Vale of Glamorgan

Vale of Glamorgan is at the coastal belt of Glamorgan in Wales, United Kingdom. "The Vale" is bounded generally by Cardiff to the East, Bridgend to the West, the M4 to the North and the Bristol Channel to the South. The rolling green countryside on the South Wales coast between the capital city of Cardiff and Bridgend is the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan. It is served by four towns, the seaside resort of Barry, fashionable Cowbridge with sophisticated shops, restaurants and cafes, historic Llantwit Major and elegant Victorian and Edwardian Penarth complete with pier as well as a handful of pretty villages including Gileston all crowned by 14 miles of glorious Glamorgan Heritage Coast. Fresh green countryside with rural and coastal beauty spots, endless breathtaking vistas, joyous walking, excellent local produce and country pubs as well as the excitement and facilities of Cardiff, a thriving waterside city.



The Vale of Glamorgan can also be called South Glamorgan. South Glamorgan was the previous name for this county (and Cardiff). At just over 130 kilometers squared, the Vale of Glamorgan is a very small county. The Vale of Glamorgan holds the most southerly point in Wales (near Rhoose) and lies just below the Valleys of the Rhondda Cynon Taff, just West of Cardiff.

Heritage Coast

The Coastline in the Western Vale is a piece of "Heritage Coast", protected for it's natural beauty and historical importance to the area. The Heritage Coast Centre can be found at Southerndown.

Get in

By car

The M4 motorway comes from London via Bristol, and goes to Carmarthen. For the Vale of Glamorgan, you can use Junction 33 for Cardiff or Junction 35 for Bridgend. The A48 runs through the centre of the Vale from Cardiff to Bridgend.

From Cardiff:

From Bridgend:

From the Rhondda Cynon Taff:

By plane

Cardiff Airport (IATA: CWL) is situated near Rhoose in the Vale of Glamorgan. There are both International and Domestic flights from Cardiff Airport.

By train

Arrival Trains Wales operate services on the Vale of Glamorgan lines. Trains towards Penarth, Barry Island (via Dinas Powys & Barry) and Bridgend (via Barry, Cardiff Airport & Llantwit Major) are available from Cardiff Central. Trains to other UK destinations are available from the close by Cardiff Central Station and Bridgend railway station.

By bus

National Express run buses to Cardiff, from which there are service buses into the Vale. National Express also stops in Bridgend. These services are usually from Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport and London Centre, usually destined for Swansea or Llanelli.

Get around

The best way to get around the 'Vale' is by car. The quiet villages have small country lanes, which means arranging public transport can be difficult. You can get round a larger part of the Vale with the car, but there are some more options:

By bus

By train

Arriva Trains Wales operate services in the Vale of Glamorgan. There are stations at:

To find train times, you can use National Rail Enquiries


The Bendricks can be found just East of Barry by following signs to "HMS Cambria", and following a road round to a small industrial estate.



There are some good walks in the Vale, many from the Valeways Scheme. As a county situated on the coast, the Wales Coastal Path runs the full length of the Glamorgan Coast, from Cardiff to Bridgend. The route then continues around Wales as a long-distance path. There is another long-distance trail in the Vale of Glamorgan, the 69 mile long Valeways Millennium Heritage Trail. This path goes to many destinations in the Vale, including Southerndown, Cowbridge, Rhoose, Barry, Cardiff, Llanharry and Colwinston. The trail runs in a circle, and is made up of mainly Bridleways. Most of its destinations are covered in this Wikivoyage article! It takes you from the sea, to near-sky heights, with some fabulous views across the Vale


Although not the most popular surfing resort in Wales, the Vale of Glamorgan hosts some great waves.


Situated on the Bristol Channel, Southerndown becomes very popular in the height of summer when the sun is out. Even when it's raining, it's still pretty busy. A sandy, RNLI Lifeguarded beach with loads of space, makes Southerndown a great place to spend time on the beach and surf on the waves on the flooding tides. Southerndown is situated on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. Other facilities on or near the beach also include public toilets and a shop.


Further West than Southerndown, is Ogmore-By-Sea, also known simply as Ogmore. Although not as popular as Southerndown, and with fewer facilities, Ogmore does sometimes have surfers, especially East of the Beach. The mouth of the river Ogmore is on this beach, although entering the water is not advised at this point

Llantwit Major

The town of Llantwit Major has an RNLI Lifeguarded beach. Sometimes popular with surfers

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, February 28, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.