Things to do in Barry
The Complete Guide to Barry Island and the Surrounding Area
Barry has so many hidden gems that we felt it was time someone brought all the local attractions and points of interest together in a definitive guide, not just to Barry, but also the surrounding area. If you’re looking for things to do in Barry Island, or Barry Island tourist information, here’s everything you need to know. If you think there’s anything we’ve missed out which you’d like to add, please drop us a line and we’ll gladly update our guide with your suggestions.
Barry Island Attractions
The stunning Blue Flag beach of Whitmore Bay, Barry Island, boasts a wide stretch of golden sand, perfect for long walks and family-friendly activities. At the centre of the resort is the action packed Barry Island Pleasure Park, which is serviced from the mainland by Barry Island railway station. Find out more or take a virtual tour of Barry Island.
Cultural Attractions in Barry
The culture comes thick and fast in Barry, with a wide array of activities and attractions to pique your interest.
Telly addicts and film buffs flock to Barry and the surrounding area to see the sets of some of the UK’s most well known television programmes. Gavin and Stacey, Being Human, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sarah Jane Adventures, Merlin and Casualty have all been filmed in the area. TheDoctor Who Experience also recently opened in Cardiff Bay, drawing avid fans from around the world. Find out more.
Cosmeston Medieval Village gives visitors the chance to experience medieval life in their very own recreated village. Experience a unique taste of life in the 14th century and enjoy the picturesque country park and lake surroundings.Clickfor more information or call 029 2070 1678.
Penarth Pier was built in 1895 and positively oozes with nostalgia. It has recently been redeveloped to create a small, independent cinema and coffee shop with panoramic views across the Bristol Channel and to the islands of Flat Holm and Steep Holm beyond. Call 029 2070 8849 or find out more.
Barry Dock RNLI Lifeboat Station on Barry Island gives pre-booked groups the opportunity for hands-on experience of life as a lifeboat crew member. Call 01446 735678 or find out more.
Art Central in Barryputs on a variety of culturally significant exhibitions and events throughout the year. Call 01446 709805 or click to see what’s on.
Ffotogallery at Turner House hosts national photography exhibitions from some of Wales’ most renowned photographers. Call 029 2070 8870 or click for exhibition details.
Memo Arts Centre is Barry’s home of theatre, dance, music and comedy. Call 01446 738622 or click for more information.
The Paget Rooms is a historically significant Grade II listed theatre in the heart of Penarth. It hosts theatre, concert and music productions all year round. Call 029 2070 0721 or click to see what’s on.
Have you ever fancied a trip on a sea-going paddle steamer? Set sail aboard The Waverley from Penarth amidst the towering funnels and timber decks for an evening or daytime excursion across the Bristol Channel. Call 0845 130 4647 or click to find out more.
Sporting Attractions in Barry
If you’re looking for things to do in Barry Island, you can find Beach Volleyball courts along the beach at Whitmore Bay throughout the summer.
Challenge Wales is a 72-foot yacht offering groups and individuals aged 12-25 the chance to learn new life skills through sailing training. No experience is necessary. Booking is required. Call 029 2022 0266 or click to find out more.
Brynhill Golf Club is a challenging and picturesque 18-hole golf course in the undulating Glamorganshire countryside. Call 01446 720277 or click for more information.
St Andrews Major Golf Club is an 18-hole course and driving range sandwiched conveniently between Dinas Powys, Penarth and Barry. Call 01446 722227 or click for more information.
Porthkerry Pitch and Putt in Barry is a 12-hole pitch and putt course just a stone’s throw from the beach. A round costs £3.20 for adults; £2.10 for children and concessions; and £9 for a family. Call 01446 736736 for more information.
Family Attractions in Barry
Quasar, Barry Island, is a specially designed arena where families and groups can battle it out with state of the art laser guns and equipment. Call 01446 421 611 or click for more information.
Ogmore Farm Riding Centre offers pony trekking and beach riding for all ages and abilities along the stunning South Wales coastline. Call 01656 880856 for more information.
Adventure Island Indoor Play Centre is the perfect place for kids to let off some steam. Bouncy castles, play frames and arts and crafts activities ensure every taste is catered for. Call 01446 733344 or click for more information.
Barry Island Pleasure Park and Prom has a wide range of fairground rides for the thrill seekers amongst you. Opening hours vary, although the Barry Island rides are typically open from 12pm – 8pm on weekends and during school holidays (weather permitting) from Easter until September. Call 01446 732844 to find out more.
Barry Tourist Railway operates both diesel and steam trains. Trains operate from Barry Island train station on scheduled dates during the summer months and during special events at Easter and Christmas. Call 01446 748816 or click for more information.
There are a number of Leisure Centres in the Vale, including one in Barry, Penarth, Cowbridge and Llantwit Major. All contain a swimming pool, gym and soft play for the kids. Call 01446 403000 for more details.
Welsh Hawking Centre has over 200 spectacular birds of prey on view throughout the year. Daily flying demonstrations add to the excitement. Call 01446 734687 or click for more information.
The Cardiff Waterbus service runs between Penarth Marina, Cardiff Bay and Cardiff city centre throughout the day. Call 07940 142409 or visit the website for more information.
Cosmeston Lakes Country Park is a nature reserve with more than 200 acres of woodlands, meadows, nature trails and adventure playgrounds. Call 029 2070 1678 or click to find out more.
The History of Barry
Little more than a century ago, Barry was no more than a dot on the verdant landscape of South Wales, comprising of just three small villages and farms in the separate parishes of Barry, Merthyr Dyfan and Cadoxton. In 1881, the population of the village of Barry was just 85, compared to 403 in Cadoxton.
By the 1920s, this figure had mushroomed to 40,000, spurred by the development of Barry Docks in the 1890s. Unfortunately, the bubble soon burst, and just 30 years later the heavy industry the town had been founded upon collapsed, leaving Barry in dire need of a new direction.
Barry has withstood tough times and is now enjoying success on the back of softer service industries such as leisure and tourism. With vast swathes of golden sands, the rural attractions of the Vale and the bright lights of Cardiff just a short drive away, Barry’s enviable location provides local residents, day trippers and tourists with a wealth of local attractions.