Things to do and places to visit in Bridgend, South Wales
Beautiful Coastline, Enchanting Walks and History
The 'Staycation' has become the trend over recent years as budgets tighten and families feel the squeeze. But that doesn’t have to mean boring holidays. Although the UK is relatively small, we are an extremely diverse and interesting island. For anyone looking for holidays in Britain, Wales has so much to offer as a great place for family holidays, romantic escapes and activity-based short breaks alike.
Surrounded by the lush Welsh valleys and conveniently located between the cities of Cardiff and Swansea, our location is unrivalled. The Brecon Beacons lie to the north and the famous Glamorgan Heritage Coast to the south offering endless outdoor pursuits and opportunities to explore and relax.
Right on our doorstep, this area in particular possesses stunning beaches and breathtaking landscapes, not to mention a wealth of picturesque Welsh castles and ruins. The whole region is fantastic to explore, winding country lanes reveal hidden villages and some of the best and most unsung places to see in Wales.
The Glamorgan Heritage Coast is a 14 mile stretch of coastal path walks and particularly outstanding beauty between Aberthaw in the Vale of Glamorgan and Porthcawl. Dramatic cliffs, secluded coves, golden sands and stunning views make it a must for walkers, cyclists or anyone with a love of the countryside. Delve deeper past the picturesque landscape and you’ll discover an area steeped in history spanning centuries.
Ogmore-by-Sea is another popular destination for a great day out, with amazing views along the coast and across the estuary to Merthyr Mawr with its imposing sand dunes and the Blue Flag beaches of Porthcawl. Discover the many caves (‘ogof’ being Welsh for cave) and admire the flora and fauna of the rock pools whilst keeping an eye on the rise and fall of the tide. Surrounded by Candleston, Ogmore and Dunraven Castle, Ogmore-by-Sea is an historian and castellogist’s delight. Make time to cross over to Merthyr Mawr on the Stepsau Telio or Stepping Stones as they’re referred today, at the mouth of the River Ewenny en route to Ogmore Castle.
Once the holiday sweetheart of the valleys, Porthcawl still holds a certain seaside charm with its amusement and fun parks.
The national stadium for Wales the Millennium Stadium, currently named Principality Stadium for sponsorship purposes is home to the Wales national rugby team and graces the riverside right in the centre of Cardiff. The iconic sports venue – one of only two in Europe to feature a retractable roof – offers daily stadium tours and hosts many high-profile sports, concerts, conferences and events throughout the year.
If football is your passion, South Wales boasts two premier league football teams in Cardiff City and Swansea City, based at Cardiff City Stadium and Liberty Stadium, respectively. So whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, with Court Colman Manor less than a 40 minute drive from Swansea and Cardiff, it’s the perfect place to rest after the buzz of an event or the hustle and bustle of the city.
Cardiff city centre is a destination for serious shoppers, leading high street stores and brands complement the independent traders and traditional offerings at the striking Victorian glass-roofed Cardiff Market. Make sure you visit the historic Victorian arcades, crammed with coffee shops, vintage paraphernalia and craft shops with a fabulous atmosphere.
Cardiff Bay is a hub of activity offering a myriad of things to do from dawn to dusk. An eclectic mix of culture and architecture with Mermaid Quay leading the way with funky bars, eateries and lively nightlife to the cultural haven of the Norwegian church and café and Cardiff Wetlands Reserve. Take a leisurely stroll around the Bay and take in all the sights. Cardiff Bay Barrage offers spectacular views across Cardiff Bay and the Severn Estuary. Cross the Barrage embankment where there’s a children’s play area, Skate Plaza and adiZone outdoor gym and just a little further along you’ll come across Roald Dahl Plaza, Techniquest Science Centre and the Millennium Centre.
Swansea (Swansea Bay), birthplace of legendary 20th century Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and now the Dylan Thomas Centre, is an ideal starting point for exploring this part of Wales. Visit the National Waterfront Museum which celebrates the industrial and maritime history of Wales or the legendary Swansea Grand Theatre, a busy performing arts venue.
Shopping is a favourite here too with Swansea Market, the largest indoor market in Wales. Head west towards Mumbles with Swansea Bay on your left. This is where you will come across Oystermouth Castle, Mumbles Lighthouse and the world-famous Love Spoon Gallery. A little further along is the Gower Peninsula, the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The 19 mile-long Peninsula which encompasses some of the most stunning sections of the Wales Coast Path is rich in history and ecological adventures. The waters off Llangennith beach and Rhossili Bay are a mecca for surfers and watersport lovers and the coastline and cliffs feature on every avid walkers map.
Synonymous with Dylan Thomas and a huge inspiration for his work, Gower, Swansea Bay and Mumbles are waiting to be explored.
Rated as one of the best museums in Wales, St. Fagans as it is commonly known, is sited in the grounds of the magnificent St. Fagans Castle and Gardens. An open-air museum in Cardiff chronicling the history of the Welsh people. In addition to the exhibitions and buildings, St. Fagans has a calendar packed with events and workshops, a wonderful new play area for children and a newly launched restaurant.