Saturday, 27 June 2015

BARRY ISLAND



Heading east from Llantwit Major we come to Summerhouse Point with cliff top walks reached by a lane from the village of Boverton.  There is a Seawatch Centre here with displays of weather-forecasting equipment and radar.  Further along, Limpert Bay marks the end of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Walk which started at Porthcawl.  Further along still, the village of Rhoose nudges the southern end of Cardiff Airport.  After the quiet of the clifftops and the series of small towns and villages, the much larger settlement of Barry represents quite a contrast with its docks forming an alternative to the congested and expensive Cardiff Docks.

Barry Island, which is not actually an island, being accessible from the mainland via the A4055, has long been a family tourist destination.  There used to be a Butlins Holiday Camp here, but this closed in 1996.  However, the 'island' continued to be a magnet for tourists, and it also came to the attention of the Dr Who team during the filming of the series 'Delta and the Bannermen', in which it played the part of the Shangri-La Holiday Camp.  It also featured in 'The Empty Child' and 'The Doctor Dances'.  In the past Barry Island has had something of an image problem, being considered down at heel by many, however there are signs of attempts at an uplift.  A recent online review described the beach as beautiful and clean and pointed out that the dining options are no longer all fish and chips and burgers.  The main attraction on the island is the Pleasure Park, a traditional array of fairground rides and amusement arcades which recently changed ownership and boasts "brand new rides never seen in Barry before".  

Map of the area. 

File:Barry Island scene.jpg
Photo by Derek Jones, via Wikimedia Commons

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