Home Page

Things to do, Places to see

A Day at The Beach

There are some lovely beaches in Barry and the surrounding area. In addition to the beaches within the town, the Glamorgan Heritage Coast stretches away to the West of the town, offering spectacular limestone cliffs, and lovely secluded pebble beaches.

The tidal range in the Bristol Channel (that's the sea!) is the second largest in the world - that means the depth of water can change by about 50 feet between high and low tide. That means that you need to respect it!

Many of the beaches within the area have a surf lifeguard club associated with them, but your life is ultimately your responsibility.

Have fun, but take care!


Click to enlarge - and use your "back" button to return The Knap beach stretches for miles away to the West of Barry, and is a popular alternative to the noise and bustle of Barry Island. Parking is reasonable on the car terrace at the top of the beach, and the good south westerly breezes make this a very popular beach with windsurfers. There are very few food outlets nearby, so this is a beach to take a picnic to.

At low tide, the area in front of "Bull's Nose" (the cliff outcrop in the centre of the picture) is revealed as a large area of rock, with all sorts of interesting (and educational?) pools to explore. Further out again is Castle Rock - a most exclusive picnic spot!

Beyond "Bull's Nose" (the cliff outcrop in the centre of the picture) the Knap beach becomes Porthkerry Beach, and behind this is Porthkerry Country Park, a fine place for a picnic, ice cream, or a play on the adventure playground.

 

Click to enlarge - and use the "Back" button to returnAt the eastern end of the Knap lies Watchtower Bay and the Old Harbour. At low tide there is a huge expanse of golden sand in Watchtower Bay, and again, there are plenty of rock pools to explore around the edges of the bay, on Knap Point, and Friars Point. There are public slipways on the beach at Watchtower Bay, and although the barrier is not normally secure, there is (theoretically) a permit system operated by the council. The bottom of the slipway is normally wet at around half tide.

Separating Watchtower Bay from the Old Harbour is York (Yorke?) Breakwater. In the Northern corner of the Old Harbour is a picturesque old structure (known as the "lime kilns") near to the Ship Hotel, and the main (only) access to Barry Island is over the Causeway, which forms the back of the harbour. (In the old days, of course, this whole area, plus the area currently occupied by Barry Docks, was a channel separating Barry and the Island.)

To the best of my knowledge, there are no restrictions on dogs on the above beaches, and poop bins are provided for responsible dog owners. (And irresponsible dog owners are requested to go elsewhere!)

Click to enlarge - and use the "Back" button to return

At high water. the Old Harbour and Watchtower Bay form a relatively safe area for water activities.

Click to enlarge - and use the "Back" button to return During the summer months, various groups and individuals make good use of the Old Harbour.

 

Click to enlarge - and use the "Back" button to returnThe main beach on Barry Island is Whitmore Bay. This is a huge expanse of golden sand at low tide, and at the top of the springs, a very narrow band of sand! There are horse carriage rides operated along the beach, and all manner of attractions on the beach, the promenade, and in the pleasure park and amusement behind the beach. There is plenty of car parking space situated only a few hundred yards from the beach, and short term parking is available behind the promenade gardens. The Valley Lines railway service stops just behind the pleasure park, only 100 metres from the beach.

Whitmore Bay has a ban on dogs on the beach and promenade during the summer months.

 

Nell's Point forms the Eastern boundary of Whitmore Bay, and this area, for many years a holiday camp, is now being redeveloped. The town waits with some anxiety to see how well this will be done...

Beyond Nells Point is Jackson's Bay, a small sandy beach accessible either by a narrow path from Redbrink Crescent, or via the path that runs around Nell's Point. Beyond Jackson's Bay is Barry Harbour and the dock entrance, the Bendricks, and then another long rock and pebble beach leading off to the East, through Sully and Penarth, to the new Cardiff Bay Barrage.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no restrictions on dogs on Jackson's Bay, but please, if you do bring a dog, clean up after it!


Click to enlarge - and use the "Back" button to returnThe rocks on the headlands around Barry provide a popular fishing spot, and people of all ages seem to spend many a happy hour at their pastime. (OK, I admit it does seems to be "a man thing"!)

 

Click to enlarge - and use the "Back" button to returnThe same rocks also provide opportunities for exploring rock pools, and all sorts of shells, "creepy crawlies" and small fish can be found - plus the occasional Mermaid.


Click to enlarge - and use the "Back" button to return When the wind has been strong and from the South West, the best surf is to be found at the Old Harbour, generally in the third and fourth hours after low tide.

Click to enlarge - and use the "Back" button to returnUnder the right sea conditions, the long, gently sloping beach in the Harbour gives a good ride for many hours.


Click here for more photographs of Porthkerry

Click here for more photographs of Beaches at Barry

 

Click here for Tide Tables Link to Tide Tables from the UK Hydrographic Office


 

 

Home | Things to do