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.
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, very well, 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. Not many people know this, but Fortes, located overlooking Limeslade Bay, was actually the original Ice cream parlour. Try them all for yourself and see which you like the best!
2. Learn to Surf
Mumbles is surrounded by the sea and in the right conditions there are some great waves here too. 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. That's what holidays are for!
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.
A final fact to impress your friends: Mumbles takes its name from the French word ‘mamelles’, meaning breasts, due to the shape off the two islands by the pier.