This is the Year of the Sea: A guide to Bridgend County

January 1, 2018

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Ogmore by sea

This is the Year of the Sea in Wales. In 2018 discover new epic coastal experiences in Bridgend County. Welcome to Rest Bay, a surf spot which rivals any in Europe (Lonely Planet agrees), and which is one of the closest surf beaches to Cardiff, Bristol and even London.

Make a splash with Wales' number one surf school or keep dry by exploring its dramatic coastline by foot. With plenty of epic experiences to be enjoyed on our coastal shores, there is no better place to celebrate this action-packed Year of the Sea.

Our Epic Shores.

Make a splash with the closest surf beach to Cardiff

Some of the best watersports opportunities in Wales can be found right here in Bridgend County. Head to the epic shores of Rest Bay beach, the closest surf beach to Cardiff, where you can learn to surf with Porthcawl Surf School - considered by many to be the best surf school in Wales - hire your own kayak, or have a go at stand up paddle boarding. Other activity providers include Cressey's Surf Academy and Adventures Wales.

Explore the beautiful Glamorgan Heritage Coast

This is the mighty Glamorgan Heritage Coast, which stretches for 14 miles between Aberthaw and Porthcawl, and is fringed with delightful towns, small villages and miles of footpaths and country lanes that are ideal for scenic and cultural explorers. Walk from Porthcawl along the coast to Rest Bay to take in the limestone cliffs whilst discovering the tempting rock pools, head to Ogmore to explore mighty sand dunes and ancient castle ruins, or discover local wildlife at Kenfig Nature Reserve.

Climb the mighty Merthyr Mawr dunes

You might not think it, but we are home to the second highest dunes in Europe, including the towering 'Big Dipper', a natural marvel that may be a tough climb but the resulting epic coastal views are more than worth it! And for a truly epic experience Porthcawl Bike Hire now offer the opportunity to take families on a unique fatbiking adventure across the dunes - a dare devil's way to take in views of the coast!

Explore Ogmore Castle's ruins and stepping-stones

The Merthyr Mawr dunes also hide the iconic ruins and stepping-stones of Ogmore Castle. Active family explorers will love wandering the ruins of the stunning Ogmore Castle while the kids hop across the iconic stepping-stones, all before making the short walk to Ogmore beach for a relaxing stroll along the sandy bay. The castle ruins also overlook the Pelican in her Piety, a friendly pub that guarantees a warm Welsh welcome and relaxing atmosphere.

Blue Flag beaches and beyond

Wales is home to more Blue Flag beaches per mile than anywhere else in Britain and we're definitely not short of epic shores. Whether you're after the calm golden expanses of Rest Bay or the eye-catching pink marble pebbles of Pink Bay - Bridgend County is a truly bold and beautiful landscape. Sandy Bay is just a short walk from Porthcawl town centre while Trecco Bay has great facilities for family adventurers. If you've got a four-legged friend head to Newton Bay, which is open for dogs all year-round.

Stop and savour the views

And once you're done exploring our epic beaches and coastal routes, be sure to take the time to stop and take it all in. We've got some truly beautiful coastal pubs and bars, from the historic 16th century Prince of Wales that is set on the edge of the Kenfig Nature Reserve, to the Jolly Sailor in Newton. Our new Jennings Building is home to the Coffi Co Lounge, Double Zero Pizza and The Harbour Bar and Kitchen, all of which offer epic views out over the ocean.

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