Sometimes known as “The Garden by the Sea”, Penarth is a seaside resort in the Vale of Glamorgan just five miles from the Welsh capital of Cardiff.
The town overlooks the Bristol Channel, and attracts flocks of visitors with its old Victorian charm, picturesque pier and lush parks.
Consisting of an elegant Victorian and Edwardian centre uphill from an esplanade and pebble beach, Penarth is a relaxed place with a great mix of attractions, from enticing shopping and dining to open spaces, cliff-top walks, boat trips and the call of the surrounding Glamorgan countryside.
Penarth has an appealing centre focused on two main streets — Windsor Road and Stanwell Road — plus a Victorian shopping arcade and pretty clock tower roundabout. Both roads, and their interconnecting streets, serve up a satisfying variety of shops, from boutiques and stylish homeware and gift outlets to jewellers and surf and sports stores, so there’s something to please every retail hound.
When your shopping’s done, you’ll find tearooms and cafés to relax in, and numerous dining spots to enjoy. A trip along the esplanade reveals a crop of modern eateries serving delectable fresh Welsh food with a contemporary twist; some of them command wonderful views of the pier and Bristol Channel.
You’ll also find a clutch of brasseries, gastro pubs and steakhouses overlooking the yachts at Penarth Marina, and French, Indian or Italian restaurants in the town centre proper. On the pub and bar front, meanwhile, you’ll discover cosy real ale spots, traditional inns and modern bars perfect for lively evenings out or nightcaps after dinner.
Noted for its gardens and pretty pier, Penarth is great for taking things easy. If you’re looking for tranquillity, you’ll enjoy the pretty flower gardens of Alexandra Park and the Windsor Gardens, or a walk along Penarth Pier to drink in the seascapes. From time to time in the summer, you can even take paddle steamer cruises from the pier.
Other attractions abound, too. You can admire the yachts and views from Penarth Marina, play a round at the town’s two golf courses — the Dinas Powys Golf Club or the Glamorganshire Golf Club — or potter around the arty photo exhibitions at Ffotogallery at Turner House. History lovers, meanwhile, will want to visit St Augustine’s Church, Penarth’s fine hilltop Victorian church, or trace the town’s heritage trail to see other noteworthy buildings.
There’s much to lure you out of Penarth. Nature buffs will love nearby Cosmeston Lakes Country Park with its footpaths, lakes and woodlands rich in bird life, while families and history enthusiasts will appreciate the park’s fascinating Cosmeston Medieval Village, a reconstructed 14th Century village that captures the essence of bygone rural life.