The goings on in and around Bridgend

Archive for tag: activities

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 The cool sea views have been replaced by the rugged Welsh valleys, while this parkland course offered something for all ages and experience.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.

Out & About For Father's Day in Bridgend

This Sunday is Father's Day, which means only one thing; that the time has come, once again, to show your dad just how much he means to you. Luckily, Bridgend is crammed full with adventures and activities to suit all budgets, so we thought we'd list our top five ideas for making this year's Father's Day a special one...

First hole Royal Porthcawl Golf Club South Golf Activities & Sports by Visit Wales ©

5.  A spot of golf... head to the Wales' Golf Senior Open
Undoubtedly home to some of the best golfing in Britain, Bridgend is even hosting the Wales Senior Open this month. He may not be able to compete with the professionals, but dad can still head down to the likes of Pyle & Kenfig and Royal Porthcawl to get a lesson from a couple of the resident pro's. At P&K, pro Dylan Williams will set up a programme just for dad, based specifically on his abilities and will look at how he can improve his game - he might even start winning at crazy golf!
4. Hanging ten...
Nothing says 'I love you, Dad' like riding the same wave together, and Bridgend offers up some of the very best surfing in the UK. Don't just take our word for it; some of the best surfers around carve waves off our beaches, including Welsh champ Ingemar Cressey. Get a lesson with Ingemar by booking with Cressey's Surf Academy, or try surfing at Rest Bay with Porthcawl Surf and take part in a beginner lesson on the sand before hitting the water - even if Dad is convinced he's a pro!
3. Get on your bike...
Is your Dad something of a thrill seeker? Look no further than the brand new Darren Fawr mountain biking trails! The two new trails opened in January, with 'Glengarw' aimed at intermediate riders and 'Gellideg' offering up a challenge even for pros. Combine them both for an adrenaline-pumping 6km ride that'll give dad a father's day he's sure to remember.

Enjoy a fulfilling coastal walk with dad. Image from Visit Wales ©

For a present that doesn't cost anything but which offers up plenty of bonding time opportunity, why not take dad for a long wander across a stretch of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. The path itself goes on for some 14 miles, along which you'll encounter sandy dunes, cliffs, coves and beaches, all of which are rich with their own wildlife and history. You can tackle it all either on foot or by bike, and we'd suggest stopping off somewhere like Porthcawl to refuel and grab a pint of local ale or some local fish and chips.
1. Outdoor DIY...
If he's a dab hand with a screwdriver, why not enrol him in a two-day green woodwork course with Cwm Tawel Yurts in the Llynfi Valley. On the first day he'll learn how to identify the different types of tree species, as well as coppicing and various other techniques to make a simple stool. On the second day he'll collect materials and go about building his stool. Of course, the whole family can come along and enjoy  a few nights in one of the camps luxury yet traditional Mongolian yurts.


Sgwd yr Eira, originally uploaded by Andy-Kowalik.

River swimming, diving through waterfalls, jumping off rocks? Not my idea for a great weekend until I went gorge walking in the Neath Valley. This is probably one of the best activities I've done in Wales to be honest and it really is suitable for anyone I reckon - my father in law who's 65 came along with us and loved every minute of it. What I really loved is the stunning scenery of the Waterfall Country in the Vale of Neath on the border of the Brecon Beacons, and gorge walking allows you to go to areas where the average tourist will never be able to experience, so this is truly off the beaten track, that's for sure!
Only about 30 minute drive from Porthcawl so in easy reach for us or anyone staying locally! But you do need to use a specialist company for this.