The goings on in and around Bridgend

Monthly Archives: January 2017

Event: Cwlwm Celtaidd 2017

Celebrate Celtic culture with music, song, and dance at the Cwlwm Celtaidd festival 2017! Taking place in Bridgend County between the 9th and 12th of March, this festival brings together dynamic performances from Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Brittany, the Isle of Man, and Wales.

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Cwlwm Celtaidd is sure to be a fun experience for the entire family, with concerts, dances, and workshops in the Town Centre and on the Esplanade on Saturday, as well as sessions in the bar and Beach Ceilidh on Sunday.

Taking place at Porthcawl's iconic Grand Pavilion, this event allows easy access to the numerous attractions along the Welsh coast. Play a round of golf, explore the Merthyr Mawr sand dunes, or learn to surf; it's up to you!

Friday Evening Concert Tickets:

Standard balcony: £5
Standard table: £8
Tables of 10: £70

Saturday Evening Concert Tickets: £16
Sunday Schools/Young Musician Competition Tickets: £5
Weekend Tickets(which include all of the above): £25

 Learn more about the event at http://www.cwlwmceltaidd.org/en/

Or click here for a video of last year's performance

 

Keep The Romance Alive in Bridgend County

On January 25th, Wales celebrates its very own version of Valentine's Day - St. Dwynwen's Day. St. Dwynwen was a Welsh princess who was unlucky in love, so God granted her three wishes, one of them being that God help all true lovers. To show her appreciation, Dwynwen became a nun and established a convent on Llanddwyn, an island off the coast of Anglesey. Now, the Welsh celebrate a day of love and romance every year on January 25th in her honour.

Bridgend County is the perfect place to celebrate St. Dwynwen's Day with a romantic getaway. Here is our list of the top 5 things to do in Bridgend to keep the romance alive…

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1. Stay at the Great House Laleston
Believed to have originally been a gift from HRH Queen Elizabeth I to the Earl of Leicester, this building is now a beautiful hotel that provides a charming getaway for couples to unwind. Great House Laleston can provide the perfect accommodations this St. Dwynwen's Day, whether you wish to wine and dine in the award-winning Leicester's Restaurant or pamper yourself with a spa day.

2. Go horse riding on the beach
For a romantic journey along the coast of Wales, try horse riding. The trek winds through rivers and vast sand dunes, before reaching the peaceful waters of Newton Beach. Boasting stunning views of different natural environments, this unforgettable experience is truly a unique way to appreciate the natural beauty of Bridgend.

3. Explore Ogmore Castle and the sand dunes at Merthyr Mawr
Built in the early 1100's, Ogmore Castle once guarded a strategic fording point but now stands in ruins, offering a magical glimpse into Bridgend's history. Stepping stones from the castle allow one to walk in the footsteps of those who lived centuries ago and lead towards the nearby Merthyr Mawr sand dunes, where the stunning natural views are sure to be unforgettable.

4. Commission something special at Ewenny Pottery
For those who appreciate arts and crafts, Ewenny Pottery is the perfect place to commission a one-of-a-kind gift for your loved one to show them how special they are. As the oldest established pottery in Wales, Ewenny Pottery hand-makes each piece of earthenware pottery, ensuring it is high quality and that no two pieces are exactly alike.

5. Take a romantic stroll through Parc Calon Lan, Blaengarw
This small park located at the top of Garw Valley was established on land previously tarnished by the local coal industry, but now exists as a pretty setting for you and your loved one to take a stroll. Parc Calon Lan is home to interesting sculptures and provides scenic lakeside paths and bike trails, along with forest and mountain walks. After exploring, warm up with a cup of tea or coffee at the Visitors Centre.

Focus: Bryngarw Country Park

Bryngarw Park has a rich history dating back to 1755, with the estate made up of the House, gardens and over 100 acres of parkland originally owned by the Traherne family. Last year, since first opening to the public on 23rd May 1986, Bryngarw celebrated it's 30th anniversary. The park receives over 200,000 visits a year to explore the picture-perfect picnic spots, abundance of wildlife and interactive trails. The Park released a special video to capture the best of Bryngarw and after also being awarded a prestigious Green Flag by Keep Wales Tidy there was a lot to celebrate!

To help you make the most of a visit to Bryngarw, here's a round up of the top five things to do and see…  

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1. Rediscover nature with woodland walks
The park is home to variety of landscapes from bluebell laden woods to a fast flowing river, choose from three different routes and explore Afon Garw with the Riverside Ramble, the picturesque meadows with the Meadow Meander or rugged woodlands with the Woodland walk. Each route has colour banded waymarker posts to guide you or download the walking guide to help you spot the best wildlife.
http://www.bryngarwhouse.co.uk/en/park/things-do/nature-walks/

2. Cycle the Garw Valley Community Route
For a faster paced activity explore Bryngarw by bike with the traffic free Garw Valley Community route. The trail runs for 8 miles from Bryngarw Country Park to Bleangarw, along the way pass the Garw Valley railway and the bird watching haven Garw forest.
http://www.bryngarwhouse.co.uk/en/park/things-do/cycle-trails/

3. Wildlife Spotting
Bryngarw's 113 acres is home to mossy wetlands and secluded glades, which make perfect environments for nature to thrive. Check the online directory to see a full list of species or the park Rangers can tell you what to look out for, in January early spring flowers begin to flourish and rabbits can be tracked in the meadows.  http://www.bryngarwhouse.co.uk/en/park/rangers-diary/

4. Mini adventures at Bryngarw
A perfect place to explore the great outdoors with the whole family, with park's list of '10 Things to do in Bryngarw before you grow up' meaning even the youngest explorers can have a great day out. From creating environmental art to finding the tallest tree in the park there is an activity to suit all ages making for a family friendly trip.
http://www.bryngarwhouse.co.uk/en/park/things-do/childrens-guide/

5. The Keepers of Bryngarw
To celebrate Wales' Year of Legends discover Bryngarw's very own legends and meet The Keepers of Bryngarw, the park's mythical guardians. The Keepers of Bryngarw quest is an exciting way to explore the park and its wildlife combining sculpture and music for a truly interactive experience. See the visitor centre for details.
http://www.bryngarwhouse.co.uk/en/park/things-do/keepers-bryngarw/

New Year, New You in Bridgend County!

Start 2017 by embracing the great outdoors to revitalise yourself after all the Christmas feasting. As Visit Wales looks forward to legendary year ahead to celebrate Welsh history, Bridgend County is the perfect place to start your adventures. From rediscovering nature with the Nature Keepers Quest to walking along the stunning coastline there is something for everyone to help kick start your year. Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking...

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1. Rediscover the natural world with Nature Keepers Quest
Embark on a quest with Bridgend's 'Dare to Discover' app, which combines technology and nature, to search out 14 sculptures in unique settings. The Nature Keepers Quest is an ideal way for families to explore the Bridgend's natural hidden gems. The app is available for free featuring a map to help locate the statues, brought to life with exclusive videos and poems for real life adventures with some virtual fun thrown in.
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2. Wild food foraging with Wild Spirit Brushcraft
From food foraging to survival courses, Wild Spirit Brushcraft as a range of courses on offer for those looking to try something new. Situated in 70 acres of beautiful woodland on the Merthyr Mawr Estate, the courses provide a chance to learn to live alongside nature with Camp Craft Weekends or head to the beach for a Wild Food Foraging course to find tasty treats and prepare lunch beach style!  http://www.bushcraftcourses.co.uk

3. Adrenaline pumping mountain biking
For the thrill seekers out there the Darren Fawr mountain bike trails offer something a little faster paced. Located in the Garw Valley, the trails allow you to experience the Welsh landscape by bike, travelling through a natural quarry and over rock features for a varied course. The two trails, Glengarw and Gellideg can be combined to provide a 6km ride to challenge even pro mountain bikers.
https://www.facebook.com/GarwValleyMountainBikeTrails/

4. Go wild at Parc Slip Nature Reserve
The 300 acres at Parc Slip Nature Reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife providing a safe haven for families to discover the best of British nature. Not only is the reserve home to some of Wales' rarest wildlife including the endangered great crested newt, it is has well-maintained cycle tracks and over 10km tracks for dog walking. The Visitor Centre hosts regular events for those wishing to learn more about current wildlife research, with talks on bats, otters and more from experts in 2017.
https://www.welshwildlife.org/visitor-centres/parc-slip-visitor-centre/parc-slip-nature-reserve/

5. Walk the Glamorgan Heritage Coast
Bridgend is a gateway to some of Wales' stunning coastline, being part of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. To get active this January by taking a stroll along the cliffs or head towards Southerndown, better known by Doctor Who fans as Bad Wolf Bay, to amble along the beach. Take in some fresh country air whilst admiring views of the dramatic landscape.
http://www.visitwales.com/things-to-do/activities/walking-hiking/wales-coast-path/david-atkinson-wcp5