The Mumbles brings back fond memories for me of days out with the family when I was young. I now feel very nostalgic when taking my kids there as really very little has changed. Based on my time there when I was little and taking the kids there now, here are our top things to do in the Mumbles with Kids.
The Mumbles is often referred to as the gateway to the Gower as it marks the beginning of the Gower peninsula coastline. Its a typical fishing seaside town with its penny arcades, ice-cream parlours and fish and chip shops. But with its recent investment, and serious facelift it is now even more worth a visit. Its no surprise it topped the Sunday Times best places to live in Wales in 2018.
When the tide is in, the sea can look like one big mill pond as the water is so calm and when it’s like that, I wonder if there is anywhere better in the world to have on your doorstep (even if it does have the distant views of smokey Port Talbot in the horizon).
So here’s our list of Top things to do in the Mumbles with kids…
1. Sample the locals favourite Ice-Cream
Sample probably the best ice-cream in the world at Joes ice-cream parlour. Ok, so whilst I said in no particular order, Joes ice-cream would always feature top. Established in 1922, Joes ice-cream parlour is a true slice of Swansea’s history. You simply should not visit Mumbles, or Swansea without sampling a Joes ice-cream. There’s no fancy flavours, its just vanilla, but seriously you won’t believe how good it is until you try it. People will queue outside in all weather to get their ice-cream fix. Reportedly even Catherine Zeta Jones is a huge fan. The chocolate sundae is my favourite, delicious creamy ice-cream topped with rich gooey chocolate sauce and chocolate sprinkles and nuts.
2. Scoot down the Promenade
The mumbles promenade stretches from the pier all the way back into Swansea. It’s lovely to walk along with your pram and take in the views or to scooter along as its all flat all the way back into Swansea. The mumbles end does get pretty busy so if you’re scooting you’ll need to manoeuvre quite a bit to avoid the pedestrians.
3. Burn off some steam at the park
Just off the promenade, is a great park for little ones. It has the usual swings and slides and also has great section for toddlers. The park is clean, well maintained and is fenced in. Opposite the park there is a small ‘crazy golf’ course. It’s just as it was when I was a kid so as you can imagine it does need some serious TLC, but its still good fun. If I’m honest I’d be gutted if they upgraded it.
There is also a nice park just past the pier by Castellamare restaurant.
4. Hop on the Mumbles Land Train
In the summer months there is also a land train, which runs along the promenade from the lido at Blackpill to Southend gardens in Mumbles. You can purchase an all day hopper ticket which allows you to hop on and off throughout the day (a family ticket is £12).
5. Spend a Penny at the Arcades
There’s the usual traditional slot machines, ping ball machines and arcade games here for all ages to have some fun. I can never get mine off the 2p tipping ones. You win vouchers which can be exchanged for some lovely tat or sweets. You can also have a go at the old fashioned ten pin bowling which is upstairs.
6. Learn about RNIL at the Mumbles Lifeboat Station
The lifeboat station refurbishment was completed in 2014. Children will love seeing the lifeboat, and if you time your visit right you can even see the lifeboat launch. Staff there are very friendly and passionate about the good work they do and are more than happy to share information on the vessel itself.
7. Refuel and Recharge
Take in the stunning panoramic views at Verdis which is an Italian family run café, ice-cream parlour and restaurant situated on the sea front. With its glass front, the seating inside and out is awarded with panoramic views across Swansea bay.
It’s a great spot for lunch, serving up a good cup of coffee and tasty lunches, particularly the pizzas and generous child pizzas. It also serves up delicious ice-cream in various flavours and with lots of toppings. It is always busy, no matter the weather, but that never affects the service which is always efficient and friendly. Although be warned, sometimes the queue for a table can reach outside the door!
If you’re looking for something a bit more special, then try Patricks. They have a seasonal menu of top notch food. The setting, and the food, is quite formal. With their pristine white table cloths it could give the impression that they are not family friendly, but this is not the case. In fact they pride themselves on welcoming children to both their restaurant and hotel. They have changing facilities and high chairs and a box of toys for little ones. The lounge area is more informal and is a charming place to call in for coffee or have afternoon tea.
Then there is the Osyter Wharf which houses well known chains including Bistrot Pierre and Prezzo which all have childrens options.
8. Walk across to the Mumbles Lighthouse
The Mumbles lighthouse island can be reached by foot. When you get there you will be rewarded with the most spectacular views across Swansea bay. Just be careful to check the tide times and coincide your walk with low tide otherwise you’ll end up stranded on the island.
Whilst currently unmanned, the island had been occupied and it still has the old foundations where old homes once stood.
9. Meet the Ghostly White Lady at Oystermouth Castle
The ruins of Oystermouth Castle are the best preserved castle ruins on the Gower Peninsula. You’ll be able to see some ancient graffiti art from the 14th century, wander down private staircases leading from vaults to banqueting halls and walk across a 30 foot high glass bridge
Attached to the castle is the ghostly tale of a young woman who is sometimes seen wandering around the castle’s walls. The ghost is reported to cry inconsolably and wear a white garment that is torn at the back, revealing large and bloody wounds.
So that’s our list of Top things to do in the Mumbles with kids – Have we missed anything? What would be on your list?
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