The goings on in and around Bridgend

Archive for tag: Bridgend County

Behind the scenes; discovering the perfect surfing destination

Find out how we welcomed travel editor Jack Palfrey for his first surfing lesson

We have long known that the coast of Bridgend County is dotted with award-winning beaches and great surf spots. And that visitors receive a friendly, warm welcome. So we were very excited when London-based travel editor, Jack Palfrey, agreed to come to Bridgend County for his first surf lesson. Jack's day job is editing the popular World Travel Guide website, so he took the train from London to Bridgend at the end of his workweek, arriving 2 ½ hours later in Bridgend.

Staying at Trecco Bay Holiday Park is the perfect option for visitors looking to enjoy beaches, water sports and coastal walking. Trecco Bay itself boasts a Blue Flag sandy beach with the holiday park providing extensive amenities including restaurants, leisure options and evening entertainment.

 Trecco Bay blogger visit

The self-catering units at Trecco Bay proved ideal. We even added a couple of extra touches for Jack's stay including an eye-catching stock of fruit for fresh smoothies and some locally-inspired art to continue the surf vibe!

Setting off from Trecco Bay to walk some of the Wales Coastal Path, which runs through Bridgend County, Jack first checked out one of the Nature Keepers. The Keeper of the Sands is a wooden sculpture that connects with the Dare to Discover app to activate a poem and video, showcasing local culture and folklore. There are, in fact, 14 Nature Keepers throughout the county, located in inspiring settings such as the dramatic sand dunes at Merthyr Mawr, the coastal National Nature Reserve at Kenfig, and high in the mountain uplands.

 Blogger and Ingemar

Jack had an appointment to meet pro surfer Ingemar Cressey for lunch at Rest Bay, so the Nature Keepers quest would have to wait for a revisit. Looking out over the beaches from Malc's Café, Ingemar explained why Bridgend County is such a big draw for surfers and how he had moved there several years ago from South Africa and now wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Ingemar currently coaches the Wales National Surf Team, and he has been both South African and Welsh National Surfing Champion, so his tips for Jack were invaluable.

There are three surf schools in Bridgend County, all basing themselves at Rest Bay, which offers amazing surf conditions year-round. Hugh Murray from Porthcawl Surf School welcomed Jack for his first surfing lesson, explaining that surfing in this part of Britain was particularly spectacular with flat sandy beaches, but that it also benefitted from a super-friendly local surf crowd, making it perfect for first-timers as well as professionals.

Blogger surfing

Combined with Bridgend County's location less than three hours from London, the great surfing opportunities, diverse coast with award-winning sandy beaches and range of accommodation options make this the perfect short break option in the UK. On top of that, it's also affordable and unpretentious. Ideal for your first surf lesson!

Check out our video of Jack's visit and enter our competition to win your own holiday in Bridgend County complete with a surfing lesson and chocolate-making party.

You can do this
A beginner surf lesson at Porthcawl Surf School costs from £30 including tuition, wetsuit and surfboard. Check their website for more information.

My view by Andrew Jolley

Name: Andrew Jolley


Where are you from: Mendlesham Suffolk


What do you do: Assistant Chief Executive Legal & Regulatory Services


Favourite local place and why: No single place, Bridgend County Borough is one of the few places that genuinely combines the beauty of the coast and countryside .


Where do you like to eat locally: Too many great places to mention.


If yo u like, tell us 1 thing about yourself / or tell us something interesting: I was on Blue Peter when I was 13 (still have the badge to prove it), played the cornet

My view by John Spanswick

Name: John Spanswick
Where are you from: Brackla (but originally from Nantymoel)
What do you do: Area Parks Manager at Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC (part -time) and also Cabinet Member Communities at Bridgend County Borough Council.
Favourite local place and why: Anywhere out and about on the mountains surrounding the county of Bridgend.
Where do you like to eat locally: Any good Chinese or Indian restaurant.
If you like, tell us 1 thing about yourself / or tell us something interesting: I am planning on undetaking a charity trek to the base camp of Mt. Everest in October this year. This will be my second attempt as 4 years ago I undertook the same trek and reached 5,000 metres when I had to turn back due to being severely dehydrated. Base camp is 5,500 metres and this time I am determined to make it.

Wales' newest Nature Reserve....

Bridgend County Borough's newest local nature reserve has been officially designated.
Situated in the centre of a highly developed part of Brackla, Tremains Wood is a popular and well-used area of ancient semi-natural woodland that is several hundred years old.
The area appears on maps dating back to 1799 and 1875 and is home to trees such as Ash, Oak, Elm and Field Maple, fungi such as King Alfred's Cake and ancient woodland indicator plants including Cuckoo Pint, Dog's Mercury, Enchanter's Nightshade and Yellow Archangel.
Listed in the Ancient Woodland Inventory for Glamorgan, Tremains Wood is situated close to three local schools and is regularly used for educational purposes.
Managed by the council's Countryside Team, work will be carried out to enhance the reserve and create better access for leisure and educational use. The Countryside team will seek to work closely with Brackla Community Council and local community in managing the woodland including woodland management and litter picking. Through this work it is hoped that there will be a greater appreciation of Tremains Wood and its importance as a green lung for the Brackla area and wildlife
The team will also be able to monitor the effects of climate change on the wood and carry out research to help the reserve meet any future challenges.
Councillor John Spanswick, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: "Tremains Wood is a much-loved local amenity and is well used by the residents of Brackla and beyond. Its new status as a local nature reserve will ensure its future and allow it to be enjoyed by many generations to come."
Ends - for more information, contact Media and External Communications Officer Liam Ronan on (01656) 643217. Email: Website: