The Vale of Glamorgan's Town Centres
There are four main towns located in The Vale of Glamorgan. They are Barry, Penarth, Cowbridge and
Llantwit Major.
All differ quite considerably, from the hustle and bustle of the busy seaside towns of Barry and Penarth to the more sedate atmosphere of rural Cowbridge and Llantwit Major.
Each town is as interesting as the next and all have many historical features to explore.
Barry Town

The historic coastal town of Barry is located approximately eight miles to the west of Cardiff which is a twenty minute car ride away.
Barry has two main shopping areas, one at High Street and the other at Holton Road. Both offer a wide variety of shops, cafes and restaurants and every Tuesday shoppers can browse through the weekly street market where many a bargain can by acquired.
There are also many shops at the recently developed waterfront which has also become popular for its annual Waterfront Tall Ships Festival.
A real fun way to discover more about Barry is on foot. 'Barry Town Trail' links the town, to the waterfront and the holiday centre of Barry Island and highlights places of interest along its six mile route.

The elegant Victorian town of Penarth is situated approximately 4 miles west of Cardiff .
Penarth is the second largest town in the Vale of Glamorgan, next only to the administrative centre of Barry and like most south coast towns, owes its development to the massive expansion of the South Wales coalfield in preceding centuries.
During the Victorian era Penarth was a highly popular holiday destination, promoted nationally as “The Garden by the Sea” and was packed by visitors from the Midlands and the West Country as well as day trippers from the South Wales valleys mostly arriving by train. Today the town and its traditional seafront continues to be a regular summer holiday destination.
The town centre can only be described as charming and elegant, with superb parks and gardens, a range of stores, gift shops and galleries.
Penarth seafront with its impressive pier is the perfect place to sit and breathe the fresh, salty air. From the Esplanade you can enjoy panoramic views across the Bristol Channel to the islands of Flat Holm and Steep Holm and even the north coast of Somerset.
Parks and gardens link Penarth’s seafront and town. Overlooking the Esplanade are the impressive Italian Gardens while Windsor Gardens and Alexander Park offer an inviting combination of winding pathways, quiet corners and landscaped areas

Cowbridge is an elegant market town set in a beautiful and secluded area of countryside in the centre of the Vale of Glamorgan. It lies twelve miles west of Cardiff and seven miles east of Bridgend.
It is claimed that Cowbridge was once well blessed with 'great and glorious drinkers' and indeed some forty-two of the buildings of Cowbridge have been used as inns or alehouses at some time in their history.
This could not be further from the image of today's town centre.
Cowbridge is popular for shopping that includes arts, crafts and antiques. Its busy yet quaint high street is lined with fashionable shops, and yes; some of those infamous inns, wine bars and restaurants. Quite apart from the multitude of chic boutiques, it’s the atmosphere that makes Cowbridge so appealing.
The town has a wealth of historic buildings and has a prosperous, unhurried feel to it. Good old-fashioned values and service are what makes Cowbridge tick, yet with all modern facilities, it belies the towns long and fascinating history stretching back to Roman times.
Cowbridge is twinned with the Medieval town of Clisson which is situated at the confluence of the Sèvre Nantaise and the Moine rivers in the Loire-Atlantique Department in France. The association was established in 1991 as a Community Twinning Association with Municipal Support.

Llantwit Major
Llantwit Major is a small town situated on the The Glamorgan Heritage Coast. about twenty miles west of Cardiff and five miles south of Cowbridge.
It is easily found by most, but some of the road signs can be somewhat confusing.
Llantwit Major has grown considerably in recent years, but the winding narrow and high-walled streets of the town centre still preserve its ancient character. The town also retains a number of fine old buildings, including a 15th century town hall, a medieval gatehouse and a circular dovecote near the church, and some 16th century inns and houses. A mile to the south, near Colhugh Beach, there are ditches and earthworks belonging to an early Iron Age fort.
Almost every period in history has left its mark on Llantwit Major - you can see Iron Age hill forts, a Roman villa just outside the town, Celtic crosses, and fine Tudor buildings - especially the Town Hall, Old School, Great House and the pubs in the Town Square.
This little town has a nice variety of small shops that will satisfy the needs of most.
Almost Venice Like
The town's rural distort on display
in a small shopping area.
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