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