With four different locations to launch from, all facing different directions, you are likely to find a good sailing spot in Swansea Bay whatever the weather. The first beach is S facing near the County Hall where you can sail here at most times but low tide can involve a walk of 500 metres through sand and mud. The best conditions are W winds, which produce some good wave sailing or flat water blasting depending on the conditions. Dangers include large shorebreak and the outlet of Swansea sewer, which is marked by a post in the centre of the bay.
The second beach is SE facing and located near Sketty Lane. It is only possible to sail two hours either side of high tide here because the water disappears to the horizon. This is definitely a good place to practice waterstarts as the water is shallow for 500 metres one hour either side of high tide. Best conditions are NE or SW, which give ideal cross-shore winds and fairly flat water which is ideal for beginners.
The third spot is a SE – E facing beach about 2 miles N of Mumbles. Sailing is limited to one hour either side of high tide, but this beach is ideal for beginners as the water is shallow for 500 metres. Best conditions are from N to S and these winds produce some good flat water sailing with very few waves. The main danger is that offshore winds can pick up when you get out of the wind shadow of the beach so beginners might have problems when they go out too far, apart from that, this is a very safe beach.
The fourth location is a NE facing beach near Mumbles. It is possible to sail in all tides here but low water springs can mean a walk of up to 30 metres through mud and rocks. Best conditions are NW to SE but avoid E winds because nasty 2 – 3ft chop is created. Dangers here are mainly tidal problems as the bay fills from the N and empties from the S. Also watch out for numerous obstacles in the water.
Getting there: To get to the beach near the County Hall, turn into the County Hall just before the garage on the left-hand side of road. The car park is on the right next to the beach. To get to Sketty Lane Beach, follow the Mumbles road out of Swansea past the prison, turn left at the traffic lights opposite the boating lake. Here you will be able to park in a pay & display car park. West Cross is found by following the Mumbles road and pulling in just before you reach the West Cross Inn on the left-hand side of the road. To get to Mumbles Beach, follow the Mumbles road around the sweep of Swansea Bay to the car park opposite Mumbles yacht club. There is a slipway at the far end of the car park.
Parking: Large car park near County Hall, Pay & Display car parks at Sketty Lane and Mumbles (Apr – Sept only) and pub car park at West Cross
Ideal Wind: SW
Accomodation: Hotels and B&B’s in Swansea
Amenities: Usual seaside town amenities
Water Quality: Not tested
Suitable for: Everyone at the County Hall, Sketty Laneand West Cross. Intermediate and above at Mumbles.