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The Captain’s Wife is a haunted pub in Swanbridge near Sully Island

Updated on October 24, 2014

Sully Island

Sully Island as viewed from Swanbridge
Sully Island as viewed from Swanbridge | Source


Where is Swanbridge?

If you are in South Wales it is well worth taking some time to visit the beach known as Swanbridge which has a causeway that lets you walk to Sully Island, though this is can be dangerous due to incoming tides that have claimed the lives of many people in the past and this location is a real death-trap.

Swanbridge was once used by smugglers and is also home to the Captain’s Wife public house which is said to be haunted by a number of ghosts.

Walkway warning.
Walkway warning. | Source

More about Swanbridge

Swanbridge is a former tiny fishing hamlet located on the coast between Penarth and Barry and some seven miles from Cardiff. Just around the corner in the Penarth direction is St. Mary’s Well Bay and just past it is Lavernock Point which is the site of a nature reserve and some great views across the Bristol Channel.

Sully Island as seen from Swanbridge beach does look a bit like a swan’s head and neck.

Swanbridge can easily be reached by road or you can walk there by taking the road signposted for Swanbridge from the main road between Penarth and Sully. Another road approaches Swanbridge on the St. Mary's Well Bay side.

Warning sign

Dangerous tides warning sign.
Dangerous tides warning sign. | Source

A word of warning

The rocky beach has many pebbles and a causeway which at low tide allows walkers to cross to Sully Island but doing so can spell danger.

The problem is that it takes around 40 minutes to get safely across from one side of the causeway to the other and the tides can come in very swiftly. The currents are strong and can easily sweep someone off their feet and to their death by drowning.

Many people have been unlucky who have been tempted to visit Sully Island and that is why there are lifeguards stationed onshore and conspicuous warning signs posted.

Swanbridge has other warning signs too. One cautions against walking on an uneven pathway in front of the beach, and another warns about a steep drop from over a low rocky wall.

Sully Island is uninhabited and mostly grassland with some bushes and small trees.

If you do cross to the island watch the tides and allow enough time to get back to Swanbridge seafront or else you can end up trapped on the island or much worse.

Lifeguards for Sully Island

Warning sign at the lifeguard station.
Warning sign at the lifeguard station. | Source

The Captain's Wife


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The Captain’s Wife ghosts

Perhaps it is best to stay safely on dry land and enjoy a meal and drink at the Captain’s Wife pub which is right in front of the beach at Swanbridge and which has a beer garden and car-park.

But "safe" only means no danger from drowning. If you are scared of ghosts then think again!

The Captain’s Wife is believed to be haunted by the wife of a former sea captain who is said to have buried her in a local wood rather than to have admitted that she died at sea on his ship. She is said to appear as a dark shadowy figure.

A different woman ghost reportedly walks in through the bar doors, continues through the lounge and vanishes into a fruit machine.

Another ghost said to haunt the pub is a man who has windswept hair and is said to have died at around the age of 40. He has been seen in the bar area of the Captain’s Wife.

The ghosts of two young boys have also been reported at the Captain’s Wife. One of these is thought to have been around the age of four or five and he can be heard at times in one of the upper bedrooms. Another boy ghost haunts the area by the chimney in the bar of the pub.

If you are interested in the paranormal then the Captain’s Wife would be of interest to you but if you do not believe in such matters it is still a great place to relax when visiting Swanbridge.

Of course, how true any of these reports of ghosts are is for you to decide. Perhaps those who sighted these spirits had been imbibing spirits that come out of the bottle?

Sully Island

© 2014 Steve Andrews


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    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for commenting! Yes, ghosts and haunted buildings are really fascinating and mysterious.

    • KMSplumeau profile image


      4 years ago

      Great hub, I love a good ghost story!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you! Yes, you really have to be careful if you go over to the island, and from the far side of it you cannot keep an eye on the beach and the tide there so it is unwise to spend long on the far side.

    • srsddn profile image


      4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      Quite interesting, Steve. Timings can make a great difference. I would not venture. Thanks for sharing.


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