If you’re looking for a quintessential Welsh seaside experience, look no further than Barry Beach in the picturesque Vale of Glamorgan.
Sun worshippers have been flocking here since Victorian times to what is essentially a small island, though joined now to the mainland since 1896 by a small pier. The site of a Butlins holiday camp during the 1960’s, Barry Beach is perfect for families, with its signature calling card being Barry Island Pleasure Park. Come here for crowds, candy floss and sticks of rock, the scream of the rollercoaster and the thump of the dodgems.
When the fun of the fair has worn you out, the Blue Flag winning Barry Island Beach offers great swimming, a range of seaside shops, delicious fish and chips, more ice cream than you can eat in a month of sundaes and wonderful views of the two craggy limestone headlands.
Barry Island Beach is the generic name for what are actually several distinct coves: Whitmore Bay, which lies between the two peninsulas of Friar’s Point and Nell’s Point; Jackson Bay, nestling between Nell's Point and Little Island; and Old Harbour beach around Friar's Point is the third destination, offering a massive expanse of sand at low tide.
Sporting activities enjoyed here include beach volleyball, snorkelling, windsurfing, sea-kayaking and some rather good fishing. Anglers catch whiting and even the odd sea bass when conditions are right here. In recent years, several TV shows have helped popularise this dramatic coastal area, in particular, the comedy show Gavin and Stacey.