Pete Seaward

Swansea, The Gower & Carmarthenshire

A smorgasbord of experiences is on offer in this corner of Wales, with physical proximity the only thing linking its three main dishes: unforgettable coasts, abundant greenery and excellent produce.

But singling these out is not to slight Swansea: the area's once-neglected 'capital' is now delivering big-city food and culture, and is linked by a sweeping seafront to its attractive beach outlier, the attractive little enclave known as The Mumbles. Beyond Swansea are the craggy coastline and epic sandy beaches of the Gower Peninsula, famous for water sports (especially surfing) and top-notch hiking. Inland, the fecund heartland of rural Carmarthenshire is little touristed but a treat for horticulturalists, with nationally significant parks and gardens never hard to find.

If that's whetted your appetite, this area's regional specialities are some of the most famous in all of Wales: salt-marsh lamb, Penclawdd cockles, laver bread and Carmarthen ham. Tuck in.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Swansea, The Gower & Carmarthenshire.