Things to see and do in Glamorgan

From magnificent castles and vast country parks to nature reserves and ancient potteries, Glamorgan is a wonderful place to explore at any time of year. Here's our guide to the top places to visit.

  • Bryngarw
    Bryngarw County Park in Bridgend, Glamorgan Heritage Coast

    As wedding presents go, getting a sprawling country park must be one of the best. John Popkin gave Bryngarw to his sister to mark her union in 1775, and it was designated a country park 200 years later. Lakes, formal gardens, great facilities and exotic plants are among the highlights.

    More parks and gardens in Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

  • Potter at work at Ewenny Pottery

    Ewenny Pottery in Bridgend, Glamorgan Heritage Coast

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    A chance to see a really authentic experience at the oldest working pottery in Wales, a small pottery where pot-throwing was first recorded at the start of the 15th century. See the family at work and perhaps take home your very own piece of iconic Welsh history, handcrafted on site by seventh and eighth generation potters.

    More arts and crafts centres in Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

  • CoityCastle
    Coity Castle, near Bridgend, Glamorgan Heritage Coast

    These atmospheric ruins were once a Norman castle built by one of the Knights of Glamorgan during the 12th century. It’s easy to see why its circular stone structures were designed as a defensive structure, perched on a hill with fine views of Bridgend. Gaze out and feel the history.

    More heritage attractions in Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

  • Rest Bay beach
    Rest Bay, Porthcawl, Glamorgan Heritage Coast

    Porthcawl has seven beautiful beaches to choose from. They range from the surfing territory of Sandy Bay to the Merthy Mawr sand dunes at Newton Beach, which has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Accessible through the nature reserve, the secluded Sker Beach is the place to relax.

  • LlantwitMajor
    Llantwit Major, Glamorgan Heritage Coast

    Ancient buildings are everywhere in one of the Vale of Glamorgan’s most beautiful villages – the first church was recorded in the settlement more than 1,500 years ago, and lush countryside, caves and sandy beaches make for glorious surroundings. St Donat’s Castle houses an Arts Centre with a year-round programme.

  • Inland from the bay, Newton is a cosy place with an 800-year-old church, St John the Baptist, and a picturesque green at its centre. Built around Clevis Rock, it plays host to fairs and flower festivals, and the ancient village pubs are welcoming stopping points for a spot of lunch.

  • NewcastleCastle
    Newcastle Castle, Glamorgan Heritage Coast

    On top of a slope with a grand view of Bridgend, Newcastle Castle is particularly notable for its amazing circular stonework. The Normans originally built it at the start of the 12th century, but Henry II is thought to have been behind a further strengthening of the fortress during the 1180s.

    More heritage attractions in Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

  • A reserve loved by the public for more than 30 years, Glamorgan’s last natural lake is the place to wander around if you fancy getting away from it all. A Fen Orchid helps encourage a diverse array of rare and endangered plants and animals – no wonder birdwatchers flock here.

    More coast and countryside attractions in Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

  • NashPoint
    Nash Point Lighthouse in Marcross, Glamorgan Coast

    Engineer James Walker designed this lighthouse to protect the coast during the mid-19th century, and it was the last manned lighthouse in Wales before being automated in 1998. Opened to the public five years ago, it’s an excellent starting point for a cliff-top walk with dramatic views.

  • Ever dreamed of meeting Lawrence of Arabia? Sequences from the 1962 classic were filmed at the historic Sand Dunes here, overlooking the River Ogmore. Two castles, a number of cottages you’ll fall in love with. The 19th century mansion Merthyr Mawr House also makes this a village well worth visiting.