The goings on in and around Bridgend

Archive for tag: South Wales

Romantic Gestures in Bridgend

There are plenty of places to visit this Valentine's Day in Bridgend. Here are five ideas on how to be romantic in the area... 

Methyr Mawr Sand Dunes © Bridgend Bites

Methyr Mawr Sand Dunes © Bridgend Bites

A stroll along a beach and coastal path...Great value for money amongst a wealth of sights. Bridgend’s beaches are stunning, so how about matching your beautiful partner with another lovely view?
An intimate, historic gypsy caravan...
Snuggle up in a Romany Gypsy caravan, for a slightly different romantic break in Bridgend. Ty Gwyneth Romany Caravan is a traditional gypsy wagon that formerly travelling along the lanes of West Wales. Couples can snuggle in the caravan, watching the stars and listening to the sounds of the countryside, yet know you’re not too far from all the amenities. Plus there's even internet access!
The perfect place for the golfing couple: Coed-Y-Mwstwr Hotel...
This hotel near Bridgend in South Wales is a beautiful privately-owned 4 star country house hotel. Perched on a Welsh hillside and surrounded by over 17 acres of woodland, this Victorian mansion provides a cosy and secluded hideaway in Bridgend.
On offer at the hotel is a special Valentine’s Day package costing £160 based on Dinner, Bed and Breakfast when two people sharing a standard double room. Next to the hotel is Coed-Y-Mwstwr golf club, which is easily accessible from the hotel.
Attend the Brass Band Championship on the 15th February. Head to the Welsh Open Brass Band Entertainment Championship at the Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl to see some of the top brass bands in the world compete against each other playing their own 20 minute own choice entertainment mini-concert programmes. Did you know Wales has two of the World’s highest ranked brass bands? This is bound to be a pleasant surprise for your partner...
 - you’ll want to cuddle up afterwards when you're freezing cold having achieved learning the ultimate seaside activity with Porthcawl Surf or Cressey 's Surf Academy 

Bridgend County: One of the liveliest places for events in the UK...

Celebrate in Bridgend

It's time to have some fun in Bridgend

Bridgend County is not only famous for it's beautiful stretch of coastline and beaches, it's also well known for hosting great events month on month.  
Each month visitors and locals alike are spoilt for choice when it comes to looking for weekend activities to do.  Whether you want to participate in some outdoor activities, spectate some World-class sporting events or want to enjoy a good old sing along at a music festival Bridgend can offer it all. 
This August and September sees one of Wales' biggest cycling events taking place in Porthcawl Town, there's also a very foodie "Feastival" taking place at the end of September and the Elvis Festival, possibly one of the UK's quirkiest festivals of the year!
So here's our quick round-up of some of the best events takings place over the next two months.
August  two standout events is the Garw Carnival and Dunetreka.
Saturday, 17th August -  Garw Carnival & Rural Fair
This year's carnival theme is "a walk down memory lane".  So we'd recommend a scrummage in the attic before heading off to another fun summer carnival in Blaengarw.  A grand procession through the streets of Blaengarw, rural stalls, live bands and a talent show.  Lee Jukes has announced that he will be hosting the 2013 Garw Carnival.
Sunday 18th August, 11am - 4pm - Dunetreka
The nature reserves in Bridgend are some of the uniquest in Europe for flora and sand dunes.  Explore the world of nature conservation and engage with the natural environment in the Kenfig National Nature Reserve.  Dunetreka is free entry.
Activities include:  Seeing some mysterious water beasts, bird watching, treasure hunt, moth tracking, reserve safari tours, meet the critters, storytelling, guided walks, build and paint your own bird box, local crafts stalls and conservation groups, dog agility challenge.
September is all about cycling and music...
The fun doesn't stop in September either with one of the UK's largest cycling tournaments coming to Bridgend County, plus there's a whole load of music taking place with the World's biggest Elvis festival and the Porthcawl Rock Festival.   
15 September, 2013 - Porthcawl CRIT Cycle Race
cyclingExpect to see hundreds of cyclists turn out along Porthcawl seafront for one of the major Welsh cycling events of the year. The event is expected to attract hundreds of visitors.
The Porthcawl Seafront Criterium will feature a series of exciting races through the town centre on a classic closed-road 1.2km street circuit, culminating in the Senior Welsh Circuit Race Championships.
It's the first time that cycle racing has been brought to Porthcawl in more than 10 years, offering riders fully closed, fun and fast-paced street racing along one of south Wales' most famous seafront settings in front of the crowds, and a chance to finish the road circuit season in style.
The event is ideal for families and spectators interested in watching the thrills of top quality, adrenalin-fuelled cycle racing whilst soaking up the excitement of a classic seafront town before the summer ends.
Starting at 3pm for the younger races the grand finale to the day will be at 7pm when the Welsh Senior Circuit Race Championships sets off; an elite race scheduled to attract some of the World's top cyclists.
rock festSunday 15th September, 2013 - Porthcawl Rock Festival

Pull out those leather trousers and get yourself down to the Hi Tide Inn to enjoy a day of great music by the sea.  Visitors will get to see an wide variety of bands, with food and drinks being served throughout the day.  The event is free entry, starts at 12:00pm until 7:00pm. 

Friday 27th September- Sunday 29th September

Elvis Festival Porthcawl by Visit Wales ©

Elvis Festival Porthcawl by Visit Wales ©

Porthcawl Elvis Festival- Now in its 10th year, the Elvis Festival is one of the largest of its kind in the world and invites visitors to enjoy a weekend of rock 'n' roll in the Welsh seaside town of Porthcawl.
There are a number of Elvis events taking place as part of the Festival at Porthcawl's Grand Pavilion including The Three Kings Show, The Elvies, and Red Alert, the best Elvis Showband in the world. In addition, the Hi Tide Inn in Porthcawl will host over 100 shows over the weekend, and over twenty other venues in and around the town will host events as part of the Fringe Festival.
 28th September -  Bridgend Feastival 
FeastivalA visit to FEASTIVAL must be in your families' diary for the Autumn.
While some food festivals provide plenty of opportunities to sample different foods, Feastival does this and lots more.
Feastival this year celebrates loads of foodie stuff activities for children to interact with, they can eat it, make it, love it, laugh at it. Activities include leak lobbing, Spaghetti Bridge building and wrapping an egg in protective packaging for a 10 metre drop; the egg that survives wins a prize for its packager, Food of course.
When you visit Bridgend town centre this autumn you can meet with over 60 food traders on the streets, many providing tasters and produce for you to buy at the Feastival.  Get here early as we would not want you to miss out on some great tasting food.
Celebrity chefs display their skills in the demonstration areas and this year is no exception. Check out the website for up to date news on who else will be demonstrating their talents this year. Local restaurants will be offering food for you to try from different eras.
Each year Feastival entertains the visitor with art work with a difference and this year is no exception. The streets of the town come alive from Punch and Judy shows for the younger children, "whose got my sausages" to seeing a bunch of grapes on stilts, perhaps if you are lucky you will get to taste some as well, you also need to watch out for the hula hooping carrot around the next corner and animals performing acrobatics up high, try this out for yourself if you dare.
Music will be everywhere to suit all ages so come along and bring all the family for a fun day out with food.
So what are you waiting for if you like food and a great day out, go to our website and sign up for regular updates on all that is happening.
And make sure it is in your diary….

ELVIS Reincarnated (By the Thousands)! 10 Year Festival Anniversary Guide

It's now or never! Here's your chance to read the complete guide to the greatest Elvis festival in the World which takes place in Bridgend.  And with so many other Elvis's in attendance, there's no chance of feeling "lonesome tonight"... 

An Elvis look alike at Trecco Bay, Porthcawl

An Elvis look alike at Trecco Bay, Porthcawl. © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

As 10 year anniversaries go, Porthcawl probably has the the best one on the market! This September will see the Elvis Festival in Porthcawl celebrate a decade of hosting the world's biggest Elvis festival!
This festival is suitable for everyone, whether you're a diehard Elvis fan, or you just enjoy one or two of his well-known hits like Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock, you'll be rock 'n' roll dancing before you can say "The King".
Accessible Location... 
A train trip no more than two and a half hours from London and Birmingham this September will take you to one of the quirkiest festival in Europe.
There's no place like Porthcawl for an Elvis Festival, as Peter Philips, the founder, says, "the Welsh know how to throw a party!"
Born from a one-off documentary, the founder Peter Philips wanted to save the iconic Grand Pavilion. He probably didn't think that a small film would change the future of Porthcawl, Bridgend. Now there are more than 30,000 visitors during the festival and the town transforms everything, from shops to hotels, into an Elvis celebration.

Elvis fans infront of the legendary Porthcawl Pavilion

Elvis fans infront of the legendary Porthcawl Pavilion. © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

"Before Elvis, there was nothing" - John Lennon

Expect to see lots and lots of Elvis lookalikes!  The 10th anniversary will be bigger then ever, it's already one of the largest festivals of its kind in the World. There are plenty of special Elvis events going on, from singing competitions such as The Best Festival Elvis Competition to shows by well-known Elvis show bands (one hundred of them to be precise) in pubs, hotels or at the Grand Pavilion itself.
But what really makes the Festival amazing is how involved the whole community gets into this annual event. School children make artwork dedicated to the King and Hamlet undergoes a Elvis change. In the words of twice mayor, Phil Rixon, "The Festival really makes the town busier than it's heyday in the 1950's".
An Elvis Festival!!! What exactly happens?
When is it?
27th-29th of September. The Festival officially launches at 12.30pm on Friday 27th of September with a Champagne reception at The Heartbreak Hotel where you can meet some of the artists and celebrities taking part in the Festival. (Only open to VIP Ticket Holders and Festival guests).

Children getting involved.

Children getting involved. © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

Is it suitable for everyone?
Absolutely. The Elvis Festival is one of the few music festivals that is great for families (and their kids) to visit. Whether you're a new couple looking to try something different or a full-sized family, there's something here for everyone.
What we recommend? 
Elvis FunRun - TBA
A one mile walk in the shoes of the King for charity.
The Elvis Gospel Show - 12.30pm 29 Sept

Elvis tribute act / impersonator performing Porthcawl. © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

Elvis tribute act / impersonator performing
Porthcawl. By Visit Wales ©

For classic Elvis Fans who know the early work, the Elvies Gospel Winner 2010, Dean Mack, will be preforming some of the good ol' Gospel music that catapulted Elvis to his place among the stars.
Best Festival Elvis Competition - 2.30pm 27 Sept & 12pm 28 Sept 
With two different Heats and a Grand Final, the Best Festival Elvis Competition is all about finding the best ETA in Europe. The question you'll have to ask yourself is: Who is the best Elvis?
The Three Kings - 7.30pm 27 Sept
Three shows in one, this show is headlined by Ben Thompson, the Winner of the 2012 Best Festival Elvis Competition, and Red Alert, the Legendary Porthcawl House Band.

© Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

© Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

The Elvies - 7.30pm 28 Sept
The world renown Elvies Awards will be taking place at this year's Festival! It's the leading show for Elvis Tribute Artists and is not something you should even consider missing.
Elvis at the Movies - 3.00pm 29 Sept
Presented by all great Elvis Tribute Artists, Elvis at the Movies perform songs from all the Movies that Elvis starred in (which we all know is quite extensive), and is presented by Mike Nova.
Trilogy - 7.30pm 29 Sept
The last event of the Festival, Trilogy is a full three sets of Sun Studios in the 50s followed by a '68 Special and a full Vegas Show - all backed by Red Alert.
Not just a festival, a great place to visit!

Bridgend is also one of Britain's best know golfing destination. © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

Bridgend is also one of Britain's best know golfing destination. © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

Bridgend County, where Porthcawl is located, will leave you spoilt for choice. If you're looking for some place to relax, the beaches of Bridgend will leave you speechless. White sandy beaches for noontime napping are on every corner. If you're looking for adventure, Cressey's Surf Academy can provide you with some fantastic surfing adventures.
But if you aren't so much into the ocean, Adventure Wales has got everything under control. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie that thrives on Quad biking or a relaxed golfer, Adventure Wales and Bridgend Bites have a selection of activities for everyone.
For a great mix, you'll be thankful to know that the Bridgend Feastival is the same weekend as our favourite Elvis festival! Situated in the small town of Bridgend, this foodie festival has everything from chef tastings to family spaghetti bridge building. It's the perfect addition to a weekend of Elvis fun in Porthcawl!
Places to Stay
Eventhough the majority of the hotels in Porthcawl are already booked through this famous festival, Bridgend offers some of the most beautiful places to stay for a weekend for families, large groups, couples or even the lone ranger!
The Family Home Away From Home: Bryngarw House
Situated in the middle of 113 acres of country, Bryngarw House is perfect for a family looking to find a place to call home while partying it up Elvis-style.
The Weekend Getaway For Adventurous Groups: Masons Arms
Ideal for the travel group, Mason Arms is two minutes from the Bridgend Designer Outlet and ready for Elvis fans to come pouring in!
The Hideout for Two: Ewenny Woods
Hidden in the small village of Ewenny, this lovely guesthouse is a great place to cozy up at night after spending a full day out in Porthcawl, decked out in Elvis gear.
The Lone Ranger Base: Heron's Brook Bed & Breakfast
Heron's Brook Bed & Breakfast, perfect for the solo traveller, is ready for the Elvis Festival. With beautiful views from every window, you'll fall asleep to "Always on my Mind" every night.
Best way to get tickets
Tickets for The Elvis Porthcawl Festival, sponsored by Hi Tide, usually sell out in late July, so make your way over to Elvies or fill out this form!
So to get you all excited here's the wonder of YouTube with a quick song...

Picnic Week: Top Five Picnic Spots in Bridgend

With blue sunny skies over Bridgend it's been a perfect week to celebrate national picnic week! 
Here at Bridgend Tourism we might be a bit biased, but we can't think of many better places to pull out a blanket and basket for a picnic.  There are plenty of ideal settings in the area to soak up the scenery  and munch away on some picnic treats.  Locations vary from golden sandy beaches along the Bridgend coastline, nature reserves scattered with a variety of flora and up in the valleys there's remote countryside that overlooks streams and lush green fields
So here our some favourite picnic sites in Bridgend and Porthcawl.
On a clear day on the beaches and along the Wales Coast Path visitors can expect to see great views across the Bristol Channel to North Devon and Somerset.
1. A wonder along Wales' Coastal path, a picnic and a bit of a rest…
Porthcawl Rest Bay, is famous for watersports and a blue flag beach.  Visitors can enjoy some traditional seaside fun in Porthcawl before heading out to enjoy your picnic on the sandy beaches of Rest Bay and Newton Bay. Rest Bay is particularly known for its surf so you can enjoy your lunch watching the surfers try to catch waves.

Pink Bay on the Welsh Coastal Path, near Rest Bay in Porthcawl. ©

Pink Bay on the Welsh Coastal Path, near Rest Bay in Porthcawl, by ©

2. For the Family.
Porthcawl Coney Beach is the perfect place for keeping energetic kids entertained.  It has it's own fun fair, candy floss and donkeys.  The kids will be entertained for hours, while parents can sit back, enjoy the golden sands and soak up a bit of sun.
3.  A peaceful place, where nature & beauty collide…

Scer Beach Porthcawl by

Scer Beach Porthcawl by

Porthcawl Newton Bay overlooks the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Merthyr Mawr Warren and Ogmore by Sea.  It's an aea pf scientific interest near where Newton Burrows and Merthyr Mawr sand dunes are near by.  It's a peaceful setting where sounds of the sea and the flowing river Ogmore come together to create a very therapeutic spot.
4.  Surround yourself by nature, history & the sea…

Rest Bay by

Rest Bay by

Sker Beach, Porthcawl located at Kenfig National Nature Reserve is a natural gem on the coast of South Wales.  Europe's second largest sand dunes are near by as well as the highest percentage of Welsh flora in one area.
5.  Green grass & water…
Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes, on the edge of the Ogmore River.  Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here, so it will certainly capture the imagine of the children when they're running around!
A bonus spot with some wonderful trails...

Bryngarw Country Park by

Bryngarw Country Park by

Bryngarw Country Park, is a picnic stop must situated in 120 acres of country park. There a plenty of walking trails to choose from.  Visitors can enjoy a woodland walk or a river ramble before strolling onto Bryngarw's large lawns and sitting down for a picnic.

Out & About For Father's Day in Bridgend

This Sunday is Father's Day, which means only one thing; that the time has come, once again, to show your dad just how much he means to you. Luckily, Bridgend is crammed full with adventures and activities to suit all budgets, so we thought we'd list our top five ideas for making this year's Father's Day a special one...

First hole Royal Porthcawl Golf Club South Golf Activities & Sports by Visit Wales ©

5.  A spot of golf... head to the Wales' Golf Senior Open
Undoubtedly home to some of the best golfing in Britain, Bridgend is even hosting the Wales Senior Open this month. He may not be able to compete with the professionals, but dad can still head down to the likes of Pyle & Kenfig and Royal Porthcawl to get a lesson from a couple of the resident pro's. At P&K, pro Dylan Williams will set up a programme just for dad, based specifically on his abilities and will look at how he can improve his game - he might even start winning at crazy golf!
4. Hanging ten...
Nothing says 'I love you, Dad' like riding the same wave together, and Bridgend offers up some of the very best surfing in the UK. Don't just take our word for it; some of the best surfers around carve waves off our beaches, including Welsh champ Ingemar Cressey. Get a lesson with Ingemar by booking with Cressey's Surf Academy, or try surfing at Rest Bay with Porthcawl Surf and take part in a beginner lesson on the sand before hitting the water - even if Dad is convinced he's a pro!
3. Get on your bike...
Is your Dad something of a thrill seeker? Look no further than the brand new Darren Fawr mountain biking trails! The two new trails opened in January, with 'Glengarw' aimed at intermediate riders and 'Gellideg' offering up a challenge even for pros. Combine them both for an adrenaline-pumping 6km ride that'll give dad a father's day he's sure to remember.

Enjoy a fulfilling coastal walk with dad. Image from Visit Wales ©

For a present that doesn't cost anything but which offers up plenty of bonding time opportunity, why not take dad for a long wander across a stretch of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. The path itself goes on for some 14 miles, along which you'll encounter sandy dunes, cliffs, coves and beaches, all of which are rich with their own wildlife and history. You can tackle it all either on foot or by bike, and we'd suggest stopping off somewhere like Porthcawl to refuel and grab a pint of local ale or some local fish and chips.
1. Outdoor DIY...
If he's a dab hand with a screwdriver, why not enrol him in a two-day green woodwork course with Cwm Tawel Yurts in the Llynfi Valley. On the first day he'll learn how to identify the different types of tree species, as well as coppicing and various other techniques to make a simple stool. On the second day he'll collect materials and go about building his stool. Of course, the whole family can come along and enjoy  a few nights in one of the camps luxury yet traditional Mongolian yurts.