Nine reasons to visit Bridgend this October half-term
Wales has some of the most beautiful countrysides and coastlines in Britain, and the county borough of Bridgend is no exception.
While the countryside surrounds itself with rolling hills, mountain moorland and country parks that offer the perfect escape, the shoreline is home to famous blue flag beaches with locals and tourists often taking part in year-round activities such as surfing, water sports, and world-class golfing.
So, whether you’re looking to discover the beauty in Welsh heritage, take a swing in a world-class golf club or embark on a fun family adventure, Bridgend has plenty to offer this October half-term.
- Putt like the pros at a championship golf course
Royal Porthcawl is one of Wales’ top golf courses and boasts amazing links courses that rival others around the world. The course has hosted many championship events and is home to the upcoming 2023 Senior Open.
Even better, the course is geo-certified with a panoramic beach view of Somerset and Exmoor to the south and Swansea Bay and the Gower Peninsula to the Northwest. You can even play a final hole directly towards the ocean.
For your visit, the club offers onsite accommodation so that you can wake up to the beautiful views of the course and coast.
Once you’ve finished, unwind with a hearty meal at the award-winning Cosy Corner Lounge that overlooks the waterfront, and is just an 8-minute drive away.
- Enter a golfing world of your own in Pyle & Kenfig’s simulator
Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club is another of Bridgend’s championship link courses.
Set on mighty sand dunes, the course provides views of the Bristol Channel, Gower Peninsula, Sker House and the magnificent Welsh mountains at various points.
If you’re seeking to improve your technique, why not take advantage of the golf simulator and play some of the world’s top courses.
Stay and play with the onsite hotel that will allow you to immerse yourself within the links and take some time to explore the sandy Kenfig Nature Reserve.
- Ride waves at beautiful surf-ready beaches
Bridgend as a county has copious blue flag sandy beaches with offerings from fish and chips and fairgrounds to surfing and water sports.
For both the confident and beginner suffers, check out Rest Bay in Porthcawl. The beach encompasses miles of golden sand, rock pools backed by low cliffs, a surf school, and is known to be one of the more consistent surfing destinations in the area. Situated close to Coney Beach and its amusement park, you are sure to have an action-packed day.
If you fancy trying out the more leisurely and gentle waters sports activities available, visit Trecco Bay or Southerndown for windsurfing and paddleboarding.
- Glamp in the hidden forest at Coed y Mwstwr
For something a little different, the Bryn Glamping Pods – adjacent to the Coed-y-Mwstwr Golf Club – comprise four pods equipped with ensuites, kitchens, smart TVs for relaxing, outdoor seating and a private log-fired hot tub. Spend the night under the stars in comfort, and don’t forget to say hello to their adorable Donkey neighbours.
Alternatively, you can find luxury in the twinned Coed y Mwstwr hotel, a charming Victorian mansion set within the ‘whispering trees’. The hotel offers rustic Welsh cuisine with menus created by award-winning chefs, and abundant of local produce.
If you’re looking to enjoy some wonderful Welsh heritage, just 6 minutes from both stays you can find the romantic ruined Coity Castle, founded in the early 12th century.
- Tee off from the hilltops of the picturesque Llynnfi Valley
Maesteg Golf Club is located on the high hilltops that overlook the picturesque Llynnfi Valley. The course of considerable character was designed by the famous James Braid and is suitable for all abilities.
Once finished at the course, take a walk along the Llynfi Valley Trail and admire the ponds and marshlands that are home to panoramic views and over 60,000 trees.
Keep things quaint and rural by staying at the charming Old House just south of Maesteg which offers spectacular views of Nant Y Gadlys valley.
- Walk some of the highest sand dunes in Europe
Take the day to visit, walk and explore some of the highest sand dunes in Europe at Merthyr Mawr, with the dunes covering a vast area of 840 acres!
If the long walk is not for you, take in the view of the dunes from the Candlestone Castle which overlooks Merthyr Mawr.
Grab some food at Cobbles Kitchen & Deli for unparalleled subs or fish and chips, before heading down the road to Ogmore-on-Sea to end your day with a breathtaking view of the sunset on the beach.
For those visiting at the end of August, be sure to check out the Between the Trees festival that takes place on the reserve over 3 days.
- Bang on Brewery to make your tipple of choice
If you’re heading for a weekend getaway and looking to bond over a few days on the beach with golf and beer, then Bridgend is the place for you.
After playing a competitive game at Coed-y-Mwstwr or Bridgend Golf, the award-winning beer at Bang-On Brewery on George Street should be next on your list. The brewery has created an experience for beer lovers to enjoy quality pints together, and you can even personalise your own beer, cider, gin or wine!
- Girls weekend away with Spa downtime and ‘Ladies Day’
For those seeking a girls’ weekend away, Bridgend Golf Club has a driving range, coffee shop, and hosts a ‘Ladies Day’ every Thursday.
Mix it up with the nearby Grove Golf Club, set in the countryside and boasting panoramic views and an open terrace to watch the autumn days turn into night.
Stay close by and treat yourself to a Spa day at the Best Western Heronston Hotel, while the family lets off some steam at the nearby Jump Jam Trampoline Park or Adventure Rooms.
Finally, enjoy some retail therapy at Bridgend’s McArthur Glen Designer Shopping Outlet where you can find brands such as Ted Baker, Calvin Klein, Adidas and more up to 60% off the retail price.
Once you’re all shopped out, head to the highly rated La Cocina around the corner for a ‘taste of Spain’ with their delicious tapas and cocktail selection.
- Indulge at ‘Wales’ best restaurant’
After a busy day of activity seeking, visit Morgan’s Bistro and Cocktail Bar for cuisine that was voted ‘Best Restaurant in Wales 2023’ at the Welsh Business Awards.
The independent French restaurant on Caroline Street offers authentic French cuisine – from steak to the infamous snails – as well as a beautifully bespoke and colourful range of cocktails with a grand floral entrance to the premises.