Places to Visit
Cowbridge (Y Bont Faen in Welsh) is unique and delightful, combining the character of a traditional market town with a superb range of individually owned, upmarket shops and boutiques and award winning cafes, pubs and restaurants and a farmer’s market on the 1st and 3rd weekends of the month. The heart of the Vale of Glamorgan, Cowbridge provides easy access to both the sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs of the Heritage Coast but also to the capital of the Principality.
Cosmopolitan Cardiff home of the Millennium Centre, Millennium Stadium. St David’s Hall, Cardiff International Arena and renowed for its superb shopping including Victorian and modern arcades, is only 20 minute drive away and it is linked to Cowbridge by Express Bus – an ideal way of travelling into Cardiff for major concerts and sporting events.
Cardiff Bay is well worth a visit, hosting a range of walks, modern art and vibrant bars, cafes and restaurants.
Penarth is a quaint Victorian coastal town, boasting a seafront pier, shopping arcades and first class dinning. Nearby is the Cosmeston Lakes and Medieval Village.
The Glamorgan Heritage Coast stretches from Penarth in the East to Porthcawl in the West. A mix of rugged pebble and long sandy beaches are available along the way. Of0particular note are:-
- Southerndown – a small sandy cove, with ample car parking, toilet facilities and a small cafe open at busier times.
- Ogmore by Sea – a beach close to an estuary, with wide open fields for play and car parking. Life Guards on duty during the summer.
- Marcross – a small rocky cove, over looked by Nash point Lighthouse. Great for letting the children explore, but beware of the cliffs and steep paths.
- Monknash – Our favourite and a little gem! Accessed through a nature reserve, a footpath takes you half a mile to the beach. Depending on the tide, bathing is possible on either the rocky flats or long interrupted sandy stretch. Car parking is available, but a mile or so from the beach. Note, there are no toilet or other facilities available just peace and quiet on a deserted beach, no matter what time of the year!
- Merthyr Mawr sand dunes – a delightful drive through woodland brings you to the car park for what is believed to be Europe’s largest area of sand dune. A range of paths lead you to the sea. For the easiest route, follow the bank of the river Ogmore.
The ‘Designer Outlet’ is just off the M4 at junction 36, Bridgend and boasts a range of top brand shops offering sales at bargain prices, M & S, Next, Levi’s, Nike, Ben Sherman, Helly Hansen and Jaeger are just some of the franchises.
Margam Country Park is signposted off the M4 at Junction 37. Excellent for children to play and see the occasional wild deer in the woods. Mum and Dad can visit the Abbey and Orangery, fine examples of ancient buildings.
The Welsh Folk Museum – See how the Welsh used to live, right through the ages! Free entry (and to all museums in Wales) takes you to a village of houses, shops and buildings recreated over centuries. Well worth a visit and can easily fill a full day if you are interested in culture and history.
Further a field The Brecon Beacons offer stunning views over mid and South Wales. The Gower Coast is some of the most stunning coastline and finest beaches in the UK. The Botanical Gardens near Carmarthen are a gardeners paradise. The forest of Dean and the Cotsworlds are within an hour and a half drive. London is two and a half hours.
You are surrounded by a network of public footpaths and bridleways, right from the front door! Circular walks can be 10 minutes to 10 hours. Please speak to us, and we can provide you with directions, maps, guide books and ideas. Oxygen not supplied!