As Wales' second largest city (and the twenty-fifth largest in the UK), Swansea is a bustling and picturesque coastal destination.
Ranked the best place to live in South Wales in 2015’s Quality of Life Index by comparison site uSwitch, factors including salaries, schools, crime rate, hours of sunshine, and broadband speed were found to be up there with the best the region, and Wales as a whole, has to offer.
Like so many other UK cities built near the water’s edge, Swansea has its history rooted in the Industrial Revolution. The port traded in wine, wool, cloth and coal, and later, thanks to trading links with the West Country, copper smelting flourished in the area.
As the heavy industries declined, Swansea, like so many before it, gravitated towards the service sector economy, while a number of major corporations and organisations have bases here, including Virgin Atlantic, Amazon, and the DVLA.
Today, plans are afoot to modernise the city centre, with £500m allocated to the project and work slated to begin in 2017. And with the jobs and tourism this will bring, it’s exciting times ahead for the city once nicknamed ‘Copperopolis’.
Location, Location, Location
Thriving, attractive, and ambitious, Swansea is located a mere ten minute walk from Swansea Bay, with the wonderful seafront views and fresh air a nice counterpoint to city living.
If you choose to rent in Swansea, you’ll be spoiled for choice. City living is rich in culture and heritage, without feeling stuffy, while the surrounding suburbs are almost like separate little towns and villages.
Canol Dinas Abertawe
For many graduates and young professionals, renting in Swansea City Centre (Canol Dinas Abertawe in Welsh) is a no-brainer. With so much to see and do, your social calendar will be full before you know it. The popular Wind Street is buzzing with bars and restaurants, while the Uplands Tavern and Monkey Cafe, to name but a few, are at the heart of the city’s live music scene.
Independent shops rub shoulders with their high street counterparts, and Wales’ largest indoor market has you covered when it comes to experiencing the local delicacies of laverbread and cockles, or purchasing the freshest locally grown and caught produce.
The flats are modern and affordable, some overlooking the beautiful Marina, and the popular beaches are only a stone’s throw away should you wish to take up surfing or catch some rays.
And the recently revamped train station connects Swansea with surrounding local stations, and also runs regular trains further afield to the likes of Cardiff, Manchester, and London.
With the amount of natural and manmade beauty in and around Swansea, to be named the most desirable place to live and work in Wales is quite an achievement. Well, that’s precisely what Morriston (Treforys in Welsh) can lay claim to, topping a recent Royal Mail commissioned study.
This was based on a number of factors, including access to green space, average commutes, and quality of schools. And with these in spades, not to mention its reasonable house prices and low unemployment, Morriston pipped the likes of Birchgrove and Penarth to take poll position.
Regular buses connect you with Swansea City Centre, while it’s only a 15 minute drive should you work or study in the city. Or if you’d prefer to stay a bit closer to home, Woodfield Street is the beating heart of the community, with everything from independent retailers, cafes and bars, to a dentist, banks, and a supermarket conveniently located.
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