This January marks not only the start of a new year but also the start of a new decade, making it the perfect time to jump into the world of Bridgend's wellness. From leg-burning sand dune assents to stress-relieving nature reserve saunters, read on to uncover your ideal outdoor activity.
Splash your way into a clear mind at Porthcawl's new watersports centre
With the much-anticipated opening of Porthcawl's £1.5 million watersports centre, hitting the waves in the name of health has become much easier. Not only does surfing release feel-good endorphins and decrease stress, but it also improves both physical and mental wellbeing, making it one of the best ways to kickstart your 2020 transformation. All you need is a splash of bravery and Porthcawl Surf School will help you with the rest. Get to grips with your board through with the choice of a two-hour lesson, development coaching or an intensive course all with wetsuits and equipment included.
Save your wallet and your wellness with mindful walks on the Wales Coast Path
Saveon a gym membership with low-impact exercise on Wales Coast Path's new mindful walk itineraries. Collect your thoughts and stretch your legs along the NEW mindful walk through Kenfig National Nature Reserve. Carve your own route and distance on the winding network of footpaths which carve through the rich landscape of dunes and around the circumference of the tranquil lake. Combine exercise and wildlife by spotting flora and fauna such as rare orchids, colourful insects and an array of birdlife.
Find your inner-calm with wildlife spotting at Parc Slip Nature Reserve
With new and exciting improvements developing at Parc Slip, find the new you with mindful wildlife spotting at the nature reserves brand new pond. Recent studies in ecotherapy show that spending time amongst nature and partaking in outdoor activities decreases stress levels and helps alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Immerse yourself in nature this month by learning about local flora and fauna such as dragonflies, great crested newts, harvest mice and birds of prey.
Par-fect your swing at the number one golf club in Wales
With the Woman's Open set to be held at Bridgend's very own Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in 2021, get inspired to head to the greens, perfect your swing and soak up those sea views in one clean sweep. Recognised as the number one golf club in Wales, visitors can enjoy a varied 18 hole course throughout the winter months before heading back to a quality accommodation for some well-deserved pampering - we're thinking an afternoon tea and sauna/steam room session at the Coed y Mwstwr Hotel...
Get fighting fit with leg-burning running routes through Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes
Feel the burn by conquering Europe's second-highest sand dune with challenging cross country runs through Merthyr Mawr dunes. Jog along the beach, cross rocky crags and tackle the infamous 200ft big dipper for a free, low-impact, high-intensity workout. Choose from a selection of marked paths that guides runners through the reserve. Take the half-mile route from Candleston car park to reach the sandy summits or alternatively, stretch your legs on the scenic one-mile beach trail.
Drop unwanted extra pounds by pedalling across the county
Travel through deep forests, rolling valleys and seaside stretches with tranquil cycling trails across the county. Decrease your stress levels, improve your cardio capabilities and explore the natural landscapes of South Wales. Soak up the scenery of the Garw Valley with rides from Bryngarw Country Park to Blaengarw. The gentle, eight-mile route is the perfect entry outing with the added bonus of no traffic.
Experienced cyclists can push the limits with Darren Fawr Mountain Bike Trails. Take on the 3.2km adrenaline busting Gellideg route, made up of a leg-burning climb to test the fittest, natural quarry and thrilling descent for speed and terrain.