Dylan Thomas Trail, Swansea

Dylan Thomas Trail (Self Guided), Swansea

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.
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Dylan Thomas Trail Map

Guide Name: Dylan Thomas Trail
Guide Location: Wales » Swansea (See other walking tours in Swansea)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Author: HelenF
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Captain Cat Statue
  • Dylan Thomas Theater
  • Dylan Thomas Square
  • Dylan Thomas Centre
  • The Leaf Sculpture
  • The Kardomah Café
  • Uplands Tavern
  • Dylan Thomas' Childhood Home
  • Cwmdonkin Park
Captain Cat Statue

1) Captain Cat Statue

In the famous radio play “Under Milk Wood” written by Dylan Thomas, the blind old sea captain, known as Captain Cat, is one of the play’s most important characters; you can actually see him. The statue by Robert Thomas stands opposite the Pump House, not far from Dylan Thomas Square.
Dylan Thomas Theater

2) 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.
Dylan Thomas Square

3) Dylan Thomas Square

Maritime Quarter is home to various prominent features; among these is Dylan Thomas Square. The square was named in honour of Swansea’s most famous son, affectionately remembered. The bronze statue of the Welsh poet, which is located in the square, is a commemorative and frequently photographed statue. This venue hosts lively events, some held in the memory of Dylan Thomas.
Dylan Thomas Centre

4) Dylan Thomas Centre (must see)

The Dylan Thomas Centre is an arts centre located in the Maritime Quarter. Formerly the city's Guildhall, which was originally built in 1825, the Dylan Thomas Centre was restored and refurbished to host the UK Year of Literature and Writing in 1995.

It was opened in 1995 by American ex-President Jimmy Carter, one of the world's most famous Dylan Thomas enthusiasts (others include Bob Dylan), and has permanent exhibition on the life and work of Dylan Thomas, as well as a restaurant and bar, a bookshop cafe, conference rooms and a theatre.

The centre houses the permanent ‘Man and Myth’ exhibition, based on the largest collection of memorabilia of its kind in the world. It is designed to appeal to the Dylan expert and interested visitor alike. This interactive exhibition explores Dylan’s life and work through a variety of media and includes letters, books, worksheets and photographs.

The Dylan Thomas Centre is home to a year-round programme of literary events, including book launches, plays, poetry evenings, changing exhibitions and science talks. It hosts the annual Dylan Thomas Festival held between Dylan’s birth and death dates, 27 October to 9 November.

The Dylan Thomas Centre’s staff also provide a variety of talks and tours, such as talks on aspects of Dylan’s life and works, on contemporary literature, on writing poetry and on cultural tourism.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
The Leaf Sculpture

5) The Leaf Sculpture

If you enjoy reading poems written by Dylan Thomas, then you’ve picked the right city to visit. In Swansea’s City Centre you will find an amazing monument dedicated to Thomas’ poetry. It is a huge leaf sculpture nicely placed in the fountain located in Castle Square. Walk around the monument and read the poem!
The Kardomah Café

6) The Kardomah Café

The Kardomah Café was a meeting-place for Dylan and his friends in the 1930s. It was one of Dylan’s favourite cafes. He mentioned it in a BBC Broadcast in 1949, saying that it’s a place "where Swansea's rich artists and poverty-stricken business men used to meet, on separate floors, to discuss shares and pictures". The café contributed to the apparition of the name “Kardomah Gang”; the group was formed of talented people, contemporaries of Dylan.
Uplands Tavern

7) Uplands Tavern

Did you know that Dylan Thomas was a regular customer at the Uplands Tavern? The pub where Dylan spent long hours became rather popular. Today, with its cozy corner, it boasts the Dylan Thomas’s Snug, where the poet used to chat with his closest friends. Have a seat, order a drink, and who knows - maybe you’ll have an inspired vision.
Dylan Thomas' Childhood Home

8) Dylan Thomas' Childhood Home (must see)

Dylan Thomas' Childhood Home is the place where the famous Welsh poet was born as well as the very surroundings that influenced most of his work, so all the magic happened here. The house is not a museum, but tours are guaranteed. Within the tour, one has the chance to finally see the rooms depicted in Dylan’s works. If a tour isn’t enough for you, you can always stay and experience the past on your own!
Cwmdonkin Park

9) Cwmdonkin Park (must see)

Cwmdonkin park has a bandstand, children's play area, water gardens, tennis courts, and a bowling green.

The use of the land for public recreation originated with the creation of Cwmdonkin reservoir around 1850 by William Henry Smith and the Swansea Waterworks Company.

The first suggestion to landscape the grounds around the reservoir was raised in 1853 but it was not until 1874 that Swansea Council purchased two fields from Mr James Walters for £4,650 to create the park which was opened on 24 July 1874. There was some criticism that the park was in an essentially wealthy, middle-class area of town: this led to the emergence of the “Open Spaces Movement” led by William Thomas of Lan, which campaigned for more parks for deprived working class areas.

Cwmdonkin Reservoir was filled in with rubble in the 1950s and landscaped to become a children’s play area.

Poet Dylan Thomas grew up at 5, Cwmdonkin Drive, near the park. The park was an important source of inspiration to the poet and featured in his work, including the radio broadcasts Return Journey and Reminiscences of Childhood, and, most famously, the poem The hunchback in the park.

A memorial stone to Thomas with lines from "fern Hill" was placed in the park in 1963.
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.
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