The goings on in and around Bridgend

Dedicated cycle path unveiled

Monday 20th March marked the official opening of a new Porthcawl cycle path that will make it much easier to walk and cycle the beautiful Bridgend County coastline.

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Over recent months, improvement work has been completed along the Porthcawl seafront, making it easier to cycle between two of the resort's most popular beaches - Sandy Bay and Rest Bay. The path also forms part of the National Cycle Network Route 88, which connects Cardiff and Newport.

The launch coincides with the opening day of the Sustrans Big Pedal 2017 - the UK's largest inter-school cycling and scooting challenge that inspires pupils, staff and parents to choose two wheels for their journey to school. Pupils from both West Park and Newton primary school attended the launch of the route, which will also make it more practical to cycle to school and work.

Footways have been widened, new paving and bike racks installed as well as a number of signage and drainage improvements. Those using the trails will also likely spot six new Porthcawl Bikes branded bicycles helping promote the new route while also calling attention to the new facilities on offer.

Also in the works is a new cycle benefits scheme - a credit card-sized map will show the route and highlight where to find shops, refreshments, visitor centres etc. The map will also double up as a discount card that can be shown in participating businesses.

Mother's Day in Bridgend County

Whether your Mum loves adventure or is partial to a sweet treat, Mothering Sunday is the perfect opportunity to plan a special day. If you looking for something a little different try wild food foraging or for an active day out with Mum in tow hit the waves at Porthcawl. To help arrange a memorable day here is a round up of the best Mother's Day activities in and around Bridgend.

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For a foodie treat… Afternoon tea at Court Colman Manor Hotel
Located just outside of Bridgend, the Court Colman Manor Hotel creates a unique atmosphere with classic comfort and Georgian charm, perfect for Mother's Day. Enjoy afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches in cakes in the Garden Room or Crystal Ballroom. Served with a glass of Prosecco for each adult and a spring flower for every mother.

For adventure seekers… Explore the coastline on a fatbike
For a Mother's Day at the beach with a difference, try exploring the coastline with fat biking. If your Mum loves a bit of adventure try fatbikingfor a new, exciting way to experience the coastand access the beaches and sand dunes that would otherwise take hours of trudging. Porthcawl Bike Hire,the family run business in the heart of Porthcawl,offer fat bike tours out across the Merthyr Mawr sand dunes, allowing riders to ride along the sea edge to take in the beauty of the Welsh coastline.

For epic waves… Surfing with Porthcawl Surf School
If you are looking for a fun day out with your mum, head to Porthcawl for a spot of surfing. Porthcawl offers some of the best waves for beginners and experienced surfers. Those in need of lessons can book a session with the Porthcawl Surf School,named the UK's Best Surf Schoolat the UK Surf Awards. So grab a board and enjoy the best of British surfing this Mother's Day!

For nature lovers… Wild food foraging with Wild Spirit Bushcraft
If you want to organise analternative Mother's Day activityhead to the Glamorgan Coast for some wild food foraging. Spend the afternoon exploring your surroundings whilst hunting for edible treats, then cook up a tasty lunch on the beach. Whether your mum is eco conscious or just loves spending time in the great outdoors this is a perfect Mother's Day activity and offers a chance to explore the beautiful South Wales coastline.

For a taste of Spain… Spanish tapas and cocktails at 19 Mary Street
For a relaxing evening treat your Mum to an authentic Spanish feast, washed down with a glass of Prosecco or freshly made Mojito. The menu features traditional favourites such as Patata Bravas along with modern takes on tapas such as sherry and apple glazed pork belly - perfect for sharing a special evening this Mother's Day!

For a memorable meal… Dinner at The Pickled Radish, Laleston
Located on the outskirts of Bridgend in the pretty village of Laleston, the Picked Radish as quickly become a favourite amongst foodies since opening. The restaurant has a roaring open fire for a cosy feel and the modern dishes add a touch of elegance for a memorable meal. The menu features local ingredients including garlic and rosemary roasted leg of Rosedew farm lamb and loin of Glamorgan pork, to finish off indulge in a triple chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream - heaven!

 

 

EVENT: Porthcawl Jazz Festival

The Porthcawl Jazz Festival is now only a month away! With fifteen bands, duos and solo performers at five venues, this year's festival is looking bigger and better than ever...

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Among the festival's many talented artists are the James Taylor Quartet and Li Harding performing with the Gary Phillips Trio.

For more than 30 years, the James Taylor Quartet has graced countless stages with their dynamic live performances. Their acid jazz sound bring funk and groove, while their action and detective film covers inspire a sense of whimsy.

Widely regarded as Wales' leading jazz and blues singer, Li Harding will be joined by Swansea guitarist Gary Phillips, whose experience touring Europe means that this is one performenace not to be missed!

Too see these acts and more, join us for a weekend of jazz and blues on the scenic Bridgend coast that will keep you moving to the rhythm.

All weekend tickets: £43.20
Saturday tickets: £11
Sunday tickets: £16.50

Tickets for JTQ at the Grand Pavilion: From £19 for adults, £18 for children

Learn more about the event and buy tickets at http://www.porthcawl-jazz-festival.com/

Five top events to look forward to in 2017

2017 is shaping up to be quite the year in Bridgend County, with a wealth of high profile family-friendly events planned over the next ten months. From a trail running festival to the mighty Urdd Eisteddfod - here are the big events you need to be booking tickets to...

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Cwlwm Celtaidd (9-12 March)
This lively festival celebrating Celtic music, song and dance is sure to keep the family entertained! Cwlwm Celtaidd showcases the rich cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Cornwall, Brittany and Wales, drawing attendees from all over the UK.  With a programme of concerts, dances and workshops, the streets of Porthcawl will certainly be bustling. http://www.cwlwmceltaidd.org/en/

Porthcawl Jazz Fest (7-9 April)
With 5 different venues and 11 artists, the Porthcawl Jazz Fest is the perfect event for those who want to enjoy different genres of jazz and blues while exploring the shores of Porthcawl. Featuring highly praised UK jazz artists, festival goers won't be able to stop tapping their feet! http://www.porthcawl-jazz-festival.com

Urdd Eisteddfod (29 May-3 June)
Bridgend is expected to welcome tens of thousands of visitors during Urdd Eisteddfod, one of Europe's largest youth touring festivals. This annual competitive festival celebrates Welsh language and culture with the help of over 15,000 children and young people. With youth singing, dance and performance competitions, this is definitely a family friendly event that all ages will enjoy. http://www.urdd.cymru/en/eisteddfod/

Wartime Bridgend (10 June)
Be transported back in time this summer at Wartime Bridgend! Taking place in Bridgend Town Centre, this event will feature demonstrations, period games, and activities from the 1940's. Performers, including a Winston Churchill lookalike and a WWII infantry, will make appearances and bring the WWII era town centre to life. This educational event is ideal for both families and history buffs. http://www.carnegiehouse.co.uk/events/wartime-bridgend/

Merthyr Mawr Trail Running Festival (15 July)
The Methyr Mawr sand dunes are one of Bridgend's most popular tourist attractions and will be the terrain for the Merthyr Mawr Trail Running Festival this July. With two trails to choose from, runners will be able to explore the beautiful scenery around the Merthyr Mawr Estate and the surrounding area. Family and Kids Races are available too, so bring the whole family for an active day out! http://merthyrmawrtrailrunningfestival.com

 

 

 

Spring is in the air!

If you believe the news, Wales is lucky enough to look forward to unseasonably warm weather this half term holiday. Take advantage of the comfortable climate and visit Bridgend for an outdoors adventure. Here are a few suggestions that the whole family will enjoy...

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Awaken the Keepers of Bryngarw
This year is Wales' Year of Legends, so what better way to celebrate than to walk among the legends residing in Bryngarw. The Keepers of Bryngarw are mythical guardians who protect the park. Take an interactive quest with a magical Star Talisman to bring the Keepers to life and listen to their tales. If you awaken all of them, you can become a Keeper of the Story yourself!

Explore the coast on horseback
Take in the picturesque coastline from a different point of view - on horseback! Tour the natural landscapes of Bridgend with Ogmore Farm and ride through towering sand dunes before reaching the seaside. Suitable for even young children, the family will certainly be delighted by the coastal views and their riding partner.

Meet the wildlife at Parc Slip Nature Reserve
Bring the family to discover the creatures that inhabit Parc Slip Nature Reserve. With 300 acres of diverse habitats, you are sure to find something that crawls, flies, swims or prowls. There are plenty of trails on the reserve, giving you a number of options for areas to explore. Stop by the coffee shop for some refreshments after your outdoor expedition.

Hang loose with Porthcawl Surf School
Porthcawl's beautiful beaches are the ideal place to catch some waves. No matter what your experience, Porthcawl Surf School can help you make the best of your beach day. Named the 'Best Surf School in Britain', they offer surf hire along with a number of different courses.  Make the best of the warm weather and hit the waves this half term!