MUMBLES AND GOWER, SOUTH WALES
Being 50% Welsh, I might be bias, but there is no better stretch of coastline in the UK (perhaps the world?) than that along the Gower Peninsula.
Not exactly what you could describe as a "hidden" beauty, Mumbles features regularly at the top of The Times "Best Places To Live" list. With it's wonderful selection of restaurants, perfect blend of town & country, plethora of sandy beaches and that as-if-you-were-family Welsh welcome, it's easy to see why it's so popular.
If you fancy dipping your toe into the water, rather than making the full-time plunge, here is all you need to know about how to get the best out of this fantastic area in a few days.
HOW TO GET TO MUMBLES
Easily reached by train (London Paddington to Swansea, then taxi to Mumbles), you may prefer to take the car in order to pack paddle-boards and wetsuits. This is usually an easy drive down the M4 taking about 3 and a half hours from London. And of course remember the Severn Bridge is now FREE!
WHERE TO STAY IN MUMBLES
PLACES TO EAT IN MUMBLES
HAYSTACK CAFE - Seriously delicious brunch food - notably the pancake stacks - and excellent coffee. Cannot book.
RAG & BONE - Another spot for a great brunch or lunch. Again, no bookings.
Gower Seafood Hut
ELYWN - a fairly new restaurant for Mumbles, small plates, craft beer and organic wine. Be sure to book ahead. Home of Taco Tuesdays.
MOR - Excellent seafood and extensive wine list. And very instagram friendly plates.
LANGLAND BRASSERIE - local's favourite. Family friend, amazing seafood and idyllic sea views.
THINGS TO DO IN MUMBLES
Paddle-boarding on Langland Beach
Walk the coastal path from Mumbles Pier to Caswell Bay
Peruse the shops on Newton Road
Eat Joe's ice cream as you amble around town
BEST BEACHES OF GOWER
Three Cliffs Bay
PLACES TO STOP ON GOWER
Beach House, Oxwich Bay - Michelin star restaurant with the most spectacular beach views
Nomad, Gowerton - small plates and tapas with an ever changing menu, great fun spot for dinner
Gower Gin Distillery, Port Eynon
The Bay Bistro and Coffee House, Rhossili
Cwm Ivy, Llanmadoc