Pathway through the bluebells, Clyne Woods Swansea

Bluebell Walk, Swansea Bay

The Gower in spring is beautiful indeed. If you visit Caswell Bay and walk up through the woodland behind the main car park you will soon enjoy the smell of garlic pushing its way between the delicate anemones. On the coast, the vibrant yellow of gorse enhances the delightful view across Three Cliffs Bay. For bluebell lovers there is this walk through Clyne woods, offering thick carpets of bluebells set beneath the awakening beech trees which provide a lovely, dappled shade on a sunny afternoon.

Bluebells in close up

Our bluebell walk starts at a small car park at the top of Mill Lane, which means you can easily combine it with a visit to Clyne Gardens if you wish. Travel from Swansea towards the Mumbles on the coast road and take the entrance to Mill Lane at Blackpill (opposite the lido and just before the entrance for the Woodman Pub). Parking for the walk is towards the top of Mill Lane, on the right hand side, opposite the entrance to Clyne Castle, which used to be a student hall of residence, and has now been converted to luxury flats.

From the car park, take the unmade, gated road on the left which climbs gently through the woods. You will quickly come across an overgrown folly on the left of the track, which you can explore if you wish. After about half a mile, you need to take a clear left hand fork onto a smaller track (you will see bluebells to your left up the hill). Follow this track round to the left as it climbs and you will find yourself walking in a loop and back along the top of the hill. The best bluebells are along this ridge walk and when combined with the new foliage on the beech trees they always take my breath away. Take time to enjoy, and maybe take a few photos!

Pathway through the bluebells, Clyne Woods Swansea

Bluebell Walk, Clyne Woods

Towards the end of the ridge there is a steep drop on the left of the path (just be aware with small children, ours always negotiated it without any trouble). The path to the left here is now an off road cycle track so you need to continue towards and through the bracken, where the path joins a larger footpath at right angles to it. Follow this path downhill and it will take you back to the car park entrance.

The bluebell walk described takes about half an hour and the other tracks from the parking area are also well worth exploring. They offer good views across Swansea Bay and access to Swansea Cycle Path which passes through Clyne Valley Country Park. As mentioned there are also a number of off road cycle tracks around woods if you wish to bring your bike.

To extend your stay further and view some spring flowers in a more formal setting you can cross Mill Lane from the car park, and head to the iron gate about 50 yards down the road. This will take you into Clyne Gardens, a must for garden lovers in the spring, with plenty of bluebells in the wilder areas here as well. Walk down the main path through the gardens and you will be able to visit the Woodman Pub for a meal or a drink. You have reached the seafront here and can even head on round to the Mumbles or back to Swansea Marina if you would like a longer excursion.

When we lived in Swansea we looked forward to our bluebell walk each year, and whenever possible we still complete it even though we live away. If you are in the area at the right time, why not try it and let us know what you think. Alternatively, tell us where you get your bluebell fix each year!

Accommodation suggestion: Do you need somewhere to stay whilst you enjoy the Gower and Swansea Bay? Our self-catering property sleeps up to 8 people in comfort and is dog friendly. Check us out at www.gower-self-catering.co.uk and maybe we will see you soon.

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Swansea marina from the air

Swansea Marina – move over Monte Carlo!

Swansea Bay is gaining a reputation as a great place for a short break or family getaway at any time of year and the photograph below shows clearly how the description of a city by the sea is fully appropriate. Swansea Marina basin complements the promenade, housing a number of high profile buildings such as the LC2 leisure centre, the National Waterfront Museum, and most recently the Grape and Olive restaurant at the top of the highest tower in Wales boasting views both across Swansea Bay and further across the Gower itself.

Swansea marina from the air

Swansea Marina from the air © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales

Swansea Past and Present


Swansea is proud of its heritage as the copper mining capital of the world, but is not afraid to move forward and make the most of its prime waterfront location when welcoming the increasing number of visitors who arrive ready to enjoy both the city itself and the nearby beautiful Gower coastline.

Both business and leisure are skilfully catered for and the integration of walking and cycle routes along the front and up into town make for a leisurely visit.

Statue of Captain Cat from Under Milk Wood at Swansea Marina

Captain Cat statue at Swansea Marina © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales

Dylan Thomas is famous for naming Swansea an “ugly, lovely town” and anyone who has lived here for a while understands the fondness in these words. Not known for standing on ceremony, he would hopefully have enjoyed the reminders around the marina, such as the Captain Cat statue above and the Dylan Thomas Centre, which celebrate his association with the city. We don’t take ourselves too seriously here, so take the opportunity to relax and make your own decision about the loveliness around you.

National Waterfront Museum


 

National Waterfront Museum at Swansea Marina

National Waterfront Museum at Swansea Marina © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales

The National Waterfront Museum is a marvellous addition to the waterfront and is well worth a visit. There are regular activity days for children and the young at heart and this is a great place to get to grips with the interactive exhibits, which cover the human history of the area as well as the maritime and industrial heritage. Did I mention entry is free?

Lightship "Helwick". One of the floating exhibits at Swansea Museum.

Lightship “Helwick”. One of the floating exhibits at Swansea Museum. © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales

An interesting glimpse into the past is given by a visit to the Helwick lightship, now moored in Swansea marina basin and part of the National Waterfront Museum exhibits. Our children used to love clambering around the iron staircases, and there is a different view of the Swansea Marina from the upper deck.

LC2 Leisure Centre


 

LC2 Swansea Leisure Centre

LC2 Swansea Leisure Centre © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales

When you have soaked up enough history you will be ready to hit the leisure centre, the second building in this position, hence the name. Here you will find Wales’ biggest indoor water park, with slides numerous pools and a wave machine. Uniquely you can try your luck at surfing on the wave rider, and there is a climbing wall (separately!) if you still need to let off steam.

Add to this the numerous art galleries and restaurants nestling about the place, two more excellent museums and the choice of a beach or promenade stroll to finish off your visit and I hope you will agree that Swansea Marina deserves a place on your holiday bucket list.

If you are looking for a place to stay during your visit, then of course we hope you will consider Gower Edge for your self-catering needs – we look forward to welcoming you soon!

Additional Links


 

Further information about Swansea Marina

National Waterfront Museum

LC2 Leisure Centre

Gower Edge Holiday Accommodation

 

Bridge to the SA1 development at Swansea marina.

The bridge to the SA1 development at Swansea marina. © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales

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Rush, our dog, advertising Gower Edge Holidays on the beach

Welcome to Gower Edge

Well this is it, our new responsive website for our self catering holiday let. It has been on the drawing board for a while now, but came into existence over the last few days. I hope you will find it a user friendly experience and I would love any feedback you can give about what else you would like to see. I’m aiming to expand the “Out and About” section over the next few weeks so pop back and see how we are doing or keep in touch with developments via our social media buttons at the top of the page.

We run a pet friendly self catering property on the edge of the Gower Peninsula with easy access to Swansea Bay and Mumbles and if you are looking for a base for a short stay or a longer holiday we would love you to give us a look over and see if we might suit your needs. Gower Edge can sleep up to eight guests in four double bedrooms and we have three reception rooms downstairs so there is plenty of room to spread out.
Sylvia Mawby - Owner of gower edge self catering holiday cottage

See you there folks!

 

If you are not familiar with the area, the Gower Peninsula was the first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the UK and those who are lucky enough to have visited already will understand why. There are miles of beautiful sandy beaches along the lower edge of the Gower with amazing views across to Devon and down to Pembrey and beyond. There is moorland and marshland, wooded areas and vibrant communities all within a small footprint jutting out into the Bristol Channel. Swansea is the gateway to the Gower, a bustling, happy city with a wealth of heritage and an increasingly well known football team! If a staycation is on the cards for you this year then make sure you consider this area for a visit.

The word is out – we’ll see you there!

PLEASE WHISK ME TO THE GOWER EDGE WEBSITE

 

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