though I think one could walk over in a foot long sea water.

Got some heavy rains which lasted 5-10 minutes. Managed with the Poncho I had but once opened from their original packaging, impossible to fit them back. Got a bit wet as I was in an open area without any shelter nearby but eventually rain stopped


Above: RNLI Lifeboat at Mumbles
Was scanning where else I can visit using the day pass. Felt like I can visit Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Map showed that there's a bus I can take to go there. But then, challenge with visiting AONBs is that there's no particular spot where you can get off- it will be a huge area too difficult to cover on foot. Then I realized that the bus going to Gower AONB is in fact headed to Rhossili, a destination I was planning to visit. Since the day pass is valid, went all the way till Rhossili. Bus went through the scenic Gower AONB, so there was no need to get off the bus. I could enjoy the scenery from the bus itself while being taken to Rhossili. Bus reached Rhossili by about 4 PM. Next bus was at 4.50 PM and after that, 6.50 PM. Felt 6.50 PM bus will be too late, so decided to see whatever I can in 50 mins and take the next bus back.



Walked a bit to get this amazing view of Rhossili beach. There was a long trail to go down to the beach, but I feared I may not be able to get back in time if I wander too far. Anyway best view is from top, not from beach level. The ripples of waves was very eye catching.

Next walked further on a trail, got more views of the Rhossili beach. There was a small church, few cafes, a hotel that offers ocean view rooms. A caravan park and few other points of interest were a few miles away. Walked around as much as I could and came back to bus stop in time. A tour bus which had pulled in just ahead of my public transport bus, left before I got my return bus. Essentially, the tour operators gave their tourists just about 45 mins to explore Rhossili beach area. I think I got a better deal- 4.5 GBP day pass taking me all the way to Rhossili and back, in addition to ride to Mumbles Pier and back. May be if I had spotted bus to Rhossili earlier, I would have gone there first, spend more time there and then return to Swansey to visit Mumbles and other places.

Day's expenses were just about 23 Pounds. 17.8 GBP for train ticket, 4.7 GBP for all day bus pass, 0.3 GBP for a toilet access. Lunch was packed from home. Day was largely cloudy, with few moments of rain and sunshine in between.

On the way back driver took a small diversion to drop off a group of people near caravan park. They had walked all the way to Rhossili beach from there.

Came back to Swansea city centre by 6 PM, walked around a bit, took 6.28 London Paddington train which was quicker due to fewer stops and reached home in time for dinner- that was one of my day during London trip. Standby for more. 

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