SWANSEA - GETTING AROUND
Swansea might be one of the best places to explore on foot in all of Wales, not just because there are a lot of exciting things to do there, but also because it is home to so many miles of urban and rural trails. It is possible to walk from Swansea to The Mumbles, all while staying close to Swansea Bay. It is also possible to walk trails on the nearby Gower Peninsula, all the way to Rhossili (about 40 minutes by car, and six hours` walking time, from Swansea). For recommendations on walking routes and hiking trails, visit Visit Swansea Bay`s website at www.visitswanseabay.com/walking-in-swansea-bay/walking-routes-in-swansea-mumbles-and-gower.
The bus system for Swansea and the rest of south and west Wales is First Cymru (www.firstgroup.com/south-west-wales). A very comprehensive transit system, First Cymru offers 57 bus lines that traverse Swansea Bay alone, and 17 of those lines run on Sundays. Routes 4A and 8 run 24 hours, the only two routes in the city to do so. Here are some bus lines that might be of interest to visitors:
-Routes 2, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3, and 3A: From Swansea bus station down Oxford Street to The Mumbles, returning in Swansea via St. Helens Road. Stops include Brynmill and Sketty Lane, near Swansea Beach; Blackpill, near Clyne Gardens; Oystermouth, close to the wharf and the seafront; Newton Road, near Oystermouth Castle; and Limeslade and Mumbles Hill, near Mumbles Beach and Mumbles Pier.
-Routes 4 and 4A: Morriston Hospital to Singleton Hospital, with stops at Swansea train station, the Civic Centre, High Street, St. Mary`s, Swansea bus station, St. Helens, and Brynmill.
-Routes 6, 7, and 44: From the bus station in the city center to Swansea Marina and the maritime quarter.
A daylong pass to ride the First Cymru buses in Swansea Bay (including Oystermouth and The Mumbles) costs about £5 and can be bought from the driver. Ask for the FirstDay Swansea Bay Bus Pass.
There are five 24-hour taxi ranks in the city center, located at St. Mary`s Square, Kingsway, off Wellington Street at Quadrant Bus Station, at Swansea train station, and on Wellington Street. A well-recommended Hackney carriage black cab company is DataCabs (www.datacabs.com).
Taxis are easy to both hail from the street and book in advance. You will see white (or sometimes yellow, like in the U.S.) cars that look like taxis, and they are, but they cannot be hailed from the street and must be called in advance. Note the phone numbers on the white cars if you are interested in booking one for yourself. The typical taxis that you will find at ranks and the ones you can hail on the street are of the `Hackney carriage` type, so they look identical to the black cabs from London. Fares for taxis are among the cheapest in Wales, and will be approximately £6-8 for a two-mile journey, not factoring in tip or assistance with baggage. We recommend taking black cabs when possible.
You can get a lot of use out of a car if you are planning to explore the Gower Peninsula and suburbs such as The Mumbles and Port Talbot. If you choose for whatever reason to rent a car on your own while you are in Swansea, there are two companies to the north of the city center: Enterprise, on Carmarthen Road (+44 1792 480484), and Thrifty, on Neath Road (+44 1792 474400). An option closer to the city center is Europcar, located at 46-50 Lower Oxford Street (+44 371 384 5985).
Swansea is great to explore by bicycle, particularly the Maritime Quarter. One popular company in Swansea is The Bike Hub (78 St Helens Road, +44 1792 466944, www.thebikehub.co.uk), which rents bicycles from £10 per day. Operating hours 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, with restricted hours due to COVID-19, which are currently 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday.