Newest Review: ... including train and bus times on (0870) 608 2 608. The leisure activities available on the island are varied and almost everyone wi... more
Barry and the Island.
Member Name: Donnabroom
Advantages: Cheap and cheerful.
Disadvantages: The rain!!
I used to live in Barry, (Y Barri in welsh) and since leaving I have missed it a lot and so thought I’d put my Barry review up for all you Dooyoo members to read.
Barry Island used to be home to a large Butlin's Holiday Park. I am sure some of you visited there, but earlier this year the site was demolished, somewhat emotionally, and a tourist research centre is to be built in its place. This was a very sad occasion and the end of an era but the heyday of the holiday park seems to be past.
Despite the loss of the Butlins, which had been closed for several years, Barry Island and Barry still have an enormous amount to offer tourists and residents alike.
Barry Island and Barry, the adjoining town, began as farms. Well over a hundred years ago the Docks were built in Barry and the town quickly grew on the back of the coal trade; in 1913 over 11 million tons of coal was exported from Barry Docks. No other Dock in the United Kingdom or Ireland have ever beaten this record and since the closure of most of the UK's mines, no one is ever likely to. The booming coal trade brought wealth to the area and Barry Island soon became a pleasure island.
Note: Barry Island is not really an Island but a peninsular, an outcrop of land.
Getting to Barry Island is reasonably easy by car. You can follow the tourist signs from junction 33 of the M4. Regular bus and train services to Barry Island operate from Cardiff central station. Please ring Traveline Cymru for more information, including train and bus times on (0870) 608 2 608.
The leisure activities available on the island are varied and almost everyone will be able to find something they enjoy. The 2 main tourist attractions are Whitmore Bay, (a sandy beach) and the Pleasure Park. There are also gardens, shops, amusement arcades, pubs, cafes, bars, nightclubs and restaurants; in fact all the things you would expect from a seaside resort.
The beach is south facing with reasonable hygiene standards and rock pools.
The Pleasure Park has well over 50 rides including a log flume and a scary pirate ship ride. The rides are not the most technologically advanced rides but they are a lot of fun and appear to be well maintained. It is a great day out for young people, couples and families alike. The queues for rides are not too long and although the park does get busy it is never over crowded. Admission to the park is free but you have to pay for the rides individually by purchasing tickets from booths situated throughout the park. As well as rides the park also has amusement arcades in addition to the arcades along the seafront. For more information on the Pleasure Park you can call: (01446) 732 844.
There are plenty of other things to do in Barry Island/Barry. Here is a list:
> Triassic Towers, an indoor adventure centre that over looks the seafront. (01446) 733 344
> The Quasar Centre, a high tech laser game similar to paintballing but much cleaner and less painful. (01446) 421611
> Barry Island Railway Heritage Centre, a kind of museum to Railways, includes steam train rides on occasion. (01446) 748 816
> The Amelia Trust Farm, a 160 acre lowland farm site and visitor centre. The Amelia Trust does loads of work for disadvantaged children. www.ameliatrust.org.uk
> The Welsh Hawking Centre, a hawking centre, (duh!). (01446) 734687
> Castle/Castell Coch, a beautiful fairytale castle and the one they used to film the worst witch TV series! 02920 810 101
> Flat Holm, a small flat island in the Bristol Channel visible form Barry Island/Barry and Weston-Super-Mare. (01446) 747661
> The Llanerch Vineyard, a Welsh vineyard, they make really nice dry white wine. They also have a bed and breakfast on site or self-catering accommodation. (01443) 225877
There is loads more but far too much for me to write here. If you want further information on tourist attractions call the tourist information centre on (01446) 747 171.
As a tourist, I know I can't be a proper tourist because I live here but its close enough, I love Barry Island and Barry loads. There is an awful lot to do especially if you're willing to venture to other places in the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff. I am never stuck for anything to do, even when I'm skint as the museums are all free. Barry Island has a good nightlife if you are into mainstream music or hip-hop and in Barry there is a good, if not tiny, Rock club called the Savoy right next to the cinema, (its only £2 to get in and the drinks are really cheap. They do cheap and funky coloured cocktails to)! If I'm completely honest, and I always am, there is sometimes a bit of bother, i.e. drunken Chavs, fights and the like on the Island at night, but I think that is true of almost anywhere these days.
As a resident Barry Island but particularly Barry is a great place to live. Most of the locals are friendly and there are loads of amenities normally within walking distance, a very short car ride or £2-£3 cab fare away. There are loads of high street shops such as Dorothy Perkins, New Look, Burtons, Boots, Super Drug and a Wilkensons. There are plenty of super markets including, Morrison's, Waitrose, Iceland, Netto and Lidl. There is also a street market on Tuesdays as well as plenty of butchers, corner shops and takeaways.
Barry, as is true of most of South Wales, has excellent rail links with the rest of South Wales and the West of England, thanks to Brunel. (A return ticket from Cardiff to Barry costs around £4.00). There is an international airport just outside of Cardiff.
There are several good schools in Barry as well as a college; Cardiff is home to a university as is the nearby town of Treforest.
There are many good doctors' surgeries in Barry as well as dentists that take new NHS patients. There is a hospital but no A&E in Barry but there is an A&E department in Cardiff. As well as the main hospital in Cardiff there is also a dental hospital.
In conclusion whether you are looking for a short break or somewhere to live Barry Island and Barry have it all.
Summary: Barry and Barry Island.