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A beginner's guide to Swansea for Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran

Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran are headed for Swansea in May to headline Radio 1's part of BBC Music's Biggest Weekend.

Swansea is tucked away on the Welsh coast, 40 miles away from Cardiff and it boasts stretches of unspoiled coastline and a thriving student community. It's the perfect place to host thousands of pop fans and some of the biggest stars in music when Radio 1 rolls into town in late spring.

"People stop at Cardiff for most big events, but Swansea is just a little bit further at the end of the train line," 24-year-old Rhodri Thomas, who grew up Swansea, tells Radio 1 online.

He says Swansea has a small but thriving music scene already, but that hosting Biggest Weekend will be huge for people in the city - who he says will give all the performers a warm Welsh welcome.

Someone like Taylor Swift will really appreciate Swansea for its beauty
Rhodri Thomas

"People are lovely there," Rhodri says.

He also believes Taylor and Ed will find plenty to love in Swansea and the surrounding area if they find the time to explore.

"I think someone like Taylor Swift will really appreciate Swansea for its beauty," he says.

"Swansea is surrounded by great coastline."

Rhodri says Taylor will love Swansea's landscape

He recommends Swansea Bay, Langland Bay and Caswell Bay as the best beaches to spend some time in the sunshine.

Swansea is lively, it's young. It's a nice place to be
Rhodri Thomas

"In the summer it's absolutely beautiful. I couldn't imagine another place in the UK I’d rather be than Swansea in the summer.

"As well as the landscape, there's a lot of students round there. Swansea is lively, it's young. It's a nice place to be and it's quite untouched."

Rhodri says that Swansea reaching the English Premier League had a huge impact on the city, which has struggled with the poverty that affects several parts of South Wales.

Swansea's coast is close to the city and its culture

Now when Rhodri visits his Swansea home (he currently works in London as a designer), he sees progress and development every time.

Every time I go back there's something new there
Rhodri Thomas

"It's nice and steady, so every time I go back there's something new there, it's not too much at once," he says.

Rhodri spent his teenage years in Swansea, and has a pretty solid idea of what he would do if he was showing Taylor and Ed around the place for the day.

"First of all I'd like to show them the beauty of Swansea Bay," he says.

"It's a place where you can enjoy nature but also have the culture of the city close by."

Nick Grimshaw promises bad behaviour with Taylor and Ed

And after a day on the beach, he says the place to party is Wind Street.

"There's about 20-30 bars on the one road, which sounds like carnage, but it's great fun," he says.

But when the late night munchies set in, it's time to move on.

"At the end of the night you can get food from St Helens Road, but I guess it depends how grotty you want it to get," he says.

The Mumbles certainly has its charms

The following morning, should either Taylor or Ed be feeling a little fragile from the partying, Rhodri recommends a fry-up at one of the local cafés, which he promises will "replenish your soul," before visiting The Mumbles.

On a summer's day, it looks like the Mediterranean
Rhodri Thomas

"Mumbles is gorgeous. It's the headland that you can see from the other side of Swansea," he says.

"On a summer's day, it looks like the Mediterranean.

"There's a really strong culture and it's untouched, it's like Wales's own holiday resort."

The Biggest Weekend takes place in Swansea on 26 and 27 May 2018. It's part of four special BBC Music events taking place this year across the UK.

Get more information here.

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