The goings on in and around Bridgend

Monthly Archives: July 2013

5 Reasons Why Kids LOVE Bridgend

If you're the kind of person who goes on holiday because the children won't stop needling you to go to an amusement park, we have got a treat for you. There are some places (surprisingly), where kids can have a blast, and you don't have to sway sickeningly on a roller-coaster!
Children love to visit Bridgend, and for good reason - it can be a fun, relaxing or crazy day - and no matter where they go, parents can be guaranteed a great day!

Bryngarw Country Park © Bridgend Bites

Bryngarw Country Park © Bridgend Bites


5. Reconnect with nature at Bryngarw Country Park
Spend some good old-fashioned time outside at The Bryngarw Park doing anything from playing hide-and-go-seek or climbing around the adventure playground. It's even perfect for families with several BBQ sites spaced around the outdoors!
4. Dive into the Trecco Bay Holiday Park  or Trecco Bay in Porthcawl!
Fun indoor swimming complex, Splashland, is a great place for kids to slide all around in the pool and for adults to relax on pool-side chairs. It's open the public and perfect for those days where all the kids want to do is swim around playing Marco Polo! P.S. There's a waterslide. If you're feeling daring - Go out to Trecco Bay to catch a wave!

Wiggleys Fun Farm

Wiggleys Fun Farm


3. Run around and play at Wiggley's Fun Farm
Relive your childhood with your kids at Wiggley's Fun Farm at a great indoor and outdoor adventure play areas. Everything from Babies Barnyard to a Mini Racetrack, your kids will be busy for hours. There's even a coffee shop to recharge your batteries!
 
2. Take a family trip to Cwm Tawel for yurt camping! 
Ever thought you'd like to spend some time outside... but couldn't think of what you'd do? Solution: Cwm Tawel. Learn traditional crafting, and eat local food that tastes just like Wales while you enjoy the countryside. There's no better way to have a great weekend.

Methyr Mawr Sand Dunes © Bridgend Bites

Methyr Mawr Sand Dunes © Bridgend Bites


1. Visit the Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes for a great day!
Take a day away from all the attractions and walk along the best sand dunes in the UK. Simply walk along the dunes to visit fantastic Ogmore Castle. If you're feeling particularly daring, go "sledging" down some dunes to get your adrenaline rush.


Bridgend, the UK's Leading Place to Water Activities: Top 5

As the days get hotter and hotter, you've got to find a sure-fire way to cool off. Luckily for you, Bridgend has some of the best water activities in the UK! Paddle Surfing to White Water Rafting, you will not be short of ways to cool off in the summer heat (and with this heat wave, you're going to need). Read up on these five great water activities in Bridgend!

Heading Out to the Sea © Visit Wales

Heading Out to the Sea © Visit Wales


Paddle Surfing
The new and growing water sport, Paddle Surfing, is one of the greatest things to hit Porthcawl! Easy to learn and great fun, just imagine yourself paddling along calm waters - splashing your family or simply relaxing. Many different companies throughout Bridgend offer this fun and exciting activity, like the Adventures Activity Centre!
 
Coasteering
One of the more exciting things to do in Bridgend, coasteering is everything from cliff jumping to scrambling in caves against the amazing backdrop of the Bridgend coast. It's a great activity for anyone, as great activity providers such as Adventures Wales have instructors who know just how slow to take it so that everyone has a good time, no matter how confident you feel!

Sea Kayaking © Visit Wales

Sea Kayaking © Visit Wales


Sea Kayaking
For something you're not likely to find many other places, sea kayaking is ideal for those looking for something fun. It's just like surfing... only you're in a kayak. Fun and easy lessons combined with the exhilarating rush of adrenaline as you catch a wave! Many different companies in Bridgend offer this as an alternative to surfing, so you definitely won't miss out!
 
Windsurfing
This exhilarating activity is great for your cooling-off needs. Whether it be the wind in your hair or the ocean spray, you'll be sure to be just cold enough that the sun shining down on you will pair to make the perfect temperature. Ocean Quest, a great local company throughout Bridgend, offers Windsurfing along with a slew of other options. Make sure this is on your "Must-Do" list!

Surfing © Adventure Wales

Surfing © Adventure Wales


Surfing
If Paddle-Surfing and Surf-Kayaking aren't for you, there's always classic surfing to fall back on. And it's a classic for a reason. Surfing is a great activity for kids, families or even stag parties! Beachbreak Surf School is a fun and local school in Porthcawl that offers basic surfing lessons for even the most inexperienced including lessons on land to the first expedition out to sea!


ELVIS Reincarnated (By the Thousands)! 10 Year Festival Anniversary Guide

It's now or never! Here's your chance to read the complete guide to the greatest Elvis festival in the World which takes place in Bridgend.  And with so many other Elvis's in attendance, there's no chance of feeling "lonesome tonight"... 

An Elvis look alike at Trecco Bay, Porthcawl

An Elvis look alike at Trecco Bay, Porthcawl. © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales


As 10 year anniversaries go, Porthcawl probably has the the best one on the market! This September will see the Elvis Festival in Porthcawl celebrate a decade of hosting the world's biggest Elvis festival!
This festival is suitable for everyone, whether you're a diehard Elvis fan, or you just enjoy one or two of his well-known hits like Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock, you'll be rock 'n' roll dancing before you can say "The King".
Accessible Location... 
A train trip no more than two and a half hours from London and Birmingham this September will take you to one of the quirkiest festival in Europe.
Origins
There's no place like Porthcawl for an Elvis Festival, as Peter Philips, the founder, says, "the Welsh know how to throw a party!"
Born from a one-off documentary, the founder Peter Philips wanted to save the iconic Grand Pavilion. He probably didn't think that a small film would change the future of Porthcawl, Bridgend. Now there are more than 30,000 visitors during the festival and the town transforms everything, from shops to hotels, into an Elvis celebration.

Elvis fans infront of the legendary Porthcawl Pavilion

Elvis fans infront of the legendary Porthcawl Pavilion. © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales


"Before Elvis, there was nothing" - John Lennon

Expect to see lots and lots of Elvis lookalikes!  The 10th anniversary will be bigger then ever, it's already one of the largest festivals of its kind in the World. There are plenty of special Elvis events going on, from singing competitions such as The Best Festival Elvis Competition to shows by well-known Elvis show bands (one hundred of them to be precise) in pubs, hotels or at the Grand Pavilion itself.
But what really makes the Festival amazing is how involved the whole community gets into this annual event. School children make artwork dedicated to the King and Hamlet undergoes a Elvis change. In the words of twice mayor, Phil Rixon, "The Festival really makes the town busier than it's heyday in the 1950's".
An Elvis Festival!!! What exactly happens?
When is it?
27th-29th of September. The Festival officially launches at 12.30pm on Friday 27th of September with a Champagne reception at The Heartbreak Hotel where you can meet some of the artists and celebrities taking part in the Festival. (Only open to VIP Ticket Holders and Festival guests).

Children getting involved.

Children getting involved. © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales


Is it suitable for everyone?
Absolutely. The Elvis Festival is one of the few music festivals that is great for families (and their kids) to visit. Whether you're a new couple looking to try something different or a full-sized family, there's something here for everyone.
What we recommend? 
Elvis FunRun - TBA
A one mile walk in the shoes of the King for charity.
The Elvis Gospel Show - 12.30pm 29 Sept

Elvis tribute act / impersonator performing Porthcawl. © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

Elvis tribute act / impersonator performing
Porthcawl. By Visit Wales ©


For classic Elvis Fans who know the early work, the Elvies Gospel Winner 2010, Dean Mack, will be preforming some of the good ol' Gospel music that catapulted Elvis to his place among the stars.
Best Festival Elvis Competition - 2.30pm 27 Sept & 12pm 28 Sept 
With two different Heats and a Grand Final, the Best Festival Elvis Competition is all about finding the best ETA in Europe. The question you'll have to ask yourself is: Who is the best Elvis?
The Three Kings - 7.30pm 27 Sept
Three shows in one, this show is headlined by Ben Thompson, the Winner of the 2012 Best Festival Elvis Competition, and Red Alert, the Legendary Porthcawl House Band.

© Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

© Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales


The Elvies - 7.30pm 28 Sept
The world renown Elvies Awards will be taking place at this year's Festival! It's the leading show for Elvis Tribute Artists and is not something you should even consider missing.
Elvis at the Movies - 3.00pm 29 Sept
Presented by all great Elvis Tribute Artists, Elvis at the Movies perform songs from all the Movies that Elvis starred in (which we all know is quite extensive), and is presented by Mike Nova.
Trilogy - 7.30pm 29 Sept
The last event of the Festival, Trilogy is a full three sets of Sun Studios in the 50s followed by a '68 Special and a full Vegas Show - all backed by Red Alert.
Not just a festival, a great place to visit!

Bridgend is also one of Britain's best know golfing destination. © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

Bridgend is also one of Britain's best know golfing destination. © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales


Bridgend County, where Porthcawl is located, will leave you spoilt for choice. If you're looking for some place to relax, the beaches of Bridgend will leave you speechless. White sandy beaches for noontime napping are on every corner. If you're looking for adventure, Cressey's Surf Academy can provide you with some fantastic surfing adventures.
But if you aren't so much into the ocean, Adventure Wales has got everything under control. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie that thrives on Quad biking or a relaxed golfer, Adventure Wales and Bridgend Bites have a selection of activities for everyone.
For a great mix, you'll be thankful to know that the Bridgend Feastival is the same weekend as our favourite Elvis festival! Situated in the small town of Bridgend, this foodie festival has everything from chef tastings to family spaghetti bridge building. It's the perfect addition to a weekend of Elvis fun in Porthcawl!
Places to Stay
Eventhough the majority of the hotels in Porthcawl are already booked through this famous festival, Bridgend offers some of the most beautiful places to stay for a weekend for families, large groups, couples or even the lone ranger!
The Family Home Away From Home: Bryngarw House
Situated in the middle of 113 acres of country, Bryngarw House is perfect for a family looking to find a place to call home while partying it up Elvis-style.
The Weekend Getaway For Adventurous Groups: Masons Arms
Ideal for the travel group, Mason Arms is two minutes from the Bridgend Designer Outlet and ready for Elvis fans to come pouring in!
The Hideout for Two: Ewenny Woods
Hidden in the small village of Ewenny, this lovely guesthouse is a great place to cozy up at night after spending a full day out in Porthcawl, decked out in Elvis gear.
The Lone Ranger Base: Heron's Brook Bed & Breakfast
Heron's Brook Bed & Breakfast, perfect for the solo traveller, is ready for the Elvis Festival. With beautiful views from every window, you'll fall asleep to "Always on my Mind" every night.
Best way to get tickets
Tickets for The Elvis Porthcawl Festival, sponsored by Hi Tide, usually sell out in late July, so make your way over to Elvies or fill out this form!
So to get you all excited here's the wonder of YouTube with a quick song...


BEST WESTERN HERONSTON HOTEL JOINS GROUP’S ELECTRIC ECO PLEDGE

Best Western Heronston Hotel in Bridgend is one of the Group's first members to install an electric car charging point in its grounds. This is part of Best Western's drive to introduce these chargers across 50 hotels in May, and half of the portfolio by September this year.

Charge points in Bridgend

Charge points in Bridgend

As Britain's largest group of independent hotels this eco-friendly plan will provide the world's first network of electric car charging stations at hotels. Best Western GB recognises that there is now a real and increasing widespread demand for 'green' transport. The Group's national strategy to introduce electric charging points will make electric vehicles more accessible and attractive to the public with long term benefits to the environment and much lower running costs for the motorists who switch over.

Hotel guests will be able to charge their cars for free, while non residents will be at the discretion of the hotel manager.

Best Western GB is working with acclaimed green charity Carbon World (ZCW), and the partnership will increase ZCW's network of charging stations by 35% nationally.

Carolyn Powell, General Manager of the Best Western Heronston Hotel said: "This is a fantastic initiative and something the hotel really believes in. As well as working towards reducing Bridgend's carbon footprint, we are offering even more for our guests and hope to raise awareness of the benefits of choosing an electric car."

Best Western was the first UK hotel group to offer free guest internet across the entire portfolio and campaigned for it to be offered by all other hotel groups. At the time, the move was questioned by industry insiders, in a similar way to questions being asked about the benefits of electric car charging.

Best Western's chairman Angela Burns, a longstanding electric car driver, said: "Current Government figures show that electric car use will increase to 1.2 million by 2020. As a forward thinking company Best Western is at the forefront of this advance towards greener transport."

Charles Roberts, spokesman for Zero Carbon World, said: "Best Western's initiative is a massive thumbs up for electric cars. Not only do electric cars have low fuel and maintenance costs they also benefit from low tax rates as company cars and have zero emissions."

Investment from major car manufacturers like Renault, Nissan, Tesla, BMW, Mitsubishi, Citroen, Ford, Mercedes, Range Rover and Smart Mini totals billions. Even the UK government has invested a huge amount to help push the boundaries for the modern electric car - £400 million has been ploughed into its Plugged In Places scheme.