I took a trip on one of Wales' most scenic bus routes and it was like journeying through a fairytale

Rhossili! This is your destination on Swansea's most scenic bus ride -Credit:Molly Dowrick/WalesOnline

Molly Dowrick enjoyed this scenic bus ride in April, 2023. This is what she thought....

Nine years ago, when I moved to Swansea for university, I began to explore the beauty of Gower. Like many Swansea residents, I've developed an undeniable fondness for this special place.

Whether it's trodding along the sandy beaches or indulging in a cliff-top walk, the appeal remains unchanged. During my eighteen months of residency at Bishopston, I frequented the likes of Brandy Cove, Caswell, and Langland, savouring the pleasant seaside walks during lunch hours and after work. In addition, Rhossili and Three Cliffs have rendered me with memorable ambles over the years. For the latest Swansea news, sign up to our newsletter here

So, when tasked with undertaking bus route number 118 from Swansea's bus station to Rhossili, which is considered the city's "most scenic" route, my enthusiasm was high. Fortunately, my expectations were met, and disappointment was averted. Operated by Adventure Travel, the route takes a roughly two-hour journey from Stand T at Swansea Bus Station to Rhossili terminus via Sketty, Killay, Parkmill, Penmaen, Reynoldston, Knelston, and Scurlage. If you wish to visit Port Eynon, be sure to catch the 118 bus at 5:10 pm for a one-way trip arriving around 6:13 pm.

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The 11.20am service on Tuesday morning departed almost exactly on time. The bus, number 118, headed towards the Kingsway, passing by the Coppergate student accommodation and making a stop at Christina Street. It was here that I was taken aback by the sheer number of passengers boarding - couples, families, solo travellers, and what seemed to be students from the nearby accommodation block. Almost everyone purchased a ticket for Rhossili from the driver.

While there were still plenty of seats available, I couldn't help but wonder if there would be enough room during the warmer summer term or holiday season when the service is likely to be busier. Perhaps Adventure Travel should consider operating a double-decker bus instead of a single? Try WalesOnline Premium for FREE by clicking here for no ads, fun puzzles and brilliant new features

The return fare for an adult is £5.60 (or £7.30 for an adult day outer zone ticket) [The outer zone price is now £8.40 in 2024]. This compares with parking at the National Trust car park for the day (£3 for up to two hours, £6 for more than two hours, free for National Trust members - fuel on top of that of course). However, going by bus does offer the advantage of being able to chat with friends and enjoy the views without having to navigate Gower's notoriously winding roads.

After passing Coppergate student accommodation, the bus turned left at the lights and made its way along Mansel Street into Walter Road. The scenery here was as expected: lots of cars, houses and people going about their business. But I knew the more picturesque views would come later in my journey.

The bus sped up Walter Road and along Uplands Crescent before continuing towards Sketty Road. Here, I spotted my first animal - sort of. Outside a solicitors firm/post office, I noticed a post box topped with a charming Welsh dragon - delightful! This was probably the highlight of the initial part of my journey. But as the bus continued along Sketty Road and Gower Road in Killay, the typical city views gradually gave way to beautiful countryside scenes.

As I travelled through Upper Killay and Blackhills, the endless fields captured my attention. The lack of traffic allowed us to swiftly move along, providing a brief respite from work as I took in the rural scenery. Despite recent rainfall, the fields were surprisingly dry and yellowish, a pleasant contrast to my usual view of rows of houses while working from home.

Following Blackhills, we journeyed through Parkmill, which was bathed in delightful April sunshine. We passed notable landmarks such as the Gower Inn pub, the West Glamorgan Guide Centre, Shepherds - a popular independent cafe and ice-cream shop, and the Gower Heritage Centre.

Although the heritage centre is a common destination for Swansea primary school trips, having moved to the city as an adult, I've yet to visit. However, it certainly looked appealing from the bus, and I plan to visit this summer.

Our journey from Parkmill took us through Penmaen and the turn-off for Perriswood, before we drove through the picturesque villages of Little Reynoldston, Reynoldston Green, and Knelston. From the road, these villages appeared to be straight out of a storybook, each boasting a few charming cottages but not much else.

Our route also took us past fields, some blooming with buttercups, others overrun with weeds and brambles. We spotted fields of sheep and cows, providing a refreshing change of scenery if you could catch a glimpse through the bus window and past the roadside hedges.

Post-Knelston, our bus journey continued through Scurlage, finally arriving at the Rhossili terminus nearly an hour after departing Swansea bus station. The stunning views of Rhossili Bay below and Worm's Head ahead were a sight to behold.

In conclusion, while the unparalleled views of Rhossili and Worm's Head are certainly a highlight, the scenic journey itself added to the overall enjoyment of my day out. The route offered glimpses of quaint cottages and beautiful villages that seemed to have jumped straight out of a fairytale, pleasant fields filled with flora, and pastures of sheep and cows.

Houses on road
Houses on road

However, the bus window frame did somewhat obstruct the view. The journey, however, did involve navigating through some lengthy, winding lanes, which I wouldn't have wanted to drive myself. The fields were more of a stark, ashy yellow than the vibrant green I had anticipated.

But, overall, the bus ride was pleasant and relaxing, offering stunning views of the countryside before arriving at one of Wales' most picturesque locations: Rhossili and Worm's Head.

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