Sites in Vale of Glamorgan




Ogmore Castle Stout Bay St Quintin's Castle Southerndown Beach
Vale of Glamorgan, the southernmost county in Wales, extends from the west side of Cardiff to just east of Bridgend, and includes a scenic, 30 mile stretch of coastline, between Penarth and Ogmore-by-Sea; all the area is south of the M4. Adjacent counties, all to the north, are Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Cardiff. Most of the land is fairly flat, or gently undulating, crossed by little rivers, which often form shallow, steep-sided valleys. There are some low ranges of hills, and patches of woodland, but all the best landscapes are along the coast.

The most visited section of the coastline is around Barry, site of a large holiday park, facing Whitmore Bay. The stretch to the east, extending to Cardiff, is also quite developed, but to the west the coast becomes steadily more rural, and more photogenic. The best section is around Southerndown, centred on Dunraven Bay, but there are plenty of lesser known locations. The coast is characterised by golden sand beaches backed by thin-layered limestone cliffs, also rich yellow/brown in colour - unlike the usual greys of other cliffs along the Bristol Channel - alternating with pebble beaches and rocky patches where the level or slightly inclined strata are eroded to form parallel or curving ridges, flat terraces and other photogenic shapes. The most spectacular part (14 miles), from Porthcawl in the west to Aberthaw in the east, is recognised as the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

Vale of Glamorgan is noted for its unusually large number of castles or castellated mansions, for a relatively small area; also of interest are two burial chambers (St Lythans and Tinkinswood), and the monastic church of Ewenny Priory.



Castles

, including manors

Barry Castle
Barry Castle
Limited remains of a fortified mansion in a residential suburb of Barry; a hall and a two story gatehouse

Rating: ★★★★

Boverton Place - substantial ruins of a large country house, built in the late 16th century

East Orchard Castle
East Orchard Castle
Overgrown remains of a sizeable mansion from the 14th century, including a barn, chapel, dovecote and hall

Rating: ★★★★★

Fonmon Castle - 12th century castle, renovated and altered in the 18th century, surrounded by gardens, and still occupied. Tours available

Ogmore Castle
Ogmore Castle
Small but pretty castle remains in a peaceful, rural location beside the River Ewenny

Rating: ★★★★★
Old Beaupre Castle
Old Beaupre Castle
Ruins of a large medieval mansion near the River Thaw; nearly complete, with fine carving and masonry

Rating: ★★★★★
Penmark Castle
Penmark Castle
Partial, overgrown ruins of a 13th century castle, including walls and a two-storey tower, overlooking the River Waycock

Rating: ★★★★
St Quintin's Castle
St Quintin's Castle
Substantial, twin-towered gatehouse, curtain wall remnants and tower foundations, mostly built in the early 14th century. Also known as Llanblethian Castle

Rating: ★★★★★

Churches



Ewenny Priory
Ewenny Priory
Parish church occupying part of a 12th century abbey, with a partly ruined fortified exterior

Rating: ★★★★★

Landscapes



Aberthaw to Stout Bay
Aberthaw to Stout Bay
Cliffs, terraces and pebble beaches along the easternmost three mile portion of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast

Rating: ★★★★★
Dunraven Bay
Dunraven Bay
Cliffs, beaches and eroded rock formations along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast near Southerndown, plus gardens, a ruined mansion and a waterfall

Rating: ★★★★★
Nash Point to Stout Bay
Nash Point to Stout Bay
Varied, little-visited, four-mile section of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, with layered, vertical cliffs of blue lias above extensive wave-cut terraces

Rating: ★★★★
Ogmore-by-Sea
Ogmore-by-Sea
Wide sandy beach giving way to sheer limestone cliffs with caves, terraces and other eroded formations

Rating: ★★★★
Sully Island to Lavernock Point
Sully Island to Lavernock Point
Headland, layered cliffs, level terraces, sand and pebble beaches, and an undeveloped tidal island

Rating: ★★★★★


Map of Featured Vale of Glamorgan Locations