About Swansea

Swansea Town Centre

Swansea is officially known as the City and County of Swansea, which is a coastal city and county in Wales. It is Wales' second largest city.

Swansea lies within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan. Situated on the sandy South West Wales coast, the county area includes the Gower Peninsula and the Lliw uplands. The City and County of Swansea had a population of 239,000 in 2011, making it the second most populous local authority area in Wales after Cardiff. During its 19th-century industrial heyday, Swansea was a key centre of the copper industry, earning the nickname 'Copperopolis'.

Swansea can be roughly divided into four physical areas. To the north are the Lliw uplands which are mainly open moorland, reaching the foothills of the Black Mountain. To the west is the Gower Peninsula with its rural landscape dotted with small villages. To the east is the coastal strip around Swansea Bay. Cutting though the middle from the south-east to the north-west is the urban and suburban zone stretching from the Swansea city centre to the towns of Gorseinon and Pontarddulais.

The most populated areas of Swansea are Morriston, Sketty and the city centre. The chief urbanised area radiates from the city centre towards the north, south and west, along the coast of Swansea Bay to Mumbles; up the Swansea Valley past Landore and Morriston to Clydach, over Townhill to Cwmbwrla, Penlan, Treboeth and Fforestfach, through Uplands, Sketty, Killay to Dunvant; and east of the river from St. Thomas to Bonymaen, Llansamlet and Birchgrove. A second urbanised area is focused on a triangle defined by Gowerton, Gorseinon and Loughor along with the satellite communities of Penllergaer and Pontarddulais.

About three quarters of Swansea is bordered by the sea—the Loughor Estuary, Swansea Bay and the Bristol Channel. The two largest rivers in the region are the Tawe which passes the city centre and the Loughor which flows on the northern border with Carmarthenshire.

In the local authority area, the geology is complex, providing diverse scenery. The Gower Peninsula was the first area in the United Kingdom to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Excluding the urbanised area in the south-eastern corner, the whole of the Gower Peninsula is part of an AONB. Swansea has numerous urban and country parklands. The region has featured regularly in the Wales in Bloom awards.

Text and images taken from Swansea on Wikipedia. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swansea