A trip to Swansea for another skateboarding contest; another chance to finish off the little clutch of pubs in the Gower.  The skateboarding with fingers event has apparently taken over from an event in Bavaria as the pinnacle of the sport this year, which speaks volumes about Swansea’s cultural renaissance,or perhaps how cheap it is.

In August’s post I raved a bit about the pubs in the Mumbles, which is itself a little Falmouth but with better ice cream. Sadly, no Joe’s on this trip.

But proper pubs in Bishopston and Llanrhidian, two unpretentious places within the Peninsula.  Both have decent walks to the coast, though Bishopston has the beach at Caswell Bay.  It was too cold for Mrs RM to swim in, apparently.

You don’t get much less pretentious than the ham, potatoes and peas (and parsley sauce) in the Valley, at a reasonable £6.50.  Across the road is The Joiners, the excellent brewery tap for the Swansea Brewing, which therefore gets slightly more of the drinking trade, but the Valley clearly draws the casual diners out of town.

That said, there were a fair few pints of real ale being sold alongside the bottles of Bulmers (!), and the Rev James was cool and full-bodied (NBSS 3.5).  Requests for Doom Bar were met with a shake of the head.

Like the best unmodernised pubs in the Valleys, there was a good range of seating, though the memorabilia was a bit swamped by the rugby rubbish that ruins pubs throughout February.

Never mind bargain prices, it helps if you’ve got the best pub cat;

Reg, apparently


At the north of the Peninsula, the Dolphin in Llanrhidian was rather less bustling at 2pm.

Equally cheery, equally unmodernised, but lacking the bustle that casual diners or professional drinkers give a village pub.  The televised snooker wasn’t proving the big draw; perhaps the locals were waiting for “Ospreys-Munster”, which was presumably some sort of zombie bird-spotting contest.

Even with only two beers on, the Exmoor in a Carling glass was only just drinkable (NBSS 2), giving the impression of a long and happy association with the pipes. Perhaps the London Pride was selling like hot cakes, except it wasn’t.


No food being served, possibly because they weren’t serving any, I didn’t see any menus.  A few folk in appropriate footwear ordered crisps, and gave a blow-by-blow account of their walk from the car park.

Despite the beer, worth the trip for the CAMROT-approved outside loos, complete with swing doors and a memory brought back of the Vetch c.1993.  Tremendous views from the beer garden/menagerie too, though to get back to nature you need to walk to the marshes.

Neither the horses or the sheep attack, even when you ask them to.


NB   I thought the Gower was full of pubs, but there’s actually only a couple beyond Llanrhidian on the way to Rhossili Bay.  That makes the lack of visitors to the Dolphin even more surprising.

4 thoughts on “GUZZLING IN THE GOWER

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