Leaving Cardiff and heading west towards Swansea takes the traveller through the Vale of Glamorgan and through or past towns such as Penarth, Barry, Cowbridge, Bridgend and Port Talbot. This is generally a rural area and quite picturesque for most of the journey. The largest vineyard in Wales is situated here at Hensol. Llanerch Vineyard offer tours and accommodation and can be contacted on 01443 225877.
Penarth, vitually a suburb of Cardiff and will be more so when the Cardiff Bay Barrage joins the two together, is small Victorian coastal town. The pier and seafront walkway, The Esplanade have been renovated recently and are very pleasant places to visit. Views, as far upstream as The Severn Bridges and across to The West of England are to be had on a clear day.
Barry, like Cardiff had a thriving docks during the coal exporting days but these too are nowhere near as busy these days. Chief industries now are two large chemical companies whilst tourism is probably the chief revenue provider. Barry Island is the centre for this tourism where a fun fair has operated for many years. The sandy bay was a mecca for miners from the valleys and workers from The Midlands during the days of British holidays in the 50's and 60's. Now, it can still be a very busy resort during the summer months.
Further west the Glamorganshire coastline is a mix of sandy and pebble beaches, high cliffs and picturesque villages. Some of these beaches are not well known and can offer spectacular views and plenty of space for the visitor. See the beach pictures page. The Merthyr Mawr sand dunes below lead down to the coastline.
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