Are you moving to Swansea? Get to know the city before you move.
Swansea, in the south of Wales, is fast becoming one of the most popular places to live in the UK. It is both a city and a county, with a population of 244,500. This waterfront location is a vibrant and desirable modern city: offering a great urban lifestyle alongside beautiful coastline and beaches.
Swansea is actually Wales’ second most populated city and county, offering all the benefits and amenities of a built-up urban environment, alongside a 5 mile stretch of pristine sandy coastline.
If you’re considering a move to Swansea, our guide to the city can help you get acquainted with the location and amenities. We know how important it is to get you living like a local in your new home, so we want to share our local knowledge with you. At Santa Fe Relocation, we can make your move to Wales easy.
The history of Swansea
Swansea has gone through many periods of change over its history. During the 19th century the city became a hub for the copper smelting industry, gaining it the nickname ‘Copperopolis’. However, with the decline of the copper boom the city went through a period of depression with lost jobs and a lack of investment throughout the 20th century.
It then went through a very tough period during the Second World War. World War II actually saw extensive damage done to the city, with heavy bombing causing damage to much of the city’s homes and buildings. The architecture and mix of homes in the city reflect this, with many of the Victorian homes being destroyed, now replaced with modern and 1960’s homes.
Today, the city is experiencing a period of development and a resurgence of new business and investment. A conscious effort to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and pioneering industry to flourish in Swansea has given the city a new lease of life, and made it a very attractive place to move to.
Swansea: Welsh culture and highlights of the city
Swansea is a proud Welsh city: much like the rest of Wales, there is a strong sense of patriotism. In fact, 13% of the population of Swansea county now speaks Welsh, and there’s been a resurgence of Welsh only speaking schools as a result.
If you’re a fan of the performing arts and music, Swansea is for you. The city is home to multiple live music venues, showcasing everything from small gigs to orchestral performances. Annually, the city hosts a number of different festivals, attracting artists from across Wales and the UK.
The city is lively and fun. with recent investment and development creating a sense of revived creativity. New regeneration is planned which will only increase the popularity of the city, the amenities, and modernity in Swansea. The city council has focussed on creating a culture of creativity and an emphasis on attracting tech led businesses. The Kingsway Digital Village will create workspaces designed for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs.
There’s also plenty of incredible places to eat. Every new mover to Swansea has to give the local delicacies a try. Start with some cockles, with a side of laverbread, before moving onto a mouth-watering salt marsh lamb dish. You can find these local specialities in most restaurants across Swansea.
Things to do in Swansea: our favourite picks
Once you’re all moved in, it’s time to explore. Swansea is packed with great things to do and explore, so we’ve created our ‘best bits’ list to get you started:
• Visit the Dylan Thomas Centre – located in the Maritime Quarter, learn about the famous poet and walk through the exhibitions about his life and the history of Swansea.
• Visit Gower Seafood Hut in Mumbles – is there anything better than crispy battered fish, vinegar soaked fluffy chips, eaten out of paper whilst you soak in the beauty of Mumbles pier? We don’t think so.
• Long walks in the Gower Peninsula – the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The incredible beaches and countryside are picture perfect.
• Cosy dinners at Belle Vue Bistro – for delicious Italian food in an informal setting, this family run restaurant is one of our favourites.
• Visit the oldest pub in Swansea – stop in at The Olde Cross Keys for a roast dinner. This is our perfect Sunday roast spot, right in the heart of the city.
• Walk along white sand beaches – Caswell Bay, Langland Bay and Rhossili Bay are made for long strolls, dog walks, and enjoying an ice cream listening to the waves.
The best places to live in Swansea
There are so many great places in Swansea, it can be overwhelming to pick the perfect place for your new home. The average detached house price is £280,000 across Swansea (accurate as of March 2019), so compared to the rest of the UK you can certainly get a lot more space for your money, although you will pay a premium for coastal views.
When planning your move to Swansea, it’s important to decide what kind of areas to live in appeal to you most – are you looking for a coastal home, or something in Swansea city centre? Once you know the kind of lifestyle you want, you can focus on the personal lifestyle requirements and start exploring areas that meet your need.
Here are our local expert’s favourite areas:
• Maritime Quarter – in the city centre, this is a great spot for anyone looking for a beautiful apartment with all the convenience of city living.
• Lower Sketty – this suburb of Swansea has a real sense of community. This is great location in close proximity to the city, Singleton Park, and the coastline.
• Mumbles – widely considered the best place to live in Wales. There’s a mix of Victorian villas and bungalows on offer.
• The Gower Peninsular – this stretch of Swansea county is speckled with idyllic villages, perfect for those looking for a rural coastal lifestyle.
One of our most popular moving services is our area orientation: we schedule a day or two with a personalised itinerary in your new city. We show you residential areas that fit your lifestyle and needs, areas and things that will be important to you, to get you familiar with the space. Once you know where in Swansea you want to be, we can even help you find your dream home. Our home finding service is the stress free way of discovering your perfect new home.
Finding the right school for your family in Swansea
Across Swansea there is a large number of schools to choose from. But non-Welsh language speakers should be aware that there are a number of Welsh medium schools, meaning that they teach only in Welsh. In English speaking and teaching schools, Welsh language lessons will be on the curriculum.
With 84 primary schools and 16 secondary schools there are a lot of education institutions to choose from, with a mix of state and independent schools. For the very best state schools, consider a move to Pontarddulais Comprehensive in Pontarddulais, which is just 30 minutes from the city of Swansea. If you need help finding the right school for your family, let our school search specialists take the stress out of the process.
Swansea is also home to The University of Swansea, which offers a range of study topics for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Swansea has good travel links: by road you can get from Swansea to London via the M4, and around Wales on the A48. It’s an easy drive between Swansea to Port Talbot and the Welsh capital of Cardiff.
The city also has good rail links from Swansea Railway Station, with regular trains to Cardiff, Newport and London. For international and domestic flights, Cardiff Airport is just 44 miles from Swansea.
How can Santa Fe Relocation help with your move to Swansea?
We make moving easy for you. Every need, at every stage of the move is anticipated and prepared for. Leaving you with more time to start planning what and where to explore.
At Santa Fe Relocation, we believe that moving home should be an adventure not a chore, so leave the boring bits to us.