Swansea is the regional capital and shopping centre for south west Wales with both city centre shopping and ‘out of town’ retail parks.
Larger stores in the city centre’s Quadrant, Oxford Street and Princess Way development, blend seamlessly with smaller independent retailers located in the city’s streets and shopping arcades.
Swansea Market, Wales’s largest indoor market, sells everything from antiques to the latest publications and local fresh fish and meat to welsh-cakes straight from the griddle.
Swansea city centre has recently undergone a major face lift, including several major enhancement schemes, which has created new and exciting shopping opportunities.
Around £3.2 million was invested on streetscape improvement alone, giving Swansea quality public spaces, smart street furniture and new trees, adding to the great shopping experience.
Swansea has three retail parks located on the outskirts of the city centre: Parc Tawe, Fforestfach and Morfa, all with big name supermarket superstores and major High Street chains.
Mumbles, the pretty Victorian seaside village to the west of Swansea, has a raft of fashion boutiques, galleries and craft shops trading alongside beach and surf-wear stores.
Farmers’ markets are very popular in Swansea Bay, and there are lots of venues that provide opportunities to sample tasty, fresh local produce……..huge flavour, small carbon footprint!
Other major shopping centres in the Swansea Bay area include Llanelli, Carmarthen, Neath and Port Talbot town centres all offering the big national chain names. There are also their charming, surrounding villages with gourmet delicatessens, designer boutiques, classy art galleries and rural craft shops.
If its retail magic you’re after, Carmarthenshire is friendly and full of interest with specialised shops in charming towns and villages.
Carmarthen, the oldest town in Wales, has ‘St Catherines Walk’ a brand new shopping development featuring UK’s High Street names, restaurants and 3D Cinema. With quaint alleyways and a riverside setting, the bustling, prosperous county town of Carmarthen offers the most varied mix of high street names and independent shops and is well worth a visit, especially on market days (Wednesday and Saturday).
For a real treat, head to Llandeilo – a picturesque country town of pastel coloured houses rising above the River Tywi. Its streets are dotted with delicatessens, organic foodie shops, fashionable galleries, contemporary jewellers and craft houses and purveyors of exclusive ladies fashion.
Llanelli town centre is currently undergoing redevelopment with the Eastgate leisure quarter, and two new out-of-town retail parks, Parc Trostre and Parc Pemberton, have recently opened with major High Street stores open for business.
Port Talbot town centre has recently been upgraded and landscaped. Port Talbot’s Aberafan Shopping Centre has over 60 quality shops with High Street stores well represented.
Neath, a popular, historic market town, is also undergoing an £80 million pounds transformation project. Neath’s famous market, in the town centre, has a raft of stalls selling a variety of goods and is where you can sample local home-made fare.