MUMBLES IS A CHARMING FISHING VILLAGE
Mumbles (Welsh: Mwmbwls) is a headland sited on the western edge of Swansea Bay. Mumbles has been noted for its unusual place name. The headland is thought by some to have been named by French sailors, after the shape of the two anthropomorphic islands which comprise the headland. Another possible source of the name is from the word Mamucium which is thought to derive from the Celtic language meaning breast-shaped hill.
Its lighthouse was built during the 1790s and was converted to solar powered operation in 1995. The nearby pier was opened in 1898 at the terminus of the Mumbles Railway, which in its time was one of the oldest passenger railways in the world. The railway closed in 1960. These days the name 'Mumbles' is given to a district covering the electoral wards of Oystermouth, Newton, West Cross and Mayals.
Your holiday in Swansea, Mumbles and Gower can be filled with beaches, events, activities, great places to stay, walking, surfing, gardens and more for you to explore.
Walk round stunning coastal paths to the beaches of Langland and Caswell or shop in the classy boutique stores of Newton Road. Explore quaint streets lined with colourful cottages and stop off for a locally-brewed ale in one of the pubs along the famous Mumbles mile, all when you visit this charming fishing village.
With its idyllic beaches and superb coastal paths, exquisite shops and gourmet restaurants, Mumbles is without doubt one of the UK's most complete tourist destinations and truly has something for everyone to enjoy.
Foodies can dine in everything from lively pizza parlours to healthy cafes and fine dining fish restaurants, while children will leave with memories of endless days at the beach, classic amusement arcades and world-beating ice cream.
Outdoor enthusiasts can use Mumbles as a base to explore the superb Gower Peninsula, where excellent surf, some beautiful hiking and much, much more await. Those who prefer the high street will find high end fashion, stylish galleries and luxurious beauty parlours all within easy walking distance.
Swansea Bay is blessed with many award-winning beaches such as Bracelet Bay (Blue Flag and Seaside Award), Caswell Bay (Blue Flag and Seaside Award), Langland Bay (Blue Flag and Seaside Award) and Limeslade Bay (Green Coast Award and Rurual Seaside Award).
- Mumbles Beach: Is a very small sheltered area of sand and rock pools sandwiched between Swansea Bay beach and Bracelet Bay in the south eastern corner of the Gower Peninsula, Swansea, Wales.
A lot of sea life can be found in the pools and under the rocks, left trapped by the retreating tides. During the summer, this beach can get very busy with people combing the beach for hermit crabs and small fishes. The beach is accessible from a flight of steps beside the Mumbles Pier.
- Swansea Beach: Swansea Beach stretches for five miles along Swansea Bay between the Maritime Quarter and the "Knab Rock" near Mumbles in Wales. It is backed by a promenade/cycle track (part of National Cycle Route 4) and a coastal road. The southern section of the Swansea Bay beach between Blackpill and Mumbles is designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Swansea Beach has a couple of named sections. The section of beach just outside Victoria park is known as "The Slip". Blackpill Beach is the section around the mouth of the Clyne River.
- Tourism: In recent years, tourism has provided a boost to the local economy. Swansea Bay itself was popular in Victorian times and in the early part of the 20th century. However, despite having dunes and golden sands over a large section of the Bay all the way from the mouth of the River Neath to Blackpill, with the exception of the Swansea Docks breakwater, it now rarely hosts more than a few hundred visitors on even the best day, even in the height of summer and has seen little of the tourist boom. Ironically in the last ten years or so, with the reduction in pollution has come an increase in the amount of sand on the lower stretches of the Bay at low tide which were once almost pure mud flats.
In an attempt to popularise the Bay, in late February 2007, Swansea Council announced plans for a major revamp of the entire Bay from The Slip all the way round to Mumbles Pier. These include new toilets at The Slip, further improvements to the St. Helens Ground, housing on part of the Recreation Ground, a new 'Extreme Sports' Centre at Sketty Lane, further improvements at the popular Blackpill Lido including a new cycle and pedestrian bridge linking the coast path to the Clyne Valley Cycle Path, a multi-story car park at Mumbles Quarry and mixed development at Oystermouth Square and improvements to the Mumbles Pier. There are children's play areas at Blackpill and the area near the Swansea city centre called "The Slip".
- Things to do: With so much to choose from, we thought we'd put together a list of suggestions to help you get the most of your Mumbles holiday.
1. An Ice Cream Tasting: If there's one thing Mumbles does very, it's ice cream. Joes on Mumbles Road is the most famous of the parlours, with its classic creamy vanilla seeing queues going far down the road, while Verdis on the seafront is another favourite for their numerous flavours of delicious Italian gelato. tFortes, located overlooking Limeslade Bay, was actually the original Ice cream parlour.
2. Learn to Surf: Mumbles is surrounded by the sea and in the right conditions there are some great waves. If you've never surfed before the gentle waves at Caswell Bay are the perfect place to learn, and local surf school Surf GSD are on hand to show you the basics. More experienced surfers will find several fun peaks at Langland, while the 22 miles of the Gower coastline to the west has points, reefs and beaches all of which produce some great waves.
3. A Day at the Beach: With their golden sands and classic beach huts, endless rockpools and great cafes, the beaches of Mumbles have all the ingredients for a classic day at the seaside. Caswell is the largest, with a wide expanse of sand at low tide, while Langland is extremely popular due to its great cafes and proximity to the village. Towards the lighthouse you will find the pretty coves known as Bracelet Bay and Limeslade Bay - the perfect place for a quiet day soaking up the sun.
4. A Coastal Walk: Head arond the cliffs from the Mumbles Lighthouse and you will find the superbly maintained coastal walkway that takes you all the way from Mumbles Head to Caswell (about 3 miles). Carry on further still and you really get to see the beauty of Gower, with idyllic, isolated bays like Pwlldu and Brandy Cove awaiting those who are prepared to make the effort. It's possible to walk the entire south coast in a day, though you may want to break this up over the course of a week and enjoy a tasty lunch on one of Gower's excellent pubs.
5. Be Pampered for a day: Mumbles is where Swansea's 'ladies-that-lunch' come to shop and be seen, so it's little surprise that you'll find several exceptional beauty salons in the village. Enjoy a morning shopping for bargains in the stylish boutique stores then treat yourself to a massage, hair cut or one of numerous other beauty treatments.
6. A Good Pint: As well as its trendy wine bars and classy cafes, Mumbles is home to some truly classic British pubs. The Pilot at the end of the Seafront has its own microbrewery, while The Park Inn, tucked away in the backstreets near the church has a great atmoshpere and a regularly changing menu of great ales. Ale fans can complete their tour with a pint at the Mumbles Ale House on Dunns Lane, which sources the best, award winning ales from around the country.
The Mumbles Pier is an 835 feet (255 m) long Victorian pier built in 1898. It is located at the south-western corner of Swansea Bay near the village of Mumbles within the city and county of Swansea, Wales.
- Construction: Designed by W. Sutcliffe Marsh and promoted by John Jones Jenkins of the Rhondda and Swansea Bay Railway, the pier opened on 10 May 1898 at a cost of £10,000. It was the western terminus for the world's first passenger carrying railway, the Swansea and Mumbles Railway; and a major terminal for the White Funnel paddle steamers of P and A Campbell, unloading tourists from routes along the River Severn and Bristol Channel.
- Heyday: The Amusement Equipment Company (AMECO) gained a licence to operate the pier from 1 October 1937. The pier was sectioned in World War II, but AMECO acquired the freehold in 1957, extensively reconstructing the facility and adding a landing jetty. A new arcade was built on the pier's frontage in 1966. AMECO spent between £25,000 and £30,000 per annum on the maintenance and replacement of the steelwork between 1975 and 1985.
- Reopening: Closed on 1 October 1987 for a £40,000 refit, which included renewal of the steel around the entrance, the pier reopened on Good Friday 1988.
Today, the pier is used only for fishing and tourism, offering panoramic views of Swansea Bay with the Mumbles Lighthouse on one side and Port Talbot on the other. Halfway along the Pier on the Bay side is a Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboat station. Still housing the historical records of the local Mumbles lifeboat, the House also currently handles the 'Tyne' Class boat. The Pier complex is owned and operated by the Bollom family.
The land beside the pier is now an entertainment complex comprising bars, restaurant, an ice-skating rink (opened in 2006 and featured in an ITV Wales documentary series) and an amusement arcade.
- Future plans: In recent years the pier has fallen into a state of disrepair with a large section fenced off to visitors and other areas patched up to maintain safety. The owners plan to repair the pier along with the regeneration of the nearby area. The plans include the building of a new hotel and spa, a conference and exhibition centre and a new boardwalk linking the Knab rock with the pier.
- Mumbles Lighthouse: Mumbles Lighthouse, completed in 1794, is a lighthouse located in Mumbles, near Swansea. The structure, which sits on the outer of two islands off Mumbles Head, is clearly visible from any point along the five mile sweep of Swansea Bay. Along with the nearby lifeboat station, it is the most photographed landmark in the village.
The tower has two tiers and initially two open coal fire lights were displayed. These open coal fire lights were difficult to maintain and were soon replaced by a single oil powered light within a cast iron lantern.
In 1860, the oil powered light was upgraded to a dioptric light and the fort that surrounds the tower was built by the War Department. In 1905, an occulting mechanism, where the light was made to flash, was fitted. This was partially automated in 1934. By 1977, the cast iron lantern had deteriorated beyond repair and was removed. A different lantern was added in 1987. In 1995, the main light was replaced and an array of solar panels and emergency monitoring equipment were added.
Swansea Bay (Welsh: Bae Abertawe) is a bay on the Bristol Channel on the southern coast of Wales. Places on the bay include Swansea and Port Talbot. The River Neath, River Tawe, River Afan, River Kenfig and Clyne River flow into the bay.
Swansea Bay (and upper reaches of the Bristol Channel) experience a large tidal range (Springs max 10m). The shipping ports in Swansea Bay are Swansea Docks, Port Talbot Docks and Briton Ferry wharfs.
- History: Oyster fishing was once an important industry in Swansea Bay, employing 600 people at its height in the 1860s. However, overfishing, disease and pollution had all but wiped out the oyster population by 1920. In 2005 plans were announced to reintroduce the Oyster farming industry.
- Pollution: For the last two decades of the 20th century, the bay was blighted by pollution, partly from the surrounding heavy industry and partly from sewerage outlets being sited at inappropriate locations including the main one that was located just seaward of Mumbles Lighthouse.
A pumping station inside the cliff adjacent to Knab Rock brought all of Swansea city's effluent in a raw form to this point. Adding to the problem was the natural current flow of the waters in the Bay which often did not move the polluted waters further out to sea. Ironically, the outgoing tide did not carry the raw sewage down the adjacent Bristol Channel, but instead cause it to be sucked in around the circumference of the Bay and only then out down the Channel.
If not fully discharged on that tide, the incoming tide would then push the same effluent up the Channel, and once again circulate around the Bay. Efforts were made by the local authority to reduce the pollution in the Bay but care had to be taken to ensure the pollution did not move to the popular beach resorts in south Gower instead.
This original sewer outlet was finally made inactive in around 1996 following the construction of a brand new pipeline which ran all the way back around the Bay following the line of the old Mumbles Railway as far as Beach Street, along the sea-side of the Maritime Quarter and through Swansea Docks to a new £90 million sewage treatment plant at Crymlyn Burrows near Port Tennant from which a new outlet was made, extending further out to sea. As a consequence of the huge improvement these works have made, it is hoped that Swansea Bay will achieve Blue Flag Beach status. Aberavon beach was awarded Blue Flag status in December 2007.
- Fossil: There is one existing GE built gas-fired power station located just inland at Baglan Bay. A second gas fired power station, the "Abernedd Power Station" has been approved for construction.
- Biomass plans: A new biomass power station has been approved for construction near the coast at Port Talbot.
- Tidal plans: Swansea Bay (along with the rest of the Bristol Channel) has one of the highest tidal ranges in the world. This offers a potential for electricity generation using tidal lagoons. A proposal has been put forward by Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Ltd. for a tidal lagoon to be constructed. The tidal lagoon would be sited just south of the Queen's Dock between River Tawe and River Neath estuaries. This project is controversial, partly due to the amount of subsidy required to make the project viable and also because of the potential damage to an AONB and MCZ in Cornwall where Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay seek to re-open a disused quarry at Dean Point from which to source the rock for the lagoon.
- Wind plans: In addition to tidal power, construction of an offshore windfarm in the Bay has been approved, but construction has now been deferred owing to the costs involved. The windfarm was to have been sited at Scarweather Sands, about 5 km (3 mi) off the coast and visible from Porthcawl.