Barry is located in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. It’s about 9 miles from Cardiff. There’s a lot to love about Barry. The seaside resort has a traditional feel with a sandy beach, tourist shops and fun fair. At the same time, Barry is up and coming with attractions like Goodsheds, an urban development with numerous independent shops and eateries.
Barry Island is the peninsula that used to be it’s own island until the 1880s when it was linked to the mainland and the rest of Barry.
Barry is well known for being the town where much of the popular sitcom Gavin and Stacey is set. In addition to this, Barry has four gorgeous beaches, crazy golf, beautiful coastal walks, plush green spaces, a war museum and a castle located just 10 minutes away.
Whatever you choose to do you’ll have an unforgettable time in Barry. Read on for 14 brilliant things to do.
Visit Whitmore Beach
Whitmore beach is the main beach in Barry Island. In the summer, the beach is fantastic for sunbathing, swimming and bodyboarding. It’s life guided for extra peace of mind.
Whitmore beach experiences some of the highest tidal ranges in the world. It’s fun to see how quickly the sea goes out and comes back in again. Look at these two pictures of low and high tide taken on a hot day in August.
As well as the large, sandy beach. there is a promenade which runs behind Whitmore beach which is lovely to walk along.
Marco’s café is behind the beach and is a great place to grab a coffee. It’s the café where Stacey worked in Gavin and Stacey.
Walk to the end of Friars Point
If you fancy stretching your legs during a day on Whitmore Beach, why not walk to the end of Friars Point? There are footpaths from Whitmore beach to the end of Friar Point. It takes about 10 minutes to walk to the end and the views are stunning, especially on a clear day in the summer.
Play Adventure Golf
Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf is situated next to Whitmore beach and is fun to play with family and friends.
Experience the fun of the fair at Barry Island Pleasure Park
There are over 17 rides at the pleasure park with something for everybody. They include children’s rides such as bouncy castles and mini jets. Family rides include the log flume and big wheel. Extreme riders will love the Sizzler Twist, Extreme, The King and lots more. The fun fair is great – however the rides are not cheap!
Find out more about Barry Island Pleasure Park
Hop on Dave’s Coach’s for a Gavin and Stacey TV Location Tour
If your a fan of Gavin and Stacey you will love this tour. Visit many of the TV locations in the show. See Gwen and Stacey’s house, the arcade and tattoo parlour where Nessa works and the church where she nearly marries Dave.
Visit PorthKerry Country Park
Photo by Mick Lobb / Wikimedia Commons
Porthkerry Country Park is a beautiful green space with woodland walks, ponds streams and a pebble beach. There’s a children’s playground and a café to purchase drinks and snacks. You could also bring a picnic and outdoor games for kids to enjoy.
It’s less than 10 minutes drive away from Barry Island. There is parking with reasonable parking charges (£1 for 2 hour, £2 for 4 hours and £4 for all day). Check up to date car parking charges.
Visit Barry War Museum
Located in Barry Station, this small and free museum is run by volunteers from the Barry At War Group.
Inside the museum you can see a WW1 trench to simulate life on the Western Front, a genuine WW2 Anderson shelter, a 1940s style kitchen and many other artefacts and displays.
The museum also runs talks and other events throughout the year.
Find out more at Barry War Museum
The hidden gem of Fonmon Castle is just 10 minutes in the car from the centre of Barry. This beautiful castle and grounds were first built in 1180 and has been owned by just 2 families in that time. Today, it’s a fun tourist attraction which is especially great for parents and kids but there is something here for everybody.
Enter the castle and see two state rooms (the rest of the castle is still lived in by the family). Explore the gardens. Discover the kitchen gardens, sensory garden, secret garden and more.
Kids will love the dinosaur trail and other dinosaur related activities. In addition, you can see the Madhatters tea party, fairy kingdom, witches hut, story trail and more!
On top of this kids can learn about history through fun activities. Visit the medieval farm, iron age discovery centre and try the boddica challenge.
Older kids will love the fun of disc golf!
Find out more at Fonmon Castle
Take a Picnic to Romilly Park
Romilly Park is a lovely green space in Barry. The park has a playground, lovely flower beds, tennis courts, bowing green and a large open area which is great for picnics, games or flying kites on a windy day.
Find out more about Romilly Park
Walk to Jackson’s Bay
Photo by Dave Roberts / Wikimedia Commons
Jackson’s Bay is another beach in Barry. It’s a 5 to 10 minute walk from Whitmore beach in Barry Island along the costal footpath towards Nell’s Point
Jackson’s Bay is much quieter than Whitmore beach. The sandy cove is backed by cliffs. The beach gently slopes into the sea which makes it nice for swimming. However it’s not a lifeguarded beach.
The walk down to the beach is steep which can make it a challenge for those with accessibility issues.
Relax At Watch House Bay
Photo by Eddie Reed / Wikimedia Commons
Watch House Bay is another one of Barry’s quieter beaches. It’s about a 25 minute walk from Whitmore Beach. It’s a great place to escape the crowds.
Stroll Around Knap Gardens
Find Knap Gardens just behind Watch House Bay. The gardens a great place to take the kids for a picnic. The focal point is the lake and beautiful flower beds.
Find out more about Knap Gardens
Cold Knapp Beach
Picture by Eddie Read / Wikimedia Commons
Cold Knapp Beach is about a mile away from Whitmore beach but well worth a visit. It’s a beautiful, clean pebble beach with some great rock pools at low tide. It’s quieter than Whitmore beach but can still get busy on sunny days. There are cafes in the area.
Eat and Shop at Goodsheds
Like shopping and / or dining out? Then a visit to Goodsheds is a must. This new urban development is located on an old dockyard and it’s full of independent shops and eateries. Boutiques sell all kinds of stuff including records, craft beers, jewellery, boutique fashion and home furnishings. Once you’ve browsed what’s on offer, have a bite to eat. There’s Greek food, pizza, Mexican and more. You can also pick up a milkshake or treat yourself to some fresh donuts
Find out more at Goodsheds, Barry
Frequently Asked Questions about Barry
Can You Swim at Barry Beach?
Yes you can swim at Whitmore Beach in Barry Island. It’s lifeguarded during the summer months.
Why Is Barry Island So Popular?
Barry Island’s large sandy beach, fun fair, amusements, ice cream and fish and chip shops account for Barry’s popularity with many tourists. In addition, the popularity of the TV show Gavin and Stacey has led to a new wave of tourists wanting to visit the area.
How Much is Parking at Barry Island?
The main parking in Barry Island is on Harbour Road. It currently costs £1 for an hour and £6 for all day.
Places To Visit Near Barry
Visit Cardiff – Barry is very close to Cardiff (about a 30 minutes) so you can easily combine a visit to both places. There’s lots to do in Cardiff including Cardiff Castle, the National Museum and fun at Cardiff Bay.
Go to St Fagans Museum – St Fagans National Museum of History is on of Europe’s leading open air museums which is about 23 minutes drive from Barry Island. It’s also free! However you do have to pay for parking. It covers Wales from Celtic times to the present day with lots of historical buildings to see.
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