For years, Porthcawl has been one of Wales' most desirable seaside resorts, and still welcomes many thousands of families during the high summer season. However, this historic Mid Glamorgan town also has a proud maritime heritage, and was a busy coal port for a time in the 19th century, when South Wales was an industrial powerhouse.
Near the resort is the ruined Kenfig Castle, which was founded in the 11th century but was eventually abandoned by the 15th century and is now almost entirely covered in sand.
The Grand Pavilion
This handsome 1930s pavilion is Porthcawl's leading events venue and organises numerous live music performances, dances, theatre shows and other fun festivities. The building is renowned for its Café Bar, which offers superb views of the Bristol Channel coastline and provides plenty of delicious pre-theatre meals to suit all tastes.
The Coney Beach Pleasure Park
This amusement attraction opened in 1920 and is normally in operation from April to October. Today, the park has two roller coasters and more than 15 other themed rides that are guaranteed to provide hours of fun for the whole family.
Porthcawl's most visited and accessible beach is Sandy Bay, which is almost half a mile wide and is overlooked by the pleasure park. Just to the east is Trecco Bay, another pleasant sandy beach next to the beloved Trecco Bay Holiday Park.
Rest Bay, much wider and more secluded than Porthcawl's other beaches, attracts significant numbers of surfers thanks to its more exposed location and prevailing Atlantic winds. The pristine beach has even earned a prestigious Blue Flag award, and is next to a great café serving freshly made lunches and snacks.
Where to stay in Porthcawl – ideas
Enjoy beautiful furnishings and a friendly atmosphere at the Seabank Hotel, or book a stay at the immaculately presented Butterfly Guest House or Fairways Hotel. Other reputed, value-for-money Porthcawl hotels include the elegant Olivia House and the hospitable Marllew Guest House.
Other renowned restaurants in Porthcawl include the Mediterranean-themed Isabella's restaurant, British-inspired The Angel Inn in Maudlam, and The Farmers Arms, which serves more fantastic local dishes.
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