Bridgend’s beaches and sand dunes
The country of Bridgend is home to the town of the same name. Some 22 miles west of Cardiff, one of the commuter town’s most notable feature is Merthyr Mawr, a huge stretch of grassy sand dunes and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), leading down to the sea. Nature lovers will enjoy Merthyr Mawr and its abundance of plants and insect life. The sand dunes are the second highest in Europe, while the areas of dune woodland and scrub provide additional habitats, resulting in increased wildlife diversity. The site is also well known as a place where some nationally rare and unusual fungi species grow.
Further west lies Porthcawl and the first real beach you hit of your way from Cardiff. While it doesn’t match up to the breathtaking beaches further west, it’s sandy and has decent waves for surfing and kite surfing. For those not up for some board action, the town has plenty else for visitors, including a promenade and funfair, and each September it hosts an Elvis Festival, where the whole town dons blue suede shoes and greased-up quiffs in honour of the star.