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. A stone lighthouse has stood on the outer islet at Mumbles Head since 1794. Originally a twin platform construction with a coal fired beacon on each, it was designed to alert passing ships of the dangerous Mixon Sands and Cherry Stone Rock - two massive undersea sand banks that have caused the destruction of countless ships and taken the lives of hundreds of seamen over the centuries. In 1799, the twin coal-fired beacons were replaced by a single oil lantern and in 1905, this was made to flash at regular and precise intervals. With the retirement of the last lighthouse keeper in 1934, a modern automatic light was added to the structure of the original lighthouse. The collection of buildings that surround the lighthouse were a coastal defence fort, built in 1861.
The bay is easily reached by road and car parking facilities are ample, stretching completely around the natural curve of the limestone beach. Such is the view from this car park that it is not unusual to find drivers parked here even on the most inclement of days, sipping from the Thermos flasks as they watch the sea, surf and sand. There is also a restaurant and bar situated here, a nightclub and, during the summer months, numerous vans selling ice-creams and take-away fast foods.
At low tide there is an interesting cave to explore to the east of the beach, but please be wary of the tide!
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