What to do in Porthcawl


Lowenna from the Marketing team and Chloe from the Reservations team recently left the Cornish coast and headed to south Wales to get the lay of the land at our latest beach location, Porthcawl.

Coming off junction 37 of the M4 we were almost instantly met with green landscapes and a sprawling coastline. Porthcawl, a small town on the south coast of Wales between Cardiff and Swansea, gives off a relaxed vibe after the bustle of the motorway, a picture-book image of a seaside town.

We drove along the coastal road, passing a vibrant seafront dotted with traditional seaside buildings, such as the 1920s Pavillion Theatre. Just five minutes further down the water’s edge, we reached our home for the night, our Beach Retreats apartment 71 The Rest. A delightful retreat set on the top floor of the Links development with views of Rest Bay, the space was inviting and calming from the moment we set foot through the door. You can find out more about 71 The Rest here.

After throwing open the balcony doors and resting in the sun with a much-needed cup of tea, we headed back out in the hunt for something to eat.

Our first stop along the way was Rest Bay, just two minutes’ walk from our retreat. This beach is a long stretch of rocky terrain which slopes down onto a sandy expanse with a swirling ocean. Here, you can walk along the Heritage coastal path which runs parallel to the shore or head onto the sand for a day of sunbathing. Porthcawl Surf School sits just above the beach and offers surf lessons and equipment hire, and the beach is known for its great waves which will please any budding surfer or watersports enthusiast.

Further along the coast to the right is Pink Bay, with an impressive pink marble-effect pebbly bank leading down onto flat sand edged by a rocky shoreline. Further away from the main town and therefore a quieter spot, on this beach you can take a solitary sea dip or simply pack a picnic and sit back on the sand.  

These two beaches back onto the Royal Porthcawl golf club, a world-renowned golf course and the number one in Wales.

Heading into town from here takes about 30 minutes by foot or is only a five-minute drive, with plenty of parking available in the public car park or in free spots on the street. Here, you’ll find the small spot of sand that is Porthcawl seafront, next to the harbour where you can see boats bobbing around on the water.

The seafront is also where you’ll find the main strip of restaurants and cafes, including the Cosy Corner Lounge, Dockside Bar and Grill, Beales Fish and Chip Restaurant and The Boathouse Fish bar.  Behind the RNLI lifeboat station, overlooking the harbour water, you’ll also find Bar & Kitchen Co, a great spot to tuck into anything from high quality steak and seafood to a simple burger and chips. This was where we picked for dinner, and it didn’t disappoint – my fish and chips were fresh and generously dished out whilst Chloe’s seafood linguine was equally as delightful.

From here, we headed back towards Rest Bay to catch the sunset, which sets directly over the horizon. Then we settled on the balcony with a glass of wine as the sea glowed under the darkening sky.

Our time in Wales was up, but if you’re staying for longer, there’s plenty more to see and do. Start your day bright and early the next morning and set out on a long coastal walk or short drive towards Sker Bay and Kenfig Nature Reserve, where you can spot some rare sights such as the Fen Orchid and wildlife such as seals, birds and even dolphins. On the way home, stop off at Nottage with its selection of country pubs, where you can sample a hearty lunch washed down with a local ale.

If you fancy exploring even further, hop back in the car for a day out towards the Mumbles and Gower, an area of natural beauty just off from the bustling city of Swansea.

Overall, this area of south Wales has something for everyone, whether you’re a nature lover, watersports enthusiast, keen golfer or simply craving some peace and quiet.

To see it yourself, stay in our Porthcawl retreat, 71 The Rest.