The goings on in and around Bridgend

Archive for tag: Wales

Southern Wales take a bow!

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Tourism businesses from all over South Wales came together to provide a warm Welsh welcome for the cream of the UK's travel trade despite the low temperatures.

Coach and tour operators and high quality group travel organisers descended on the Best Western Heronston Hotel in Bridgend for a two day showcase of group attractions 1-3 February.

Arranged by Southern Wales Tourism and co-ordinated by country-wide tourism specialists from Hampshire Steve Reed Tourism, the event set out to create new and high quality group bookings for businesses across the region.  

A Welcome to South Wales dinner took place at the Heronston Hotel  complete with a delicious themed menu including Welsh lamb and Welsh Cakes! Caricaturist 'Picasso Griffiths' entertained the VIP guests with quick-fire drawings of the delegates as a memento of their visit. And background music of a Welsh harpist set the scene.  

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A full day of fact-finding visits to attractions was followed by an intensive 'Meet the Buyer' Workshop in the Great Hall of Caerphilly Castle.

The group of tour buyers were taken on a whistle-stop familiarisation visit to numerous group-friendly sites around South Wales, all from their handy Bridgend base. These included Caerleon Roman Town near Newport; Caldicot Castle; the Shire Hall in Monmouth; the Guardian mining disaster Monument at Six Bells and the Welsh Whisky Distillery in Penderyn. The day included a scenic trip through the Wye Valley past such popular group sites as Tintern Abbey and Chepstow Racecourse.

And a showround at Ty Newydd Country Hotel preceded a memorable night of entertainment and dinner at the historic Llancaiach Fawr Manor in Nelson.

Exhibitors at the 'Meet the Buyer' Workshop at Caerphilly Castle read like a who's who of Welsh tourism with numerous destinations, attractions, hotels and venues represented there, all keen to meet and do business face to face with the many buyers. They included Visit Wales, the Royal Mint, McArthur Glen Designer Outlet and Cadw - Heritage Wales. 

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First Great Western Rail sponsored a return rail trip from London Paddington to Cardiff for a number of top tour buyers including MIKI Travel and Angela Shanley Associates. Mainline Coaches from Porth provided the coach transport for the event. Blue Badge Guide Steve Griffin looked after the tour group during their familiarisation visits around South Wales.

Vicky Jones is the Project Officer for Southern Wales Tourism:

'We are very happy indeed with the high quality of the event and the superb welcome given to our special guests by our tourism partners. South Wales looked at its best despite the cold weather and we are confident that many of the tourism businesses involved will receive valuable long term bookings as a result of the initiative, says Vicky.

The event really helped put Southern Wales firmly onto the tourism map thinks Steve Reed of Steve Reed Tourism Ltd:

'Most of the many buyers attending the event had never been to South wales before or not for many a year - so the initiative was an opportunity to really showcase some of the wonderful and very diverse offerings the region has, explains Steve

'The ease of access with top class infrastructure; excellent and interesting high quality attractions; stunning scenery; amazing customer care and a genuine warmth from everyone we met helped to make for a memorable event.'

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 

What's happening in 2014!

Royal Porthcawl will host Wales' first Senior Open Championship in July © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

Royal Porthcawl will host Wales' first Senior Open Championship in July © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

It's officially time to get excited about a brand new year and some brand new adventures in Bridgend. From the international jazz festival in April to the Senior Open Championship golf tournament in July, here's our guide to the top five events to look forward to in the next few months in Bridgend…

5. Porthcawl Interceltic Festival, 7th March


Help us celebrate all things Celt with 2014's annual Porthcawl Interceltic Festival. Join musicians, dancers and singers from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man for a weekend of non-stop concerts, workshops and performances. Saturday will then see the colourful 'Parade of the Celts' make its way through the town centre. The year, the festival will be based in the Grand Pavilion, with two indoor stages under one roof.


Click here for more information




4. Porthcawl International Jazz Festival, 11th April

Porthcawl's annual festival will once again deliver a feast of A-List jazz ranging from traditional New Orleans to state-of-the-art Fusion. This year's headliner will be Chris Barber, who is also celebrating 60 years at the top with the Big Chris Barber Band. Other performances will include Italian pianist Davide Logiri and his quintet plus the Cardiff University Big Band and the Rhondda Symphony Orchestra complete with added rhythm section and star soloists!


Click here for more information




The Mashup returns in May

The Mashup returns in May

3. Brass Band Championship, 15th February


Things get brassy in February as Porthcawl's Grand Pavilion plays host to some of the top brass bands on the planet (just look at the '4barsrest' rankings). These bands will then go head-to-head, each playing their own twenty minute entertainment mini-concert programme to find out who will be crowned the champions.


Click here for more information




2. Bridgend Mashup, 31st May


Urban sports meets the traditional in a street part like no other. This massively unique event takes place in the streets of the town centre and essentially mixes (or "mashes") traditional athletics in the streets with contemporary urban street culture. Just some of the many different events taking place in 2014 are tarp surfing, pole vaulting, skateboarding, free running, kick boxing and street dancing, all to the sound of local DJs and performers.


Click here for more information




1. Senior Open Championship, 24th July


In case you've been living under a rock for the last six months, Royal Porthcawl will be hosting Wales' first ever Senior Open Championship golf tournament in July this year. That means some of the biggest names in golf will be driving, chipping and putting their way around the beautiful links course in search of victory. Don't forget about all the other great golf courses available throughout the county, though!


Click here for more information

The big 'Elvis ADVENTure' competition: Christmas Day!

Christmas Day! It's finally here!
Elvis can't think of a better way to celebrate his month of 'ADVENTure' in Bridgend than with a Christmas Day pint! It certainly won't be a blue Christmas this year, but please come back next year Elvis, it won't seem like Christmas without you!
Merry Christmas everyone, and thanks for entering our Elvis ADVENTure competition 2013! We hope you enjoyed it!
Did you spot the last hidden Elvis song titles? Click here to enter our competition and win one night's stay & afternoon tea at Coed-y-Mwstwr Hotel AND £100 of shopping vouchers at Bridgend Designer Outlet!

The big 'Elvis ADVENTure' competition: Christmas Eve!

Contemplating Elvis

© BridgendBites

It's Christmas Eve and, since Christmas is but one day away, Elvis has decided to take some time out and think back over all that he's been doing in Bridgend in the last few weeks, from wandering the coast to paintballing, surfing and horse riding.
Bridgend's rugged beauty is never ending but seeing is believing. Maybe Bridgend is Elvis' one true love!
Did you spot the hidden Elvis song title? Click here to enter our competition and win one night's stay & afternoon tea at Coed-y-Mwstwr Hotel AND £100 of shopping vouchers at Bridgend Designer Outlet!