Glamorgan (Welsh: Morgannwg, historically known in English as Glamorganshire) is a traditional county in Wales and also its most densely populated region. Wales' two largest cities, Cardiff and Swansea, were located in Glamorgan (they are now counties in their own right) and so the area is somewhat more cosmopolitan than other regions, and offers the greatest variety of shopping, entertainment and cultural events. However, for those less interested in the hustle and bustle of city life, the county also has an array of other attractions, such as the sea-side resort towns of Barry and Porthcawl, the spectacular coast and sandy beaches of the Gower Peninsula and the hilly areas to the north. The former industrial heartland of Wales, simply referred to as the Valleys, is located in the central part of the county.
Cities, towns and villages
- Caerphilly — home to a magnificent castle
- Dinas Powys
- Merthyr Tydfil
- Port Talbot
- St. Nicholas
The historical county of Glamorgan no longer exists as an administrative area. However, some county level sports teams, for example Glamorgan County Cricket, still use the title. Currently, the county is divided into eight administrative districts, with the largest and most important being Cardiff and Swansea. The others are as follows: Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Vale of Glamorgan.
Glamorganshire is well served by the motorway system and can easily be accessed by junctions 29 to 47 of the M4. The A465 trunk road from Hereford passes east-west through the county, joining the M4 at junction 43. The A470 trunk road passes north-south linking Cardiff, Pontypridd and Merthyr Tydfil to mid and north Wales.
The Great Western main railway line passes through the county affording easy access to Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire in the west and Newport, Bristol and London in the east. The county contains an extensive local rail service centred on Cardiff.
Cardiff Airport is located to the west of Cardiff in the Vale of Glamorgan.
- The M4 Motorway links the region with Cardiff, Bristol and London with connections to the M6, M5, M32, M42 and M50.
- The A465, with its mountain scenery links Swansea Bay with Birmingham and the midlands avoiding the Severn toll bridges.
- The A483 links Swansea Bay with north Wales and Chester.
- There are park and ride services serving Swansea at Fabian way (off M4 Junction 42), Landore (off M4 Junction 45) and Fforestfach (off M4 Junction 47).
- National Express operates a regular coach service from Swansea to London, Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham. Coach services also operate directly from Carmarthen, Llanelli, Neath and Port Talbot to Cardiff and London.
- First Cymru operates a frequent Shuttle coach service to Swansea from Cardiff. Tickets can be bought on the bus.
- Swansea Airport Swansea is served by its own regional airport, light aircraft only (IATA: SWS), ☎ +44 1792 207550.
- Pembrey Airport offers charter flights to destinations in UK and Europe. Enquiries: ☎ +44 1554 891534.
- Cardiff International Airport (IATA: CWL), which is about a fifty minute drive from the city and offers scheduled domestic and international flights to Europe, Africa and North America. Inquires: ☎ +44 1446 711111.
- Heathrow and Gatwick airports. There are frequent National Express coach services to Swansea from Heathrow Airport, offering the widest choice of international flights.
- First Great Western Trains offer a very frequent service from London Paddington Station to Swansea Station, stopping at Reading, Swindon, Bristol Parkway, Newport, Cardiff Central, Bridgend, Port Talbot Parkway and Neath. During the summer months, First Great Western trains also call at Llanelli and Carmarthen Inquires: ☎ 08457 48 49 50
- Travellers arriving from Heathrow have the option of taking the shuttle bus to Reading and boarding the west bound train there - this saves travelling into London - or taking the Heathrow Express high speed rail link to London Paddington Station. This service runs every 15 minutes from terminals 1,2,3 or every 23 minutes from terminal 4 and takes 15 minutes: £13 (single); £25 (return).
- Travellers arriving from Cardiff International Airport can take a train to Swansea, however this requires a change at Bridgend. Services are provided by Arriva Trains
- Arriva Trains runs routes west of Swansea. After leaving Swansea, the train follows of the contours of the coast. A left side seat will give you the best view. Inquires: ☎ 08457 48 49 50
- The famous Heart of Wales Line runs between the medieval town of Shrewsbury and Swansea, passing through some of Wales' most spectacular scenery and picturesque towns during its three hour and forty minute journey. Trains depart Swansea at 04:36, 09:15, 13:17 and 18:21.
- Swansea Marina offers 750 berths for private boat mooring, and is a five gold anchor rated marina with Blue Flag status offering comprehensive facilities for both short and long term stays.
- Burry Port Marina just west of Llanelli offers 243 berths for private boat mooring.
- Cork-Swansea ferry (provided by Fastnet Line) In Swansea the ferry operates from the ferry terminal in Swansea Docks off the A483 Fabian Way, close to the city centre and SA1. In County Cork, the ferry sails from the port of Ringaskiddy about 7 miles southeast of the city of Cork. There are 4 return voyages a week during the high season and 3 return voyages a week during the low season. Fastnet Line's ferry, the MS Julia can accommodate cars and trucks. Prices start from £18/€20 for foot passengers.
- Rosslare - Fishguard ferries - Stenna Line operate ferries to Fishguard in West Wales which is about 1.5 hours drive to Swansea Bay.
- Rosslare - Pembroke Dock Irish Ferries operate a ferry service from Rosslare to Pembroke Dock in West Wales. Pembroke Dock is about 1 hour 20 minutes drive to Swansea Bay.
The best means of transport for exploring the region is by private car.
Buses depart from Swansea Bus Station to most of the suburbs and rural areas of Swansea as well as to other towns in the region. Towns with central bus stations to their suburbs inlclude Neath, Port Talbot, Llanelli and Carmarthen. Most services are operated by First Cymru and Veolia Transport Cymru .
Arriva trains operate suburban and rural train services from Swansea station to Llansamlet, Skewen, Baglan, Briton Ferry, Gowerton, Bynea, Llangennech, Pontarddulais, Pantyfynnon and Ammanford.
- Avis - Orchard St, Swansea, SA1 5AS. ☎ +44 844 581-0014
- Europcar, 187-189 Oxford St, Swansea, SA1 3JA, ☎ +44 1792 650526.