Visit Mumbles: Places to stay, things to do

Victoria Jones explores the Gateway to the Gower


Image: © Copyright Nick Earl and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Why go there

Known as the gateway to Gower, Mumbles is set on the southern tip of Swansea, south Wales and is a great base for exploring Gower beaches. Home to Catherine Zeta Jones, the fishing village is the perfect combination of new and old with wine bars, independent shops and cafes, as well as a norman stone castle, pier and ice cream parlours.

Oystermouth Castle sits on the hillside, with beautiful views over the sweeping bay. Take a picnic and bottle of wine to the Outdoor Theatre this summer from the16-17 June 2010.

Mumbles Pier was once the purpose built terminus for the ceased and long-missed Mumbles Train, but still stands today complete with cafes and amusements. Admire the late Victorian architecture or take the short stroll to the Mumbles Lifeboat Station. Walk along the seafront for some traditional fish and chips, or pay a visit to Joe’s Ice Cream Parlour.

Take a look at the Swansea Council events page for days out like The Admiral 2010 Mumbles Mostly Blues & Jazz Festival, from 30 April – 3 May.
Experience the coastline and see if you can spot some dolphins and porpoise’s on a three hour round trip from Mumbles or try wakeboarding, water skiing or kayaking for something more demanding. Langland Bay is a short walk from the village and is fringed with traditional beach huts and surfers.

Where to stay
A stone’s throw from the sea front, Patricks is a family-run restaurant and hotel with 16 en-suite rooms. If you don’t mind staying in Swansea city centre, make like a celebrity and stay at the grade II* listed Morgan’s Hotel, where the likes of Kylie Minogue and Michael Douglas have stayed. The beautiful building was opened in 1902 and used for maritime administration, and was the outcome of an arcitectual competition which was won by Edwin Seward.
Where to eat
The Mermaid is near to the centre of the village and it boasts good atmosphere. The food is very good too.
Tell us a local secret

The Mumbles area is named after the two islands, which stand sentinel at the end of the promontory. It’s believed they were so called perhaps by the Romans, because of their visual similarity to breasts – mamma in Latin.