At low tide, the popular rocky cove of Bracelet Bay offers families a varied shoreline to bathe/paddle, build sandcastles and also explore some fine rock pools. A wide variety of seashore life can be found here, including sea anemone and hermit crabs.
Swim here with caution however, for the tides off Mumbles Head are treacherous as its naval history testifies. The first Mumbles lifeboat disaster occurred here in 1883, resulting in the loss of four lives and numerous ships have floundered off its rocky coastline.
Bracelet Bay offers great views towards Mumbles Lighthouse, whose operation is now the responsibility of Trinity House.
Site of Specific Scientific Interest
The bay is a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the limestone geology and the small fossilised coral reef that can be found near the centre of the bay near the grass verge. The reef is comprised of the large circular sponge Chaetetes Septosus, together with many Productus shells and a Crinoid (sea lily).
During the warm shallow seas of the Carboniferous Period, the rocks at Bracelet Bay were laid down as the seabed 250 million years ago, along with the sediments of sponges, corals and brachiopods (Seminula/lamp shells).
Also of interest to geologists are the limestone rocks that show a number of folds and faults as the rocks were deformed during the mountain building period some 290 million years ago.
The beach has an ample car park and is easy to access from the road that surrounds Mumbles Hill, hugging the coast of Mumbles Point. The car park offers an amazing view of the bay's seascape, neighboured by Mumbles' Lighthouse, that it is hardly surprising that people park up to appreciate the view, even on the stormiest days, from the comfort of their car.
There is also a restaurant and bar situated here and during the summer months, numerous vans selling ice-creams and take-away fast foods.
Bracelet Bay Cave
At low tide there is an interesting cave to explore to the east of the beach, but please be wary of the tide!
As the tide retreats from Bracelet Bay, a curious little geological feature can be found in the rocks separating the beach from Mumbles. Offering an excellent grotto/playden for children (or adults) wanting relief from a blistering summer's sun, Bracelet Bay Cave is actually a curved tunnel carved naturally through the limestone rock.
Beautifully smooth rock walls, some pools which might require a little negotiation if wet feet are not desired and a cool atmosphere even on the hottest of days are the key features of this cave, but the sense of mini-adventure as its short course is explored is the prime draw to Bracelet Bay cave.