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Sitting between Cardiff and Swansea in Wales’ traditional Glamorgan County, the town of Bridgend is famous for its numerous castles and its old bridge, from which the town got its name. The bridge runs over the River Ogmore that cuts through the town before continuing southwest and spilling into the Bristol Channel. Bridgend’s convenient location is its main draw, as it allows visitors easy access to both Cardiff and Swansea as well as to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Brecon Beacons National Park and the Gower Peninsula. These all make for fantastic day trips from the town, with car hire the best mode of transportation.
Who to Book With
Well-known agents such as Enterprise and Sixt, and local outfitters Day’s Rental and Charter Vehicle Hire all offer car rental in Bridgend, with most offices found in the Bridgend Industrial Estate near the town centre. Vehicles tend to be booked during peak seasons so it is best to book a car hire on the internet before arrival.
Best time to go
Bridgend can be visited throughout the entire year thanks to its fairly mild weather. Still, summers are the most popular time for travellers, as it is sunny and warm and rarely hotter than 22°C with short bursts of rainfall. It is also when some of the biggest festivals in the area are held. Spring and autumn are also pleasant, having temperatures of around 16°C.
Need to Know Essentials
When collecting your vehicle you will need to show the following documents:
- A valid drivers licence
- Additional identification
- The credit card used when the booking was made
- Verification of your booking
A car is not needed in Bridgend, as the town is quite small and easy to navigate on foot. Moreover, it becomes vehicle free between 10:00 and 18:00, but there are numerous places to park your vehicle that work on a pay-and-display system. There are also a number of park and ride car parks outside of the town centre.
A local bus service is available in Bridgend, but is not too extensive so there is no shortage of taxis. Most people get around the town on foot and use buses, trains and cars to explore outside of the town centre. Bridgend is also on the National Cycle Network and has a cycle path through the town centre.
Arriva Train Wales runs the train service through the Bridgend Railway station, with stops along the Maesteg Line, Vale of Glamorgan Line and South Wales Main Line. Train service operated by First Great Western also passes through here, linking the town to London Paddington. The railway station is within minutes of the town centre, though buses do stop here.
First Cymru operates buses through Bridgend as well as to other destinations close by. Tickets can be bought directly from the driver and cost £5 for the day for a single traveller and £10.80 for a family of five. First Cymru also has buses that run from the Bridgend bus station to other destinations within the Bridgend area. The bus station can be found directly opposite the railway station.
There is a taxi rank outside of the Bridgend Railway station, though taxis can easily be found throughout all of Bridgend. There are countless taxi companies, with companies such as Radio Cabs and Allways Taxi being a couple of the better ones.
There is much to see outside of Bridgend, most of which consists of magnificent landscapes that are best seen by self-drive. Seaside holiday towns, large bustling cities, beautiful castles and picturesque parks are all within a short distance of Bridgend, offering travellers plenty of opportunities for daily excursions throughout Wales’ most visited region.
Caerphilly Castle - The largest castle in Wales, is just over 21 miles northeast of Bridgend and is not to be missed. The medieval castle was built in the 13th century by Gilbert de Clare and lies in the centre of North Lake and the Outer East Moat.
Gower Peninsula - This is an area of outstanding beauty in rural Swansea that is famous for its striking coastline, sandy beaches and magnificent castles. Though is it only a 40-minute drive away, it is worth staying in one of the peninsula’s villages overnight to really enjoy this stunning area.
Brecon Beacons - This is a mountain range less than one hour north of Bridgend and makes for a stunning drive. Once here, visitors can go hiking, fishing, cycling and climbing while snapping photos of the stunning surrounding landscapes.