Bridgend

Bridgend (Welsh: Penybont ar Ogwr) is a town in Glamorgan, South Wales. It is the principal town of the County Borough of Bridgend and has a population of around 40,000 people.

Bridgend has developed from a small, vibrant market town to a major regional industrial and service centre. Bridgend's position roughly equidistant between Cardiff and Swansea has made it a popular dormitory settlement for commuters to both cities.

Bridgend is perhaps most famously home to a Ford Motor Company engine plant, one of the area's biggest employers, but has also in the past had a significant presence by Japanese electronics giant Sony.

Get in

By plane

Cardiff Airport is located some 15 miles to the south east of the town. An hourly train service runs from nearby Rhoose to Bridgend and is served by a shuttle bus from the airport terminal. Buses also run to Cardiff where you can make a simple connection to Bridgend either by train or by bus.

Bristol Airport which serves a greater number of destinations than Cardiff Airport is located a further 30–40 miles east.

You are most likely to fly into the United Kingdom at either Heathrow Airport or Gatwick Airport, both located in and around London. In this case it is probably best to make a public transport connection to Wales at one of the major terminuses in London itself.

By train

There is one major train station in the town. Bridgend Railway Station is located within a 3 minute walk of the town centre itself. A taxi rank and a bus stop are located outside. The station is fully staffed and has ticket sale facilities, refreshments and toilets. Entry is controlled by ticket barriers so you will require a ticket to enter/exit the platforms.

(Important Note : The current footbridge at Bridgend Railway station is a listed building and as such hasn't been upgraded to the statutory requirements for disabled users. To access platform 2 for Cardiff and London bound trains, disabled users are required to use an intercom located on a secured gate on the side of platform 2 to notify staff.)

Bridgend is a scheduled stop on the First Great Western service from London Paddington to Swansea. This is an hourly service.

All other services are run by Arriva Trains Wales. These services connect Bridgend to Cardiff, Barry, Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Manchester, Birmingham and Western England. There is also an hourly service to the nearby town of Maesteg.

The other station in the town is Wildmill, an unstaffed station serving the districts in the north of the town. It is a scheduled stop on the hourly service between Maesteg and Cheltenham.

By car

Bridgend is best accessed by car from Junctions 35 and 36 of the M4 motorway running from London to Carmarthenshire.

There are numerous pay-and-display car parks in the town centre and free ample parking at the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet about 2 miles from the town centre at Junction 36 of the M4.

By bus

Bridgend has a 11-bay Bus Station located in the centre of town. Buses are primarily run by First Group but there are also services by Stagecoach and Veolia. These services mainly serve the towns and villages around Bridgend.

Some services of note however are:

X1 Bridgend-Swansea - running via Pyle and Port Talbot.

X2 Porthcawl-Cardiff - running from Porthcawl to Cardiff via Bridgend and Cowbridge.

224 Bridgend-Pontypridd- running via Pencoed, Llanharan and Talbot Green.

The pick up/drop off point for National Express long-distance services, is at the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet near the Odeon cinema. This is located about 2 miles from the town centre, which can be easily reached by connecting local bus services.

Get around

By foot

Bridgend has a compact town centre and can easily be walked around in 15 minutes. The town centre is pedestrianised and between 10AM and 6PM is vehicle free.

There are numerous public footpaths linking to areas in and around Bridgend like Merthyr Mawr, Ogmore, Penyfai and Coychurch.

By cycle

Bridgend is linked to the National Cycle Network (Celtic Trail) by a signposted, mostly segregated cycle lane from the town centre (near the Brewery Field) to Tondu.

There is also a segregated cycle path running east-west from the suburb of Brackla to the village of Laleston with a connection to the Bryntirion area of town.

The vast bulk of the roads in Bridgend are safe to cycle on, with extra care required at the larger roundabouts.

By taxi

There are several taxi companies serving Bridgend, including but not limited to:

See

Do

Sport

Afan Forest Park. The network of mountain trails is considered to be among the best in Western Europe. The park is in the Afan Valley around 12 miles north of Bridgend and 5 miles north of Maesteg. Many of the trails are described as being only suitable for experienced or expert mountain bikers.

Entertainment

Buy

Cardiff and Swansea are home to the bigger brand names/department stores.

Eat

Restaurants & Bistros

There are no distinctly "upmarket" restaurants in the town, and you can expect to pay between £15-30 for a three-course meal.

Takeaways

Most takeaways are clustered around Wyndham Street and Nolton Street in the town centre.

Cheese and Chips seems to be something of a local post-alcohol delicacy.

Cafes

Chain Restaurants

McArthur Glen Designer Outlet has a food court home to McDonalds, Starbucks, Harry Ramsdens, Pizza Hut, KFC, Sidoli's Ice Cream and Fat Jacket's.

There is a second McDonald's and a second KFC at Bridgend Retail Park to the south of the town.

Drink

Bridgend town centre is an alcohol exclusion zone meaning alcohol drinking is restricted to pubs, clubs and other licenced premises. Police have the power to confiscate alcohol from and issue fines to persons drinking alcohol outside the designated areas.

Public Houses

Nightclubs

Sleep

Budget

There are numerous bed and breakfasts/guest houses scattered around the town.

Mid-range

Camping & Caravan

Stay safe

Bridgend is a relatively safe town by Welsh and UK standards. Care should be taken when in the town centre at night as alcohol related violence is a fairly common sight. Pickpockets have been known to target shoppers, especially the elderly in Bridgend town centre.

Respect

Bridgend recently come under the spotlight of the media due to a cluster of suicides among young adults in the area. The vast bulk of suicides took place, not in the town itself, but in the county which also shares the name Bridgend and has a population of over 130,000. Although the number of suicides was high, and unusual, the figures didn't vary wildly from the average for an area this size. Many in the town felt that Bridgend had been misrepresented and that media outlets were exacerbating the situation. It will almost certainly be considered rude to bring up the suicides in casual conversation as an outsider, especially if it's done in a derisory manner.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 17, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.