5 Terrific Things to do in the Swansea Valley

The area around the River Tawe to the north east of Swansea is a historic, varied area. With so many things to see and do, it’s a haven for both visitors and locals.

Stuck for something to do in Swansea? Here are the 5 best things to do in the Swansea valley:

Swansea Canal © Gareth Lovering

#1 – Walk the Industrial Routes of Swansea Canal

During the industrial revolution until the First World War, the area around the River Tawe was one of the most industrialised in the world. Coal mining was huge business.

Swansea may not be the industrial power it once was, but its canal, opened in 1798 at a cost of £60,000, is a throwback to those heady times. It ran for more than 16 miles, and although only 5 miles remains of active water it still offers a range of great walks. The perfect way to taste the valley’s rich history.

Looking for more great walks in and around Swansea? Check out our great guide.

Dan yr Ogof © Chris SampsonDan yr Ogof © SocialRobot

#2 – Descend Down into Dan yr Ogof Caves

The National Showcaves Centre for Wales at Dan-Yr-Ogof is a perfect place to take both young and old. Voted by Radio Times readers as Britain’s greatest natural wonder, the caves are reportedly the largest in Europe.

Cave divers have identified that the network stretches at least 11 miles underground, although they also anticipate that it could go as far as 90 miles underneath huge swathes of South Wales. At Dan Yr Ogof you can get your hard hat on and enjoy the three huge main caves that are open to the public, or even find out about dinosaurs that walked round Wales.

Waterfall @ Sgwd Henrhyd © Jason Rogers

#3 – Wonder at the view of Sgwd Henrhyd

Sgwd Henrhyd, or Henryhd Waterfall, on the southerly edge of the Brecon Beacons is a jaw-dropping attraction – and at 90ft the tallest waterfall found in South Wales’ esteemed Waterfall County. It’s a popular spot and easy to walk down to from the National Trust car park just outside Coelbren.

Batman fans may well recognise the waterfall, which was used as the entrance to the Batcave at the end of The Dark Night Rises. Just don’t jump down.

Craig y Nos Castle © Gruenemann

#4 – Get Haunted at Craig Y Nos Castle

South Wales is famous for its castles, but the grounds and locale of this Victorian Gothic country house make it perhaps one of the best in the Swansea Valley. Bought by the opera superstar Adelina Patti in the late 19th century who developed it and added an iconic Grade 1 listed opera house to the already-impressive castle, Craig Y Nos is now a successful hotel and wedding venue

It is also said to suffer from paranormal phenomena. Patti and her second husband have been reported to roam the estate, as well as a number of children who supposedly died when the estate was used as a hospital to fight TB in the mid-20th century. So if you’re visiting on one of its ghost tours and notice some spooky goings on, don’t say we didn’t warn you!

#5 – Swim and splash around at The LC, Swansea

Right at the very mouth of the River Tawe in Swansea Bay, the LC Swansea (previously known as Swansea Leisure Centre), is probably South Wales’ most impressive leisure centre. Its amazing pool has a number of wicked water slides, while on dry land you can climb its 30ft climbing wall, use the multi-purpose sports hall or make the most of the extensive spa and gym facilities.

Have we missed any of your favourites? What do you think are the best places to go in and around the Swansea valley? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook and let us know!