Whether you’re only just considering applying, or you’ve already been lucky enough to get a place on a course at Swansea University’s Bay Campus or UWTSD’s SA1 Waterfront Campus, then you may be interested in accommodation options that are close enough to make your commute quick and easy, but central enough to enjoy the many delights of this coastal city.
So, come with us on a guided tour of the best places to rent in the east of Swansea during your time studying here.
Both campuses are fairly easy to get to from all over the city, but there are a few student-friendly areas with very affordable rents that are within a short walk, cycle ride, or 5-minute bus journey of campus. These areas are perfectly situated to take advantage of city amenities whilst also providing easy access to open spaces, the maritime quarter, beach, and, of course, each University.
Closest to the Bay Campus - Port Tennant
Taking its name from the Tennant family who developed the nearby Tennant Canal, Port Tennant is a suburban district which falls within the St. Thomas ward. It has some very handy shops and take-aways, a small park, doctors’ surgery, post office and a couple of pubs. There is also a new bridge over Fabian Way linking Port Tennant to the docks, marina and SA1 area, with all their amenities and opportunities to enjoy some nightlife – COVID allowing.
The area sits at the foot of Kilvey Hill, from the top of which – on a clear day – you can enjoy panoramic views of the city, Swansea Bay and beyond. The hill consists of woodland and grassland and is an excellent place to take an energetic stroll to get some fresh air and clear the head, and it’s even utilised to host several mountain biking events.
Port Tennant also gives easy access to the colourfully named Crymlyn Burrows and Crymlyn Bog, which contains a designated nature reserve and site of special scientific interest – for all you budding biologists, zoologists, and conservationists. The burrows also lead onto Jersey Marine Beach – perfect for getting some sun and salt air while you’re revising for those exams.
TOP TIP: This is the easiest location to get to and from both campuses. Less than 5 mins by bus (which run every 12 mins) and only 8 mins by bike along the National Cycle Route. It’s also a very flat ride/walk/run to get there.
Central – St. Thomas
St. Thomas is a very affordable area in a great central location. This residential area has a core of 2–3-bedroom traditional mid-Victorian terraces originally built to accommodate the local dock and industrial workers.
The area sits adjacent to the river Tawe, with access to the riverside footpath and cycle track. It’s also perfectly located for you to venture into the city and is only a short stone’s throw from Swansea’s nightlife centre – Wind Street.
There are a couple of large supermarkets close by in the form of Lidl and Sainsburys, and again, it has quick access to the Maritime Quarter and seafront promenade. Neighbouring Port Tennant, it has access to many of the same shared amenities, it’s just a bit closer to the centre of Swansea and a little bit further away from each campus – but not so you’d really notice.
TOP TIP: If you’re a keen rower, want to get fit, or just like to watch, the University rowing club regularly trains on the river Tawe right alongside St. Thomas.
Great for all campuses - Sandfields
A bit further away than the previous two areas, Swansea’s Sandfields is much closer to the traditional heart of Swansea’s student community, and has plenty of shops, pubs, restaurants and take-aways within only a short walk. Getting to campus is still pretty easy when you live here, as you only have a two-minute walk to get into the city centre and the main bus station, and it’s around 20 mins by bike on the designated cycle route.
Sandfields is close to: Brynmill – with the St. Helen’s rugby and cricket pitch; Swansea Civic Centre – which contains the central library; The Brangwyn Hall and The Grand Theatre – where you will hopefully attend your graduation; The Crown Court – hopefully, no need to go here; and it’s just downhill from the uber-trendy Uplands area.
It’s also only a short trot to the seafront with its easy access to Mumbles and Gower with the fantastic beaches and countryside it offers.
TOP TIP: The Argyle Fish Bar sells some of the best fish and chips in Swansea and it’s located right in the heart of Sandfields.
TOP TIP II: On the edge of Sandfields is the famous Joe’s Ice Cream Parlour. The tightly guarded family recipe of its ice cream is well known locally as being a bit special, and it’s a favourite treat of Swansea-born actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and her husband Michael Douglas – you have to make sure you try some while you’re here!
Well, we hope you enjoyed this whistle-stop tour around the east side of the city. There’s lots more to discover when you get here, and here at StudentDigz we’re always on hand to help you find your perfect location and give you advice about where to go and what to see.
To find the best student accommodation in Swansea, take a look at our amazing list of house-shares, flats and more by using our search tool. Happy house-hunting!