The goings on in and around Bridgend

Monthly Archives: November 2013

COMING SOON: The Bridgend 'Elvis ADVENTure' Christmas competition

Here's your chance to win one night's stay plus Afternoon Tea for two at the luxury Coed-y-Mwstwr hotel AND £100 of vouchers to spend at Bridgend Designer Outlet!
Elvis has been gearing up for Christmas for weeks...

Elvis has been gearing up for Christmas for weeks...

Do you know your 'Hound Dog' from your 'Heartbreak Hotel'? Your 'Blue Suede Shoes' from your 'Blue Moon'? If so, 'Doncha' Think It's Time' you entered our Elvis 'ADVENTure' Christmas competition? (hopefully you see what we were doing there!)

It may have been months since the annual Elvis festival once again took Porthcawl by storm, but one lucky Elvis couldn't quite bring himself to leave Bridgend. Instead, he's decided to spend the past few weeks trying out everything from surfing to paintball to horse riding.

Luckily, we've been following him with a camera the whole time and have taken so many great images that we're going to be publishing one on the Bridgend blog every day from the 1st of December right up to Christmas Day.

With each new picture comes a description, and within that description will be hidden at least one Elvis song title.

For your chance to win one night's stay plus Afternoon Tea for two at Coed-y-Mwstwr hotel AND £100 of vouchers to spend at Bridgend Designer Outlet all you have to do is:


1. Click on the daily post and find the Elvis song title hidden within
2. Visit and tell us what you think it is

*(there's no entry limit so you can test your Elvis knowledge on all 25 pictures!) ]

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The Big Bridgend Christmas blog 2014!

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 11.14.12Get set for an action-packed, Rock 'N' Roll Christmas in Bridgend! There's a huge array of exciting events, markets, entertainments and festive traditions going on this year, so get well and truly into the Christmas spirit and experience the best that festive Bridgend has to offer!
Bridgend Christmas market (29th and 30th November 2014)
Bridgend's streets will be filled with traders and stalls for their Christmas Market on Friday and Saturday, offering plenty of festive treats and goodies. But the real fun begins on Saturday at 11am when Santa will ride into town in style alongside biker Elves and Rudolph, kicking off a rocking Christmas season in Bridgend! He will then head down to the opening of Santa's Grotto in Bridgend Indoor Market, and will pop back again on 7th and 14th December to make sure all the kids (and the adults!) are behaving themselves. The festivities will peak with the switching on of the Christmas Lights at 4:30pm, really marking the beginning of the Christmas period!
Porthcawl Grand Pavillion's 12 Days of Christmas (2nd December 2014)
Don't miss out on the extra special 12 Days of Christmas at Porthcawl's Grand Pavillion on Monday 2nd December; traditional carols, choirs, dance, readings and enactments and the evening will conclude with a rousing rendition of 'The Twelve days of Christmas' - audience participation a must!

Even Elvis has been getting into the Christmas spirit...

Even Elvis has been getting into the Christmas spirit...

Porthcawl Christmas Tree Festival (3rd to 8th December 2014)
As December gets going, All Saints Church will be the setting for the Porthcawl Christmas Tree Festival from 3rd-8th December and there will be carol and choral services all week culminating in the Cancer Research Annual Candle Service on 8th December, so come along for a sing-along, fill yourself with festive cheer and really embrace the spirit of Christmas by raising money for a good cause.
DSC_0035Santa Express street train and Christmas Fayre (7th to 14th December 2014)
On Saturday 7th December, families will be able to ride the Santa Express street train around Bridgend Town Centre to take in the Christmas lights and decorations, visit the annual Christmas Fayre in Maesteg Town Hall. The Maesteg Market Square Ice Rink will open until 14th so you can have a festive day out and get in some of that all important christmas shopping.
Snow White at the Grand Pavillion (11th December to 5th January 2014)
Panto season is in full swing (oh yes it is!) and The Grand Pavillion will present Snow White, opening Wednesday 11th December until Sunday 5th January - and there will be a special video appearance from CBeebies superstar, Justin Fletcher!
209The famous Bridgend Elfsteddfod! (14th December 2014)
Now let's not forget Bridgend's famous annual Elf-steddfod, taking place on Saturday 14th December! There will be activities and entertainment from 12pm to 3pm including a 'snowball on the spoon' competition, igloo building, music from 'Rockin Dave' and a chance to make your own reindeer food, with the Elfsteddfod count in Adare Street at 2pm.
This weekend also sees traditional yuletide cheer at Bryngarw House and Country Park as they host a Victorian Christmas event featuring a christmas market, victorian fair-ground rides, story-telling, street theatre and Santa's Bryngarw Grotto - with a special appearance from Reindeer who will fly in on Sunday afternoon.
Adran and Aelwyd Yr Urdd Porthcawl Carol Service (18th December 2014)
Embrace tradition with the Adran and Aelwyd Yr Urdd Porthcawl Carol Service, at Tabernacle Chapel on Wednesday 18th December, and take a break from the stress and chaos of the pre-Christmas preparations!
The big Christmas Morning Swim!
And finally, as Christmas arrives, don't miss out on an exhilarating tradition - the Annual Christmas Morning Swim! Meet at the Hi Tide Inn from 10:30am with the swim commencing at 11:45 - work up a healthy appetite for the Christmas dinner cooking away at home!

A spotlight on: Great House, Laleston

The Grade-II listed Great House originates from around 1550, is thought to have been a gift from HRH Queen Elizabeth the 1st to the Earl of Leicester and now offers one of Bridgend's very best overnight stays. Here's a little more information about The Great House, Laleston that you may or may not know…





1. The hotel was thought to have once been a gift from HRH Queen Elizabeth the 1st to the Earl of Leicester, who then went about using it as his own private hunting lodge!



2. There are twelve rooms on offer altogether, each of which has been designed to offer its own character, from single four poster beds to kingsize sleigh beds.



3. So many of the original features that date back to the 15th century are still on display today - flagstone floors, oak beams, inglenook fireplaces and stone archways to name but a few.



4. The Great House, Laleston boasts its own spa complete with highly trained male and female therapists. Facilities include a jacuzzi and sauna.



Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 11.53.195. Leicester's restaurant is part of the Great House Hotel and it has been awarded not one but two AA Rosettes. Ingredients are local and organic wherever possible.



6. The Great House Hotel is one of South Wales' top wedding venues. There's a bespoke wedding service so you can make sure your day goes exactly how you want it to.



7. Do you enjoy a good Afternoon Tea? The Great House's afternoon tea menu includes homemade finger sandwiches, delicious scones and champagne!



8. This is also the ideal location for a business meeting, with three conference rooms catering for 2-50 delegates and a great restaurant for a post-meeting dinner.

Our guide to winter golfing...

DSC_0691-1Winter may mark the end of many an outdoor activity, but here in Bridgend there's no better time to dust off your clubs and embark on one of the very best golfing holidays that the UK has to offer.

Whether you're listening to the waves breaking at Royal Porthcawl or gazing out over the rugged valleys at Maesteg, here's our run down of Bridgend's best courses…



The famous Royal Porthcawl © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

We'll start with the only golf course with its very own country house hotel attached (or just over the road, anyway!). The first hole features enough sand to make you think you're on the beach, while the 18th offers a drive over a tree-strewn valley. And once you're done swinging you can make the short trip to the award-winning hotel and make the most of a comfy room, a tasty meal and a much-needed stop at the spa.
Visitor rates start at £15, or you get complimentary golf with a night at the hotel.
The Grove.
A relative newcomer to the Welsh golfing scene, The Grove only opened its doors in 1996. This is Porthcawl's parkland course and, like neighbours Royal Porthcawl and Pyle and Kenfig, offers golfers the added incentive of stunning views out across the Bristol Channel towards Swansea Bay. It has been carefully designed to challenge even experienced golfers, with trees, bunkers and water hazards guaranteed to keep you on your toes.
A weekday visitor pass costs £27 for the day.

Playing as the waves break at P&K © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

Playing as the waves break at P&K © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

Just half an hour from Rest Bay, Maesteg offers a golfing experience a world away from the coastal courses in Porthcawl. The cool sea views have been replaced by the rugged Welsh valleys, while this parkland course offered something for all ages and experience. Sculpted from naturally picturesque surroundings, this is considered a course of 'considerable character and maturity' having been founded way back in 1912.
A weekday visitor pass costs £20 for the day.

NOT where you want your ball to land! © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

NOT where you want your ball to land! © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

Pyle and Kenfig.
Commonly referred to as 'P&K', this is one of Wales' finest links courses and sits next door to the famous Royal Porthcawl. Unusually for a links course, this is set out in two loops of nine, with the back nine challenging even the most seasoned golfer, and not just because the panorama from the 14th tee is easily enough to put you off your swing. An overshadowed gem of a course, and one that any self respecting golfer should visit while in Bridgend.
A weekday visitor pass costs £55 for the day.
Royal Porthcawl.
And last but certainly not least, there's Royal Porthcawl, considered by golfers-in-the-know to be one of the finest courses around and hosts of the 2014 Senior Open Championship. The first four and final six holes represent classic links golf, with the middle section rising higher to offer great views out across the Bristol Channel. Catch this on a crisp winter morning and a happy golfer you will be!
A weekday visitor pass costs £55 for the day.

The Big Bang Firework Display