BridgendWelsh: Penybont ar Ogwr) is a town in Glamorgan, South Wales. It is the principal town of the County Borough of Bridgend and has a population of around 40,000 people.
Bridgend has developed from a small, vibrant market town to a major regional industrial and service centre. Bridgend's position roughly equidistant between Cardiff and Swansea has made it a popular dormitory settlement for commuters to both cities.
Bridgend is perhaps most famously home to a Ford Motor Company engine plant, one of the area's biggest employers, but has also in the past had a significant presence by Japanese electronics giant Sony.
Cardiff Airport (CWL) is some 15 miles (25 km) to the south east of the town. An hourly train service runs from nearby Rhoose to Bridgend and is served by a shuttle bus from the airport terminal. Buses also run to Cardiff where you can make a simple connection to Bridgend either by train or by bus.
Bristol Airport (BRS) which serves a greater number of destinations than Cardiff Airport is located a further 30–40 miles east.
You are most likely to fly into the United Kingdom at either Heathrow Airport (LHR) or Gatwick Airport (LGW), both located in and around London. In this case it is probably best to make a public transport connection to Wales at one of the major terminuses in London itself.
There is one major train station in the town. Bridgend railway station is within a 3-minute walk of the town centre. A taxi rank and a bus stop are outside. The station is fully staffed and has ticket sale facilities, refreshments and toilets. Entry is controlled by ticket barriers so you will require a ticket to enter/exit the platforms.
The footbridge at Bridgend railway station is a listed building and hasn't been upgraded to the statutory requirements for travellers with disabilities. To access platform 2 for Cardiff and London bound trains, use the other footbridge on platform 1 which has lifts on either end
Bridgend is a scheduled stop on the GWR service from London Paddington to Swansea. This is an hourly service.
All other services are run by TFW . These services connect Bridgend to Cardiff, Barry, Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Manchester, Birmingham and Western England. There is also an hourly service to the nearby town of Maesteg.
The other station in the town is Wildmill, an unstaffed station serving the districts in the north of the town. It is a scheduled stop on the hourly service between Maesteg and Cheltenham.
Bridgend is best accessed by car from Junctions 35 and 36 of the M4 motorway running from London to Carmarthenshire.
There are numerous pay-and-display car parks in the town centre and free ample parking at the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet about 2 miles from the town centre at Junction 36 of the M4.
Bridgend has a 11-bay Bus Station located in the centre of town. Buses are primarily run by First Group but there are also services by Stagecoach and Veolia. These services mainly serve the towns and villages around Bridgend.
Some services of note however are:
X1 Bridgend-Swansea - running via Pyle and Port Talbot.
X2 Porthcawl-Cardiff - running from Porthcawl to Cardiff via Bridgend and Cowbridge.
224 Bridgend-Pontypridd- running via Pencoed, Llanharan and Talbot Green.
The pick up/drop off point for National Express long-distance services, is at the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet near the Odeon cinema. This is about 2 miles from the town centre, which can be easily reached by connecting local bus services.
By footBridgend has a compact town centre and can easily be walked around in 15 minutes. The town centre is pedestrianised and between 10AM and 6PM is vehicle free.
There are numerous public footpaths linking to areas in and around Bridgend like Merthyr Mawr, Ogmore, Penyfai and Coychurch.
By cycleBridgend is linked to the National Cycle Network (Celtic Trail) by a signposted, mostly segregated cycle lane from the town centre (near the Brewery Field) to Tondu.
There is also a segregated cycle path running east-west from the suburb of Brackla to the village of Laleston with a connection to the Bryntirion area of town.
The vast bulk of the roads in Bridgend are safe to cycle on, with extra care required at the larger roundabouts.
By taxiThere are several taxi companies serving Bridgend, including:
Allways Taxisphone: +44 1656 652210
Radio Cabsphone: +44 1656 655766
Village Carsphone: +44 1656 722161
- The Castles of Bridgend: dating back to the Norman conquest of South Wales (12th century), these three castles were built to provide a "defensive triangle".
Newcastle CastleDramatically positioned on the hill overlooking the town centre, accessible via a set of stairs on Tondu Road opposite the Brewery Field. Entrance is free. The area around Newcastle is a conservation area that includes period properties and various other listed buildings of interest including St Illtuds Church.
Coity CastleIn the village of Coity about 2 miles to the north east of the town. Free entry.
The Old BridgeThe biridge from Bridgend got its name. Not as spectacular as the original bridge but an important and iconic local landmark.
Merthyr MawrAn idyllic village with authentic, traditional thatched roofs
Merthyr Mawr Sand DunesThis is a large network of dunes, among the largest in Europe. This area was used to film the movieLawrence of Arabia. It's also well used for cross-country running, wildlife spotting and even live action role-play! There is a charge to use the car park.
Newbridge FieldsA large, maintained open space in the centre of Bridgend and is popular with dog-walkers and anglers.
Coed-y-Mwstwr Hotel & Golf CourseAbout 3 miles east of Bridgend, in the grounds of a Victorian mansion turned hotel. Parkland course. 18 holes.
St Mary's Hotel & Golf ClubA championship-standard course located near M4 Junction 35 near Pencoed, complete with a hotel. Parkland course. 18 and 9 hole courses.
Bridgend Golf ClubJust off the A48 road to south of the town. Includes a driving range. Parkland course. 9 holes.
Bridgend Recreation Centrenear the town centre has timetabled public swimming sessions between 12PM-3:45PM and approximately 6PM-9PM on weekdays with extended sessions at weekends. It costs around £3.50 for casual swimming. The Recreation Centre also has a fully equipped gym and sports hall. Ask staff for details.
Darren Fawr Mountain Trails Garw ValleyMountain biking.
Odeon CinemaA 9-screen cinema in the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet Village. Prices per film range from £6.30 to £7.45 for an adult and £4.30 to £5.10 for a child depending on the time of day.
Bryngarw Country ParkA 113-acre country park located at Brynmenyn, around 5 miles from Bridgend town centre. Various outdoor events take place during the year, especially the summer. The park includes various woodlands and grasslands, and a Japanese garden.
Bridgend FestivalsSeveral themed festivals take place every few months in the pedestrianised area of Bridgend town centre. They've included a Celtic Music Festival, French Market, Mardi Gras, Christmas Market and Street Running/Fun Run.
Bridgend County ShowAn annual summer (June or July) agricultural and animal show that takes place at Pencoed College grounds about 4 miles from Bridgend.
Glynogwr Agricultural ShowIn August.
McArthur Glen Designer Outlet BridgendA factory outlet store 2 miles north of the town centre. There are over 90 stores selling designer brands at discount prices.
phone: +44 1656 658704address: Nolton St, CF31 3BLThe main shopping centre in Bridgend town centre and contains Bridgend Market. It's home to various high-street chain shops.
Brackla Street Shopping CentreThe second main shopping centre in the town focusing on value retailers and home to larger stores such as Argos and Peacocks.
Adare StreetThe main open-air shopping street in the centre of town; it houses most of the main high-street chain stores and banks.
Siop yr Hen Bontaddress: 2 Old Bridge, CF31 1JHNear the Old Bridge is a shop specialising in Welsh literature, gifts and presents.
Cardiff and Swansea are home to the bigger brand names/department stores.
Restaurants & bistros
There are no distinctly "upmarket" restaurants in the town, and you can expect to pay between £15-30 for a three-course meal.
An Khangphone: +44 1656 661222address: 2-4 Park StreetVietnamese.
phone: +44 1656 649972address: High Street, LalestonSpanish/Mediterranean.
Natraj Tandooriphone: +44 1656 667853address: 16 Wyndham StreetTandoori/Indian.
phone: +44 1656 766839address: Queen StreetTraditional homemade.
phone: +44 1656 667999address: 14 Wyndham StreetTapas Bar/Mediterranean.
phone: +44 1656 660045address: 28 Dunraven PlaceItalian.
Most takeaways are clustered around Wyndham Street and Nolton Street in the town centre.
Cheese and Chips seems to be something of a local post-alcohol delicacy.
Olympic Kebab Housephone: +44 1656 669366address: 100 Nolton StA cheesy chips eatery.
Bauhaus Coffee Shopphone: +44 1656 667333address: 9 Wyndham StreetIndependent coffee shop.
Cosy Cafephone: +44 1656 665449address: 18 Derwen RoadTraditional.
Cup & Saucerphone: +44 1656 647285address: 14 Market StreetTraditional.
Il Paninophone: +44 1656 766618address: 1 Market StreetItalian cafe.
Ty Coffiphone: +44 1656 656415address: 1 Market StreetTraditional.
Domino's Pizzaaddress: Tremains Road
Domino's Pizzaaddress: Quarella Road
Subwayaddress: Caroline Street
Toby Carveryaddress: South Road
There is a second McDonald's and a second KFC at Bridgend Retail Park to the south of the town.
Bridgend town centre is an alcohol exclusion zone meaning alcohol drinking is restricted to pubs, clubs and other licensed premises. Police have the power to confiscate alcohol from and issue fines to persons drinking alcohol outside the designated areas.
Angel Innaddress: Park Street
Coity Castleaddress: Morfa Street
Jaggers Toll Houseaddress: Derwen RoadLive music.
Old Castle Innaddress: Nolton Street
O'Neillsaddress: Nolton StreetIrish pub.
Phoenixaddress: Wyndham StreetConverted church.
Princess of Walesaddress: Market Street
Red Dragonaddress: Litchard HillFamily friendly gastro-pub.
Tair Pluenaddress: Quarella RoadSports pub.
The Railwayaddress: Derwen Road
Riverside Tavernaddress: Brewery Lane
The Roofaddress: Market StreetPub and nightclub.
Three Horse Shoesaddress: Queen Street
Ty-Risha Innaddress: Penycae
Wyndham Armsaddress: Dunraven PlaceWetherspoons chain pub.
Cody'saddress: Derwen Road
Hobosaddress: Queen StreetLive music, especially rock/alternative.
Lava Igniteaddress: Derwen Road
Tom's Baraddress: Market StreetLive music.
phone: +44 1656 657644address: High Street, LalestonHotel with 12 letting rooms.
There are numerous bed and breakfasts/guest houses scattered around the town.
The Wyndham Armsaddress: Dunraven PlaceA Wetherspoons lodge in the heart of the town centre.
phone: +44 871 527 8146address: The Derwen
phone: +44 871 527 8144address: Pencoed
phone: +44 1656 720212address: Pen-y-Faia Georgian era manor about 2 miles to the north west of Bridgend. Rooms rates vary greatly from £49 per night for a single room to £160 for a "themed" room. It also has a restaurant specialising in Indian cuisine.
address: Ewenny RoadThis is a three-star hotel located in the south of the town with a gym and swimming pool
phone: +44 1656 860 621address: Coychurcha Victorian manor house in a woodland to the east of Bridgend overlooking a valley near the village of Coychurch. It is home to its own 18-hole golf course.
phone: +44 7800 945558address: Hendre Ifan Goch Farm, Glynogwr, BlackmillA peaceful countryside site in Blackmill Bridgend.
Bridgend is a relatively safe town by Welsh and UK standards. Care should be taken when in the town centre at night as alcohol related violence is a fairly common sight. Pickpockets have been known to target shoppers, especially the elderly in Bridgend town centre.
Bridgend has come under the spotlight of the media due to drama film about a cluster of suicides among young adults in the area between 1996 and 2010. The vast bulk of suicides took place, not in the town itself, but in the county which also shares the name Bridgend and has a population of over 130,000. Although the number of suicides was high, and unusual, the figures didn't vary wildly from the average for an area this size. Many in the town felt that Bridgend had been misrepresented and that media outlets were exacerbating the situation. It would be rude to bring up the suicides in casual conversation as an outsider.
- Southerndown and Ogmore Castle
- Afan Forest Park. The network of mountain trails is considered to be among the best in Western Europe. The park is in the Afan Valley around 12 miles north of Bridgend and 5 miles north of Maesteg. Many of the trails are described as being only suitable for experienced or expert mountain bikers.