Porthcawl is a bustling seaside resort on the South Coast of Wales, with all the best traditions that we know and love — a promenade, safe sandy beaches fringed by rocks, craggy cliffs, waves for surfing and the Coney Beach Amusement Park for all the fun of the fair. There is a nature reserve, a museum and a ruined castle too.
Once you arrive, it is hard to imagine that you are only 20 miles from the city of Swansea or 30 miles from Cardiff. This is another advantage of a trip to Porthcawl — it is so easy to get to, just 10 minutes off the M4, with reasonable public transport access too.
In the days when mining in the Welsh valleys dominated the region, Porthcawl harbour was used to export coal but that industrial past is no longer in evidence. Tourism is its trade now.
Before the closure of so many of the coal pits, Porthcawl was once the favoured place for miners and their families on their annual two-week break in the summer, but even that is a piece of history now. Porthcawl is simply an all-round great resort for anyone who enjoys a traditional seaside holiday.
While families, above all, enjoy Porthcawl, the town hosts a number of festivals that attract a wider range of visitors. Each September, for example, there is the Elvis Festival — the largest in Europe, with Elvis lookalikes and tribute artists from all over the world congregating on the promenade. There is also a jazz festival, and Surf Cult too, so pick your time carefully, depending on your interests.
Available in a range of star ratings, there is plenty of holiday accommodation in Porthcawl, so your requirements will be satisfied no matter what you are able to spend.
There is a variety of hotels, both large and small. One iconic building stands right on the seafront with spectacular sea views from many of the 89 bedrooms. Another is associated with the local golf course and has a newly built orangery where you can dine in style. Otherwise, there are many guesthouses, inns and B&B accommodation throughout the town.
As far as self-catering goes, the east side of Porthcawl has a huge holiday park with caravans and a leisure complex. Elsewhere, there is a selection of holiday apartments and cottages to let.
There is no shortage of places to eat out - fish bars, brasseries, carveries, Indian, tapas, ice-cream parlours, cafés, pubs and hotel restaurants.
John Street is the retail centre of town, where there are quirky craft shops as well as regular stores for your everyday needs. Around Castle Hill it is surfers' shopping heaven. For bulk food purchases, it is only a short hop by car to Bridgend.