Resting between the sea, the country and the city, the market town of Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan is a lovely place to visit. In 2017, The Sunday Times crowned it the 'Best Place to Live in Wales'. As someone who grew up there, I can vouch for its award-winning potential.

I'm Amy Pay, a freelance journalist and content creator now living in Cardiff. I often go back to Cowbridge to visit my family and enjoy its bars, eateries and the natural beauty on its doorstep. It's a stunning place to call 'home'. Let me share its highlights with you.

garden with hedged flower beds and white building.

Cowbridge Physic Garden

It has plenty of independent shops

Most of Cowbridge High Street and the roads off it are lined with little independent shops. Dig into the fashion and furniture archives at Happy Days Vintage Homestore, pick out speciality ingredients at the Elephant & Bun Deli or put together a souvenir bouquet at Gail Armytage Florists.

If you'd rather go to well-known high street stores, a few of them have cropped up including WH Smith, Costa and Rohan. However, I'd recommend seeking out something special from one of the local traders first.

Vintage items hanging on a wall.
Shop with hanging basket and  another with a green canopy.

Happy Days Vintage Store and Cowbridge High Street 

You won't go hungry in Cowbridge

You won't go hungry in Cowbridge, even if you're a fussy eater (I'm a vegan and even I don't struggle there). Whatever the time of day, there's somewhere to refuel. For a morning coffee and light breakfast, there's The Penny Farthing Café. For lunch, go to the Elephant & Bun Kitchen, the sister to the deli over the road. People rave about the squished avocado served with Wye Valley smoked salmon, but I love the spicy chickpea shakshuka with homemade tomato and harissa sauce.

Image of the Elephant and Bun Delicatessen storefront

The Elephant and Bun, Cowbridge, South Wales

For a pint, you can't beat The Bear in my opinion. It has the charm of an old country pub, with open fires and a beer garden plus a decent range of drinks on the bar. "

In the evening, I'd opt for Bar 44. It's a tapas and cocktail bar with dishes that never fail to be delicious, plus they're all for people to share plates and have fun while dining. For a pint, you can't beat The Bear in my opinion. It has the charm of an old country pub, with open fires and a beer garden plus a decent range of drinks on the bar. 

It's less than 10 miles from the sea, and 20 miles from Cardiff

Not to take you away from the place, but Cowbridge is well-located for lots of other places to visit. Just a short drive will take you to the vast golden beaches of Ogmore By Sea and Southerndown, the lighthouse at Nash Point or the cliffs of Llantwit Major. 

Within 15 minutes you can be sampling wine at Llanerch Vineyard in Hensol or cycling through forests. Half an hour will see you in Penarth, Cardiff or well on the way to Swansea. I love how even if you feel like you've exhausted the town, there's so much more to discover around the corner.

View of Monk Nash lighthouse along side the beach., Vale of Glamorgan.

The lighthouse at Nash Point, South Wales

Need I say any more? If you want extra ideas before you check out Cowbridge and the surrounding area for yourself, read up on the other things to do and the nearby attractions. Maybe I'll see you there!

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