Find the nearest See & Do in Vale of Glamorgan
Heading to Vale of Glamorgan and looking for something to do or a place to visit nearby. Coast Radar is not just a list of beaches but we bring you the whole Vale of Glamorgan coast including castles, lighthouses, piers, museums, beautiful gardens, seaside towns, National Trust and other heritage properties.
When on an information page you can also use our tools to search for nearby Vale of Glamorgan seaside towns, and the surrounding coast for the best beaches and places to stay and eat.
Finding the best things to see and do on a Vale of Glamorgan day out with your family or friends is easy – simply explore the links below, to find the closest hit the jump to my location compass or use the search bar to plan where your next Vale of Glamorgan activity could be.
- Penarth Pier is one of the last remaining Victorian piers in Wales. The pier opened in February 1895 and the original structure was of cast iron with a timber deck. A wooden pavilion was added to the pier-head in 1907. In the 1920s the pier had enhancements of a reinforced concrete landing stage and an art deco pavilion. On August Bank Holiday Monday 1931 a fire destroyed the pier and the wooden pavilion was not replaced.
- Dyffryn Gardens are located near the villages of Dyffryn and St Nicholas in the Vale of Glamorgan. They are a collection of botanical gardens run by the National Trust and were recently selected as one of the top 100 gardens in the United Kingdom. The gardens, forming part of the Dyffryn Estate, are a really good example of Edwardian garden design. From Easter 2013, you will also be able to visit parts of Dyffryn House as well as the gardens. A visitor attraction all year round, Dyffryn Gardens is split into three areas: the arboretum, the Garden Rooms and Dyffryn House. There is a charge for entry, with a gift shop and tea room housed in the admissions building.
- Two circular towers were built each with massive walls and a stone gallery. The eastern, or high lighthouse being 37 metres high and the western or low lighthouse 25 metres high. Placed 302 metres apart they provided leading lights to indicate safe passage past the sandbanks. The high light was painted with black and white stripes and the low light was white. In those days both towers showed a fixed light which was either red or white depending on the direction from which a vessel approached. The red sector marked the Nash Sands. The low light was abandoned early this century and the high light was modernised and painted white. In place of the fixed light a new first order catastrophic lens was installed which gives a white and red group flashing. Nash is one of those lighthouses scattered around our coast that has no claim to fame. For over 160 years its light has done its job as a sign to mariners to keep them clear of danger, its sole distinction is the discovery in 1977 of the tuberous thistle (Cirsium Tuberosum), a rare plant, which was found growing around the lighthouse. Lighthouse has a visitor centre although opening times are restricted.
- Cosmeston Lakes Country Park is a country park open to the public located between Penarth and Sully in the Vale of Glamorgan. Enjoy nearly 250 acres of Lakeland, woodland and lovely country walks. Right at the centre of the Park is a large lake which is used for many water sports and is a good place to watch the bird-life. You can also visit Cosmeston Medieval Village, one of the best of its kind in the country. The park is open all year and has free entry. There is a visitor centre attached to the Park which is open during the summer months only.
- Porthkerry Country Park is located on the western side of Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan. The park consists of 220 acres of extensive woodland and meadowland in a sheltered valley and is rich in wildlife. Here you can find way-marked nature trails, picnic sites, a barbecue area and a 12-hole golf course. The Park is open all year round and has 2 car parks (charge applies in summer). Horse riding is available for permit holders along the main roads within the park and a designated route around the meadow.
- The Welsh Hawking Centre in Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan is where you can get up close to over 200 birds of prey. It enjoys a lovely location, situated in 20 acres of scenic parkland. A great day out for all the family, the Welsh Hawking Centre puts on daily displays of the magnificent birds in action. From falcons to owls, they’re all here. The centre is open throughout the year and is open every day except Tuesday.
- The Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre at Dunraven Park in Southerndown is where you can find out anything you want to know about the Glamorgan coastline. The centre contains a small shop and facilities and is a mine of information relating to the Heritage Coast. From the centre, you can access nearly 14 miles of the coastline, following limestone cliff and both rocky and sandy beaches. A great introduction to the Vale of Glamorgan! If you’re in the area, why not visit Dunraven Castle which is just around the bay
- Atlantic College was one of the first nine inshore lifeboat stations to be established by the RNLI. Experimental work on the development of fast inshore rescue boats was carried out here and it was also the first station to have a female helmsman.
- Fonmon Castle is medieval castle near the village of Fonmon in the Vale of Glamorgan. It was built around 1200 by the St John family and has only changed hands once. The castle is still a family home but has many areas open to the public including the hall, the drawing room, the library, the kitchen and the gardens. Visit the castle from April to September; access to the gardens and grounds is free and there is small charge to visit the house. You can also hire out parts of the castle for events and it is a licensed venue for weddings.
- The Amelia Trust Farm is set in beautiful countryside near Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan. A working farm, it was established to support and educate disadvantaged young people. Here they can learn new skills and develop potential through the skilled staff on hand. The farm is open all year round and people are encouraged to visit and to find out more about what the Amelia Trust does. There is no charge for visiting or parking at the farm, but most people leave a small donation, for more details see www.ameliatrust.org.uk