The goings on in and around Bridgend

Monthly Archives: April 2014

Bridgend: 5 things to do this spring!

There's plenty to be joyful for during the spring months in Wales, the blossoming of snowdrops and the bleating of lambs but Bridgend has much more to offer in the way of activities for all the family. Here are our top 5 things to do this Spring in Bridgend:

5. The Bryngarw Keepers Quest
This interactive project is a great excuse to get out of the house and excited about a new outdoor adventure. Fully open to the public from the height of Spring (April 2014), this quest will have you roaming the countryside to unlock stories from 'The Five Keepers'. Your challenge is to resolve clues so that you can awaken all of the Keepers hidden within the area and in turn, become a Keeper yourself…

4. Royal Porthcawl Golf Club
It's getting warmer and the Senior Open Championship is getting closer - it's time to get your golfing gear on, get out and head down to the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club. Why not get some gentle exercise at what has been described as one of the World's finest 12 golf courses and book yourself tickets to see the professionals at work from July 24th-27th.

3. Italian Food Market
Fancy experiencing some culture but can't stretch to an Easter getaway? Transport yourself to Italy and experience an authentic Italian food market from 1st-5th May. Bring home some of the warm and rich aromas the World's most popular cuisine such as fresh olives, calzone and salami meats alongside a whole lot more. The markets will be from 10am- 5pm and move from Maesteg Town Centre, Thursday 1st May - Bridgend Town Centre, Friday - Saturday 2nd - 3rd May - Porthcawl Town Centre, Sunday - Monday 4th - 5th May.


2. Porthcawl Jazz on the Sands
What better way to start enjoying the warmth of the seaside again than with a music to wet your appetite for the upcoming festival season. Get yourself down to Porthcawl over the weekend of 11-13th April and treat your ears to three days of pure Jazz from 18 different bands across 9 venues. With performances from the likes of The Big Chris Barber Band, one of Europe's most successful jazz groups and Cardiff University Big Band, tickets start at a mere £5 with under 12s going for free!

1. Girls Surfing Days
With Bridgend playing host to a number of great surfing spots, get the females of the family inspired by taking part in the Girls surfing days at Porthcawl Surf School. Mentored by pro surfer Corinne Evans at Rest Bay, all levels of ability will be accommodated and all ages welcomed. Why not turn the experience into an overnight visit with accommodation from only £20 per night and breakfast at £4! Kicking off from 10th May call 07583348813 to book.

Perfect Day - Your chance to win a mini break!

From surfing to shopping, tea-offs to high teas, Bridgend County is a fantastic place to come for a few days of adventurous activity or rest and relaxation.

In celebration of this beautiful region, a few of our residents have been out and about enjoying (and even filming!) their very own adventures in Bridgend County.The results were so great that we decided to collect them all together and create a 'Perfect Day' campaign. Visit the page to see dog walkers climbing the Big Dipper, surfers riding the Welsh waves and mountain bikers scaling the valleys, plus plenty more!

We've even teamed up with Wales Online to create this fantastic new Perfect Day microsite, which not only has an article dedicated to each Perfect Day video, but also articles on loads of other Bridgend County news and features.

We're giving readers the chance to win their very own mini break in Bridgend County. All you have to do is visit bridgendbites.com/perfect-day, vote for your favourite video and tell us what your perfect day in Bridgend County would be to enter the online competition!

Porthcawl Jazz Fest 2014

Playing host to just about every genre from New Orleans traditional to contemporary free-form, the Porthcawl Jazz Festival (or ' Jazz on the Sands ') will once again be raising the roof in Bridgend County on the weekend of the 11th-13th April 2014.

Having been running for 12 years, this year's Porthcawl ' Jazz on the Sands' will see some thousands of jazz enthusiasts travel down to listen to around 180 artists over 24 events in nine different venues.

The action spills out from the Grand Pavilion to numerous other venues, all within walking distance of the famous octagonal dome. These include the Ship and Castle restaurant and Trinity Church.

First set up in 2002, the festival originally focused on the best jazz talent from across South Wales and West England. These days, the event is seen as a hub for national and international performers such as Buddy Greco, Acker Bilk, B D Lenz, Clare Teal and Janice Mitchell.

It is said that Jazz on the Sands is home to a wider range of jazz styles than anywhere else in Wales, maybe even the UK, and this year you'll get to see everything from the boisterous blues of the Big Chris Barber Band to the avant-garde improvisations of Simon Desorgher's Free Spirits.

Other acts include: Digby Fairweather, Kevin Grenfell's Jazz Giants the Davide Logiri Quintet and Colourscape, plus home-grown talent such as the Cardiff University Big Band, the Dick Hamer Quintet and the Rhondda Symphony Pops Orchestra.

For more information and to book tickets, visit www.porthcawl-jazz-festival.com, www.grandpavilion.co.uk or call 01656 815 995.

*** Fancy some other spring activity ideas? Take a look at our blog Bridgend: 5 things to do this Spring!

Happy St David's Day from Bridgend!

Happy St Davids Day! Of course, we love being Welsh every day of the year but today it just feels extra special! In honour of our patron saint, here are the top five things we love about Bridgend…

The events…
Ever thought you'd see a while town full of Christmas elves, or an Elvis on every street corner. Here in Bridgend we've come up with some of the most interesting and unique events and have even won a couple of World Records in the process! So from the Elvis Festival to the Elfsteddfod, 'Splashup' to 'Mashup', there's always something going on!

The golf…
Bridgend is proud to be the home of the world famous Royal Porthcawl golf course, which will be hosting this year's British Senior Open Championship (the first time Wales has hosted the event). Royal Porthcawl aside, there are many other courses for golfers of all ages and experience, from bunkers beside beaches to scenic greens in the the Welsh Valleys.

The dunes…
You might not have thought it, but we've got some of the tallest sand dunes in Europe. The mighty 'Big Dipper' is surrounded by the Merthyr Mawr sand dunes, which is spread out over 323 hectares, and can be spotted in the famous Hollywood classic Lawrence of Arabia. Take a sled with you on your ascent and make getting back to the bottom that much more fun!

The surf…
You can ride some of the top Welsh waves without having to worry about tackling crowded beaches. Rest Bay offers swells equal to those in Swansea and Newquay, and we're also home to Cressey's Surf Academy, run by two-time Wales surf champ and former South African professional surfer Ingemar Cressey! Other providers include Porthcawl Surf and Adventures Wales.

The coast...
We consider ourselves very lucky to be situated along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, right between Cardiff and Swansea. Our visitors are free to walk right along our coastline, enjoying the scenery, or to get a little sandy and explore our various beaches. Sker Beach is our little hidden jewel, while Rest Bay is where every local surfer comes for fun!

Visit Bridgend and make an unforgettable St David's memory or read more inspiring tips to a perfect day in Bridgend.