Cultural Venues (Self Guided), Swansea

Swansea, the birthplace of Dylan Thomas, is an animated city bursting with cultural values. All year round, festivals, concerts, performances, museums and galleries gather people from various places with a specific purpose to relax, listen, contemplate and criticize. Take this tour to feel the buzz of Swansea’s cultural activity.
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Cultural Venues Map

Guide Name: Cultural Venues
Guide Location: Wales » Swansea (See other walking tours in Swansea)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Author: HelenF
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Attic Gallery
  • Mission Gallery
  • Dylan Thomas Theater
  • National Waterfront Museum
  • Swansea Museum
  • Swansea Central Library
  • Swansea Grand Theater
  • Glynn Vivian Art Gallery
Attic Gallery

1) Attic Gallery

The Attic Gallery is not just like any other ordinary gallery. Founded in 1962, it is a private gallery known to be the meeting point of contemporary artists eager to reveal their talent to the entire world. Attic Gallery is conveniently located in the Maritime Quarter, where it attracts artists such as Nikki Cass, Gwyn Roberts, Mike Jones and Jonathan Taylor. The gallery holds several exhibitions; these can be solo or group shows displaying paintings, sculpture and also graphics.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Friday: 10 am - 4 pm; Saturday: 10 am - 4 pm.
Mission Gallery

2) Mission Gallery

Mission Gallery is an independent art gallery. It hosts contemporary art, painting, installation, photography and craft.

Formerly St Nicholas Church for seamen, Mission Gallery was designed by Benjamin Bucknall and built in 1886. The building became an art gallery in 1977, named Swansea Arts Workshop Gallery. An arts initiative, it was managed and run by a group of artists and volunteers as part of the Association of Artists and Designers in Wales, linked with Swansea Studios. Since the dissolution of the Association of Artists and Designers in Wales in 1992, Mission Gallery and Swansea Studios are now separate organisations, with Mission Gallery receiving grant funding from the Arts Council of Wales. In 2003 Mission Gallery Become a revenue client of the Arts Council of Wales, resulting in its first full-time paid member of staff.

Mission Gallery is divided into two areas, an exhibition space and a craft space. The craft space features a changing display of contemporary crafts and applied art and design.

Operation hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 11 am – 5 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Dylan Thomas Theater

3) Dylan Thomas Theater

The Dylan Thomas Theater is an amazing cultural venue located in the Maritime Quarter. The theater has lots of visitors, whose number, estimated at 15,000, grows every year. The only waterside theater in Swansea offers visitors a varied program, which is quite tempting and refreshing. Within the theater there are several panels revealing the true story of Dylan Thomas’ life journey as an actor at Swansea Little Theater.
National Waterfront Museum

4) National Waterfront Museum (must see)

The National Waterfront Museum or NWMS is a museum forming part of the National Museum Wales. It is an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage.

Consisting of a major new slate and glass building integrated with an existing Grade II listed warehouse (formerly the Swansea Industrial and Maritime Museum), the new museum deals with Wales' history of industrial revolution and innovation by combining significant historical artifacts with modern technologies, such as interactive touchscreens and multimedia presentation systems. Building and exhibition design was carried out by Wilkinson Eyre and Land Design Studio respectively, and Davis Langdon was project manager for the construction.

Much effort has been put into accessibility for the new museum, and is one of the first museums in the United Kingdom to feature multilingual voiceovers, as well as British Sign Language captioning on all interactive content.

The museum, which secured funding from the Welsh Development Agency and the Heritage Lottery Fund (among others) was opened in October 2005.

The collections on display include maritime, transport, technology and retail artefacts.

Operation hours: Monday – Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Swansea Museum

5) Swansea Museum (must see)

The Swansea Museum - the oldest museum in Wales - sits in the neo-classical building created in 1841 by a group of art and science enthusiasts for the Royal Institution of South Wales. Its original purpose was to house the Institution's numerous collections and to serve as a research and learning facility. Today, the museum is free to visit and comprises six galleries exhibiting a variety of artifacts, from an ancient mummy’s tomb to contemporary exhibits. Its maritime section is open in summer and includes, among other artifacts, three boats: Lightship Helwick; Tug boat Canning; and 1909 Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Olga. Among the displayed memorabilia there are also street trams that used to run around the edge of the bay from downtown Swansea to Mumbles pier. The museum is conveniently fitted for the disabled providing flat access to all levels and galleries via the lift.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Swansea Central Library

6) Swansea Central Library

The Swansea Central Library is an important cultural venue, located in the Civic Center’s Building. The library will provide you with its enormous collection of thousands of books, DVDs and CDs. There are even PCs for public use and one can also have access to historical records regarding Swansea and other cities. The library has a special area for kids, thus creating an inviting place for children who come along with their parents.
Swansea Grand Theater

7) Swansea Grand Theater (must see)

The Grand Theatre is a performing arts venue. The theatre stages plays, pantomimes and touring theatrical acts visiting Swansea. The Grand Theatre is the base for the UK's only Russian ballet company, the Swansea Ballet Russe.

The theatre opened in 1897. It was designed for proprietors Morell and Mouillot by architect William Hope, built by D. Jenkins and opened by Madame Adelina Patti - a locally resident operatic diva. In 1968, the Swansea Grand was threatened with closure but, following a campaign led by its manager and artistic director John Chilvers, the theatre was saved. The theatre was then refurbished and updated between 1983 and 1987 at a cost of £6.5m. A further £1m was spent on an Arts Wing which opened in 1999.

The Grand Theatre has a 1,000-seat auditorium and variety of smaller studios and rooms. The Arts Wing is the most recent development at the theatre, a space to host exhibitions, conferences and smaller-scale music and drama performances including lunchtime theatre on the last Saturday of each month and a regular comedy club featuring acts on the comedy circuit.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery

8) Glynn Vivian Art Gallery (must see)

The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery is the public art gallery of the city of Swansea. It was completed in 1911 after Vivian's death.

The gallery displays a broad spectrum of visual arts from the original bequest of Richard Glynn Vivian (1835-1910), and includes work by Old Masters as well as an international collection of porcelain and Swansea china.

In October 2011 the gallery was closed temporarily for a £6 million refurbishment and recladding of the 1974 extension. It was estimated this work would last two years. During the closure, the gallery planned to continue a programme of activities using alternative local venues. The former chair of the Arts Council of Wales was quoted as saying "The Glynn Vivian is a major civic facility and the only purpose-built art gallery in Wales that is still open. It will be missed by the people of Swansea but they will welcome it back in its renewed form".

Operating hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Swansea, Wales

Create Your Own Walk in Swansea

Create Your Own Walk in Swansea

Creating your own self-guided walk in Swansea is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Churches

Historical Churches

In Swansea there are a dozen worship places that will attract your interest; denominations are varied so you are welcome in any of these. Most of the churches are survivors of World War II and bear the weight of painful times for the Swansea community. Take this tour to enrich your mind with pure and beautiful thoughts.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 Km or 3.7 Miles
Mumbles District in Swansea

Mumbles District in Swansea

Mumbles will fascinate you from the second you step on its land. This area’s history dates back thousands of years; there is evidence of 3000 year-old artifacts displayed at the Swansea Museum, such as flint axe-heads found on Mumbles Hill. Who knows, maybe you will be lucky enough to discover some relics while walking on the mysterious lands of Mumbles. Take this tour and visit the most...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Dylan Thomas Trail

Dylan Thomas Trail

The Welsh poet and writer, Dylan Thomas, is known as one of Swansea’s most famous sons. He wrote exclusively in English. Dylan was born in Swansea, the city that inspired most of his work. Half of it was written by him while still living at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in the Uplands. Take this tour to discover the world of this famous poet.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Swansea Introduction Walking Tour

Swansea Introduction Walking Tour

Swansea, which will surprise you with its unpredictable landmarks, is home to astonishing architecture, monuments dedicated to victims of World War II and many other must-see venues. Take this tour and gaze at the Swansea sky, enjoy the scenery while relaxing on a bench at Castle Square and contemplate the beauty of Victorian architecture.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles