Swansea

Swansea

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Encyclopedia
Swansea is a coastal city
City status in the United Kingdom
City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The holding of city status gives a settlement no special rights other than that of calling itself a "city". Nonetheless, this appellation carries its own prestige and, consequently, competitions...

 and county
Subdivisions of Wales
For local government purposes, Wales is divided into 22 single-tier principal areas, which are responsible for the provision of all local government services, including education, social work, environment and roads services...

 in Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

. Swansea is in the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Glamorgan or Glamorganshire is one of the thirteen historic counties and a former administrative county of Wales. It was originally an early medieval kingdom of varying boundaries known as Glywysing until taken over by the Normans as a lordship. Glamorgan is latterly represented by the three...

. Situated on the sandy South West Wales
South West Wales
South West Wales is a region of Wales. A definition consisting of the unitary authorities of Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire is used by a number of government agencies and private organisations including:*BBC...

 coast, the county area includes the Gower Peninsula
Gower Peninsula
Gower or the Gower Peninsula is a peninsula in south Wales, jutting from the coast into the Bristol Channel, and administratively part of the City and County of Swansea. Locally it is known as "Gower"...

 and the Lliw uplands. Swansea had a population of 169,880 in 2001 and is the second most populous city in Wales after Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

 and the third most populous county in Wales after Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taf. During its 19th century industrial heyday, Swansea was one of the key centres of the world copper industry, earning the nickname 'Copperopolis'.

History


Archaeological finds
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 are mostly confined to the Gower Peninsula
Gower Peninsula
Gower or the Gower Peninsula is a peninsula in south Wales, jutting from the coast into the Bristol Channel, and administratively part of the City and County of Swansea. Locally it is known as "Gower"...

, and include items from the Stone Age
Stone Age
The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period, lasting about 2.5 million years , during which humans and their predecessor species in the genus Homo, as well as the earlier partly contemporary genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus, widely used exclusively stone as their hard material in the...

, Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

, and Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

. The Romans visited the area, as did the Vikings.

Swansea is thought to have originally developed as a Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 trading post. Some think that its name is derived from Sveinn's island (Old Norse: Sveinsey) – the reference to an island may refer to a bank at the mouth of the river Tawe, or perhaps an area of raised ground in marshes. An alternative explanation is that the name derives from the Norse name 'Sweyn' and 'ey', which can mean inlet. The name is pronounced Swans-y /ˈswɒnzi/), not Swan-sea. The Welsh name
Welsh placenames
The placenames of Wales derive in most cases from the Welsh language, but have also been influenced by linguistic contact with the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Anglo-Normans and modern English...

 first appears in Welsh poems at the beginning of the 13th century, as "Aber Tawy".

The earliest known form of the modern name is Sweynesse, which was used in the first charter
Charter
A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified...

 granted sometime between 1158–1184 by William de Newburgh, 3rd Earl of Warwick
Earl of Warwick
Earl of Warwick is a title that has been created four times in British history and is one of the most prestigious titles in the peerages of the British Isles.-1088 creation:...

. The charter gave Swansea the status of a borough
Borough
A borough is an administrative division in various countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing township although, in practice, official use of the term varies widely....

, granting the townsmen, called burgesses certain rights to develop the area. A second charter was granted in 1215 by King John
John of England
John , also known as John Lackland , was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death...

. In this charter, the name appears as Sweyneshe. The town seal which is believed to date from this period names the town as Sweyse.


Following the Norman Conquest, a marcher lordship
Welsh Marches
The Welsh Marches is a term which, in modern usage, denotes an imprecisely defined area along and around the border between England and Wales in the United Kingdom. The precise meaning of the term has varied at different periods...

 was created under the title of Gower
Gower (Lordship)
thumb|350px|right|Map of the Lordship, showing the area detached , the area added and the Town and Franchise of Swansea. The language boundary is shown as a dotted line....

. It included land around Swansea Bay
Swansea Bay
Swansea Bay is a bay on the Bristol Channel on the South Wales coast. Places on the bay include Mumbles, Swansea and Port Talbot. The River Neath, River Tawe, River Afan and Blackpill stream flow into the bay....

 as far as the River Tawe, the manor of Kilvey beyond the Tawe, and the peninsula itself. Swansea was designated chief town of the lordship and received a borough charter
Municipal charter
A city charter or town charter is a legal document establishing a municipality such as a city or town. The concept developed in Europe during the middle ages....

 some time between 1158 and 1184 (and a more elaborate one in 1304).

Industrial Revolution


The port of Swansea initially traded in wine, hides, wool, cloth and later in coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

. As the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 reached Wales, the combination of port, local coal, and trading links with the West Country
West Country
The West Country is an informal term for the area of south western England roughly corresponding to the modern South West England government region. It is often defined to encompass the historic counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset and the City of Bristol, while the counties of...

, Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

 and Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

, meant that Swansea was the logical place to site copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 smelting
Smelting
Smelting is a form of extractive metallurgy; its main use is to produce a metal from its ore. This includes iron extraction from iron ore, and copper extraction and other base metals from their ores...

 works. Smelters were operating by 1720 and proliferated. Following this, more coal mines
Coal mining
The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States,...

 (everywhere from north-east Gower to Clyne
Clyne Valley Country Park
The Clyne Valley Country Park is an area of parkland in Britain, at Swansea in south Wales. It lies on either side of the valley of the Clyne River and comprises an area of over 700 acres of land running from the sea at Blackpill, Swansea, inland to Gowerton...

 and Llangyfelach
Llangyfelach
The village of Llangyfelach is located in the City and County of Swansea, Wales, UK. Llangyfelach is situated about 4 miles north of the centre of Swansea, just west of Morriston. It falls within the Llangyfelach ward. To the west is open moorland....

) were opened and smelters (mostly along the Tawe valley) were opened and flourished. Over the next century and a half, works were established to process arsenic
Arsenic
Arsenic is a chemical element with the symbol As, atomic number 33 and relative atomic mass 74.92. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in conjunction with sulfur and metals, and also as a pure elemental crystal. It was first documented by Albertus Magnus in 1250.Arsenic is a metalloid...

, zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

 and tin
Tin
Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table. Tin shows chemical similarity to both neighboring group 14 elements, germanium and lead and has two possible oxidation states, +2 and the slightly more stable +4...

 and to create tinplate and pottery
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

. The city expanded rapidly in the 18th and 19th centuries, and was termed "Copperopolis".

From the late 17th century to 1801, Swansea's population grew by 500% — the first official census (in 1841) indicated that, with 6,099 inhabitants, Swansea had become significantly larger than Glamorgan's
Glamorgan
Glamorgan or Glamorganshire is one of the thirteen historic counties and a former administrative county of Wales. It was originally an early medieval kingdom of varying boundaries known as Glywysing until taken over by the Normans as a lordship. Glamorgan is latterly represented by the three...

 county town, Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

, and was the second most populous town in Wales behind Merthyr Tydfil
Merthyr Tydfil
Merthyr Tydfil is a town in Wales, with a population of about 30,000. Although once the largest town in Wales, it is now ranked as the 15th largest urban area in Wales. It also gives its name to a county borough, which has a population of around 55,000. It is located in the historic county of...

 (which had a population of 7,705). However, the census understated Swansea's true size, as much of the built-up area lay outside the contemporary boundaries of the borough
Borough
A borough is an administrative division in various countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing township although, in practice, official use of the term varies widely....

; the total population was actually 10,117. Swansea's population was later overtaken by Merthyr in 1821 and by Cardiff in 1881, although in the latter year Swansea once again surpassed Merthyr. Much of Swansea's growth was due to migration from within and beyond Wales — in 1881, more than a third of the borough's population had been born outside Swansea and Glamorgan, and just under a quarter outside Wales.

20th century



Through the 20th century, heavy industries in the town declined, leaving the Lower Swansea Valley
Lower Swansea valley
The Lower Swansea valley is the lower half of the valley of the River Tawe in south Wales. It runs from approximately the level of Clydach down to Swansea docks, where it opens into Swansea Bay and the Bristol Channel...

 filled with derelict works and mounds of waste products from them. The Lower Swansea Valley Scheme (which still continues) reclaimed much of the land. The present Enterprise Zone
Swansea Enterprise Park
The Swansea Enterprise Park is a combined business park, retail park and industrial estate in Swansea, Wales. In 1981 it became the first enterprise zone in the United Kingdom, and the largest. Originally it was named the Swansea Enterprise Zone. The designated area covers parts of the...

 was the result and, of the many original docks, only those outside the city continue to work as docks; North Dock is now Parc Tawe
Parc Tawe
Parc Tawe is a retail park and leisure area in Swansea, Wales. It is located in the eastern area of the city centre on the west bank of the River Tawe in the Lower Swansea valley....

 and South Dock became the Marina
Maritime Quarter
The Maritime Quarter, or Swansea Marina, is a residential area of Swansea, Wales, UK located immediately south of the city centre shopping core. It falls within Swansea's Castle ward...

.

Little city-centre evidence, beyond parts of the road layout, remains from medieval Swansea; its industrial importance made it the target of bombing, known as the Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

 in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and the centre was flattened completely. The city has three Grade One listed buildings, these being the Guildhall, Swansea Castle
Swansea Castle
Swansea Castle was founded by Henry de Beaumont in 1106 as the caput of the lordship of Gower, in Swansea, Wales.-History:The original castle seems to have been a sub-rectangular/oval enclosure overlooking the River Tawe on the east, surrounded on the north, west and south sides by a larger...

 and the Morriston Tabernacle.

Whilst the city itself has a long history, many of the city centre buildings are post-war as much of the original centre was destroyed by World War II bombing
Swansea Blitz
The Swansea Blitz was the heavy and sustained bombing of Swansea by the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany on 19–21 February 1941.Swansea was selected as a legitimate target due to its importance as a port and docks and the oil refinery just beyond and its destruction was key to Nazi German war efforts as...

 on the 19th, 20th and 21 February 1941 (the 'Three Nights Blitz'). Within the city centre are the ruins of the castle
Swansea Castle
Swansea Castle was founded by Henry de Beaumont in 1106 as the caput of the lordship of Gower, in Swansea, Wales.-History:The original castle seems to have been a sub-rectangular/oval enclosure overlooking the River Tawe on the east, surrounded on the north, west and south sides by a larger...

, the Marina, the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery
The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery is the public art gallery of the city of Swansea, Wales. The gallery is situated in Alexandra Road, near Swansea railway station, opposite the old Swansea Central Library and near Swansea Central police station...

, Swansea Museum
Swansea Museum
The Swansea Museum in Swansea, Wales, UK is the oldest museum in Wales. The building was built for the Royal Institution of South Wales in 1841 in the neo-classical style.-Main museum:...

, the Dylan Thomas Centre
Dylan Thomas Centre
The Dylan Thomas Centre is an arts centre located in the Maritime Quarter in Swansea, Wales, UK.Formerly the city's Guildhall, which was originally built in 1825, the Dylan Thomas Centre was restored and refurbished to host the UK Year of Literature and Writing in 1995.It was opened in 1995 by...

, the Environment Centre
Environment Centre (Swansea)
The Environment Centre in Swansea, Wales, is an independent charity organisation for environmental information, education and activity. Environment Centre may also refer to the building the charity is located in....

, and the Market
Swansea Market
Swansea Market situated in the heart of Swansea city centre is the largest indoor market in Wales. The market is covered by a steel arched portal frame roof clad in steel and glass. The current market was built in 1959-1960 by Percy Edwards. It is the fourth market to be built at the site in...

, which is the largest covered market in Wales. It backs onto the Quadrant Shopping Centre
Quadrant Shopping Centre
The Quadrant Shopping Centre is the principal under-cover shopping centre in Swansea, Wales. The centre opened in 1979. Since the 1980s it has been home to the Swansea Devil, a controversial carved wooden statue of the Devil....

 which opened in 1978 and the adjoining St David's Centre opened in 1982. Other notable modern buildings are the BT Tower (formerly the GPO tower) built around 1970, Alexandra House opened in 1976, County Hall opened in July 1982. Swansea Leisure Centre
Swansea Leisure Centre
The LC is a leisure centre located in the city centre of Swansea, Wales, UK. Originally Swansea Leisure Centre, the rebranded facility re-opened to the public on 1 March 2008 after a £32 million makeover...

 opened in 1977; it has undergone extensive refurbishment which retained elements of the original structure and re-opened in March 2008. Behind it stands the National Waterfront Museum
National Waterfront Museum
The National Waterfront Museum, Swansea or NWMS is a museum situated in Swansea, Wales, forming part of the National Museum Wales. It is an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage....

, opened in October 2005.

Swansea was granted city status
City status in the United Kingdom
City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The holding of city status gives a settlement no special rights other than that of calling itself a "city". Nonetheless, this appellation carries its own prestige and, consequently, competitions...

 in 1969, to mark Prince Charles
Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

's investiture as the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

. The announcement was made by the prince on 3 July 1969, during a tour of Wales. It obtained the further right to have a lord mayor
Lord Mayor
The Lord Mayor is the title of the Mayor of a major city, with special recognition.-Commonwealth of Nations:* In Australia it is a political position. Australian cities with Lord Mayors: Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Parramatta, Perth, Sydney, and Wollongong...

 in 1982.

Local government



In 1887, Swansea was a township at the mouth of the river Tawe, covering 4562 acres (1,846.2 ha) in the county of Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Glamorgan or Glamorganshire is one of the thirteen historic counties and a former administrative county of Wales. It was originally an early medieval kingdom of varying boundaries known as Glywysing until taken over by the Normans as a lordship. Glamorgan is latterly represented by the three...

. There were three major extensions to the boundaries of the borough, first in 1835, when Morriston
Morriston
Morriston is a community in the City and County of Swansea, Wales and falls within the Morriston ward. Morriston is sometimes referred to as a distinct town , however Morriston never had a town charter, and is now part of the continuous urban area around Swansea, the centre of which lies three...

, St Thomas, Landore
Landore
Landore is the name of an electoral ward, a community in the City and County of Swansea, Wales, UK. The community does not have a community council....

, St John-juxta-Swansea, and part of Llansamlet
Llansamlet
Llansamlet is the name of an electoral ward and a coterminous community City and County of Swansea, Wales, UK. Llansamlet does not have a community council....

 parish were added, and again in 1889 when areas around Cwmbwrla
Cwmbwrla
Cwmbwrla is a residential area of Swansea in Wales, falling within the Cwmbwrla ward of the city. Located on rising ground about 1 mile north of the city centre, it takes its name from the valley of the Burlais Brook which flows down from here to join the River Tawe immediately northeast of...

 and Trewyddfa were included, and in 1918 when the borough was enlarged to include the whole of the ancient parish of Swansea, the southern part of Llangyfelach parish, all of Llansamlet parish, Oystermouth Urban District
Oystermouth
Oystermouth is an electoral ward and a village in the Mumbles community and also the City and County of Swansea, Wales...

 and Brynau parish.

In 1889, Swansea attained county borough
County borough
County borough is a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland , to refer to a borough or a city independent of county council control. They were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales, but continue in use for lieutenancy and shrievalty in...

 status, and it was granted city status
City status in the United Kingdom
City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The holding of city status gives a settlement no special rights other than that of calling itself a "city". Nonetheless, this appellation carries its own prestige and, consequently, competitions...

 in 1969, which was inherited by the Swansea district
Swansea (district)
The Swansea district was one of the four local government districts of West Glamorgan, Wales from 1974 to 1996. It was formed from the areas of the county borough of Swansea and Gower Rural District, from the administrative county of Glamorgan....

 when it was formed by the merger of the borough and Gower Rural District
Gower Peninsula
Gower or the Gower Peninsula is a peninsula in south Wales, jutting from the coast into the Bristol Channel, and administratively part of the City and County of Swansea. Locally it is known as "Gower"...

 in 1974. In 1996, Swansea became one of 22 unitary authorities
Subdivisions of Wales
For local government purposes, Wales is divided into 22 single-tier principal areas, which are responsible for the provision of all local government services, including education, social work, environment and roads services...

 with the addition of part of the former Lliw Valley Borough
Lliw Valley
The Borough of Lliw Valley was one of the four local government districts of West Glamorgan, Wales from 1974 to 1996...

. The new authority received the name 'City and County of Swansea' .

Swansea was once a staunch stronghold of the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 which, until 2004, had overall control of the council for 24 years. The Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

 are the largest group in the administration that took control of Swansea Council in the 2004 local elections. For 2009/2010, the Lord Mayor
Lord Mayor
The Lord Mayor is the title of the Mayor of a major city, with special recognition.-Commonwealth of Nations:* In Australia it is a political position. Australian cities with Lord Mayors: Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Parramatta, Perth, Sydney, and Wollongong...

 of Swansea was Councillor Alan Lloyd, and in 2010/2011 Richard Lewis was the Lord Mayor. The Lord Mayor changes in May each year.
Position Current Representatives
Members of Parliament
Geraint Davies, Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

, elected 2010Martin Caton
Martin Caton
Martin Philip Caton is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Gower since 1997.Caton was born in Bishop's Stortford and educated at the Newport Free Grammar School near Saffron Walden, the Norfolk School of Agriculture, and the Aberystwyth College of Further...

, Labour, elected 1997
United Kingdom general election, 1997
The United Kingdom general election, 1997 was held on 1 May 1997, more than five years after the previous election on 9 April 1992, to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party ended its 18 years in opposition under the leadership of Tony Blair, and won the general...

Sian James
Sian James (politician)
Siân Catherine James is a Welsh Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Swansea East since 2005.-Early life:She spent most of her childhood in the Swansea Valley, where her parents ran a public house...

, Labour, elected 2005
United Kingdom general election, 2005
The United Kingdom general election of 2005 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2005 to elect 646 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party under Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, but with a majority of 66, reduced from 160....

National Assembly of Wales Members
Julie James, Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

, elected 2011
National Assembly for Wales election, 2011
The National Assembly for Wales election 2011 was the most recent election for the National Assembly. The poll was held on Thursday, 5 May 2011 and decided the incumbency for all the assembly's seats...

Edwina Hart
Edwina Hart
Edwina Hart, MBE, AM is a Welsh Labour politician who has represented the constituency of Gower since the National Assembly for Wales was established in 1999. Hart was appointed Minister for Health and Social Services in the Welsh Government in May 2007.-Background:Hart was born and raised in...

, Labour, elected 1999Mike Hedges
Mike Hedges (Welsh Politician)
Michael John Hedges AM is a Welsh Labour politician, who has represented the constituency of Swansea East since the 2011 National Assembly for Wales election with a majority of 8,281 and with 58.36% of the total vote.-Personal History:...

, Labour, elected 2011
National Assembly for Wales election, 2011
The National Assembly for Wales election 2011 was the most recent election for the National Assembly. The poll was held on Thursday, 5 May 2011 and decided the incumbency for all the assembly's seats...

City & County Council Members
Viv Abbott, Liberal DemocratsVeronyca Bates Hughes, IndependentPeter Black, Liberal DemocratsNicholas Bradley, LabourJune Burtonshaw, LabourMark Child, LabourAudrey Clement, IndependentAnthony Colburn, ConservativeJohn Davies, LabourMike Day, Liberal DemocratsRyland Doyle, LabourJune Evans, IndependentWilliam Evans, LabourWendy Fitzgerald, IndependentRobert Francis-Davies, LabourMair Gibbs, LabourJohn Hague, IndependentMike Hedges
Mike Hedges (Welsh Politician)
Michael John Hedges AM is a Welsh Labour politician, who has represented the constituency of Swansea East since the 2011 National Assembly for Wales election with a majority of 8,281 and with 58.36% of the total vote.-Personal History:...

, LabourChris Holley, Liberal DemocratsNichola Holley, Liberal DemocratsPaxton Hood-Williams, ConservativeDavid Hopkins, LabourDai Howells, IndependentBarbara Hynes, LabourDennis James, LabourBilly Jones, LabourDavid I.E. Jones, LabourJeffrey Jones, Liberal DemocratsMary Jones, Liberal DemocratsMervyn Jones, IndependentSusan Jones, IndependentAlan Jopling, IndependentJim Kelleher, Liberal DemocratsRené Kinzett, ConservativeErika Kirchner, LabourRichard Lewis, Liberal DemocratsAlan Lloyd, LabourBob Lloyd, LabourKeith Marsh, IndependentPenny Matthews, LabourPeter May, Liberal DemocratsPaul Meara, Liberal DemocratsJohn Miles, LabourKeith Morgan, Liberal DemocratsHazel Morris, LabourJohn Newbury, Liberal DemocratsByron Owen, LabourDavid Phillips, LabourCheryl Philpott, Liberal DemocratsDarren Price, PlaidHuw T Rees, Liberal DemocratsStuart Rice, Liberal DemocratsIoan Richard, People's RepresentativeChristine Richards, LabourAlan Robinson, IndependentGyln Seabourne, LabourMargaret Smith, ConservativePaulette Smith, LabourRoger Ll. Smith, LabourRob Speht, Liberal DemocratsJune Stanton, Liberal DemocratsRob Stewart, LabourGareth Sullivan, IndependentCeinwen Thomas, LabourDes Thomas, LabourGraham Thomas, Liberal DemocratsJanet Thomas, Liberal DemocratsNick Tregoning, Liberal DemocratsPaul Tucker, IndependentSue Waller Thomas, Liberal DemocratsJayne Woodman, Liberal Democrats

Welsh politics


The National Assembly
National Assembly for Wales
The National Assembly for Wales is a devolved assembly with power to make legislation in Wales. The Assembly comprises 60 members, who are known as Assembly Members, or AMs...

 constituencies are:
  • Gower
    Gower (National Assembly for Wales constituency)
    Gower is a constituency of the National Assembly for Wales. It elects one Assembly Member by the first past the post method of election. Also, however, it is one of seven constituencies in the South Wales West electoral region, which elects four additional members, in addition to seven constituency...

    , current AM is Edwina Hart
    Edwina Hart
    Edwina Hart, MBE, AM is a Welsh Labour politician who has represented the constituency of Gower since the National Assembly for Wales was established in 1999. Hart was appointed Minister for Health and Social Services in the Welsh Government in May 2007.-Background:Hart was born and raised in...

    , Labour
    Labour Party (UK)
    The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

     since 1999
  • Swansea East
    Swansea East (National Assembly for Wales constituency)
    Swansea East is a constituency of the National Assembly for Wales. It elects one Assembly Member by the first past the post method of election...

    , current AM is Mike Hedges
    Mike Hedges (Welsh Politician)
    Michael John Hedges AM is a Welsh Labour politician, who has represented the constituency of Swansea East since the 2011 National Assembly for Wales election with a majority of 8,281 and with 58.36% of the total vote.-Personal History:...

    , Labour
    Labour Party (UK)
    The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

     since 2011
  • Swansea West
    Swansea West (National Assembly for Wales constituency)
    Swansea West is a constituency of the National Assembly for Wales. It elects one Assembly Member by the first past the post method of election...

    , current AM is Julie James
    Julie James
    Julie James AM is a Welsh Labour politician, who has represented the constituency of Swansea West since the National Assembly for Wales election of 2011.-Offices held:...

    , Labour
    Labour Party (UK)
    The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

     since 2011


The city is also part of the South Wales West regional constituency and is served by Peter Black AM
Peter Black (Welsh politician)
Peter Black is a Welsh Liberal Democrat politician, and Member of the Welsh Assembly for the South Wales West Region.-Background:...

, Alun Cairns AM
Alun Cairns
Alun Hugh Cairns is a Welsh Conservative Party politician. A member of the National Assembly for Wales for the in the South Wales West region since 1999, he was elected at the 2010 general election as the Member of Parliament for the Vale of Glamorgan.-Background:Brought up in Clydach near...

, Dai Lloyd AM
David Lloyd (Welsh politician)
Dr David Rees Lloyd is a Welsh politician. He has a wife Catherine, and they have 3 children. He was the Plaid Cymru National Assembly for Wales Member for South Wales West from 1999 to 2011....

 and Bethan Jenkins AM
Bethan Jenkins
Bethan Jenkins AM , is a Welsh politician, born in Aberdare, Wales, who has represented the South Wales West Region for Plaid Cymru as a Member of the National Assembly for Wales since 2007.-Background:...

.

UK politics


The UK parliamentary
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 constituencies in Swansea are:
  • Gower
    Gower (UK Parliament constituency)
    Gower is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament , using the first-past-the-post voting system....

    , current MP is Martin Caton
    Martin Caton
    Martin Philip Caton is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Gower since 1997.Caton was born in Bishop's Stortford and educated at the Newport Free Grammar School near Saffron Walden, the Norfolk School of Agriculture, and the Aberystwyth College of Further...

    , Labour
    Labour Party (UK)
    The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

     since 1997
  • Swansea East
    Swansea East (UK Parliament constituency)
    Swansea East is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.- Boundaries :The constituency comprises the electoral wards of Bonymaen, Cwmbwrla, Landore, Llansamlet, Morriston, Mynydd-Bach, Penderry, and St.Thomas...

    , current MP is Sian James
    Sian James (politician)
    Siân Catherine James is a Welsh Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Swansea East since 2005.-Early life:She spent most of her childhood in the Swansea Valley, where her parents ran a public house...

    , Labour
    Labour Party (UK)
    The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

     since 2005
  • Swansea West
    Swansea West (UK Parliament constituency)
    Swansea West is a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election....

    , current MP is Geraint Davies, Labour
    Labour Party (UK)
    The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

     since 2010

Twinning


Swansea is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with
Mannheim
Mannheim
Mannheim is a city in southwestern Germany. With about 315,000 inhabitants, Mannheim is the second-largest city in the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, following the capital city of Stuttgart....

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Sinop
Sinop, Turkey
Sinop is a city with a population of 36,734 on İnce Burun , by its Cape Sinop which is situated on the most northern edge of the Turkish side of Black Sea coast, in the ancient region of Paphlagonia, in modern-day northern Turkey, historically known as Sinope...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 Pau, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 Cork
Cork (city)
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,418, while the addition of the suburban...

, Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 Bydgoszcz, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...



Friendship link with:
Nantong
Nantong
Nantong is a prefecture-level city in Jiangsu province, People's Republic of China. Located on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, near the river mouth, Nantong is a vital river port bordering Yancheng to the north, Taizhou to the west, Suzhou and Shanghai to the south across the river, and...

, China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...


Geography




Boundaries


The "City and County of Swansea" local authority area is bordered by unitary authorities of Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire is a unitary authority in the south west of Wales and one of thirteen historic counties. It is the 3rd largest in Wales. Its three largest towns are Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford...

 to the north, and Neath Port Talbot
Neath Port Talbot
Neath Port Talbot is a county borough and one of the unitary authority areas of Wales. Neath Port Talbot is the 8th most populous county in Wales and the third most populous county borough....

 to the east. Swansea is bounded by Swansea Bay
Swansea Bay
Swansea Bay is a bay on the Bristol Channel on the South Wales coast. Places on the bay include Mumbles, Swansea and Port Talbot. The River Neath, River Tawe, River Afan and Blackpill stream flow into the bay....

 and the Bristol Channel
Bristol Channel
The Bristol Channel is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset in South West England. It extends from the lower estuary of the River Severn to the North Atlantic Ocean...

 to the south.

Physical description



The local government area is 378 square kilometres (146 sq mi)) in size, about 2% of the area of Wales. It includes a large amount of open countryside and a central urban and suburban belt.


Swansea can be roughly divided into four physical areas. To the north are the Lliw uplands which are mainly open moorland, reaching the foothills of the Black Mountain
Black Mountain (range)
The Black Mountain is a mountain range in Mid and West Wales, straddling the county boundary between Carmarthenshire and Powys and forming the westernmost range of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Its highest point is Fan Brycheiniog at 802 metres or 2,631 ft. The Black Mountain also forms a part...

. To the west is the Gower Peninsula
Gower Peninsula
Gower or the Gower Peninsula is a peninsula in south Wales, jutting from the coast into the Bristol Channel, and administratively part of the City and County of Swansea. Locally it is known as "Gower"...

 with its rural landscape dotted with small villages. To the east is the coastal strip around Swansea Bay
Swansea Bay
Swansea Bay is a bay on the Bristol Channel on the South Wales coast. Places on the bay include Mumbles, Swansea and Port Talbot. The River Neath, River Tawe, River Afan and Blackpill stream flow into the bay....

. Cutting though the middle from the south-east to the north-west is the urban and suburban zone stretching from the Swansea city centre
Swansea city centre
Swansea city centre in Swansea, Wales, contains the main shopping, leisure and nightlife district in Swansea. The city centre covers much of the Castle ward including the area around Oxford Street, Castle Square, and the Quadrant Shopping Centre; Alexandra Road, High Street, Wind Street and the...

 to the towns of Gorseinon
Gorseinon
Gorseinon is a town in southwest Wales, near the Loughor estuary. It was a small village until the late 19th century when it grew around the coal mining and tinplate industries. It is situated in the north west of Swansea, around north west of the city centre...

 and Pontarddulais
Pontarddulais
Pontarddulais is a community and town in the City and County of Swansea, Wales. It is situated north west of Swansea city centre. It falls within the Pontarddulais ward.-Overview:...

.

The most populated areas of Swansea are Morriston
Morriston
Morriston is a community in the City and County of Swansea, Wales and falls within the Morriston ward. Morriston is sometimes referred to as a distinct town , however Morriston never had a town charter, and is now part of the continuous urban area around Swansea, the centre of which lies three...

, Sketty
Sketty
Sketty is the name of an electoral ward, a community and a suburb in the City and County of Swansea, Wales, UK. The community is coterminous with the electoral ward....

 and the city centre
Swansea city centre
Swansea city centre in Swansea, Wales, contains the main shopping, leisure and nightlife district in Swansea. The city centre covers much of the Castle ward including the area around Oxford Street, Castle Square, and the Quadrant Shopping Centre; Alexandra Road, High Street, Wind Street and the...

. The chief urbanised area radiates from the city centre towards the north, south and west; along the coast of Swansea Bay to Mumbles
Mumbles
Mumbles or The Mumbles is an area and community in Swansea, Wales which takes its name from the adjacent headland stretching into Swansea Bay...

; up the Swansea Valley past Landore
Landore
Landore is the name of an electoral ward, a community in the City and County of Swansea, Wales, UK. The community does not have a community council....

 and Morriston to Clydach; over Townhill
Townhill, Swansea
Townhill is the name of a hill and residential district in Swansea, Wales, UK.-Townhill district:The suburb of Townhill falls within the Townhill ward. The district of Townhill consists of a council estate spread over a steep hill of the same name bordering Mayhill and visible from the Swansea...

 to Cwmbwrla
Cwmbwrla
Cwmbwrla is a residential area of Swansea in Wales, falling within the Cwmbwrla ward of the city. Located on rising ground about 1 mile north of the city centre, it takes its name from the valley of the Burlais Brook which flows down from here to join the River Tawe immediately northeast of...

, Penlan
Penlan
Penlan is a suburban area of Swansea, Wales falling within the Penderry ward. The area is set on top of a hill, which overlooks Townhill, Kilvey Hill and Swansea Bay.-Leisure:...

, Treboeth
Treboeth
Treboeth is a village in the Mynydd-Bach ward of Swansea, West Glamorgan, Wales.Gwyrosydd Primary School is located in Treboeth. The local secondary school is the Daniel James Community School...

 and Fforestfach
Fforestfach
Fforestfach is a suburban district of Swansea, Wales. It lies within the Cockett ward. The area is residential combined with light industry and out of town shopping due to its proximity to the M4 motorway and several dual carriageways. Famous names like Marks and Spencer and Walkers Crisps had...

; through Uplands
Uplands, Swansea
Uplands is a suburb of Swansea, Wales. It lies about a mile to the west of Swansea city centre, and falls within the Uplands electoral ward. It is centred around the A4118 road, which links Swansea city centre and Sketty. The main road begins as Walter Road from the east, and becomes Sketty Road...

, Sketty
Sketty
Sketty is the name of an electoral ward, a community and a suburb in the City and County of Swansea, Wales, UK. The community is coterminous with the electoral ward....

, Killay
Killay
Killay is the name of a suburb and local government community in Swansea, Wales. Killay has its own community council. The village is set high above sea level, about 3.5 miles west of Swansea city centre....

 to Dunvant
Dunvant
Dunvant is a suburban district in the City and County of Swansea, Wales, and falls within the Dunvant ward. It is situated in a valley some 4.5 miles west of Swansea city centre.-History:...

; and east of the river from St. Thomas
St. Thomas, Swansea
St Thomas is a suburban district and community in Swansea, Wales. It is a mainly residential area which lies east of Swansea city centre across the River Tawe and falls within the St Thomas ward. The southern boundary is formed by the Fabian Way...

 to Bonymaen, Llansamlet
Llansamlet
Llansamlet is the name of an electoral ward and a coterminous community City and County of Swansea, Wales, UK. Llansamlet does not have a community council....

 and Birchgrove
Birchgrove, Swansea
Birchgrove is a community and large village in the City and County of Swansea, Wales. It does not have a community council. The village is situated roughly from the centre of Swansea, between the flood plain of the River Tawe and Mynydd Drummau. Birchgrove also lies on the Neath Port Talbot...

. A second urbanised area is focused on a triangle defined by Gowerton
Gowerton
The village of Gowerton is situated about 4 miles north west of Swansea city centre, Wales. Gowerton is often known as the gateway to Gower. Gowerton's original name was Ffosfelin...

, Gorseinon
Gorseinon
Gorseinon is a town in southwest Wales, near the Loughor estuary. It was a small village until the late 19th century when it grew around the coal mining and tinplate industries. It is situated in the north west of Swansea, around north west of the city centre...

 and Loughor
Loughor
Loughor is a town in the City and County of Swansea, Wales, within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan, Wales. It lies on the estuary of the River Loughor. The town has a community council called Llwchwr....

 along with the satellite communities of Penllergaer
Penllergaer
Penllergaer is a village in the City and County of Swansea, Wales, UK, falling within the Penllergaer ward. Penllergaer is situated about 6 miles north west of Swansea city centre, near the M4 Motorway at Junction 47.-Features:...

 and Pontarddulais
Pontarddulais
Pontarddulais is a community and town in the City and County of Swansea, Wales. It is situated north west of Swansea city centre. It falls within the Pontarddulais ward.-Overview:...

.


About three quarters of Swansea is bordered by the sea—the Loughor Estuary
River Loughor
The River Loughor in Carmarthenshire, Wales has its source at an underground lake at the Black Mountain. It flows past settlements like Ammanford and Hendy in Carmarthenshire and Pontarddulais in Swansea. The river divides Carmarthenshire from Swansea for much of its course and it separates Hendy...

, Swansea Bay and the Bristol Channel
Bristol Channel
The Bristol Channel is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset in South West England. It extends from the lower estuary of the River Severn to the North Atlantic Ocean...

. The two largest rivers in the region are the Tawe
River Tawe
The River Tawe is a river in South Wales. It flows in a principally south-westerly direction for some from its source below Moel Feity in the Old Red Sandstone hills of the western Brecon Beacons to the Bristol Channel at Swansea. Its main tributaries are the right bank Upper and Lower Clydach...

 which passes the city centre and the Loughor
River Loughor
The River Loughor in Carmarthenshire, Wales has its source at an underground lake at the Black Mountain. It flows past settlements like Ammanford and Hendy in Carmarthenshire and Pontarddulais in Swansea. The river divides Carmarthenshire from Swansea for much of its course and it separates Hendy...

 which flows on the northern border with Carmarthenshire.

In the local authority area, the geology is complex, providing diverse scenery. The Gower Peninsula was the first area in the United Kingdom to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is an area of countryside considered to have significant landscape value in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, that has been specially designated by the Countryside Agency on behalf of the United Kingdom government; the Countryside Council for Wales on...

 (AONB). Excluding the urbanised area in the south-eastern corner of the county, the whole of the Gower Peninsula is part of an AONB. Swansea has numerous urban and country parklands. The region has featured regularly in the Wales in Bloom awards.

The geology of the Gower Peninsula ranges from carboniferous limestone
Carboniferous limestone
Carboniferous Limestone is a term used to describe a variety of different types of limestone occurring widely across Great Britain and Ireland which were deposited during the Dinantian epoch of the Carboniferous period. They were formed between 363 and 325 million years ago...

 cliffs along its southern edge from Mumbles to Worm's Head
Rhossili
Rhossili is a small village and community on the southwestern tip of the Gower Peninsula near Swansea in Wales. Since the 1970s it has fallen within the boundaries of Swansea. It is within an area designated as the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the United Kingdom...

 and the salt-marshes and dune systems of the Loughor estuary to the north. The eastern, southern and western coasts of the peninsula are lined with numerous sandy beaches both wide and small, separated by steep cliffs. The South Wales Coalfield
South Wales Coalfield
The South Wales Coalfield is a large region of south Wales that is rich with coal deposits, especially the South Wales Valleys.-The coalfield area:...

 reaches the coast in the Swansea area. This had a great bearing on the development of the city of Swansea and other towns in the county like Morriston. The inland area is covered by large swathes of grassland common overlooked by sandstone
Sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

 heath
Heath (habitat)
A heath or heathland is a dwarf-shrub habitat found on mainly low quality acidic soils, characterised by open, low growing woody vegetation, often dominated by plants of the Ericaceae. There are some clear differences between heath and moorland...

 ridge
Ridge
A ridge is a geological feature consisting of a chain of mountains or hills that form a continuous elevated crest for some distance. Ridges are usually termed hills or mountains as well, depending on size. There are several main types of ridges:...

s including the prominent Cefn Bryn
Cefn Bryn
Cefn Bryn is an ancient ridge in Britain. It is a 5 mile long Old Red Sandstone ridge in south Wales, in the heart of the Gower Peninsula, in the City and County of Swansea. Local people colloquially refer to it as the "backbone of Gower", as it protrudes from surrounding limestone...

. The traditional agricultural landscape consists in a patchwork of fields characterised by walls, stone-faced banks and hedgerows. Valleys cut through the peninsula and contain rich deciduous
Deciduous
Deciduous means "falling off at maturity" or "tending to fall off", and is typically used in reference to trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, and to the shedding of other plant structures such as petals after flowering or fruit when ripe...

 woodland
Woodland
Ecologically, a woodland is a low-density forest forming open habitats with plenty of sunlight and limited shade. Woodlands may support an understory of shrubs and herbaceous plants including grasses. Woodland may form a transition to shrubland under drier conditions or during early stages of...

.

Much of the county is hilly with the main area of upland being located in the council ward of Mawr
Mawr
Mawr is both an electoral ward and a community of the City and County of Swansea, in south Wales, U.K. Mawr has its own elected community council.Mawr falls within in the parliamentary constituency of Gower...

. Areas of high land up to 185 metres (607 ft) range across the central section of the county and form the hills of Kilvey
Kilvey Hill
Kilvey Hill is a hill in Britain. It rises in south Wales, to the east of Swansea city centre. Kilvey Hill is high and is classed as a Sub Marilyn...

, Townhill
Townhill, Swansea
Townhill is the name of a hill and residential district in Swansea, Wales, UK.-Townhill district:The suburb of Townhill falls within the Townhill ward. The district of Townhill consists of a council estate spread over a steep hill of the same name bordering Mayhill and visible from the Swansea...

 and Llwynmawr, separating the centre of Swansea from its northern suburbs. Cefn Bryn
Cefn Bryn
Cefn Bryn is an ancient ridge in Britain. It is a 5 mile long Old Red Sandstone ridge in south Wales, in the heart of the Gower Peninsula, in the City and County of Swansea. Local people colloquially refer to it as the "backbone of Gower", as it protrudes from surrounding limestone...

, a ridge of high land, forms the backbone of the Gower Peninsula. Rhossili Down, Hardings Down and Llanmadoc Hill form land features up to 193 metres (633 ft) high. The highest point of the county is located at Penlle'r Castell
Penlle'r Castell
Penlle'r Castell is an historic ruin on the summit of Mynydd y Betws in the far north of the City and County of Swansea. The Penlle'r Castell site was probably a late 13th-century stronghold garrisoned by one of the Marcher Lords....

 at 374 metres (1,227 ft) on the northern border with Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire is a unitary authority in the south west of Wales and one of thirteen historic counties. It is the 3rd largest in Wales. Its three largest towns are Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford...

.

Climate


Typical of the west of Britain, Swansea has a temperate
Temperate
In geography, temperate or tepid latitudes of the globe lie between the tropics and the polar circles. The changes in these regions between summer and winter are generally relatively moderate, rather than extreme hot or cold...

 climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

. As part of a coastal region, it experiences a milder climate
Climate of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom straddles the geographic mid-latitudes between 50-60 N from the equator. It is also positioned on the western seaboard of Eurasia, the world's largest land mass. These boundary conditions allow convergence between moist maritime air and dry continental air...

 than the mountains and valleys inland. This same location, though, leaves Swansea exposed to rain-bearing winds from the Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

: figures from the Met Office
Met Office
The Met Office , is the United Kingdom's national weather service, and a trading fund of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills...

 make Swansea the wettest city in Britain. In midsummer, Swansea's temperatures can reach into the high twenties Celsius.

Demography

Population of Swansea
Year Population
1804 19,794
1811 21,338 7.8
1821 25,426 19.16
1831 32,064 26.11
1841 38,962 21.51
1851 47,260 21.30
1861 68,743 45.46
1871 90,226 31.25
1881 111,709 23.81
1891 132,956 19.02
1901 153,577 15.51
1911 177,411 15.52
1921 191,417 7.89
1931 206,558 7.91
1941 205,194 -0.66
1951 203,854 -0.65
1961 214,834 5.39
1971 226,406 5.39
1981 223,260 -1.39
1991 233,145 4.43
2001 223,293 -4.23
2006 227,100* 1.7
2009 231,300* 1.8
source: Vision of Britain except * ,
which is estimated by the
Office for National Statistics
Historical populations are calculated
with the modern boundaries

According to Census 2001 data, the population in the unitary authority was 225,000, and Swansea was the 34th largest settlement in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, while the wider urban area was the 25th largest. Around 82% of the population were born in Wales and 13% born in England; 13.4% were Welsh
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...

 speakers.

From 1804 until the 1920s, Swansea experienced continuous population growth. The 1930s and 1940s was a period of slight decline. In the 1950s and 1960s the population grew and then fell in the 1970s. The population grew again in the 1980s only to fall again in the 1990s. In the 2000s, so far, Swansea is experiencing a small amount of population growth; the local authority area had an estimated population of 228,100 in 2007.

The population of the Swansea urban area within the unitary authority boundaries in 2001 was about 169,880, and the council population was 223,301. The other urban area within the unitary authority, centred on Gorseinon, had a population of 19,273 in 2001. However, the wider urban area
Swansea Urban Area
The Swansea Urban Area is an area of land in Wales, UK defined by the Office for National Statistics for population monitoring purposes. It is an urban conurbation and is not coterminous with the City and County of Swansea...

 including most of Swansea Bay
Swansea Bay
Swansea Bay is a bay on the Bristol Channel on the South Wales coast. Places on the bay include Mumbles, Swansea and Port Talbot. The River Neath, River Tawe, River Afan and Blackpill stream flow into the bay....

 has a total population of 270,506 (making it the 25th largest urban area in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

). Over 218,000 individuals are white
White British
White British was an ethnicity classification used in the 2001 United Kingdom Census. As a result of the census, 50,366,497 people in the United Kingdom were classified as White British. In Scotland the classification was broken down into two different categories: White Scottish and Other White...

; 1,106 are of mixed race; 2,215 are Asian
British Asian
British Asian is a term used to describe British citizens who descended from mainly South Asia, also known as South Asians in the United Kingdom...

 – mainly Bangladeshi
British Bangladeshi
A British Bangladeshi is a person of Bangladeshi origin who resides in the United Kingdom having emigrated to the UK and attained citizenship through naturalisation or whose parents did so; they are also known as British Bengalis...

 (1,015); 300 are black
Black British
Black British is a term used to describe British people of Black African descent, especially those of Afro-Caribbean background. The term has been used from the 1950s to refer to Black people from former British colonies in the West Indies and Africa, who are residents of the United Kingdom and...

; and 1,195 belong to other ethnic groups.

Culture


The Royal Institution of South Wales
Royal Institution of South Wales
The Royal Institution of South Wales is a Welsh learned society founded in Swansea in 1835 as the Swansea Philosophical and Literary Society with objectives:In 1838, the Society received its Royal charter as the Royal Institution....

 was founded in 1835 as the Swansea Literary and Philosophical Society.

Performing arts



The Grand Theatre
Swansea Grand Theatre
The Grand Theatre is a performing arts venue in the centre of Swansea, Wales. The theatre stages plays, pantomimes and touring theatrical acts visiting Swansea. The Grand Theatre is the base for the UK's only Russian ballet company, the Swansea Ballet Russe....

 in the centre of the city is a Victorian theatre which celebrated its centenary in 1997 and which has a capacity of a little over a thousand people. It was opened by the celebrated opera singer Adelina Patti
Adelina Patti
Adelina Patti was a highly acclaimed 19th-century opera singer, earning huge fees at the height of her career in the music capitals of Europe and America. She first sang in public as a child in 1851 and gave her last performance before an audience in 1914...

 and was refurbished from 1983–1987. The annual programme ranges from pantomime and drama to opera and ballet.

Fluellen Theatre Company is a professional theatre company based in Swansea performing regularly at the Grand Theatre. The company also presents Lunchtime Theatre on the last Saturday of every month. The Taliesin building
Taliesin Arts Centre
The Taliesin Arts Centre is owned and managed by the University of Wales, Swansea and is located on the university campus. The venue hosts a broad programme of events including cinema screenings, an average of ten visiting exhibitions per year, and a variety of live performances, from dance and...

 on the university campus has a theatre, opened in 1984. Other theatres include the Dylan Thomas Theatre (formerly the Little Theatre) near the marina, and one in Penyrheol Leisure Centre near Gorseinon
Gorseinon
Gorseinon is a town in southwest Wales, near the Loughor estuary. It was a small village until the late 19th century when it grew around the coal mining and tinplate industries. It is situated in the north west of Swansea, around north west of the city centre...

. In the summer, outdoor Shakespeare performances are a regular feature at Oystermouth Castle
Oystermouth Castle
Oystermouth Castle is a Norman stone castle in Wales, overlooking Swansea Bay on the east side of the Gower Peninsula near the village of the Mumbles.- The early castle :...

, and Singleton Park
Singleton Park
Singleton Park is the largest urban park in the city of Swansea and is located in Sketty. The park has hosted many entertainment and cultural events such as Party in the Park and Proms in the Park which were regular events by local stations The Wave & Swansea Sound and other music events held by...

 is the venue for a number of parties and concerts, from dance music to outdoor Proms. Outside the city, Pontardawe
Pontardawe
Pontardawe is a town of some 5,000 inhabitants in the Swansea Valley in south Wales...

 hosts an annual folk festival. Another folk festival is held on Gower. Standing near Victoria Park on the coast road is the Patti Pavilion; this was the Winter Garden from Adelina Patti's Craig-y-Nos estate in the upper Swansea valley, which she donated to the town in 1918. It is used as a venue for music shows and fairs. The Brangwyn Hall
Brangwyn Hall
The Brangwyn Hall is a concert venue in Swansea. It is named after the artist Frank Brangwyn, whose famous "panels", originally intended for the House of Lords, are displayed there....

 is a multi-use venue with events such as the graduation ceremonies for Swansea University. Every autumn, Swansea hosts a Festival of Music and the Arts, when international orchestras and soloists visit the Brangwyn Hall. The Brangwyn Hall is praised for its acoustics for recitals, orchestral pieces and chamber music alike.

Festivals


Swansea hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1863, 1891, 1907, 1926, 1964, 1982 and 2006. The 2006 event occupied the site of the former Felindre
Felindre
Felindre is a rural village in south Wales. The village can be found in the far north of Swansea, in the electoral ward of Mawr.The nearby Lower Lliw Reservoirs are a popular venue for walking and fishing. The water mill in the village was working until the late 1960s, there was also an abbatoir...

 tinplate works to the north of the city and featured a strikingly pink main tent. The international BeyondTv film festival has been hosted in Swansea since 2000 by Swansea based media charity Undercurrents
Undercurrents (news)
Undercurrents is an alternative video news network which began with the UK distribution of videotapes shot by volunteers. It has since expanded to include a web presence, media training for volunteers, and a film festival, BeyondTV.-History:...

. In 2009 Swansea Council launched Wales only week long St David's Week
St David's Week
St David's Week is an annual festival held in Swansea, Wales to celebrate the Patron Saint of Wales. It is organised by the City and County of Swansea and held at venues across the county....

 festival in venues throughout the city.

Welsh language


There are many Welsh-language
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...

 chapels and churches in the area. Welsh-medium education is a popular and growing choice for both English- and Welsh-speaking parents, leading to claims in the local press in autumn 2004 that, to accommodate demand, the council planned to close an English-medium school in favour of opening a new Welsh-medium school. The Welsh-medium school is named Bryn Tawe, and is located in the buildings of the former Penlan boys' school, which itself was merged with the girls' school at Mynyddbach on that site to become Daniel James Community School. This arrangement was a subject of considerable controversy in the period leading up to Bryn Tawe's inauguration.

45% of the rural council ward Mawr
Mawr
Mawr is both an electoral ward and a community of the City and County of Swansea, in south Wales, U.K. Mawr has its own elected community council.Mawr falls within in the parliamentary constituency of Gower...

 speak Welsh
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...

, as do 38% of the ward of Pontarddulais
Pontarddulais (electoral ward)
Pontarddulais is a name of an electoral ward and parish of the City and County of Swansea, south Wales. The parish of Pontarddulais has its own elected town council....

. Clydach
Clydach (electoral ward)
Clydach is the name of an electoral ward, a community and a town in the City and County of Swansea, Wales, UK. The town has its own elected community council serving the community....

, Kingsbridge
Kingsbridge, Swansea
Kingsbridge , is a village in the City and County of Swansea, Wales falling within the Kingsbridge ward.-Location:Kingsbridge lies to the south of Gorseinon and Penllergaer, to the east of Penyrheol, to the north of Gowerton and Cockett, and to the west of Penderry.-Local Facilities:Kingsbridge...

 and Upper Loughor
Upper Loughor
Upper Loughor is an electoral ward in the City and County of Swansea, Wales. The ward covers the eastern part of the town of Loughor in the parliamentary constituency of Gower....

 all have levels of more than 20%. By contrast, the urban St. Thomas
St. Thomas, Swansea
St Thomas is a suburban district and community in Swansea, Wales. It is a mainly residential area which lies east of Swansea city centre across the River Tawe and falls within the St Thomas ward. The southern boundary is formed by the Fabian Way...

 has one of the lowest figures in Wales, at 6.4%, a figure only barely lower than Penderry
Penderry
Penderry is the name of an electoral ward and a community in the City and County of Swansea, Wales, UK. Penderry does not have a community council....

 and Townhill
Townhill, Swansea
Townhill is the name of a hill and residential district in Swansea, Wales, UK.-Townhill district:The suburb of Townhill falls within the Townhill ward. The district of Townhill consists of a council estate spread over a steep hill of the same name bordering Mayhill and visible from the Swansea...

 wards.

Food


Local produce includes cockle
Cockle (bivalve)
Cockle is the common name for a group of small, edible, saltwater clams, marine bivalve molluscs in the family Cardiidae.Various species of cockles live in sandy sheltered beaches throughout the world....

s and laverbread which are sourced from the Loughor estuary. Local Gower salt marsh
Salt marsh
A salt marsh is an environment in the upper coastal intertidal zone between land and salt water or brackish water, it is dominated by dense stands of halophytic plants such as herbs, grasses, or low shrubs. These plants are terrestrial in origin and are essential to the stability of the salt marsh...

 lamb is produced from sheep which are raised in the salt marshes of the Loughor estuary.

Notable people

See also :Category:People from Swansea


People from Swansea are known locally as Swansea Jacks, or just Jacks. The source of this nickname is not clear. Some attribute it to Swansea Jack
Swansea Jack
Swansea Jack was a famous dog whose name lives on in the nickname given to natives of Swansea, Wales.- Life :Swansea Jack was a black retriever with a longish coat...

, the life-saving dog.

Swansea's most famous daughter is Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones, CBE, is a British actress. She began her career on stage at an early age. After starring in a number of United Kingdom and United States television films and small roles in films, she came to prominence with roles in Hollywood movies such as the 1998 action film The Mask of...

 who still owns a home in Mumbles.

On the literary stage, the poet Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
Dylan Marlais Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer, Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 11 January 2008. who wrote exclusively in English. In addition to poetry, he wrote short stories and scripts for film and radio, which he often performed himself...

 is perhaps the best-known. He was born in the town and grew up at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Uplands. There is a memorial to him in the nearby Cwmdonkin Park
Cwmdonkin Park
Cwmdonkin Park is an urban park situated in the Uplands area of Swansea, south Wales. The park has a bandstand, children's play area, water gardens, tennis courts, and a bowling green.- History :...

; his take on Swansea was that it was an "ugly lovely town". In the 1930s Thomas was a member of a group of local artists, writers and musicians known as The Kardomah Gang.

Bands from Swansea
  • The Pooh Sticks
  • Viva Machine
    Viva Machine
    Viva Machine were a Welsh Rock band who started out in 2003 under the name Ipsofacto before changing their name and reinventing themselves in 2006 under the name Viva Machine, and later in 2008 adding a second guitarist and synth player Justin Hendy...

  • Man
    Man (band)
    Man are a rock band from South Wales whose style is a mixture of West Coast psychedelia, progressive rock, blues and country-rock. Formed in 1968 as a reincarnation of Welsh rock harmony group ‘’The Bystanders’’, Man are renowned for the extended jams in their live performances, and having had...

  • The Iveys
  • The Storys
    The Storys
    The Storys are a Welsh rock band from Swansea, Wales, UK, formed in Spring 2003. Their main influence is 1970s U.S. West Coast bands in the country-rock genre...

  • Badfinger
    Badfinger
    Badfinger were a British rock band consisting originally of Pete Ham, Ron Griffiths, Mike Gibbins and Tom Evans, active from 1968 to 1983, and evolving from The Iveys, formed by Ham, Griffiths and David "Dai" Jenkins in Swansea, Wales, in the early 1960s. Joey Molland joined the group in 1969,...


Sport



Strong local rivalries exist between Swansea City A.F.C.
Swansea City A.F.C.
Swansea City Association Football Club are a Welsh professional football club based in Swansea, Wales. One of the most successful clubs in Welsh football, it has won 10 Welsh Cups and led the English Football League First Division in December 1981, before finishing the season in 6th position...

 and Cardiff City F.C.
Cardiff City F.C.
Cardiff City Football Club are a Welsh professional football club based in Cardiff, Wales. The club competes in the English football pyramid and is currently playing in the Football League Championship. Cardiff City is the best supported football club in Wales, averaging approximately 22,500 for...

 in football, Swansea RFC
Swansea RFC
Swansea Rugby Football Club is a Welsh rugby union team which plays in the Welsh Premier Division. Its home ground is St Helens Rugby and Cricket Ground in Swansea. The team is sometimes known as The Whites because of the primary colour of the team strip...

 and Llanelli
Llanelli RFC
Llanelli Rugby Football Club is a Welsh rugby union club founded in 1875 and its senior team is one of the leading club sides in Wales. The club began the 2008-09 season at their historic home ground of Stradey Park in Llanelli, but moved in November 2008 to the new Parc y Scarlets in adjacent...

 and the Ospreys and Scarlets
Llanelli Scarlets
The Scarlets are one of the four professional Welsh regional rugby union teams. Based in Llanelli, south-west Wales the team play at the Parc y Scarlets stadium. They play in the RaboDirect Pro12, as well as competing in the LV= Cup and the Heineken Cup...

 in Rugby
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

.

Swansea City A.F.C. moved from the Vetch Field
Vetch Field
The Vetch Field was a multi-purpose stadium in Swansea, Wales. It was used mostly for football matches and was the home ground of Swansea City until the Liberty Stadium opened in 2005. Opened in 1912, the ground held around 12,000 at the time of its closure, but upwards of 30,000 at its peak...

 to the new Liberty Stadium
Liberty Stadium, Swansea
The Liberty Stadium is a purpose-built sports stadium and conferencing venue in the Landore area of Swansea, Wales. The stadium is all-seated, with a capacity of 20,532 making it the largest purpose-built venue in Swansea and the third largest stadium in Wales after the Millennium Stadium and the...

 at the start of the 2005–2006 season, winning promotion to League One in their final year at their old stadium. The team presently play in the Premier League, after being promoted during the 2010/11 season.

Swansea has three clubs that play in the Welsh Football League
Welsh Football League
The Welsh Football League is a club football league in Wales. Division One of the Welsh Football League is at Level 2 of the Welsh football league system, immediately below the national Welsh Premier League.The Welsh Football League's history stretches back to 1904 when the competition was first...

: Garden Village
Garden Village F.C.
Garden Village Association Football Club is a football club, based in Swansea, south west Wales and currently playing in the Welsh Football League Division Two...

, South Gower
South Gower A.F.C.
South Gower A.F.C. is a football club based in Scurlage in Wales, currently playing in the Welsh Football League Division Three.During the 2008-09 season South Gower were playing in the Swansea Senior League Division One when it was decided that the club should apply for membership to the Welsh...

 and West End
West End F.C.
West End Football Club is a football team, based in the Mayhill area of Swansea, Wales, and which plays in the Welsh Football League Division One...

.

In 2003, Swansea RFC
Swansea RFC
Swansea Rugby Football Club is a Welsh rugby union team which plays in the Welsh Premier Division. Its home ground is St Helens Rugby and Cricket Ground in Swansea. The team is sometimes known as The Whites because of the primary colour of the team strip...

 merged with Neath RFC
Neath RFC
Neath Rugby Football Club is a Welsh rugby union club which plays in the Welsh Premier Division. The club's home ground is The Gnoll, Neath. The first team is known as the Welsh All Blacks because of the team colours: black with only a white cross pattée as an emblem...

 to form the Neath-Swansea Ospreys rugby club. Swansea RFC remained at St Helen's in semi-professional form, but the Ospreys moved into the Liberty Stadium in Landore for the start of the 2005–2006 season. Neath-Swansea rugby games used to be hotly-contested matches, such that there was some debate about whether a team incorporating both areas was possible. The team came fifth in the Celtic League
Celtic League (rugby union)
The Celtic League is an annual rugby union competition involving professional sides from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales....

 in their first year of existence and topping that league in their second year.

St Helens Rugby and Cricket Ground
St Helens Rugby and Cricket Ground
St. Helen's Rugby and Cricket Ground is a spectator venue in Swansea, Wales. It is used for both rugby and cricket.It is owned and operated by the City and County of Swansea council and is also used to host the local annual Guy Fawkes night fireworks display.-History:Since the ground opened in...

 is the home of Swansea RFC
Swansea RFC
Swansea Rugby Football Club is a Welsh rugby union team which plays in the Welsh Premier Division. Its home ground is St Helens Rugby and Cricket Ground in Swansea. The team is sometimes known as The Whites because of the primary colour of the team strip...

 and Glamorgan County Cricket Club
Glamorgan County Cricket Club
Glamorgan County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh national cricket structure, representing the historic county of Glamorgan aka Glamorganshire . Glamorgan CCC is the only Welsh first-class cricket club. Glamorgan CCC have won the English County...

 have previously played matches there. In this ground, Sir Garfield Sobers
Garfield Sobers
Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers AO, OCC is a former cricketer who captained West Indies. His first name of Garfield is variously abbreviated as Gary or Garry. He is widely regarded as one of cricket's greatest ever all-rounders, having excelled at all the essential skills of batting, bowling and...

 hit six sixes in one over; the first time this was achieved in a game of first-class cricket
First-class cricket
First-class cricket is a class of cricket that consists of matches of three or more days' scheduled duration, that are between two sides of eleven players and are officially adjudged first-class by virtue of the standard of the competing teams...

. The final ball landed on the ground past the Cricketers' pub just outside the ground. It is also the home of the tallest floodlight stand in Europe.

Swansea's rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

 side plays seven miles outside the county in the small town of Ystalyfera
Ystalyfera
Ystalyfera is a former industrial village in the upper Swansea Valley, on the River Tawe, about north-east of Swansea. It is an electoral ward and a community in the unitary authority of Neath Port Talbot, Wales, comprising a resident population of just over 3,000 people, approximately 60% of whom...

. They are known as the Swansea Valley Miners but were formed as the Swansea Bulls in 2002.

The Swansea Bowls Stadium opened in early 2008. The stadium hosted the World Indoor Singles and Mixed Pairs Championship in April 2008 and the Gravelles Welsh International Open Bowls Championships in 2009.

Religion


In 2001, 158,457 people in the local authority area (71 per cent) stated their religion as Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

, 44,286 (20 per cent) no religion
Irreligion
Irreligion is defined as an absence of religion or an indifference towards religion. Sometimes it may also be defined more narrowly as hostility towards religion. When characterized as hostility to religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. When characterized as...

, 16,800 (7.5 per cent) did not state a religion and 2,167 were Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. There are small communities of other religions, each making up less than 1 per cent of the total population.

Swansea is part of the Anglican
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

 Diocese of Swansea and Brecon
Diocese of Swansea and Brecon
The Diocese of Swansea and Brecon was established as a Diocese of the Church in Wales in 1923 with Brecon Priory as the Cathedral. The Diocese has a border with five other Welsh Dioceses, as well as with the English Diocese of Hereford....

 and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Menevia. The Catholic see
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 is based in Swansea at St. Joseph's Cathedral in the Greenhill area. The city is home to 10 per cent of the total Welsh Muslim population; Swansea's Muslim community is raising money to open a new central mosque and community centre in the former St Andrews United Reform Church
Swansea Mosque
Swansea Mosque is located in two former terraced commercial buildings on St. Helen's Road Swansea, Wales serving the Muslim community in Swansea since the 1980s....

. This would be replace the existing central Mosque on St Helens Road and in addition to the other three existing mosques (Swansea University Mosque, Hafod Mosque, Imam Khoei Mosque). Dharmavajra Kadampa Buddhist Centre, Swansea Synagogue and Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall are all located in the Uplands
Uplands, Swansea
Uplands is a suburb of Swansea, Wales. It lies about a mile to the west of Swansea city centre, and falls within the Uplands electoral ward. It is centred around the A4118 road, which links Swansea city centre and Sketty. The main road begins as Walter Road from the east, and becomes Sketty Road...

 area.


Swansea, like Wales in general, has seen many non-conformist religious revivals
Christian revival
Christian revival is a term that generally refers to a specific period of increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a church congregation or many churches, either regionally or globally...

. In 1904, Evan Roberts
Evan Roberts (minister)
Evan John Roberts , was a leading figure of the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival who suffered many setbacks in his later life.His obituary in The Western Mail summed up his career thus:- Early life :...

, a miner from Loughor
Loughor
Loughor is a town in the City and County of Swansea, Wales, within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan, Wales. It lies on the estuary of the River Loughor. The town has a community council called Llwchwr....

 (Llwchwr), just outside Swansea, was the leader of what has been called one of the world's greatest Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 religious revivals. Within a few months about 100,000 people were converted. This revival in particular had a profound effect on Welsh society.

Plans


Swansea City Centre is undergoing a £1 billion transformation scheme. A large area of the city is earmarked for redevelopment. A new city-centre retail precinct is planned involving demolition of the dilapidated St. David's Shopping Centre  which has three or four traders, about 13% of the retail space in the centre and the Quadrant Shopping Centre
Quadrant Shopping Centre
The Quadrant Shopping Centre is the principal under-cover shopping centre in Swansea, Wales. The centre opened in 1979. Since the 1980s it has been home to the Swansea Devil, a controversial carved wooden statue of the Devil....

. Including relocation of the Tesco
Tesco
Tesco plc is a global grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues and the second-largest measured by profits...

 Superstore near to the city's Sainsbury's store in Parc Tawe
Parc Tawe
Parc Tawe is a retail park and leisure area in Swansea, Wales. It is located in the eastern area of the city centre on the west bank of the River Tawe in the Lower Swansea valley....

, the new retail precinct will be almost four times the size of the Quadrant Centre. The city centre is also being brightened up with street art and new walkways, along with the first phase of the David Evans – Castle Street development. New green spaces will be provided in conjunction with the proposed Quadrant Square and Grand Theatre Square. Redevelopment of the Oxford Street car park and Lower Oxford Street arcades are also planned.

At the sea front, The Tower, Meridian Quay is now Wales's tallest building at a height of over 80 metres (262.5 ft); upon completion in 2009 it was planned to be 107 metres (351 ft) in height with a restaurant on the top (29th) floor. However, it was under construction adjacent Swansea Marina
Swansea Marina
Swansea Marina is a marina located behind the Swansea barrage at the mouth of the River Tawe in Swansea, south Wales. Swansea Marina was awarded blue flag status in June 2005 and has been awarded five gold anchors by the Yacht Harbour Association...

 until 2010. The height of the building and the facilities of the restaurant had to be scaled down to save costs, because the building was being constructed during an economic recession.

Economy




Swansea originally developed as centre for metals and mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

, especially the copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 industry, from the beginning of the 18th century. The industry reached its apogee in the 1880s, when 60% of the copper ores imported to Britain were smelted in the Lower Swansea valley
Lower Swansea valley
The Lower Swansea valley is the lower half of the valley of the River Tawe in south Wales. It runs from approximately the level of Clydach down to Swansea docks, where it opens into Swansea Bay and the Bristol Channel...

. However, by the end of the Second World War these heavy industries were in decline, and over the post-war decades Swansea shared in the general trend towards a post-industrial, service sector economy.

Of the 105,900 people estimated to work within the City and County of Swansea, over 90% are employed in the service sectors, with relatively high shares (compared to the Welsh and UK averages) in public administration, education & health and banking, finance & insurance, and correspondingly high proportions of employment in occupations associated with the service sector, including professional, administrative/secretarial and sales/customer service occupations. The local authority believes this pattern reflects Swansea's role as a service centre for South West Wales.

Economic activity and employment rates in Swansea were slightly above the Welsh average in October 2008, but lower than the UK average. In 2005, GVA
Gross value added
Gross Value Added ' is a measure in economics of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy...

 per head in Swansea was £14,302 – nearly 4% above the Welsh average but 20% below the UK average. Median full-time earnings in Swansea were £21,577 in 2007, almost identical to the Welsh average.

Education



Swansea University
Swansea University
Swansea University is a university located in Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom. Swansea University was chartered as University College of Swansea in 1920, as the fourth college of the University of Wales. In 1996, it changed its name to the University of Wales Swansea following structural changes...

 has a campus in Singleton Park
Singleton Park
Singleton Park is the largest urban park in the city of Swansea and is located in Sketty. The park has hosted many entertainment and cultural events such as Party in the Park and Proms in the Park which were regular events by local stations The Wave & Swansea Sound and other music events held by...

 overlooking Swansea Bay. Its engineering department is recognised as a centre of excellence with pioneering work on computational techniques for solving engineering design problems. The Department of Physics is renowned for its research achievements at the frontiers of Theoretical Physics, particularly in the areas of Elementary Particle Physics and String Theory. And many other departments such as History
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, Computer Science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

 and German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 were awarded an "Excellent" in the last inspection. The university was awarded the Times Higher Education Supplement Award for the UK's "best student experience" in 2005. Other establishments for further and higher education in the city include Swansea Metropolitan University and Gower College Swansea
Gower College Swansea
Gower College Swansea is the name of the further education college in Swansea, Wales, which was formed on 20th August 2010 from the merger of Gorseinon College and Swansea College Nick Bennett, the current principal of Gorseinon College, has been offered the post of principal at the new...

. Swansea Metropolitan University (formerly Swansea Institute of Higher Education) is particularly well known for its Architectural Glass department; stained glass being a long time speciality.

In the local authority area, there is one nursery school; six infant schools and five junior schools. There are 77 primary schools, nine of which are Welsh-Medium, and six of which are voluntary aided. There are 15 comprehensive schools under the remit of the local education authority, of which two are Welsh-medium
Medium of instruction
Medium of instruction is a language used in teaching. It may or may not be the official language of the country or territory. Where the first language of students is different from the official language, it may be used as the medium of instruction for part or all of schooling. Bilingual or...

. In addition, there are six special schools.

The oldest school in Swansea is Bishop Gore School
Bishop Gore School
The Bishop Gore School is a secondary school in Swansea in south Wales, founded on 14 September 1682 by Hugh Gore , Bishop of Waterford and Lismore...

. The largest comprehensive school in Swansea is the Olchfa School
Olchfa School
Olchfa School is the largest comprehensive school in Swansea, South Wales, with approximately 2000 pupils. It provides secondary education for GCSE and tertiary education leading to A-Level qualifications...

. There is one Roman Catholic comprehensive school in the county – Bishop Vaughan Catholic Comprehensive School
Bishop Vaughan Catholic Comprehensive School
Bishop Vaughan Catholic School is a secondary school associated with the Roman Catholic faith. The premises are located on Mynydd Garnllwyd Road, in the Morriston area of Swansea. In terms of church territory, the school belongs to the Diocese of Menevia....

. The Welsh medium schools are Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Gŵyr
Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Gwyr
Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr is a Welsh language medium secondary school in Gowerton, Swansea, Wales, with approximately 800 pupils as of 2006. However, GCSE Science lessons are also held in English. It was established in 1984...

 and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bryn Tawe
Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bryn Tawe
Ysgol Bryn Tawe is a Welsh-language comprehensive school based in Penlan, Swansea, southwest Wales. It opened in 2003 to complement Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr and to provide additional capacity following the increased demand for Welsh-medium education in the area. Upon its opening, it held only its own...

. Other schools in Swansea include, Cefn Hengoed Community School, Dylan Thomas School, Daniel James Community School, Pentrehafod Comprehensive School, Morriston Comprehensive School and Gowerton School.

Some primary school's in Swansea are St. Thomas Primary School, Danygraig Primary School, Sketty Primary School and Cwm Glas Primary School. There are also a few Roman Catholic primary school's, one of them being St. Joseph's Primary School.

Independent schools in Swansea include Ffynone House School
Ffynone House School
Ffynone House School is an independent secondary school in Swansea, Wales. The school is owned and operated by the Cognita group. It is situated in the Ffynone area of the city at 36 St. James Crescent....

, Oakleigh House School and Craig-y-Nos School.

Local media


The local newspaper is the Swansea edition of the South Wales Evening Post
South Wales Evening Post
The South Wales Evening Post is a tabloid daily newspaper that distributed in South West Wales. The paper has three daily editions - Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire and is published by South West Wales Publications, part of the Northcliffe Media group. The current editor is...

. The Swansea Herald of Wales
Swansea Herald of Wales
The Swansea Herald of Wales is a free local weekly newspaper distributed in the Swansea area of south Wales. It is published by South West Wales Publications.-External links:*...

 is a free newspaper which is distributed every week to residential addresses. The Cardiff edition of the free daily paper Metro
Metro (Associated Metro Limited)
Metro is a free daily newspaper in the United Kingdom published by Associated Newspapers Ltd . It is available from Monday to Friday each week on many public transport services across the United Kingdom.-History:The paper was launched in London in 1999, and can now be found in 14 UK urban centres...

 is distributed throughout the city. The Council also produces a free monthly newspaper called the Swansea Leader. Swansea Life
Swansea Life
Swansea Life is an independent local lifestyle magazine published and distributed in Swansea, Wales. The current editor is Wyn Jenkins....

 is a monthly lifestyle magazine published and distributed in Swansea.

Swansea is served by three local radio stations, The Wave on 96.4 FM and DAB, Swansea Sound
Swansea Sound
Swansea Sound is a British independent local radio station broadcasting to Swansea and surrounding areas, aimed at a core 40+ demographic. Swansea Sound was the first local radio station in Wales, and has won several awards, including the number one regional station in South Wales....

 on 1170 AM and DAB and lastly Bay Radio on 102.1 FM. The city also has a community radio station, Radio Tircoed. The patients and staff at Singleton Hospital
Singleton Hospital
Singleton Hospital is a 550 bed hospital located in Sketty Lane, Swansea, Wales, operated by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. The main building was completed in 1958. The hospital adjoins Singleton Park and the main campus of the Swansea University where there is a nursing school and...

 can listen to the hospital radio station, Radio City 1386AM
Radio City 1386AM
Radio City 1386AM - The ABM University Health Board's Radio Service is the Hospital Radio service based in Singleton Hospital, Swansea.-About the service:...

 and Swansea University also runs its own radio station, Xtreme Radio
Xtreme Radio
Xtreme Radio is a Student radio station society at Swansea University in Swansea, Wales, run by a team of elected volunteer executive members, and is located in Union House...

, on 1431 AM. Providing the DAB
Digital audio broadcasting
Digital Audio Broadcasting is a digital radio technology for broadcasting radio stations, used in several countries, particularly in Europe. As of 2006, approximately 1,000 stations worldwide broadcast in the DAB format....

 service, the local multiplex called Swansea SW Wales is broadcast from Kilvey Hill
Kilvey Hill
Kilvey Hill is a hill in Britain. It rises in south Wales, to the east of Swansea city centre. Kilvey Hill is high and is classed as a Sub Marilyn...

. This transmitter also provides digital terrestrial television in the Swansea area. As well as Kilvey Hill the city is in the catchment areas of the Wenvoe transmitter (in the Vale of Glamorgan
Vale of Glamorgan
The Vale of Glamorgan is a county borough in Wales; an exceptionally rich agricultural area, it lies in the southern part of Glamorgan, South Wales...

) and the Carmel transmitter in Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire is a unitary authority in the south west of Wales and one of thirteen historic counties. It is the 3rd largest in Wales. Its three largest towns are Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford...

.

Since 1924, the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 has maintained a studio in the city; Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
Dylan Marlais Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer, Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 11 January 2008. who wrote exclusively in English. In addition to poetry, he wrote short stories and scripts for film and radio, which he often performed himself...

 worked here in the interwar years, when the studio was used for the BBC Regional Programme
BBC Regional Programme
The BBC Regional Programme was a UK radio network which operated from the end of the 1920s until the outbreak of World War II in 1939.-Foundation:...

. Currently it has facilities to broadcast live radio and television and is listed as a BBC regional studio.

In mid 2008, the BBC included Swansea in its "Big Screen" project, and a large live permanent television screen has been sited in Castle Square.

Independent filmmakers Undercurrents
Undercurrents (news)
Undercurrents is an alternative video news network which began with the UK distribution of videotapes shot by volunteers. It has since expanded to include a web presence, media training for volunteers, and a film festival, BeyondTV.-History:...

 and Studio8 are based in Swansea, and the city plays host to the BeyondTV
BeyondTV
BeyondTV is an international video festival in Swansea. Organised by independent filmmakers Undercurrents, BeyondTV has taken place since 2000 in various venues, from the Patti Pavilion, BeyondTV 2005-06 in the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea Marina. BeyondTV 2005 hosted the Misty Awards for...

 Film Festival. BeyondTV is annual event organised by Undercurrents to showcase the best of activism filmmakers. Swansea has also hosted the annual Swansea Bay Film Festival, where past-winning directors have included Gareth Evans, Anthony James, Alun D Pughe
Alun D Pughe
Alun D Pughe is an award-winning Welsh film and music video director.-Biography:Alun's career began in 2005 with a fifteen minute psychological film noir entitled The Girl, the Gun and the Desert. After the film was optioned for a European graphic novel adaptation it was nominated and later won...

 and Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones (filmmaker)
Andrew Jones is a British screenwriter and director.-Biography:Andrew Jones was born in Britain, in Swansea in South Wales....

. In 2010 Swansea Telly, an internet based video channel for Swansea, launched to showcase videos made by local people.

Representation in the media


Swansea has been used as a location for films such as Only Two Can Play
Only Two Can Play
Only Two Can Play is a 1962 comedy film based on the novel That Uncertain Feeling by Kingsley Amis. Sidney Gilliat directed the film from a screenplay by Bryan Forbes....

, Submarine
Submarine (2010 film)
Submarine is a 2010 coming-of-age comedy-drama film adapted from the 2008 novel of the same name by Joe Dunthorne. The film was written and directed by Richard Ayoade and stars Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor and Paddy Considine...

and Twin Town
Twin Town
Twin Town is a 1997 revenge comedy film made and set in South West Wales. It was directed by Kevin Allen and had a working title of Hot Dog; a hot dog van features in a number of scenes in the film. It stars real-life brothers Rhys Ifans and Llŷr Ifans and also features Dougray Scott...

, the TV series Mine All Mine
Mine All Mine
Mine All Mine is a British television series produced by Red Production Company for ITV. It was written by Russell T Davies and starred Griff Rhys Jones...

and in episodes of Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

.

Swansea was the first city in Wales to feature in its own version of the board game Monopoly
Monopoly (game)
Marvin Gardens, the leading yellow property on the board shown, is actually a misspelling of the original location name, Marven Gardens. The misspelling was said to be introduced by Charles Todd and passed on when his home-made Monopoly board was copied by Charles Darrow and thence to Parker...

. The Swansea edition of Monopoly features 33 local landmarks, including the Mumbles Pier
Mumbles Pier
The Mumbles Pier is an long Victorian pier built in 1898. It is located at the south-eastern corner of Swansea Bay near the village of Mumbles within the city and county of Swansea, Wales.-Construction:...

 and the National Waterfront Museum
National Waterfront Museum
The National Waterfront Museum, Swansea or NWMS is a museum situated in Swansea, Wales, forming part of the National Museum Wales. It is an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage....

; the game has been produced in both English and Welsh.

Swansea was also featured in a documentary
Documentary
A documentary is a creative work of non-fiction, including:* Documentary film, including television* Radio documentary* Documentary photographyRelated terms include:...

 titled Swansea Love Story as part of the Rule Britannia series on VBS.tv
VBS.tv
VBS.tv is an online television network owned by the Vice media conglomerate. The network produces original, short-form, documentary-style video content. Subject matter includes humanitarian issues, music, insider travel guides, and news. The creative director of the network is Spike...

. The film is of a rather graphic nature and features heroin users as well as community members affected by the epidemic while trying to provide some explanation for the increase in use.

Public services


Swansea is policed by the South Wales Police
South Wales Police
South Wales Police is one of the four territorial police forces in Wales. Its headquarters are based in Bridgend.Covering Wales' capital city, Cardiff, as well as Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Swansea, and the western South Wales Valleys, it is the largest police force in Wales in terms of population,...

. The regional headquarters for the Swansea area is Swansea Central Police Station
Swansea Central police station
Swansea Central police station is a 21st-century-designed building, located on the former Swansea Fire Station site in Alexandra Road, near Swansea Magistrates Court, Swansea...

.

Ambulance services are provided by the Wales Ambulance Service, and fire services by the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service
The Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is the fire and rescue service covering the Welsh principal areas of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Powys and Swansea....

. Swansea Airport
Swansea Airport
Swansea Airport is an airport located at Fairwood Common on the Gower Peninsula west south-west of Swansea, Wales.-Operations:Swansea Airport has a CAA Ordinary Licence that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee...

 is one of the country's three Wales Air Ambulance bases, the others being Welshpool
Welshpool Airport
Welshpool Airport is located south of Welshpool, Powys, Wales.Welshpool Aerodrome has a CAA Ordinary Licence that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee...

 and Caernarfon
Caernarfon Airport
Caernarfon Airport is located southwest of Caernarfon, Gwynedd, Wales.Caernarfon Aerodrome has a CAA Ordinary Licence that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee...

.

Local public healthcare services are operated by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, who operate two hospitals in Swansea with Accident and Emergency
Emergency department
An emergency department , also known as accident & emergency , emergency room , emergency ward , or casualty department is a medical treatment facility specialising in acute care of patients who present without prior appointment, either by their own means or by ambulance...

 services: Singleton Hospital
Singleton Hospital
Singleton Hospital is a 550 bed hospital located in Sketty Lane, Swansea, Wales, operated by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. The main building was completed in 1958. The hospital adjoins Singleton Park and the main campus of the Swansea University where there is a nursing school and...

 and Morriston Hospital
Morriston Hospital
Morriston Hospital is a 750 bed hospital located in Cwmrhydyceirw near Morriston in Swansea, Wales. Morriston is the largest hospital in the city and county of Swansea and is operated by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. Alongside its role as a district general hospital, Morriston...

.

Waste management
Waste management
Waste management is the collection, transport, processing or disposal,managing and monitoring of waste materials. The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity, and the process is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment or aesthetics...

 services are coordinated by the local council, which deals with refuse collection and recycling and operates five civic amenity site
Civic amenity site
A civic amenity site or household waste recycling centre is a facility where the public can dispose of household waste and also often containing recycling points. Civic amenity sites are run by the local authority in a given area. Collection points for recyclable waste such as green waste,...

s.

The electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 distribution network operator
Distribution Network Operator
Distribution network operators are companies licensed to distribute electricity in Great Britain by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets....

 supplying Swansea is Western Power Distribution
Western Power Distribution
Western Power Distribution is the trading identity of four electricity distribution companies - WPD South West , WPD South Wales and WPD Midlands...

.

Welsh Water
Welsh Water
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is a company which supplies drinking water and wastewater services to most of Wales and parts of western England.It is regulated under the Water Industry Act 1991.-History:...

 provides drinking water
Drinking water
Drinking water or potable water is water pure enough to be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry is all of drinking water standard, even though only a very small proportion is actually...

 supply and wastewater
Wastewater
Wastewater is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influence. It comprises liquid waste discharged by domestic residences, commercial properties, industry, and/or agriculture and can encompass a wide range of potential contaminants and concentrations...

 services to Swansea. There is a water treatment works at Crymlyn Burrows
Crymlyn Burrows
Crymlyn Burrows is an area of land in Wales, UK to the east of Swansea city centre, and south of Crymlyn Bog. It is bounded by Jersey Marine Beach to the south and the River Neath to the east...

. Reservoirs which supply Swansea include the Cray reservoir
Cray reservoir
Cray Reservoir is a storage reservoir located in the Brecon Beacons National Park for the water supply to the city of Swansea in South Wales and was built between 1898 and 1906 by Swansea Corporation....

 and the Lliw Reservoirs, which are operated by Welsh Water.

The Local Gas Distribution company is Wales and West Utilities.

Public order


There was a high rate of car crime during the 1990s. The BBC has described Swansea as a "black spot for car crime", for example. However, over the past few years, there seems to have been a decline in car crime. . Car crime is a central theme in the film Twin Town
Twin Town
Twin Town is a 1997 revenge comedy film made and set in South West Wales. It was directed by Kevin Allen and had a working title of Hot Dog; a hot dog van features in a number of scenes in the film. It stars real-life brothers Rhys Ifans and Llŷr Ifans and also features Dougray Scott...

, which was set in and around Swansea and Port Talbot.

The football violence that Swansea experienced during the 1970s–1990s has considerably reduced, the only major clashes occurring between Swansea City supporters and Cardiff City supporters. Many matches between these sides have ended in violence in both Swansea and Cardiff. These two clubs have a long history of intense rivalry, being described in the media as tribal.

Transport



The M4 motorway
M4 motorway
The M4 motorway links London with South Wales. It is part of the unsigned European route E30. Other major places directly accessible from M4 junctions are Reading, Swindon, Bristol, Newport, Cardiff and Swansea...

 crosses though Swansea (junctions 44 to 47 inclusive). The A48
A48 road
The A48 is a major trunk road in Great Britain. It runs from the A40 at Highnam west of Gloucester to the A40 at Carmarthen. Before the construction of the M4 motorway and the first Severn Bridge in the mid 1960s it was the principal route into South Wales. For most of its journey through Wales,...

, formerly a trunk road, passes through the north of the city centre, through Llansamlet and past Morriston. The A48 and the M4 connect Swansea with other towns and cities including Port Talbot
Port Talbot
Port Talbot is a town in Neath Port Talbot, Wales. It had a population of 35,633 in 2001.-History:Port Talbot grew out of the original small port and market town of Aberafan , which belonged to the medieval Lords of Afan. The area of the parish of Margam lying on the west bank of the lower Afan...

, Bridgend
Bridgend
Bridgend is a town in the Bridgend County Borough in Wales, west of the capital, Cardiff. The river crossed by the original bridge, which gave the town its name, is the River Ogmore but the River Ewenny also passes to the south of the town...

, Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

, Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

 and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 to the east and Llanelli
Llanelli
Llanelli , the largest town in both the county of Carmarthenshire and the preserved county of Dyfed , Wales, sits on the Loughor estuary on the West Wales coast, approximately west-north-west of Swansea and south-east of the county town, Carmarthen. The town is famous for its proud rugby...

 and Cross Hands
Cross Hands
Cross Hands is a village in Carmarthenshire, Wales about 12 miles from Carmarthen . It is supposedly named from the practice of prisoners intended for jail in Carmarthen and Swansea being staged for exchange....

 to the west. The A483
A483 road
The A483 is a major road in the United Kingdom, running from Swansea in Wales to Chester in England, although the official title is the Swansea to Manchester Trunk Road.-Swansea:...

 passes though the city centre, providing a link to the Heads of Valleys Road
A465 road
The A465 is a major road in south Wales. It is more commonly known as the Heads of the Valleys Road because it joins together the north ends of the South Wales Valleys...

 to the west. On departing to the north, the A483 continues through mid Wales via towns like Ammanford, Builth Wells
Builth Wells
Builth Wells is a town in the county of Powys, within the historic boundaries of Brecknockshire, mid Wales, lying at the confluence of the River Wye and the River Irfon, in the Welsh of the Wye Valley. It has a population of 2,352....

 and Newtown and terminates at Chester
Chester
Chester is a city in Cheshire, England. Lying on the River Dee, close to the border with Wales, it is home to 77,040 inhabitants, and is the largest and most populous settlement of the wider unitary authority area of Cheshire West and Chester, which had a population of 328,100 according to the...

. The A4067
A4067 road
The A4067 road is an A road in Wales connecting Swansea with Sennybridge. It runs in a southwest to northeast direction beginning at Oystermouth Square in Mumbles, Swansea, and continuing from there to Swansea city centre, where there is a break in the route...

 (Swansea Valley Road) links Swansea with settlements in the Swansea Valley
Swansea Valley
The Swansea Valley , one of the South Wales Valleys is the name often given to the valley of the River Tawe area in South Wales, UK. It reaches southwest and south from the Brecon Beacons National Park down to the city of Swansea. Today, administration of the area is divided between the City and...

 and continues towards Brecon
Brecon
Brecon is a long-established market town and community in southern Powys, Mid Wales, with a population of 7,901. It was the county town of the historic county of Brecknockshire; although its role as such was eclipsed with the formation of Powys, it remains an important local centre...

. Park and Ride
Park and ride
Park and ride facilities are car parks with connections to public transport that allow commuters and other people wishing to travel into city centres to leave their vehicles and transfer to a bus, rail system , or carpool for the rest of their trip...

 services are operated from car parks at Landore
Landore
Landore is the name of an electoral ward, a community in the City and County of Swansea, Wales, UK. The community does not have a community council....

, Fabian Way and Fforestfach
Fforestfach
Fforestfach is a suburban district of Swansea, Wales. It lies within the Cockett ward. The area is residential combined with light industry and out of town shopping due to its proximity to the M4 motorway and several dual carriageways. Famous names like Marks and Spencer and Walkers Crisps had...

. During busy periods of the year, additional Park and Ride services are operated from the Brynmill
Brynmill
Brynmill is a suburb of the City and County of Swansea, Wales, UK. It lies about two miles to the west of Swansea city centre. It is a residential area forming the southern part of the Uplands electoral ward. As it is close to Swansea university, many students choose to rent rooms here during...

 recreation ground.

Bus routes within Swansea are operated predominately by First Cymru
First Cymru
First Cymru Buses Ltd. is a provider of public transport bus services in South Wales. First Cymru was formed from a number of privatised former bus companies, including South Wales Transport. Its headquarters are in Penlan, Swansea...

 and Veolia Transport Cymru
Veolia Transport Cymru
Veolia Transport Cymru is a division of the Veolia Transport group , part of the French multinational Veolia Environnement. Formed by the purchase of a number of smaller independent coach and bus firms, the company has its headquarters in Parc Nantgarw, mid way between Cardiff and...

, originating from Swansea bus station. First operates the Swansea Metro
Swansea Metro
ftrmetro Swansea is a bus rapid transit route being implemented in Swansea, Wales. The route will be served by FTR articulated buses in an attempt to relieve traffic congestion and provide alternative transport to cars....

, a road-based FTR bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit is a term applied to a variety of public transportation systems using buses to provide faster, more efficient service than an ordinary bus line. Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling...

 route, introduced between Morriston Hospital
Morriston Hospital
Morriston Hospital is a 750 bed hospital located in Cwmrhydyceirw near Morriston in Swansea, Wales. Morriston is the largest hospital in the city and county of Swansea and is operated by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. Alongside its role as a district general hospital, Morriston...

 and Singleton Hospital
Singleton Hospital
Singleton Hospital is a 550 bed hospital located in Sketty Lane, Swansea, Wales, operated by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. The main building was completed in 1958. The hospital adjoins Singleton Park and the main campus of the Swansea University where there is a nursing school and...

 in 2009, and a shuttle bus (Service 100) to Cardiff Central bus station
Cardiff Central bus station
Cardiff Central bus station is the main bus transport interchange in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. With 34 stands, it is the largest bus station in the city and in Wales. It is located adjacent to Cardiff Central railway station forming a major bus-rail-cycle-taxi interchange.The station used...

 calling at Bridgend Designer Outlet. Veolia operates the rural services around the Gower Peninsula and the Lliw Valley branded Gower Explorer and Lliw Link respectively. Swansea is on the X40 Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

 to Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth is a historic market town, administrative centre and holiday resort within Ceredigion, Wales. Often colloquially known as Aber, it is located at the confluence of the rivers Ystwyth and Rheidol....

 TrawsCambria
TrawsCambria
TrawsCambria is a brand name applied to a network of long and medium-distance express bus routes in Wales which are sponsored by the Welsh Assembly Government.-History:...

 bus route connecting the west and south of Wales. National Express
National Express
National Express Coaches, more commonly known as National Express, is a brand and company, owned by the National Express Group, under which the majority of long distance bus and coach services in Great Britain are operated,...

 serves Swansea operating eastbound to Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

 and Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

, and westbound to Llanelli
Llanelli
Llanelli , the largest town in both the county of Carmarthenshire and the preserved county of Dyfed , Wales, sits on the Loughor estuary on the West Wales coast, approximately west-north-west of Swansea and south-east of the county town, Carmarthen. The town is famous for its proud rugby...

, Carmarthen
Carmarthen
Carmarthen is a community in, and the county town of, Carmarthenshire, Wales. It is sited on the River Towy north of its mouth at Carmarthen Bay. In 2001, the population was 14,648....

 and Haverfordwest
Haverfordwest
Haverfordwest is the county town of Pembrokeshire, Wales and serves as the County's principal commercial and administrative centre. Haverfordwest is the most populous urban area in Pembrokeshire, with a population of 13,367 in 2001; though its community boundaries make it the second most populous...

.

There are four dedicated cycle routes in the county area:
  • Swansea Bay
    Swansea Bay
    Swansea Bay is a bay on the Bristol Channel on the South Wales coast. Places on the bay include Mumbles, Swansea and Port Talbot. The River Neath, River Tawe, River Afan and Blackpill stream flow into the bay....

    : The Maritime Quarter
    Maritime Quarter
    The Maritime Quarter, or Swansea Marina, is a residential area of Swansea, Wales, UK located immediately south of the city centre shopping core. It falls within Swansea's Castle ward...

     to the Knab Rock near the Mumbles Pier
    Mumbles Pier
    The Mumbles Pier is an long Victorian pier built in 1898. It is located at the south-eastern corner of Swansea Bay near the village of Mumbles within the city and county of Swansea, Wales.-Construction:...

    .
  • Clyne Valley Country Park
    Clyne Valley Country Park
    The Clyne Valley Country Park is an area of parkland in Britain, at Swansea in south Wales. It lies on either side of the valley of the Clyne River and comprises an area of over 700 acres of land running from the sea at Blackpill, Swansea, inland to Gowerton...

    : Blackpill
    Blackpill
    Blackpill is a suburban area of Swansea, Wales. It is located beside Swansea Bay, about south west of the city centre.Blackpill falls into the Mayals ward....

     to Gowerton
    Gowerton
    The village of Gowerton is situated about 4 miles north west of Swansea city centre, Wales. Gowerton is often known as the gateway to Gower. Gowerton's original name was Ffosfelin...

     forming part of National Cycle Network, Route
    National Cycle Network
    The National Cycle Network is a network of cycle routes in the United Kingdom.The National Cycle Network was created by the charity Sustrans , and aided by a £42.5 million National Lottery grant. In 2005 it was used for over 230 million trips.Many routes hope to minimise contact with motor...

     4.
  • Along the east bank of the River Tawe
    River Tawe
    The River Tawe is a river in South Wales. It flows in a principally south-westerly direction for some from its source below Moel Feity in the Old Red Sandstone hills of the western Brecon Beacons to the Bristol Channel at Swansea. Its main tributaries are the right bank Upper and Lower Clydach...

     forming the start of National Cycle Network, Route 43, which continues northwards to Builth Wells
    Builth Wells
    Builth Wells is a town in the county of Powys, within the historic boundaries of Brecknockshire, mid Wales, lying at the confluence of the River Wye and the River Irfon, in the Welsh of the Wye Valley. It has a population of 2,352....

    .
  • Adjacent to the Fabian Way: Forming part of National Cycle Network, Route 4
    NCR 4
    Between London and Fishguard, the route runs through Reading, Bath, Bristol, Newport, Swansea, Llanelli and St David's. Within Wales, NCR 4 forms one of the branches of the Celtic Trail cycle route.-London to Reading:Chertsey | Staines | Eton | Maidenhead...

     and extending as the Celtic Trail to Chepstow
    Chepstow
    Chepstow is a town in Monmouthshire, Wales, adjoining the border with Gloucestershire, England. It is located on the River Wye, close to its confluence with the River Severn, and close to the western end of the Severn Bridge on the M48 motorway...

     and (eventually) London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

    .


City cruiser pedal vehicles are being introduced to the city centre
Swansea city centre
Swansea city centre in Swansea, Wales, contains the main shopping, leisure and nightlife district in Swansea. The city centre covers much of the Castle ward including the area around Oxford Street, Castle Square, and the Quadrant Shopping Centre; Alexandra Road, High Street, Wind Street and the...

 in a joint venture between the council and Swansea Business Improvement District
Business improvement district
A business improvement district is a defined area within which businesses pay an additional tax or fee in order to fund improvements within the district's boundaries. Grant funds acquired by the city for special programs and/or incentives such as tax abatements can be made available to assist...

.

In November 2007 a new bridge was completed over the Fabian Way which provides a one way park and ride bus lane and a shared-use pedestrian and NCN
National Cycle Network
The National Cycle Network is a network of cycle routes in the United Kingdom.The National Cycle Network was created by the charity Sustrans , and aided by a £42.5 million National Lottery grant. In 2005 it was used for over 230 million trips.Many routes hope to minimise contact with motor...

 route 4 cycle way. The leaf-shaped bridge was shortlisted for the 2008 Structural Steel Design Awards.

Swansea railway station
Swansea railway station
Swansea railway station is a railway station that serves Swansea, Wales. The station is one of four in the City and County of Swansea and is the fourth busiest in Wales after Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street and Newport.-History:...

 is located 10 minutes from Swansea bus station by foot. Services calling at Swansea operate to Llanelli
Llanelli
Llanelli , the largest town in both the county of Carmarthenshire and the preserved county of Dyfed , Wales, sits on the Loughor estuary on the West Wales coast, approximately west-north-west of Swansea and south-east of the county town, Carmarthen. The town is famous for its proud rugby...

, Carmarthen
Carmarthen
Carmarthen is a community in, and the county town of, Carmarthenshire, Wales. It is sited on the River Towy north of its mouth at Carmarthen Bay. In 2001, the population was 14,648....

, Milford Haven
Milford Haven
Milford Haven is a town and community in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is situated on the north side of the Milford Haven Waterway, a natural harbour used as a port since the Middle Ages. The town was founded in 1790 on the north side of the Waterway, from which it takes its name...

 and Haverfordwest
Haverfordwest
Haverfordwest is the county town of Pembrokeshire, Wales and serves as the County's principal commercial and administrative centre. Haverfordwest is the most populous urban area in Pembrokeshire, with a population of 13,367 in 2001; though its community boundaries make it the second most populous...

 to the west, Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, in the West Midlands region of England. Lying on the River Severn, it is a civil parish home to some 70,000 inhabitants, and is the primary settlement and headquarters of Shropshire Council...

 to the north, and Cardiff Central
Cardiff Central railway station
Cardiff Central railway station is a major railway station on the South Wales Main Line in Cardiff, Wales.It is the largest and busiest station in Wales and one of the major stations of the British rail network, the tenth busiest station in the United Kingdom outside of London , based on 2007/08...

 (for connections to England and beyond), Newport
Newport railway station
Newport railway station is the 3rd busiest railway station in Wales , situated in Newport city centre. It is part of the British railway system owned by Network Rail and is operated by Arriva Trains Wales, although First Great Western and CrossCountry also provide services...

 and London Paddington to the east. There are also suburban stations in Gowerton
Gowerton railway station
Gowerton railway station serves the village of Gowerton, Wales. It is located at street level on Station Road in Gowerton. Since it is unmanned, tickets need to be bought in advance or on the train...

, Llansamlet
Llansamlet railway station
Llansamlet railway station is a minor railway station in Llansamlet, Swansea, Wales. The station is located below street level at Frederick Place in Peniel Green...

 and in Pontarddulais
Pontarddulais railway station
Pontarddulais railway station serves the town of Pontarddulais and village of Hendy in Wales. The station is located at street level not far from the town centre and the Loughor estuary...

 which are served by Arriva Trains Wales
Arriva Trains Wales
Arriva Trains Wales is a train operating company, owned by Arriva, that operates urban and inter urban passenger services in Wales and the Welsh Marches...

.

Swansea Airport
Swansea Airport
Swansea Airport is an airport located at Fairwood Common on the Gower Peninsula west south-west of Swansea, Wales.-Operations:Swansea Airport has a CAA Ordinary Licence that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee...

 is a minor aerodrome situated in the Gower
Gower Peninsula
Gower or the Gower Peninsula is a peninsula in south Wales, jutting from the coast into the Bristol Channel, and administratively part of the City and County of Swansea. Locally it is known as "Gower"...

 providing recreational flights only. Further development of the airport is strongly resisted by the local communities and environmental groups. Swansea is served by Cardiff Airport, 44 miles (70.8 km) east, in the Vale of Glamorgan
Vale of Glamorgan
The Vale of Glamorgan is a county borough in Wales; an exceptionally rich agricultural area, it lies in the southern part of Glamorgan, South Wales...

, which provides scheduled domestic and international flights. It is approximately 40 minutes away by road or 70 minutes by rail. Pembrey Airport
Pembrey Airport
-Former operators:Other airlines that have operated at Pembrey:*Air Wales*Air Independence*Air Winton...

, 17 miles (27.4 km) to the west offers charter flights to a few Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an destinations.

Swansea Marina
Swansea Marina
Swansea Marina is a marina located behind the Swansea barrage at the mouth of the River Tawe in Swansea, south Wales. Swansea Marina was awarded blue flag status in June 2005 and has been awarded five gold anchors by the Yacht Harbour Association...

 to the south of the city centre has berths for 410 leisure boats. An addition 200 berths for leisure boats are located near the mouth of the River Tawe. Further leisure boating berths are being constructed at the Prince of Wales Dock in the Swansea Docks
Swansea docks
Swansea Docks is the collective name for several docks in Swansea, Wales. The Swansea docks are located immediately south east of Swansea city centre. In the mid-19th century the port was exporting 60% of the world's copper from factories situated in the Tawe valley...

 complex. The Swansea Docks complex is owned and operated by Associated British Ports and is used to handle a range of cargo ranging from agribulks and coal to timber and steel. Swansea Docks consists of three floating docks and a ferry terminal.

Fastnet Line
Fastnet Line
Fastnet Line operate a passenger & freight ferry service from Ringaskiddy, Cork, Ireland to Swansea, Wales.-History:From 1987 to 2006, the Swansea Cork ferry was operated by Swansea Cork Ferries Limited, an Irish-based company. The service ceased operating after the 2006 season...

 operate the Swansea Cork Ferry
Swansea Cork ferry
The Swansea Cork ferry is a ferry route linking Swansea in Wales with Ringaskiddy in County Cork, Ireland operated by Fastnet Line. The service was previously operated by Swansea Cork Ferries Ltd between 1987 and 2006.-History:...

 roll-on/roll-off service. There is three services in each direction from September to June and four services in each direction from July to August. A new catamaran-based passenger ferry service from Ilfracombe
Ilfracombe
Ilfracombe is a seaside resort and civil parish on the North Devon coast, England with a small harbour, surrounded by cliffs.The parish stretches along the coast from 'The Coastguard Cottages' in Hele Bay toward the east and 4 miles along The Torrs to Lee Bay toward the west...

 to Swansea was scheduled to begin in Easter 2010 with two return trips a day taking around 50 minutes each way, it would also have had facilities to carry cycles.

Mumbles railway and tram


The Swansea and Mumbles Railway was built in 1804 to move limestone from the quarries of Mumbles to Swansea and to the markets beyond. It carried the world's first fare-paying rail passengers on the day the British Parliament abolished the transportation of slaves from Africa. It later moved from horse power to steam locomotion, and finally converting to electric trams, before closing in January 1960, in favour of motor buses. [2]
At the time of the railway's decommissioning, it had been the world's longest serving railway and it still holds the record for the highest number of forms of traction of any railway in the world – horse-drawn, sail power, steam power, electric power, diesel and petrol.

Leisure and tourism



A number of beaches around Swansea Bay are promoted to visitors. Surfing is possible at Langland Bay
Langland Bay
Langland Bay is a popular coastal holiday resort in Gower, near Swansea in south Wales. In the right conditions, it is one of the best surf beaches in Britain...

, Caswell Bay
Caswell Bay
Caswell Bay is a popular UK holiday resort in the south east of the Gower Peninsula, Swansea, Wales.Access to the beach is relatively easy and inland from the sandy beach is a recreational park. Caswell is ideal for surfing, holidays in the nearby Hotels and Chalet Park. The beach regularly...

 and Llangennith
Llangennith
Llangennith is a village in Gower, in the City and County of Swansea, south Wales. It sits at a crossroads in northwest Gower: Moor Lane leads westwards to a caravan park near Rhossili Bay; while Burrows Lane leads northwards to a caravan park overlooking Broughton Bay. The village has a...

, with the latter winning accolades from two national newspapers for the quality of its waves. The five-mile promenade from the Marina to Mumbles offers views across Swansea Bay. The seaside village of Mumbles
Mumbles
Mumbles or The Mumbles is an area and community in Swansea, Wales which takes its name from the adjacent headland stretching into Swansea Bay...

 has a Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 pier
Mumbles Pier
The Mumbles Pier is an long Victorian pier built in 1898. It is located at the south-eastern corner of Swansea Bay near the village of Mumbles within the city and county of Swansea, Wales.-Construction:...

, small, independent shops and boutiques, restaurants and cafes. The south coast of Gower is the chief magnet for walkers, with a path stretching from Mumbles Head across the cliff tops, beaches and coastal woodland to Rhossili
Rhossili
Rhossili is a small village and community on the southwestern tip of the Gower Peninsula near Swansea in Wales. Since the 1970s it has fallen within the boundaries of Swansea. It is within an area designated as the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the United Kingdom...

.

Attractions


On the Waterfront, Swansea Bay has a five mile (8 km) sweep of coastline which features a beach, promenade, children's lido, leisure pool, marina and maritime quarter featuring the newest and oldest museums in Wales – the National Waterfront Museum
National Waterfront Museum
The National Waterfront Museum, Swansea or NWMS is a museum situated in Swansea, Wales, forming part of the National Museum Wales. It is an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage....

 and Swansea Museum
Swansea Museum
The Swansea Museum in Swansea, Wales, UK is the oldest museum in Wales. The building was built for the Royal Institution of South Wales in 1841 in the neo-classical style.-Main museum:...

. Also situated in the maritime quarter is the Dylan Thomas Centre
Dylan Thomas Centre
The Dylan Thomas Centre is an arts centre located in the Maritime Quarter in Swansea, Wales, UK.Formerly the city's Guildhall, which was originally built in 1825, the Dylan Thomas Centre was restored and refurbished to host the UK Year of Literature and Writing in 1995.It was opened in 1995 by...

 which celebrates the life and work of the author with its permanent exhibition 'Dylan Thomas – Man and Myth' and Mission Gallery
Mission Gallery
Mission Gallery is an independent art gallery in Swansea, Wales.The gallery hosts contemporary art, painting, installation, photography and craft. Formerly St Nicholas Church for seamen, Mission Gallery was designed by Benjamin Bucknall and built in 1886. The building became an art gallery in 1977,...

 a unique art gallery
Art gallery
An art gallery or art museum is a building or space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art.Museums can be public or private, but what distinguishes a museum is the ownership of a collection...

 also in the heart of the Maritime Quarter, the gallery hosts a range of exhibitions from various art disciplines, it also host a craft space, with ranging works from local and international artists. The centre is also the focal point for the annual Dylan Thomas Festival (27 October – 9 November). The SA1 Waterfront area is the latest development for living, dining and leisure.
Swansea Bay, Mumbles and Gower are home to various parks and gardens and almost 20 nature reserves. Clyne Gardens
Clyne Valley Country Park
The Clyne Valley Country Park is an area of parkland in Britain, at Swansea in south Wales. It lies on either side of the valley of the Clyne River and comprises an area of over 700 acres of land running from the sea at Blackpill, Swansea, inland to Gowerton...

 is home to a collection of plants set in parkland and host to 'Clyne in Bloom' in May. Singleton Park
Singleton Park
Singleton Park is the largest urban park in the city of Swansea and is located in Sketty. The park has hosted many entertainment and cultural events such as Party in the Park and Proms in the Park which were regular events by local stations The Wave & Swansea Sound and other music events held by...

 has acres of parkland, a botanical garden, a boating lake with pedal boats, and crazy golf. Plantasia
Plantasia
The Plantasia is a large public hothouse located in the Parc Tawe retail park, Swansea, Wales.- Exhibits :It exhibits a wide range of tropical plants and insects. It opened in 1990....

 is a tropical hothouse pyramid featuring three climatic zones, housing a variety of unusual plants, including several species which are extinct in the wild, and monkeys, reptiles, fish and a butterfly house. Other parks include Cwmdonkin Park
Cwmdonkin Park
Cwmdonkin Park is an urban park situated in the Uplands area of Swansea, south Wales. The park has a bandstand, children's play area, water gardens, tennis courts, and a bowling green.- History :...

, where Dylan Thomas played as a child, and Victoria Park which is close to the promenade on the seafront.

Activities


Swansea has a range of activities including sailing
Sailing
Sailing is the propulsion of a vehicle and the control of its movement with large foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to move the boat relative to its surrounding medium and...

, water skiing
Water skiing
thumb|right|A slalom skier making a turn on a slalom waterski.Waterskiing is a sport where an individual is pulled behind a boat or a cable ski installation on a body of water, skimming the surface.-History:...

, surfing
Surfing
Surfing' is a surface water sport in which the surfer rides a surfboard on the crest and face of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore...

, and other watersports, walking
Walking
Walking is one of the main gaits of locomotion among legged animals, and is typically slower than running and other gaits. Walking is defined by an 'inverted pendulum' gait in which the body vaults over the stiff limb or limbs with each step...

 and cycling
Cycling
Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, or for sport. Persons engaged in cycling are cyclists or bicyclists...

. Part of the Celtic Trail and the National Cycle Network
National Cycle Network
The National Cycle Network is a network of cycle routes in the United Kingdom.The National Cycle Network was created by the charity Sustrans , and aided by a £42.5 million National Lottery grant. In 2005 it was used for over 230 million trips.Many routes hope to minimise contact with motor...

, Swansea Bay provides a range of traffic-free cycle routes including along the seafront and through Clyne Valley Country Park
Clyne Valley Country Park
The Clyne Valley Country Park is an area of parkland in Britain, at Swansea in south Wales. It lies on either side of the valley of the Clyne River and comprises an area of over 700 acres of land running from the sea at Blackpill, Swansea, inland to Gowerton...

. The Cycling Touring Club CTC
Cyclists' Touring Club
CTC and the UK's national cyclists' organisation are the trading names of the Cyclists' Touring Club.CTC is the United Kingdom's largest cycling membership organisation. It also has member groups in the Republic of Ireland...

 has a local group in the area. Swansea Bay, Mumbles and Gower have a selection of golf course
Golf course
A golf course comprises a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing ground, fairway, rough and other hazards, and a green with a flagstick and cup, all designed for the game of golf. A standard round of golf consists of playing 18 holes, thus most golf courses have this number of holes...

s.

Prior to closure in 2003, Swansea Leisure Centre
Swansea Leisure Centre
The LC is a leisure centre located in the city centre of Swansea, Wales, UK. Originally Swansea Leisure Centre, the rebranded facility re-opened to the public on 1 March 2008 after a £32 million makeover...

 was one of the top ten visitor attractions in the UK; it has been redeveloped as an indoor waterpark, rebranded the 'LC', and was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 7 March 2008. The Wales National Pool
Wales National Pool
The Wales National Pool in the Sketty area of Swansea, Wales, is a 50 metre swimming pool built to FINA standards. The facility, which also has a 25m x 9.5m training pool and 1,200 spectator seats, is used to train Wales' world class aquatic sports athletes and houses the headquarters of the...

 is based in Swansea.

Nightlife


Swansea has a range of public house
Public house
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...

s, bar
Bar (establishment)
A bar is a business establishment that serves alcoholic drinks — beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails — for consumption on the premises.Bars provide stools or chairs that are placed at tables or counters for their patrons. Some bars have entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians, go-go...

s, clubs
Nightclub
A nightclub is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night...

, restaurant
Restaurant
A restaurant is an establishment which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services...

s and two casino
Casino
In modern English, a casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions...

s. The majority of city centre bars are situated on Wind Street, with various chains
Pub chain
A pub chain is a group of pubs or bars with a brand image. The brand may be owned outright by one company, or there may be multiple financiers; the chain may be a division within a larger company, or may be a single operation. Examples include Chef & Brewer, Wetherspoons, Walkabout, Taylor Walker...

 represented including Revolution, Varsity, Yates's
Yates's
Yates's is a pub chain, founded as Yates Wine Lodge in Oldham, in North West England by Peter and Simon Yates in 1884.-Business:There are over 70 Yates's pubs or bars in the United Kingdom however, there is no longer one in Oldham. The site of the original Yates' Wine Lodge is marked by a plaque on...

 and Walkabout. Most clubs, including Oceana
Oceana (Nightclub)
Oceana is a chain of nightclubs in the United Kingdom owned and managed by Luminar Leisure. There are Oceana venues in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Kingston, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Plymouth, Southampton, Swansea, Watford and Wolverhampton....

, are located on the Kingsway. Some venues feature live music. The Mumbles
Mumbles
Mumbles or The Mumbles is an area and community in Swansea, Wales which takes its name from the adjacent headland stretching into Swansea Bay...

 Mile, described by the BBC as "one of Wales' best-known pub crawl
Pub crawl
A pub crawl is the act of one or more people drinking in multiple pubs or bars in a single night, normally walking or busing to each one between drinking.-Origin of the term:...

s" has declined in recent years with a number of local pubs being converted into flats or restaurants.

Beaches



Oxwich Bay
Oxwich Bay
thumb|Oxwich Bay on the Gower Peninsula of South WalesOxwich Bay is a bay on the south of the Gower Peninsula, Wales.Its landscape features sand dunes, salt marshes and woodland. Oxwich Bay includes a 2.5-mile long sandy beach, accessible from the village of Oxwich. It is a popular spot for...

 on the Gower Peninsula
Gower Peninsula
Gower or the Gower Peninsula is a peninsula in south Wales, jutting from the coast into the Bristol Channel, and administratively part of the City and County of Swansea. Locally it is known as "Gower"...

 was named the most beautiful beach in Britain by travel writers who visited more than 1,000 around the world in search of the perfect sands (2007). The Travel Magazine praised Oxwich for "magnificent and unspoilt" scenery and as a "great place for adults and children to explore". It boasts over three miles (5 km) of soft, golden sands, making it the ideal family getaway. Not surprisingly, The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

named it one of Britain's blue-riband top 10 category beaches (2007). The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

newspaper hailed Rhossili Bay as "the British supermodel of beaches" (2006) and the best beach in Britain for breathtaking cliffs (2007), whilst The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times is a British Sunday newspaper.The Sunday Times may also refer to:*The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times...

listed it as one of the 25 best beaches in the world (2006). Thanks to its clear air and lovely golden sand, this romantic stretch of sand was voted the best place in the UK to watch the sun set (Country Living
Country Living (magazine)
Country Living is an American lifestyle and decorating magazine published by the Hearst Corporation since 1978. The monthly magazine focuses on cooking, decorating, gardening, and collecting antiques.The current editor-in-chief is Sarah Gray Miller....

 magazine 2005) and one the top romantic spots in the country (The Guardian 2007). Nearby Llangennith Beach, with its soft sands, consistent beach break and great facilities, was listed as the best place to learn how to surf in Britain by The Observer (2006) and one of the 10 'classic surfing beaches by The Guardian (2007). Gower also claims Britain's Best Beach, Three Cliffs Bay
Three Cliffs Bay
Three Cliffs Bay , otherwise Three Cliff Bay, is a bay on the south coast of the Gower Peninsula in the City and County of Swansea, Wales. The bay takes its name from the three sea cliffs that jut out into the bay...

. The Gower landmark topped the BBC Holiday Hit Squad nationwide competition (2006) and was voted Britain's best camping beach by The Independent thanks to its superb setting and quiet location (2007). Three Cliffs Bay
Three Cliffs Bay
Three Cliffs Bay , otherwise Three Cliff Bay, is a bay on the south coast of the Gower Peninsula in the City and County of Swansea, Wales. The bay takes its name from the three sea cliffs that jut out into the bay...

 also made the final of the ITV series Britain's Favourite View – the only nomination in Wales and backed by singer Katherine Jenkins
Katherine Jenkins
Katherine Jenkins is a Welsh mezzo-soprano. She is a classical-popular crossover singer who performs across a spectrum of operatic arias, popular songs, musical theatre and hymns.-Early life and education:...

. Nearby Brandy Cove
Brandy Cove
Brandy Cove is a very small beach in the Gower Peninsula, south Wales, that is much less accessible than Caswell Bay immediately to the east. It is set at the end of a valley from Bishopston village. It is reachable by footpath from Bishopston or from Caswell Bay over some steep cliffs...

 came sixth in an online poll to find the UK's top beach for the baby boomer generation (2006). Beaches which won 2006 Blue Flag Beach Awards are: Bracelet Bay
Bracelet Bay
Bracelet Bay is a small bay on the south of the Gower Peninsula. It is the first bay one comes to after leaving Swansea Bay and rounding Mumbles Head....

, Caswell Bay
Caswell Bay
Caswell Bay is a popular UK holiday resort in the south east of the Gower Peninsula, Swansea, Wales.Access to the beach is relatively easy and inland from the sandy beach is a recreational park. Caswell is ideal for surfing, holidays in the nearby Hotels and Chalet Park. The beach regularly...

, Langland Bay
Langland Bay
Langland Bay is a popular coastal holiday resort in Gower, near Swansea in south Wales. In the right conditions, it is one of the best surf beaches in Britain...

, Port Eynon Bay and Swansea Marina (one of the few Blue Flag Marinas in Wales). All of these beaches also won a Seaside Award 2006. Limeslade was awarded the Rural Seaside Award and the Green Coast Award. Other Green Coast Awards went to Pwll Du, Rhossili Bay and Tor Bay.

External links


City and County of Swansea: