South Glamorgan

The industry heritage of the Welsh Valleys gives way to the vibrant cities of Swansea and Cardiff. Relax and enjoy the stunning coast line as Glamorgan reaches the sea at The Mumbles and Gower Peninsula.

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South Glamorgan Overview

Welcome to Glamorgan

The county of Glamorgan – or Glamorganshire – comprises the modern day counties of South Glamorgan, West Glamorgan and Mid Glamorgan and borders the ceremonial counties of Powys and Dyfed, Monmouthshire and the Bristol Channel.

Glamorgan contains two cities – the county town and Welsh capital, Cardiff and Swansea.

The landscape of Glamorgan includes the agricultural Vale of Glamorgan, the valleys – home to Welsh industry and the scenic Gower Peninsula.


History

Over the centuries the area has been much fought over first by the Romans and then between the Normans and Welsh Princes and the English and Welsh, leaving a legacy of castles large and small.

Until the early 18th century Glamorgan was largely agriculturally focused. The Industrial Revolution led to an increase in pastoral farming to feed the growing population employed by the large scale industrial transformation that took place in the Welsh Valleys as coal mining and iron, copper and tin industries became the engine room of the Welsh economy.

The stunning coastline of the Gower Peninsula and the vibrant cities of Swansea and the capital city, Cardiff, means the area attracts thousands of visitors a year meaning tourism is now a significant contributor to the local economy.


Places to visit in Glamorgan

Glamorgan has a wide choice of activities and great of days out to keep all the family entertained.

A visit to the capital and port city of Cardiff, delivers a whole range of attractions and events. The Cardiff Bay waterfront is home to the Wales Millennium Centre – hosting opera, theatre, dance and orchestra. The magnificent Cardiff Castle is a great attraction – once a Roman fort, you can explore 2000 years of history and climb the Norman keep for views across the city. Explore the museum to discover the life of the Welsh soldier or take one of a number of tours. The Millennium Stadium – now known as the Principality Stadium – frequently hosts exhibitions, music and international sports events, ranging from football and rugby to speedway. The city is also a great place to shop, boasting designer brands, individual boutiques and larger chains. St. David’s Shopping Centre, the Queens Arcade, the Royal Arcade and the Castle Arcade are amongst a host of venues where you can shop ‘til you drop! On the outskirts of Cardiff you will find Dyffryn Gardens – 55 acres of gardens surrounding a Victorian mansion house. Dr Who fans will be able to recognise many of the locations in and around Cardiff used in the TV series.

The waterfront city of Swansea sits on the 5 mile sands of Swansea Bay. Visitors can enjoy Swansea Museum, Dylan Thomas Museum and the National Waterfront Museum where exhibits tell the story of 300 years of Welsh innovation and industry. Other attractions include Singleton Botanical Gardens, Victoria Park and Cwmdonkin Park. Swansea is also a great place to shop, with nearly 250 shops in the city you will find a range outlets, brands and designers to suit all tastes.

Mumbles, often referred to as the “gateway to the Gower” is a vibrant destination that signifies the beginning of the Gower Peninsula coastline. Take in the Victorian pier, browse the surf shops or climb the hill to the Oystermouth Castle with stunning views across Swansea Bay. If you are looking to relax then there are great places to indulge in shopping and a selection of eateries for food fans.

The Gower Peninsula was the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and it’s easy to see why. Golden sands, limestone cliffs, views of the ocean and wild moorland combine to make this one of the top scenic locations in the UK. Surfers, cyclists and walkers flock to the area to enjoy the views and fresh air. The area is rich in history with over 1,200 archaeological sites including hill fort, caves, settlements, castles, churches, monuments and a lighthouse. Don’t forget to bring a camera – you won’t be disappointed!

Glamorgan has a large range of annual events including the Cowbridge Music Festival, Cowbridge Food & Drink Festival, the Vale of Glamorgan Show, the Vale of Glamorgan Festival and Festival of Voice in Cardiff.

The area is proud of its industrial heritage and has done much to clean and preserve former buildings. Blaenavon is a world heritage site with preserved iron works, a former coal mine – the Big Pit National Coal Museum, steam railway and lake created from former mine workings where red kites now soar.

Glamorgan’s traditional food includes the Glamorgan Sausage – a vegetarian dish, the popular laverbread made from seaweed, cockles from North Gower and a range of lamb and beef grazed on the salt marshes of the Gower.


Getting There…

Glamorgan is accessible by road via the A48, A48(M) and the M4 motorway which is the main route into the region, linking to England via the Severn River Crossing.

The mainline railway runs from London to Cardiff, making a capital to capital journey possible in under 2 hours, whilst Cardiff Airport is the main route for travellers flying into the region.



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