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Some things to do in the Gower (beaches)

The Gower is one of South Wales’ big tourist attractions. It’s a peninsular just west of Swansea and was the first area in the United Kingdom to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  It’s a real mix of rugged coastline, glorious beaches, great views and castles.

I was lucky enough to fly around the Gower last summer so some of the photos in this post will give you a great view of some of the great beaches.

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View of Mumbles village and Swansea Bay

Review – Patricks with Rooms, Mumbles

Last week we stayed in the excellent Patricks With Rooms in Mumbles.  Mumbles is one of our favourite seaside destinations in South Wales.

Patricks is an excellent hotel with a great restaurant. It’s located right on the main promenade only yards from the sea. The hotel has 16 individual bedrooms, the renowned restaurant and a relaxing bar area.  There’s also a small gym and weights room for residents. read more

Mumbles and Mumbles Pier

Mumbles Pier

Mumbles Pier

We’ve recently had a few days in Mumbles staying at the excellent Patrick’s With Rooms hotel.  Mumbles is a great place to visit – it’s right on the seafront with fantastic views right round Swansea Bay.  You can promenade around the Bay for several miles if you wish.

Mumbles Village is great for just spending a few hours – it has lots of little shops, quite a few pubs and great cafés and restaurants.  There’s a good children’s playground and crazy golf (just opposite Patrick’s) and the kids will love the beach at Bracelet Bay and rock-pools when the tide is out.  Note: when the tide is in there’s no beach at all and be warned – the tide comes in quickly here. Check the tides here before you visit. read more

Lunch at the Newbridge Inn, near Usk

We went a bit further afield today to the Newbridge Inn in Tredunnock, near Usk (map). The Newbridge Inn is a pub / restaurant and hotel owned by Chris Evans of Radio and TV fame. The head-chef is Iain Sampson. We had booked for lunch, but there wasn’t any need as it was very quiet. It’s in an ideal location right next to a wonderful bridge over the River Usk. read more

Is the Celtic Manor a “Monolith” ?

Celtic ManorAn interesting point of view from Kevin McCloud on the Celtic Manor Hotel – Celtic Manor is ‘huge monolith’. I must admit that when I first saw the newly built Celtic Manor resort it towered above the old Celtic Manor hotel and the M4 motorway. As time has gone by I guess that we have become used to it’s brooding presence. When you are within the hotel and it’s environs it feels like a pretty impressive place. Visually, I have to agree with Mr McCloud that it’s not that pretty, but as the venue of the 2010 Ryder Cup it’s impressive.

Fairy Hill Hotel, Gower

Port Eyon beach

Quite an interesting review of the Fairy Hill Hotel and Restaurant near Reynoldston on the Gower from late last year.

It’s a couple of years since we last had a meal there and we thought the same, good but not mind-blowing. The restaurant has a huge reputation and I guess that it’s always hard to live up to expectations.

The Foxhunter sounds like it’s worth a visit though.

We found that the beach at nearby Port Eynon is a good place to walk off your meal afterwards!

Bar Meal in the Bear Hotel, Cowbridge

A few days ago I met up with some old school friends from Cowbridge in the Bear Hotel in Cowbridge. I was early and had missed the earlier opportunity of a free meal in Cardiff so I decided to go for a bar meal while I waited for my friends. I decided to go for the Cajun Salmon from the daily specials menu. The meal was excellent – the salmon was cooked to perfection and the Cajun spices and sauce wasn’t too over the top. The meal cost close to £9. With a couple of pints of the Bear’s special real ale the evening went down a treat!!! Not so sure about the friends though. 🙂

Coed-Y-Mwstwr Hotel Bridgend

Photo of the front of the Coed-Y-Mwstwr HotelIf you’re looking for a hotel in South Wales I can thoroughly recommend the “Coed” near Bridgend. It’s run by a friend of mine so I’m a little biased, but it’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for a little comfort and piece and quiet.

It’s a country house hotel with 28 rooms in a great location – in the countryside but only 5 minutes from Bridgend and 5 minutes from the M4 motorway. It’s great for morning coffee as well – it feels quite luxurious sitting in the lounge area in the comfy chairs. A lot of my friends and colleagues rave about the place so don’t just take my word for it!

Have a look at their website for more information – http://www.coed-y-mwstwr.com/