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“Very Helpful for Info. on the Area.”

Mumbles Tourist Information Centre
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Very Helpful for Info. on the Area.”
Reviewed May 17, 2013

Situated in the ground floor area of the local Methodist Church, Brochures on local events and place to visit, helpful staff to advise and help with visits. Also a small cafe to help with browsing.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank david a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“The Mumbles-much potential”
Reviewed December 30, 2012

Twinned with much beloved Kinsale in Ireland and there, sadly, the resemblance ends. The Mumbles is situated on the beautiful Gower Peninsula in South Wales. Gower, as you may already be aware, was Britain's first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is still stunningly beautiful. The Mumbles, once frequented by the great lyric poet Dylan Thomas and the inspiration for many artists over the generations provides sharp contrast to the beauty of Gower. The Mumbles, once lovely, is now filthy, neglected and not really worth a visit. I love this village; I married a Mumbles girl, was educated at the nearby Swansea University and spent many happy hours on the ‘Mumbles Mile’ as a student and lately as a returned exile. It breaks my heart to see this lovely corner of Wales so dilapidated and so frightful looking.

The Devil being in the detail, allow me to expand and describe a typical trip to The Mumbles. On entering the village from Swansea, you will be greeted by the sight of Oystermouth car park. This is a scruffy litter-strewn and potholed area about the size of a football field. Massive ugly concrete cubes divide the incoming traffic from the outgoing; truly an horrendous sight to greet any would-be visitor. Drive past this at all costs and pretend you didn’t see it; blank it from your mind if you can.

Parking is a nightmare in The Mumbles. One solution some years back was to demolish the old British Legion Club, a charming old building and replace it with-yes you guessed it-a filthy pot-holed, litter-strewn car park. You could try parking up the side streets if you fancy raising the blood pressure of local residents; when I lived in The Mumbles I used to park my car after work on Friday evenings and dared not move it again until I had to leave for work on Monday.

Along the front then towards South End and the shocking state of the sea front; imagine Tenby after a nuclear strike and you’re probably about there. Disgusting wheelie bins full of rotting food waste are left overnight by “restaurants” (more on those later) so that the stench forces you to walk on the seaward side of the road. ‘But we have nowhere else to leave our waste to be collected’. This has been a moan for decades. Time enough to sort it out and long enough to think differently; might I suggest a central collection point for all commercial waste along the Mumbles Seafront-there are at least two ghastly looking car parks that I can think of…

The Antelope Hotel, where as a student back in the day, I dispensed alcoholic beverages to the happy throng is now closed down, partly boarded up and actually falling to pieces. It’s like a rotten tooth ready to fall out onto the road and this is perfectly normal for The Mumbles?

An historic building like this should be preserved, not left to rot so that the site may one day become ‘Luxury Flats’ or some other such architectural travesty. Dylan Thomas would probably cry if he were still with us and to think that I met my wife there. I try not to look; I find it all so very depressing.

The beautiful Victorian Mumbles Pier is currently undergoing some renovation that includes a new lifeboat station. There are promises from the developers of a wonderful new look and the artist’s impressions look rather hopeful. Despite my concerns for what might become of the Headland, something had to be done about this squalid little corner of Gower Coast. What I do hope the new development puts an end to at the pier, is the tin shack full of gaming machines, the attached greasy spoon café, the 1970s style pub complete with adjoining public toilets that were last given a decent clean during the Roman occupation. I really hope they get it right.

Eating out in The Mumbles could best be described as an eclectic experience. On one hand you have fantastic food at Patrick’s; high-end fine dining and worth every penny. Sue and her partner at The Village Inn do really good home-cooked pub grub. There is the excellent Yallop’s chip shop, a traditional British chippie that sells all the usual fare to thousands of visitors during the season and very tasty too. There are one or two decent cafes on Newton Road and Peppers is good for lunch. My in-laws rate PA’s wine bar for food.

The pubs are generally dull with little or no atmosphere. There is one very prominent landmark pub that embodies much that is wrong with The Mumbles as a tourist destination. I used to enjoy going there as a younger man and still very occasionally, forgetting what my last visit was like, dander in for a quiet pint.

The service is appalling. The staff are unwelcoming and surly with it. On my last visit I had the temerity to enter through the ‘Lounge’ entrance and ambled up to the bar to ask for a pint. I was just formulating my sentence when a young man glared at me and said ‘you have to go into the bar to get served’. No smile from him.

I followed his direction and walked through to the ‘Bar’ area to find seven members of staff standing about behind the bar. Two appeared to be serving beer in slow motion and the others seemed to be very unhappy about something. The young lady begrudgingly served me a pint of mediocre beer before returning to the misery of her companions. Having lived in parts of the world not blessed with European standards of sanitation I always check out the toilets of every establishment I intend to eat at.

If the facilities are not clean and properly maintained it follows that the kitchens may well suffer from the same level of negligence; at the very least I suspect that the staff use the same facilities-from toilet to kitchen. I call it my ‘khazi check’ and wholeheartedly recommend this method of inspection before taking your seat anywhere in the world.

The toilets in this well-known pub were like an abattoir so I might be forgiven for developing the perception that the young people left in charge didn’t care for the people coming in and interrupting their wretchedness. I suggest you avoid this pub and if in your ignorance you do wonder in, do please wipe your feet on the way out.

Positives:
Oystermouth Castle, recently restored, is a fantastic example of what can be achieved with some joined up thinking. Beautiful grounds and with a sympathetic restoration of the ancient keep is well worth a visit. The Mumbles Saturday Market is an occasional treat; not least because it covers up another ugly un-landscaped car park on the Seafront, and some bias here, the people are an attractive bunch, generous and very welcoming.

In a nutshell:
The Mumbles should be a place where you can walk along the front without your senses being assailed by the stench of rotting food waste and where the risk of putting your foot in dog waste is minimised. It should be a place where it is possible to walk through the village without stepping on one of the thousands (yes thousands) of spots of spat out chewing gum left to blacken on the pavement. Rather than wondering if a wall is going to fall on you, people should be able to look up at wonderfully restored historic buildings. The Mumbles is a reservoir of pent up potential currently suffering from neglect.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
15 Thank Gerard O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macclesfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
142 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“open early, very helpful”
Reviewed August 28, 2012

This is in the Methodist church building. The staff are very helpful and the stock of leaflets etc is large. Excellent service here.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank sarw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbles, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Informative and friendly”
Reviewed August 7, 2012

This is the place to go for information on Mumbles and the Gower. The staff are friendly and helpful. There are loads of leaflets on places to visit and posters about local events that are taking place.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank penndav09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“mumbles mile”
Reviewed July 29, 2012

lots of quirky shops and pubs
ave never been to a place where the cars stop to let people cross the road
the place and people are lovely

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank clare L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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