Langland, Wales - travel
While tucking into a truly scrumptious lunch at the warm and welcoming King Arthur Hotel in the heart of Wales’s beautiful Gower peninsular, the enthusiasm of our waitress on the local area was infectious.
She told myself and my partner, Rob, how new business investment in the tourist town where we were staying for the weekend was, to quote her lovely soft lilting accent, “simply fablas”.
We had arrived in Mumbles the night before following news that The Rough Guide to 2018 had put Wales at number five in the list of the top 18 places that should be on your radar this year, ranking above the likes of Cuba, New Orleans and Russia!
We were staying at the gorgeous boutique bed and breakfast, Langland Cove Guesthouse, which is charmingly positioned 200 metres from Langland Bay, in a cosmopolitan area of Swansea.
It was our first trip to this beautiful area on a whistle-stop tour to enjoy its gastronomic gems, magical landscapes, superb visitor attractions, culture and independent shops.
And for those who love to enjoy the great outdoors, the Gower Peninsular’s epic coastline, with its jagged peaks, is also ideal for water sports or hiking enthusiasts.
You can walk all 1,400km of the Wales Coast Path – with Wales being the only country in the world with a dedicated path around its entire coastline.
Add to this a mix of enticing activities, such as world-class mountain biking, a complex of subterranean trampolines and the fastest zip line on the planet, and you start to see just why Wales clinched the number five position in the guide.
We were absolutely delighted with The Langland Cove Guesthouse in Mumbles, which has a TripAdvisor bubble rating of five, marking it as “Excellent”. It has beautiful interiors and is run with all the warmth of a family-run bed and breakfast.
Knowing we were going to be arriving late, our superb host, Carwyn, had prepared a generous ploughman’s lunch for us to enjoy.
He is an excellent cook, serving up a mouth-watering breakfast menu with many choices to ponder over.
And for lunchtime and evening meals, Mumbles has ample pubs and restaurants just a 10-minute walk away.
After enjoying a superb breakfast the following morning, Rob and I set off for Gower’s most westerly point at Rhossili Bay, to take a walk on Rhossili Beach – the only beach to have been named Britain’s top beach by TripAdvisor for two years running.
While there you can take in spectacular scenery and walk towards the Worm’s Head, with its breathtaking views of the Atlantic. There is also a National Trust visitor centre on site.
Then we had lunch at the King Arthur Hotel in Reynoldston. The King Arthur Hotel serves fabulous food and excellent traditional ales and is surrounded by beautiful gardens with a waterfall to take a stroll through. It is also a stone’s throw from the famous Arthur’s Stone and the 360-degree views across Gower from Cefn Bryn. We enjoyed excellent gammon steak and sirloin steak dishes, followed by a lip-smackingly good chocolate and orange cheesecake.
Next on the agenda was a stroll around Mumbles’ pretty local shops and boutiques to check out the handmade crafts and superb ice creams. The Lovespoon Gallery and Gower Gallery are also well worth a visit.
That evening it was time to check out one of the latest additions to Mumble’s seafront restaurants, Bistrot Pierre.
A very impressive, contemporary French-style two-floor restaurant, with floor-to-ceiling windows and stunningly high ceilings, this is one of Mumbles’ latest success stories.
It was heaving, so make sure you book in advance. We were served an excellent three-course meal. Everything was faultless, the food, service and surroundings . . . .
On Sunday morning, after enjoying yet another excellent breakfast served by Carwyn, we set off to visit Swansea’s impressive Waterfront area.
Here we were able to visit The Dylan Thomas Centre, the stunning modern National Waterfront Museum and the Swansea Museum, to take a step back in time.
Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, founded in 1911 and recently massively redeveloped, is another big draw.
For lunch we checked out the Grape and Olive restaurant, which lies at the top of Wales’s tallest building, the Meridian Tower, being 351 feet high, with 360-degree views across the five-mile sweep of Swansea Bay, towards Mumbles.
For mains we had an awesome Sunday lunch sharing platter for two. We were so full we had to pass on dessert.
Sadly it was now time to begin our journey home, and having eaten so much over the weekend, we just about managed to squeeze ourselves into the car to set off.
Our trip had not been a disappointment. Wales, and especially Swansea and Mumbles, is more than worthy of its recognition by The Rough Guide to 2018.