Updated: Mar 6
Desperate to get out of London, I booked a short break to Swansea, Wales. Somewhere I had never been before, I was sure I was going to have fun. A mesmerizing beach already had me sold the minute I saw it online. I left home 2 hours early for a 45-minute journey to catch our 9.30 AM coach. My anxiety was already kicking in.
When we arrived at Victoria station, we stopped off to use the toilet once, twice and maybe three times. I was unsure why I was nervous. Once I got comfortable, I checked my emails, played a few online games and patiently waited for the time to head to the coach station.
When 8.50 AM arrived, we made our way from the train station to the coach station which was only five to seven minutes away. We watched our coach come in early and by 09.00 AM they were letting us board the coach. The coach departed at 9.30 AM sharp and my son and I stayed awake for 2 hours before quickly falling asleep. It was a battle of napping and eating - up until midday.
From midday, we paid full attention to the beautiful green pastures, animals, and holiday homes we could see from our coach. Before you knew it, we were already at Cardiff Castle. A short while after, we had finally arrived at Swansea Bus Quadrant, so we grabbed our cases before making our way to our hotel.
We walked around the Quadrant to browse in some shops, before setting the address in my GPS to navigate us to our hotel.
It was a 28-minute walk to our hotel, and I wanted to explore as much as possible so we avoided taking the bus. We finally arrived at our hotel, The Alexander, and we were hot, sweaty and ready for a warm soapy shower.
One Mesmerising Beach!
After our shower, we had a nap before heading down to the beach for a nice evening stroll. The beach was gorgeous and we soaked up all the sunshine, trying to get some vitamin D. After a wonderful evening at the beach, we were very hungry so we went for a late-night bite of fish and Chips from the local chippy.
We didn’t enjoy the fish and chips, but a hot meal was all that we really craved. Our first night in Swansea was nice but although our hotel T.V. didn’t work, this meant we had to watch YouTube Vlogs on our phones at bedtime.
A jam-packed itinerary
The next morning, we left out very early as we had a packed itinerary. We entered Costa at 8.00 AM for breakfast and coffee. After breakfast, we walked to the Town Centre for an early morning stroll. We headed to the Castle after a little wandering around the town. The Castle was slightly disappointing as it was just the remains from the 13th and 14th centuries, and I didn’t remember this fact before arranging a visit. We still enjoyed the visit as much as we could, and took photos and videos, and read a little bit about its history.
We continued our stroll before making our way to the National Waterfront Museum. There was a children’s event going on so we decided to arrive shortly after it started. We spent just over two hours at the museum, enjoying a steel band, face painting, free pizza, origami making, meeting the pets and watching a live performance.
We watched the boats pass by the marina on the waterfront, before enjoying the history the museum had to offer. After the museum, we had lunch and headed down to our favourite spot- The Beach! We spent a couple of hours at the beach before losing track of time. It was time for dinner, so we decided to quickly make our way back to town.
Just as we were leaving the beach, we could hear loud bustling music and something that look somewhat like a fete or a fair. We headed over before being stopped at the gate. Security did not let us in and said the event was fully booked. Bearing in mind it was an outdoor event and we had just seen people walk straight in. Although we felt like this was a discriminatory act, we turned around gracefully with our heads held high and made our way to dinner.
We couldn’t decide between Cuban or Japanese so we thought we’d get both! We arrived at the Japanese restaurant at 8.15 PM and they had already closed. So we made our way to the Cuban restaurant as we checked their closing time was 12 AM.
Once we arrived at Old Havana, the Cuban restaurant, we were greeted by a staff member at the door. He explained that he was unable to let us in before 9.30 PM because I had a child under 18 with me…. (All we wanted was dinner.) It was 8.25 PM, so how could he not let us in at 8.25 PM but proceed to say that he would at 9.30 PM.
That made absolutely no sense to us. Before we could think about it, he answered for us and said “You wouldn’t want to wait an hour so I’ll show you another restaurant downstairs” and he chauffeured us downstairs to a completely different restaurant, which was a fine dining English restaurant not Cuban.
I laughed. Something inside me found it funny.
So we walked away in search of something else to eat. We had a choice between McDonald's and Turtle Bay and Turtle Bay was NEVER going to be a choice of mine, so we stuck with McDonald's.
We finally got to sit down in McDonald's and have some hot chocolate, nuggets, fries, and apple pies. We recapped our journey so far, and no one and nothing could spoil it for us. My feet were swollen from all the walking around, and we still had to muster up the strength to walk back to our hotel.
When we arrived back at our hotel, we soaked our feet before showering for bed. We were exhausted and had an early morning ahead of us, as we’d be leaving Swansea to return home to London.
The next morning, our short break had finally come to an end. We handed our keys back into the key box, before heading to Costa again for breakfast. We spent the last couple of hours in Costa before heading back to the coach station. The time was nearing for our coach to arrive and we couldn’t find our coach details on the screen.
We quickly realised we were in the bus section of the station, so we headed further down to the coach section before patiently waiting for our coach to arrive. Our coach arrived at 12.15 PM sharp and it was time to head back to London.
Our 5-hour coach journey back was filled with snacks and sleep, and before we knew it were we back at Victoria station. Despite a few hiccups, this was a well-deserved, and memorable visit to Swansea, one where I would most certainly return.