Top Dylan Thomas spots in Swansea

Follow in the footsteps of Swansea’s most famous export. Jo Furber, literature officer at the Dylan Thomas Centre, shows us where to explore the writer’s life and times. 

  • Exterior of the Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea
    Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea

    The permanent exhibition, ‘Man and Myth’, includes worksheets, recordings, artwork and even the suit Dylan wore in New York in 1953, the year he died. There are regular events and the centre is the hub of the annual Dylan Thomas Festival that takes place each year from 27 October to 9 November, his birthday and the day he died respectively. 

  • Boats and yachts at Swansea Maritime Quarter
    Swansea Maritime Quarter by JenniKate Wallace

    See Robert Thomas’s statue of Captain Cat (the fictional blind sea captain from the radio drama ‘Under Milk Wood’) and wander into Dylan Thomas square to view a statue of the man himself. His knee is shiny, where fans have sat on it to pose for a photo. There are plenty of other attractions in the vicinity, including Dylan’s old stomping ground, the Queen’s Hotel.

  • Dylan Thomas memorial, a stone carved with a Dylan Thomas quote, in Cwmdonkin Park
    Dylan Thomas memorial in Cwmdonkin Park, Swansea

    First, visit Dylan’s birthplace in the Uplands suburb of Swansea. Number 5 Cwmdonkin Drive has been restored to its condition in 1914 when it was bought as a new house by the Thomas family. Enjoy a guided tour, have dinner in the family dining room or even stay for the night. Then head to the park that inspired some of his most famous work, such as ‘The Hunchback in the Park’. Find the memorial stone carved with the last three lines of ‘Fern Hill’. 

  • View of Mumbles pier and surrounding buildings
    Mumbles, Swansea by jinxsi1960

    Mumbles is firmly on the Dylan trail, being the first of many coastal villages the writer visited and enjoyed. He regularly came here to rehearse with the local amateur dramatics group, the Swansea Little Theatre, and enjoy the delights of the nearby pubs in Oystermouth Square. One of his favourites, The Antelope is still much as it was when Dylan propped up the bar. 

  • Cow rubbing against a signpost for the Gower Way
    The Gower Way by alexinatempa

    Dylan often walked the Gower cliffs, “taking my devils for an airing” as he put it. Two of his best loved short stories, ‘Extraordinary Little Cough’ and ‘Who Do You Wish Was With Us?’ are set at beautiful Rhossili. As a young boy Dylan would take a bus and camp with friends and once or twice he may even have walked the whole way across the common from the Uplands.

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