For many, Swansea is the perfect blend between city and countryside. It provides good access to Wales’ capital and to the country’s west and north. Swansea has surprising diversity in its places to live depending on your lifestyle needs.
So, where are the best places to live in Swansea? In this article, we’ve rounded up 10 of the top contenders to help you narrow down your options.
1. Derwen Fawr – ideal school catchment area
Derwen Fawr (Welsh for “big oak”) is a relatively small area situated near Swansea University, the hospital, and one of the city’s main parks. There’s a nice selection of properties, ranging from detached to terraces, all of which would make ideal family homes.
Importantly, Derwen Fawr is perfectly located in the catchment areas of Bishopston and Olchfa – arguably two of Swansea’s best schools. Both are state schools and regularly achieve outstanding grades on their Estyn inspections.
Despite being fairly central in the city, Derwen Fawr is surprisingly quiet. It has good public transport connections and is within walking distance of Sketty and Singleton Park. What’s more, the properties are reasonably priced for what they offer.
2. The Mumbles – seaside perfection
Our next stop on the best places to live in Swansea is, for the most part, a separate area. The Mumbles is a seaside town on the western edge of Swansea Bay. It’s also used to refer to a larger district that includes Oystermouth, Newton, West Cross and Mayals.
It would probably be quicker to list what’s not good about The Mumbles because the answer is not a lot. It has quaint classic seaside vibes combined with independent boutique stores and some decent nightlife venues. You’ll also find supermarkets, a greengrocer, a butcher, and a fishmonger.
This is perhaps its biggest appeal for those not wanting to live in the middle of a city. The Mumbles has pretty much all the amenities you could need for daily living, although it’s well connected to the city for whenever you need to make the trip.
House sizes and prices don’t completely rule it out as a location for a family home, although you’ll definitely find better value elsewhere. It might be very appealing to working couples or if you are seeking an interesting retirement location.
3. Parkmill – rural retirement perfection
Outside of Swansea, we have the Gower Peninsula, the UK’s first Area of Outstanding National Beauty. Unsurprisingly, there will be a few areas in the Gower popping up on this list.
The first is Parkmill, a small rural settlement that barely qualifies as a village. It’s a beautiful place for anyone to settle down, although its distance from many schools perhaps makes it more appealing for retired couples.
Parkmill is a perfect choice if you want to experience the natural beauty of the Gower. It’s home to Coed-y-Parc, a woodland containing a prehistoric burial cairn. Further up the road is Parc le Breos, a boutique hotel and restaurant known for its local produce.
Finally, you’ll be perfectly located to take advantage of the Gower’s 30 beaches. Some are within walking distance, but you’ll have to drive to the rest. Either way, they’re great for summer swimming or winter hiking!
4. Uplands – an up-and-coming suburb
Uplands is on the outskirts of central Swansea, but it offers everything you need for daily living. Despite being within walking distance of the city centre, there’s little reason for you to leave!
The area contains some of the most upmarket houses in central Swansea, and its location is represented in the price. Many of the houses are 4+ bedrooms, typically Edwardian townhouses or large semi-detached properties.
Uplands’ main road is known for its nightlife and is home to some good bars and restaurants. One – Uplands Tavern – was even a frequent haunt of poet Dylan Thomas, whose childhood home is a museum in the area.
If that's not enough, Eaton Crescent, one of Upland’s more affluent areas, is the childhood home of Michael Heseltine!
5. Llanmadoc – peace and quiet in North Gower
Despite the Gower not being a massive area, locals divide it into north and south. North Gower is home to Llanmadoc, a tiny village that almost perfectly encapsulates rural Welsh living.
The village is home to St Madoc’s Church, a 13th-century church that was once controlled by the Knights Templar. There are several beautiful beaches within walking distance – notably Broughton and Whiteford Sands – both of which are popular with bird-watchers and hikers.
As you might imagine, this kind of rural luxury does come with a price, namely house prices. However, you get what you pay for and this kind of stunning beauty will be enough of a benefit for some.
6. Murton – on the doorstep of Bishopston School
If you plan on sending your children to Bishopston School, you can’t get much closer than Murton. Luckily, it helps that it’s a beautiful little village with local amenities and good access to beaches.
Located just behind one of Swansea’s most popular family beaches (Caswell), Murton has pubs, shops, and just about everything else you could need for relaxed family living. It’s also easy to reach central Swansea, the Gower, and the surrounding areas.
Property prices are reasonable and there’s plenty of variation in what you can buy. Most are located on the central road – Manselfield – although there are some quieter lanes and cul-de-sacs off of it.
Overall, Murton is a great choice for prospective buyers of all ages, regardless of whether its proximity to the school makes any difference.
7. Newton – Mumbles lite
Newton forms part of the larger Mumbles community area and is a good choice if you want to live slightly farther away from the business of the central town. The Mumbles is within walking distance, as is Langland Bay, a nature reserve, and Langland Golf Club.
The area has been described as an affluent commuter settlement, which should tell you everything you need to know. It’s got some amazing properties and is well situated for convenient travel within Swansea.
The only thing it lacks in this regard is easy access to the motorway, but that’s not saying much in Wales.
Newton would be perfect for working families who want a bit of distance from city living. You can still access the city’s best schools and amenities while benefitting from the joys of suburban living.
8. Penmaen – rural living in South Gower
Penmaen is just down the road from Parkmill, so mostly offers the same benefits. However, it’s worth mentioning separately because it’s closer to two of Swansea’s greatest beaches: Oxwich and Three Cliffs.
Oxwich is home to a Michelin star restaurant, and Three Cliffs is a great choice for swimming (and seeing beach cows).
Within Penmaen we could also include Nicholaston, a small settlement nearby. Although it does have some residential properties, most of the area focuses on hotels and camping sites. However, both have plenty of charm for the avid nature lover.
There’s a farm shop in the area, meaning you’ll never be short of amazing local produce. It also offers pick your own sessions in the summer, a perfect activity for the kids.
Penmaen is just at the foot of Cefn Bryn (big hill), which sits in the centre of the Gower Peninsula. It’s not a particularly demanding walk and it offers some incredible views of the sea.
A short drive over the hill will take you to King Arthur’s Stone, which is another great hiking location with an amazing history.
9. Penllergaer – immediate access to the motorway
Penllergaer is technically a village in its own right, but it’s difficult to find its borders with the rest of the city. As such, most people think of it as a suburb.
It’s very popular with working families because it provides some of the easiest access to the M4, making it ideal for commuters.
There are numerous residential developments in Penllergaer that are fairly modern, consisting mostly of decent-sized family homes.
Having a car is a must, although there are bus routes to Swansea centre. Getting around is much easier in a car because the buses aren’t as regular as in some other suburbs.
Along with its access to the M4, one of Penllergaer’s greatest appeals is the woods. They were once connected to a Victorian estate, so are full of old buildings, waterways, and plenty of places to explore.
Penllergaer Valley Woods are great for walking dogs, playing with kids, or simply enjoying some of the best nature central Swansea can offer.
10. Kittle – great balance between suburban and rural
Kittle is a small village neighbouring Murton. It comes with many of the same benefits: good access to schools, a short drive to The Mumbles and Swansea centre, and enough local amenities for easy living.
So, why would you choose Kittle over Murton? Simply put, it’s much quieter. Kittle is essentially one main road with a few offshoots, all of which have decent family homes.
The village bakery is a particular highlight, as is the local pub, The Beaufort Arms.
Although not unique to Kittle, one thing worth mentioning is its proximity to one of the Gower’s hidden gems: Pwll Du beach. It’s a bit of a walk from the closest car park, but it’s a good workout for the outdoor-minded.
Pwll Du and the neighbouring Brandy Cove were popular smugglers’ beaches, and you’ll be able to see why.
Final thoughts on the best areas to live in Swansea
So there you have it, a selection of some of the best places to live in Swansea. It would be impossible to list them all because you could pick almost anywhere in the Gower as a great place to live.
Swansea is an excellent choice for people of all ages. It offers diversity in its house prices, amenities, and wider access.
Living in Swansea is cheaper than living in Cardiff, the capital of Wales. If you’re looking for a good balance between metropolitan living and traditional rural lifestyles, Swansea could definitely be the place for you.
You might find useful:
- Living In Wales: 12 Things You Should Know Before Moving
- The 15 Best Places To Live In Wales
- For more information on living in the UK and various UK locations visit our United Kingdom page
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