Vale of Glamorgan's Town Centres
are four main towns located in The Vale of Glamorgan. They are Barry, Penarth,
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.
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.
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.
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 Penarths
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.
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,
its 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
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.
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.
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.
little town has a nice variety of small shops that will satisfy the needs of most.
town's rural distort on display
in a small shopping area.