'Living the dream'- 16, Sarlou Close.

This holiday cottage is something we never thought we could have- and are so happy to share with others!

We ( John & Jen Fisher in Taunton) are on 01823 451332 or mr.john.f@gmail.com.

In emergency when using the cottage you could contact neighbours, or Pat & John Lewis ( Swansea friends) on 01792 234128, or Gwen & Gareth Jenkins on 01792 233732.

Satnav and other maps show Sarlou Close, SA3 4JG, as first on right after leaving Plunch Lane, which has a Sarlou Close street sign on it. Our part is actually second right.

Our Flickr sites include huge numbers of local photos to get you in the mood...

You can check tide times & surf conditions on-line before you come!

Swansea has excellent A&E services if the worst happens! Morriston Hospital, NOT Singleton.

No, we don't know where the street name 'Sarlou' comes from.

Arrival

If arriving late evening, you can pick up milk at the service station just before you get to Mumbles, and there are several chip shops and other food outlets and pubs too. Various non-perishable food items may be around in the fridge and cupboards- feel free to use them up and/or replace before leaving.

TV should work happily when switched on with the remote, but it has no working buttons so you have to use the remote to select channels by number, and to adjust volume. Welsh local service available of course... so programs may differ from national listings. DVI/HDMI leads in the cupboard by the door or back of TV if you have other devices for display.

Park cars on 'our' area outside- not on the road itself- but it isn't a real problem.

Switch on immersion heater- cupboard on right in passageway to bathroom/toilet. The toggle switch turns on the off-peak heater between 1 and 2pm, and 1 to 7am. Tap the 'Boost' switch for quicker heat at other times. Shower is on electric instant heat anyway. Switch on by the pull-cord before use, and off again afterwards.

We may have suggested you use the de-humidifier in colder, damper weather. Instructions in folder, and we'll have explained its use to you.

Fridge and freezer- below the worktop- CURRENTLY LEFT ON.

NB Socket on cooker switch panel is dodgy- leave the extension plugged in.

If you want instant room-heating, use the fan or radiant heaters in a socket. Just don't leave them on while you are out.. If you are staying more than one night you may want to switch on the living area and middle-bedroom storage heaters via their wall switches. They heat up only in the middle of the night and release heat during the day. ( bedroom storage heater is very close to the bed unless you move the bed)

Keys for windows are in the kitchen drawer. It can get a bit steamed up- we plan to improve ventilation. Remember to close & lock any windows you opened when you leave. Key to shed padlock should be hanging in the meter cupboard with a fluorescent red tag by the door. NB Bathroom window handle can be turned clockwise from open ( vertical) position far enough to hold window closed, but do NOT try to move it further to the horizontal locked position.

Mobile reception is a bit dodgy- try outside if you have problems, or use Skype if you have computer /tablet /w.h.y.

Land-line telephone is available and its use is already paid for( 01792 686732) so feel free to use. Wi-fi is available- network name TNCAP769FDB and password ############# on a card by the phone. Or use your own login to neighbours' WiFi if you are a BT customer. There's a WiFi printer- feel free to use if your devices detect it when it is switched on.

Cooker, microwave, washing machine all ready to go. The socket on the cooker wall switch is very tight, so leave the extension cable plugged into it and use its sockets if needed.

Picnic areas are available at the right hand side ( where the clothes line is) & behind the house. (The area with a green shed beyond the second little gate on the right is owned by the neighbours.) Our brown shed ( padlock key in meter cupboard) contains things you might want- including a four-line kite and a metal detector, picnic chairs, wooden 'boules', inline skates, and even a lawnmower etc.)


There are lots of maps and leaflets you may find useful. Jen has done some sorting into categories. Please don't take them away. Many pubs and shops have copies if you want one. Pick up a copy of 'The Bay' and 'What's on in Swansea'. There should be a tide-table in the house too as well as the on-line link.

Mumbles /Oystermouth has excellent shops, including supermarkets, fresh fish, fish-and-chips, delicatessen, ironmongers/garden shop, off-licence, pubs, pharmacist, bakers, etc. Cash hole-in-the-wall & Post Office (at WH Smith's newsagent).

-

For a great introductory walk, turn right at the bottom of the close, walk 50m & look for a ( hidden) path along the right-hand side of the house between wall and hedge. ( Look for 100 on the wall.) You're on the upper cliff path inside 100m.

There's a switch near the front ( and only!) door to turn off the outside security light. Usually left on. A house at the bottom of the close may have a bright security light on all night- bright enough to see what you are doing- there are no street lights.

Front doorbell may have a low battery ( OK 24 Aug 2016) and is sometimes set to make a cuckoo noise when triggered. Visitors have a strange sense of humour. If the button does nothing, check if the bell unit in the meter cupboard or on windowsill is switched off.

Be gentle with shower curtain- the wall mounting is not especially strong. Immersion heater runs pretty hot so be careful. Sink hot tap is a bit slow.

Tell children to be careful walking outside past open windows, or on the 'raised garden' area- adults too. You don't want tumbles or gashed faces!


Departure

When leaving, switch off the things you turned on, especially immersion heater & storage heaters. LEAVE FRIDGE & FREEZER ON. If you used the spare key, replace it.

Take with you any perishable food- but food that keeps- or drinks (!) may be welcome for the next visitors.

Rubbish disposal. Preferably take away your own- there is a full recycling tip between Mumbles and Swansea ( open 08-30 to 17-00 each day). DON'T leave out a food-waste in a bag- the magpies & seagulls will shred it and scatter its contents. There's a green food-waste box in the shed. Weekly collections use a black/pink/green bag system on alternate weeks, plus food waste. There are usually recycling bags, often part-filled, in the shed or kitchen drawers. Feel free to add to these & we'll dispose when we are down. They have printed on them what to put in them. Black bag ( non-recyclable) are collected each week. Compostable waste in black bin in side garden. It'll end up dug into the garden compost heap.

A comment in the Guest Book would be nice- we love hearing what you got up to or discovered. Let us know too of any problems that you had that we can sort...


Suggested activities

South Gower and Rhossili have fantastic beaches and cliffs. Three Cliffs, Caswell. etc. See leaflets. Sandcastles, kites, rock pools. Bury Mum & Dad in the sand... However be aware of tides and notices- Three Cliffs beach is NOT safe for swimming- go round the Eastern corner to Pobbles.

Mumbles has lots going on- crazy golf, small sailing dinghies, etc. Learn SUP stand-up paddleboarding?

Swansea has lots of fun parks- Singleton, Brynmill, Clyne Gardens etc. Plus the Marina and Leisure Centre and museums. Boat up the river could be fun.

Great walks-with-long-distance views on Cefn Bryn and Rhosili Down. ( see North Devon & Lundy)

North Gower has good walking and extensive salt-marsh meadows, flooded at high tides.

Photo-opportunities everywhere.

Handy pubs for pints and pies. And ice cream shops.

Dry limestone valleys & caves. ( CARE!) Great rock climbing IF YOU HAVE THE GEAR and know what you are doing.

Prehistoric remains eg Parc le Breos, Arthur's seat, Paviland cave ( the 'Red Lady' skeleton)

Castles- Oystermouth Castle is well worth visiting, but also Weobley, and the romantic Pennard castle ruins inland of Three Cliffs.

A bit further to Kidwelly Castle, National Garden Centre ( nr Carmarthen), Burryport.

Waterfalls at Aberdulais and up the Swansea Valley. MTB centres at Afan Forest & Cwmcarn and many other great bike areas.

Dan yr Ogof showcaves. St Fagan's Folk Museum nr. Cardiff.

Swimming, body-boarding etc on great beaches. Stand-up boards can be hired- possibly sea canoes and others.

Metal detector +instructions available. Kite. Spade & rake for beach digging/ making sand art. In wet weather create some artistic arrangement of pebbles and shells- photograph it, or leave for the next visitor to marvel at.

Sea fishing and boat excursions along the coast can be arranged.

Check the tides. If you can fit in two hours before & two after LOW tide, Worm's Head is a spectacular walk /adventure. Giant arch, blow hole. Wave and seal watching.

Swansea has a lot to see, including the Marina & museum. Singleton Park. Swansea indoor market is open every day & well worth a visit. All the expected big stores of a major city. etc.

Great biking area. For softies, try the ( totally flat if you get a start from Mumbles Pier) 7km bike route to Swansea and back. Got any in-line skates??

Mountain bike possibilities- but please stick to the many legal routes.

Permanent orienteering course available on the hill above Mumbles Pier. Map available for this and other local permanent courses in the folder at LTD. Great view from Mumbles Hill of the Bay, useful to get your local bearings. The big private house is valued at 1.4M ukp and K Zeta-Jones has a house in a gated community up Plunch Lane by the Cricket Ground. Out of our league...

English Heritage card gets you free entry to CADW sites. Not many National Trust places around but your card gets you free parking at Pennard and Rhossili.

Places to visit include Weobley & Kidwelly, National Botanic Garden Centre near Carmarthen. Burry Port, Pendine, Aberdulais Falls. Swansea Valley. Brecon & the Beacons. Dan yr Ogof Showcaves. Good parks in Swansea -Singleton, Clyne, etc.


GETTING THERE

Most will be coming from the East. Use motorway M4 and drop off left along Swansea Bay, then follow signs for City Centre then Gower /Mumbles.

Keep straight on as Swansea Bay curves round to your left for a few km, left-hand lane at the traffic lights ( NOT turning right and following Gower signs), straight across the mini-roundabout in Oystermouth, and follow the road past pier and Coastguard station and up through a cutting through the rock and curve right past a big car park. Drop to the little bay ( ice cream shop!) and turn sharp right. About 400m up ( red post letterbox on righthand side of road) turn left onto Westcliff. Our part of Sarlou is the SECOND right- we're the right-hand half of the bungalow/chalet at the top.


Phone or email us if you are interested- we offer it to friends rather than as a commercial operation. We use it a lot ourselves!