Sunday, 15 May 2011

Entertainment for all

Below is my “Big Day Out” column from the Saturday, May 14, 2011, Swansea edition of the South Wales Evening Post.
 
 
 
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Entertainment for all
A big day out!
RICHARD THOMAS heads to ...
Mumbles Pier in Swansea.
WHY?
Stretching 225 meters out into Mumbles Bay, Mumbles Pier in Swansea offers visitors some of the most spectacular views of natural beauty in Wales. From The Pier you can see the breathtaking scenery of Mumbles Bay, Mumbles Lighthouse and Port Talbot.
WHAT’S THE BUZZ?
Mumbles Pier is situated in Mumbles five miles from the centre of Swansea. One of Wales’ last Victorian piers, Mumbles Pier is still a popular fishing point. The land beside The Pier is now an entertainment complex comprising bars, a restaurant, and ice-skating rink. The Pier even has its own amusements arcade, so there’s something for all the family to enjoy other than just the impressive view and fishing.
ANY HISTORY?
Designed by W. Sutcliffe Marsh, Mumbles Pier first opened in 1898. The Victorian built attraction was once the only way to visit Swansea in style. The White Funnel paddle steamers of P and A Campbell would dock on the end unloading tourists who would then make their journey via the Swansea and Mumbles Railway, the world’s first passenger railway.
In recent years, however, The Pier has fallen into a state of disrepair with a large section fenced off to visitors and other areas patched up to maintain safety. Readers interested in the plans to redevelop Mumbles Pier should visit www.mumblespierdevelopment.com.
WHAT TO TAKE?
Remember to bring a camera with you to take some snaps. There is a small charge of 50p to enter Mumbles Pier itself, and if you plan on doing some fishing it costs £3.00 per rod. Food and drink are available in The Pier’s café. The Pier also has its own pub.
LOOK OUT FOR?
Although the glory days of the old White Funnel steamers that once delivered thousands of tourists to Mumbles and Swansea are long gone, Mumbles Pier still has plenty to offer visitors. The panoramic view of Swansea and Mumbles from The Pier is well known throughout the UK, attracting tourists from across the country.
In the amusements arcade you can try your luck at the slot machines while the children play all the latest video games. There’s also ten pen bowling and an array of prizes to be won on the cranes. The bright and airy space has something for everyone. And afterwards you can enjoy fish and chips in The Pier’s café. Before you head back home, though, be sure to check out Mumbles Lifeboat Station, the third busiest station in Wales, where a Tyne class lifeboat and a IB1 class lifeboat are operated.
WHEN TO GO?
Mumbles Pier is open seven days a week, 9.00am to 8.00pm. For the opening times of the Pier’s café, pub and amusements arcade you can visit the official Mumbles Pier website at www.mumbles-pier.co.uk.
TELL ME MORE
Their address is: Amusement Equipment Co Ltd, Old Lifeboat Cottage, Mumbles Road, Mumbles, Swansea, SA3 4EN. For more information about The Pier you can email arcade@ameco.co.uk or call on 01792 365220.

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