This is the village of Merthyr Mawr near Bridgend. It's an
idyllic little settlement, as picturesque as they come, with an
outstanding collection of thatched cottages positioned around an
old village green.
Despite being a relatively small village, there's plenty of
interesting places to visit. The 'Dipping Bridge' was built
in the 15th century, the holes in the sides allowed farmers to push
their sheep into the River Ogmore for a seasonal dip!
Just down the lane lie the remains of Candleston Castle, once a 15th
century fortified mansion house, whilst nearby Ogmore Castle is
probably the most picturesque castle in Wales.
Just beyond the castle is one of the biggest sand dune systems in Europe. It
once stretched for miles, right around Swansea Bay and some of the
dunes are as big as small mountains. The dunes are an
important wildlife habitat and site of scientific interest, which
shelters a rich variety of plants. Parts of the Hollywood
blockbuster 'Lawrence of Arabia' were filmed here.
Every year, just before Christmas, hundreds of amateur athletes
descend on the village for the annual Christmas Pudding Run.
The race is a challenging multi-terrain, six mile run that winds
its way through the sand dune system. The route starts with
an ascent of the highest single sand dune in Europe - the fearsome
But it doesn't end there, the race then continues with even more
climbs, over rough moorland and through several streams before
eventually the runners get to the finish line.
And the prize for completing this gruelling course……a Christmas pudding of
Continuing to build on the success of hosting the 2010
Ryder Cup, the Celtic Manor Resort near Newport will find itself
back in the golfing spotlight this week as it hosts the 2014 Wales
First held in 2000 the tournament is now firmly established on the
European Tour and attracts some of the biggest names in golf.
This year's competitors include Lee Westwood, Jamie Donaldson and
More information is available on the website
Event - Seniors Open Golf
Location - Royal Porthcawl Golf Club
Date - 24-27 July 2014
For more information visit the website
The biggest sporting event of the year in South East
Wales is rapidly approaching. Golf's senior British Open is
coming to the Royal Porthcawl golf course, meaning that Wales is
set to host a major championship for the first time.
Some of the sport's legendary figures are due to take part
including Bernhard Langer, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam
and Colin Montgomerie. They'll all be competing to follow in
the footsteps of 2013 champion, Mark Wiebe, and claim first prize
in what promises to be an exciting weekend of top golf
For more information on the tournament, including how to secure
tickets, please visit the website.
Event - Bridgend Mash Up 2014
Location - Bridgend Town Centre
Date - 17 May 2014
Further Details - www.thebridgendmash.com
The Mash Up essentially mixes (or "mashes") traditional athletics
in the streets with contemporary urban street culture. There
are some things that you would expect in a town centre (such as
skateboarding, parkour, street dance and even BMX) and there are
other things that you would not - pole vaulting, high jump
competitions, street sprinting.
'The Mash' is a collision between the contemporary and the
traditional, between watching and doing. It's urban, it's sporty
Take a look at what happened in previous a Mash Up
Event - FIM British Speedway GP
Location - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Date -1st June 2013
Millennium Stadium Website
Grand Prix Website
The Millennium Stadium will once again come alive to the roar of
motorbike engines as the FIM British Speedway GP races into the
The world's top riders including the UK's own Tai Woffinden will
fight it out to be number one in this exciting, adrenaline fuelled
event for the whole family.
For those that have never been to speedway the rules are simple.
Four riders keep turning left over four laps of an oval track with
each race lasting less than a minute.
Seems simple enough. Except that the riders race 500cc, single
geared machines with no breaks!
Hold on tight
Event - Speedy Services
Wales Senior Open
Location - Porthcawl
Date - 14 - 16 June 2013
The Speedy Services Wales Senior Open will move
to a new date on the European Senior Tour schedule, when it returns
to Royal Porthcawl Golf Club from June 14 - 16, 2013 for the first
time since 2010.
Englishman Barry Lane captured the 2012 title when the event was
played at Conwy (Caernarvonshire) Golf Club on the August Bank
Holiday weekend, with the former Ryder Cup player holding off the
challenge of compatriot Philip Golding.
Royal Porthcawl had previously hosted the event in 2009 and 2010,
before the tournament returned to the Senior Tour schedule this
season after a year's absence with Speedy Services as the new title
The new June date - with the final round due to be played on
Father's Day - marks the 12th edition of the Speedy Services Wales
Senior Open, which was first played in 2001.
Royal Porthcawl welcomes the tournament as a precursor to hosting
The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex in 2014 - the first
Major Championship to be played in Wales - with both events part of
The Ryder Cup legacy following the staging of golf's premier team
competition at The Celtic Manor Resort in 2010.
The Speedy Services Wales Senior Open will once again have a prize
fund of £250,000, and is expected to attract some of the leading
Senior Tour players. Previous champions have included Bill Longmuir
(2003), Carl Mason (2005, 2007), José Rivero (2006), Peter Mitchell
(2008) and John Bland (2010).
It's that time of year again.
The eyes of Wales will this weekend be focused on Cardiff as the
Six Nations rugby tournament kicks off.
Wales will be looking to repeat their heroics of last year when
they won all five of their games to secure their 3rd
Grand Slam in seven years.
There'll be a tremendous atmosphere up and down Wales as the
country comes to a stop to watch the game and the streets of
Cardiff will be full of rugby fans enjoying the city's legendary
match day atmosphere. There is nowhere in the world better to
be than Cardiff on the day of a big match.
Wales' fixtures in this year's championship are below:
Saturday 2 February - Wales v Ireland, Millennium
Saturday 9 February - France v Wales, Stade de France,
Saturday 23 February - Italy v Wales, Stadio Olympico, Rome
Saturday 9 March - Scotland v Wales, Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Saturday 16 March - Wales v England, Millennium Stadium,
There is now less than a week to go until the
Cardiff Olympics kick off. (Okay, I know they're really the
London Olympics but as the first action is here we'll claim them as
The action starts at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday 25 July
with a game of women's football between Britain and New Zealand
followed straight after by Cameroon taking on Brazil. There's
action on the pitch throughout the games with a further 9 games set
to take place.
But it's not just at the Millennium Stadium where you can get in
the Olympic spirit with other events taking place throughout the
city to celebrate the occasion.
London 2012 Olympic Festival
21 June - 9 September 2012
Cardiff joins other cities in a 12-week London 2012 Olympic
Festival programme which will run from 21 June to 9 September.
Various events, activities and performances will be held throughout
the city at venues such as Wales Millennium Centre, St Fagans:
National History Museum, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama,
among others. For more information, please go to the
Website and use the search facility for find an
event nearest to you.
Painting the Flame
The Cardiff Story
24 June - 28 July 2012
The 'Painting the Flame' Exhibtion will include new
portraits of Welsh Olympians and Paralympians
Following the Flame Exhibition
Sport Wales National
17 July - 10 August 2012
A major new exhibiition, Following The Flame is part of the Wales
wide project - Power of the Flame - funded by Legacy Trust UK,
creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and
Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire
creativity across the UK. The exhibition will take place between
17th July and 10th August.
Wales Millennium Centre
20 - 21 July 2012
Wales Millennium Centre and Valleys Kids are pleased
to present Torchbearers, a rollercoaster epic saga told by the
people of the South African townships and the South Wales valleys
in a cross-cultural performance mixing drama, music, circus and
It tells the story of a young Welsh actor and an African dancer
who in 1964 are given the chance of living the dream when they win
parts in the film Zulu. As the two young people are drawn closer to
each other they find themselves falling in love, but their lives
are ripped apart by the apartheid system and they never see each
other again until fate plays its hand forty years later.
Event - Tour of Britain, Stage 6, Welshpool to
Location - Caerphilly
Date - 14 September 2012
With the Tour de France currently winding its way through the
French countryside, it's probably a good time to look ahead to our
version of it.
The Tour of Britain is run over 8 stages between 9 - 16 September,
but it is stage 6 that is of most interest to us.
Friday 14 September sees the riders tackle the route from
Welshpool to Caerphilly. The same stage last year was won by
then world champion Thor Hushovd of Norway. One significant
difference to last year's route is that the riders will undertake
two climbs of the fearsome Caerphilly mountain in the closing
stages as opposed to just the once last year. After the
second climb the route takes the riders back into town for the
finish in the shadows of the castle.
Event - FIM British Speedway Grand
Location - Millennium Stadium
Date - 25 August 2012
Now a fixture on Cardiff's enviable list of major sporting events,
the FIM British Speedway Grand Prix returns to the capital this
summer. Held at the Millennium Stadium since 2001 the Grand
Prix sees some of the world's best speedway riders go head to
Marvel as four riders at a time, tear around the stadium's 278
meter long track four times aiming to be the one to cross the line
first. What's all the more surprising (for speedway novices
like me) is that these bikes only have one gear and more alarmingly
no brakes. Hold on tight!!!