Swansea audio tour: Dylan Thomas’ Swansea: A Stroll from Castle Square to the Civic Centre

Dylan Thomas’ Swansea: A Stroll from Castle Square to the Civic Centre

Walking Tour

|
60 mins
|
1.9mi

About the Tour

If you’re a Dylan Thomas fan, a first-time visitor to Swansea, or just love a good story, then this walking tour will fit the bill.

See many of the sights that made this one of Wales’ most beautiful old towns before Swansea gained its city status, and hear how its centre was forever changed after the Three Nights’ Blitz during World War Two. You’ll pass buildings full of Victorian splendour, old alleyways that lead to secret spots and see the bay with one of the highest tidal climbs in all of Europe.

Along the way, I’ll point out the many corners connected to Dylan Thomas, from his favourite hangouts to the places he featured in his stories. As a native of Swansea and a lover of Dylan Thomas, I want to show you exactly why Dylan was so right when he called it an ‘ugly, lovely town’.

Some of the highlights on this tour include:

• Hearing a brief reading from Dylan
• Getting a glimpse of Swansea’s ruined castle
• Taking in one of the most beautiful bays in Wales
• Seeing the road that has masqueraded as New York, Oxford, and several mythical towns in films and on TV
• Hearing tales from Swansea’s murky past

Although you might be able to finish this walk in an hour, you should allow an entire morning or afternoon to complete it at a leisurely pace. There are many lovely pubs and cafes along the way including The No Sign Bar, The Queens, and The Marina to stop off for a drink or a snack. The more erudite amongst you could easily lose yourselves in the Swansea or National Waterfront Museums.

Tour Producer

avatar

Adrian Metcalfe

Adrian has been a tour manager, guide and actor for over twenty-five years. He is a Classics graduate from Cambridge University and works all over Europe in several languages. However, as a man born and raised in Swansea (Wales), his especial love is for his home town and its greatest poet, Dylan Thomas. He is never happier as when he is leading groups through his home town - the 'ugly, lovely town' of Swansea, as Dylan called it.

Major Landmarks

  • Swansea Castle

  • Mount Pleasant Baptist Church

  • Morgan's Hotel

  • The Dylan Thomas Centre

  • Swansea Museum

  • National Waterfront Museum

  • Dylan Thomas Square

  • Swansea Observatory

  • The Meridian Tower

Directions to Starting Point

The tour start in Castle Square in the City Centre of Swansea. It is about a ten minute walk from Swansea's High Street Railway Station or the Quadrant Bus Station. The square itself has a fountain in the middle and steps that lead up to the old ruined castle. The tour will start at the top of those steps and you start by descending them.

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Tips

Places to stop along the way

If you fancy a drink or a pub lunch then both The No Sign Bar and The Queens Hotel en route are great lively stops which couldn't be more 'Swansea'. A more upmarket venue would be Morgans Hotel. There are a number of cafes along the way - the Marina Cafe, or AlFresco next to the National Waterfront Museum. Both the Swansea Museum and the National Waterfront are free to enter; and the Mission Gallery and the Dylan Thomas Theatre are worth a visit if they are open. Perhaps, at the end of the walk, if you are feeling adventurous, you could even venture further along the front to the GuildHall or Mumbles?

Best time of day

In the morning or early afternoon before the city centre gets really busy with shoppers and revellers. It can be done in rain or shine but if it is very windy the end of the walk is quite exposed. Take care when crossing the roads and walking near the river and dock areas.

Precautions

Swansea is a relatively safe city, but it does have its rough and ready side, like all places. Be aware as you walk along the streets, especially along Wind Street later in the day. Also, this is Wales; you would do well to be prepared for rain even if it doesn't look likely when you leave the house!

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Dylan Thomas’ Swansea: A Stroll from Castle Square to the Civic Centre