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Archive for tag: bridgend

Celtic Festival of Wales

Event - Cwlwm Celtaidd, Wales' Interceltic Festival
Location - Porthcawl
Date - 27 February - 1 March 2015

Website

It's almost that time of year again when the seaside resort of Porthcawl reverberates to the sound of some great Celtic music.  It's time for the annual Cwlwm Celtaidd, Wales' Interceltic Festival.

Singers, dancers and musicians from Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany, the Isle of Man and of course Wales descend on the seaside resort of Porthcawl and its Grand Pavilion for three days of concerts, performances and sessions. 

Although the pavilion is the base for the weekend's festivities, the whole town gets into the Celtic spirit with events happening throughout the resort.

To find out more, including which artisits are appearing and the programme for the weekend, please visit the website.

Bridgend in 2015

As well as its spectacular scenery, dramatic coastline, sandy beaches and world class golf, Bridgend is home to many events throughout the year - some quirkier than others. 

And 2015 promises to be no different, with plenty on offer to keep you entertained.

Here's a taste of what's coming up:

March - Cwlwm Celtaidd

A family festival of music, song & dance of the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Cornwall, Brittany & Wales, with a packed programme of concerts, dances, workshops, street dance displays in the Town Centre and on the Esplanade on Saturday, our legendary sessions in the bar and Beach Ceilidh on Sunday.

April - Porthcawl Jazz Festival

One of the biggest Jazz Festivals in Wales returns to Porthcawl  this spring.  The Porthcawl Jazz Festival always attracts some star names and previous performers include Buddy Greco, Jacqui Dankworth and Digby Fairweather.  Numerous events will take place at a variety of locations throughout the weekend as well as the headline acts at the town's Grand Pavilion every evening.

October - Feastival, Wales' Alternative Food Festival
For two days Bridgend town centre will be alive with the sights, sounds, scents - and of course tastes - of some of the very best Welsh and local food and drink.  More than 40 exhibitors will be taking part offering a wide range of mouthwatering treats to try and buy, while the entertainment promises to amuse and surprise!

October - Porthcawl Elvis Festival

Every September thousands of Elvis fans descend on the Welsh seaside town of Porthcawl for a unique celebration of The King.The feature events take place in the magnificent Grand Pavilion, whilst the nearby Hi Tide Inn hosts over 100 shows during the weekend, many with free admission.  There are also over 20 venues around the town hosting events as part of the fringe festival.

December - Elf World Record Attempt

Bridgend's famous annual Elf-steddfod, taking place each December! Hundreds of Santa's little helpers gather in the town centre in an attempt to break the World Record for most elves gathered in one place.

For a full list of events happening in Southern Wales please visit our website

The Elf-steddfod is Back

The Bridgend Elfsteddfod is back.

Back in 2010, the town of Bridgend took on mighty New York in the battle of the Elves. The Big Apple held the record for the most elves gathered together in one place.  Bridgend decided to take on the challenge and ended up smashing the world record with 794 elves gathering in the town centre.

Every year since then
, Bridgend has successfully topped their record with more and more elves coming to the town to be part of history and the current record, set last year, stands at 1500.

Not one to rest on their laurels, the town is looking yet again to break its own record.

This Saturday, 13th December, people are being invited to gather in the town for a day of festivities which will culminate in the Elf World Record attempt. To take part, just turn up in a red or green jumper and collect one of the official elf hats that will be provided.

Who knows, you might end the day as a World Record Holder.

The Christmas Pudding Run

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 Big Dipper. 

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 course!

Meet the Ancient Keepers of Bryngarw

Bryngarw KeeperIn the tranquil surroundings of the Bridgend's Garw Valley, lies the beautiful Bryngarw Country Park.

113 acres stunning parkland to explore, including native woodlands, formal gardens and secluded glades.

And lurking amongst the flora and fauna are the Ancient Keepers of Bryngarw - four mythical guardians of the park's woodlands, meadows, gardens and river.  Awaken the keepers with your special 'talisman' (available from the visitor centre) and hear the stories, myths and legends of this mysterious area.

For more information on Bryngarw Park visit the website

GTOA All Set for Southern Wales

Caerphilly CastleA busy weekend is in store for us as welcome the Group Travel Organisers Association Western Branch to the region for a familiarisation visit.

The group, who are in Cardiff for their AGM, will also take time to visit some of the area's best attractions and sample some legendary Welsh hospitality.

The tour will kick off with a visit to Llancaiach Fawr, a 17th century manor house near Caerphilly, which takes you back in time to see how the servants worked and lived during the civil war.

Back in the present day, and the group will then head for Wales' only distillery at Penderyn in at the top of the Rhondda Valley.

From there they head to the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet near Bridgend, to browse (and spend) in some of the centre's 90 designer and big name stores.

Dinner at Llanerch Vineyard will round off the day in a relaxing manor.

The following day, the group will head for the St Fagans National History Museum and enjoy a trip aboard the Cardiff Bay Road Train.  Whilst in the Bay, they'll also visit the Norwegian Church and the Senedd.

The weekend will then be rounded off in unforgettable style with a sumptuous feast at Cardiff Castle's famous Welsh Banquets.

The group will be guided by Steve Griffin from Griffin Guiding.

We hope the GTO's have a great time and that they will be inspired to return with their groups in the not too distant future.

A Taste of Wales

This weekend sees Wales' biggest and best food festival come to Abergavenny.

The historic market town, which has a great reputation amongst foodies will be full of stands, stalls and exhibitors giving visitors, quite literally a taste, of Wales. 

Complementing the stalls are a variety of masterclasses, tastings and talks whilst there is plenty to keep the kids happy with workshops, story telling and live music.

Don't worry if you can't make it to Abergavenny, there are two more great food festivals coming up over the next few weeks. 

Look our for the Bridgend Food Feastival (26-27 September) and the Newport Food Festival (4 October)

Elvis Comes to Porthcawl

Event - Porthcawl Elvis Festival
Location - Porthcawl
Date - 26 - 28 September 2014
Website


On the face of it Porthcawl seems to be a typical British seaside resort.  Just 30 minutes from Cardiff, the town has everything you would expect - sandy beaches, a fairground, seafront Grand Pavilion and of course fish and chip shops.

Every September, the otherwise tranquil town comes alive as the unlikely venue for one of the world's biggest and best Elvis Presley festivals.

The Porthcawl Elvis Festival sees the town swamped with fans, lookalikes and tribute acts all enjoying the atmosphere and the various concerts and events throughout the area.

The festival is centred on the historic Grand Pavilion, a traditional sea front theatre which is host to the main concerts but the whole town gets in on the act with various events happening throughout the resort all weekend.

The highlight of the weekend is the big Elvies award ceremony where the best Elvis impersonators are rewarded for their work.

What's Your Perfect Day?

It's all very well me writing this blog and telling you about all about the wonderful things you can do in and around Bridgend and Porthcawl.  After all that's my job.  But what do locals love about their area?

Well, our friends at BridgendBites have invited people to film their "Perfect Day" videos.

And what a range of videos they've come up with - golf, shopping, horse riding, mountain biking, quad biking, surfing.  Even fashion designer David Emanuel has got in on the act, reminiscing about how he spent his "Perfect Day" growing up in the area.

So take a look at all the videos by clicking here and let us know what would make your "Perfect Day"

Seniors Get in the Swing

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 almost upon us.  Golf's senior British Open gets underway at the Royal Porthcawl golf course next Thursday.  It will be the first time that Wales hosts a major championship.

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 action.

For more information on the tournament, including how to secure tickets, please visit the website.