Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Bay has plenty to offer

Below is my “Big Day Out” column from the Saturday, March 31, 2012, Swansea edition of the South Wales Evening Post.




















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Bay has plenty to offer
A big day out! 
 This week RICHARD THOMAS heads to Swansea Prom. 
  
WHY? With its wide range of attractions the spectacular five mile stretch of Swansea Bay is a great destination for visitors of all ages. Whether you want to start getting back in shape for the summer using the fitness trail adjacent to the foot path, ride your bike, or, just want to kick back and relax with an ice cream by the sea, the Swansea prom has it all.
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? This April sees some of the prom's most popular attractions returning for the Easter holidays. Nestled between Singleton Hospital and Swansea University just across the road from the prom is Singleton Boating Lake, where you can hop aboard a pedalo and glide around the lake or enjoy a round of crazy golf on their 18 hole course. There's also a bevy of resident Swans to see and an adventure playground. The prom is also home to Ashleigh Road Pitch & Putt, Swansea's only 10 hole golf course, as well as Blackpill Lido, Swansea's very own mini outdoor water park.
ANY HISTORY? Returning to the promenade today until Sunday April 15 is the 72 seater Swansea Bay Rider Land Train. Running between Blackpill Lido and Southend Gardens, Mumbles, it's a journey with strong echoes of the the old Mumbles Train which carried the world's first fare-paying railway passengers on March 25, 1807, and has been missed by locals ever since it closed in 1960.
LOOK OUT FOR? You'll find plenty of family fun at Blackpill Lido, where you can catch the Bay Rider Train. Although the paddling pool won't be open until June, with its superb children's play area and picnic facilities Lido is a great place to stop and take five by.
WHAT TO TAKE? A standard Bay Rider Train ticket costs £2, but you can opt to buy a family ticket for one adult and three children or two adults and two children for £5 instead. Tickets are available on the train. A packed lunch is a good idea but overlooking Singleton Boating Lake is the fabulous Pub On The Pond which serves great value food for the whole family. With the pub restaurant’s Squire Deal you can enjoy two main meals for just £10!
WHEN TO GO? The pedalos and crazy golf course at Singleton Boating Lake, as well as Ashleigh Road Pitch & Putt golf course and Swansea Bay Rider Land Train will be open daily from today until April 15. You can hop aboard the Bay Rider between 10am and 4pm. The other attractions will be open between 10am and 6pm.
TELL ME MORE: There are several pay and display car parks off Mumbles Road and Oystermouth Road, adjacent to the promenade. For-nav users the Blackpill Lido postcode is SA3 5AS. For more information about all the attractions on the prom go to www.swanseaprom.com.
Visit Richard Thomas's website at www.richardthomassite.com.

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