South Wales

South Wales (Welsh: De Cymru) is in the United Kingdom.


These are historic counties used for geographic purposes. Due to the large populations of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire they are divided into twelve local authorities called "council areas", namely Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff, Newport, Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Merthyr Tydfil.

Historic counties of South Wales

Cities and towns



Other destinations

Worm's Head, Rhossili, Swansea

National parks

Designated areas of outstanding natural beauty


South Wales is a very mixed area. There is stunning pastoral scenery in many parts of South West Wales, the Vale of Glamorgan near Cardiff and the beautiful Wye Valley in the historic county of Monmouthshire. Wales' two largest cities, Cardiff and Swansea, are both located in the historic county of Glamorgan and offer an excellent shopping, restaurants and entertainment opportunities. The coast around Pembrokeshire and the Gower Peninsula in Swansea, in particular, have stunning coastal paths and sandy beaches, and the area boasts an abundance of castles. In addition, South Wales has a proud industrial heritage, with Port Talbot being a major steel processing town, while the valleys in central Glamorgan were once the centre of the Welsh coal mining industry. Since the 1960s, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire have been very popular with people involved in alternative and counter-culture; consequently South West Wales has become home to many communes and organic farms.


Welsh in commonly spoken is Carmarthenshire, northern Pembrokeshire and parts of West Glamorgan, but it is used much less in southern Pembrokeshire, most of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire. English is spoken natively throughout the region.

Get in

By car

The M4 motorway links London and southern England to Newport, Cardiff, Swansea and near Carmarthen. If travelling from the Midlands and the North, the M50 and A40 are the best roads to use.

By train

Great Western runs a main line service from London to Swansea, with stops in Newport, Cardiff, Bridgend, Port Talbot and Neath. Arriva Trains covers the rural areas west and north of Swansea.

By plane

There is an international airport at Cardiff and a small airport serving private planes at Swansea

By boat

There are regular car ferry services from Ireland to Fishguard and Pembroke.

Swansea offers mooring facilities for around 700 boats at the city's marina.

By bus

Cardiff, Swansea and Newport are connected to the National Express coach network, linking them to other major UK cities.

Get around

Trains connect all the main centres of population, and a local bus network links the stations to the smaller communities in the area.







Stay safe

South Wales does not have a high crime rate, though like anywhere is in the UK, caution is required, especially in urban areas.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, March 20, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.