Barry Island is a seaside resort in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. Just to mention Barry Island and what springs to mind is candy floss, "kiss me quick" hats, amusement arcades, fairground rides, holiday camps, buckets and spades, holidays on a sandy beach and swimming in a warm blue sea ....er well we will pass on the "warm" bit! Nevertheless, Barry Island epitomises all the fun of the fair and traditional Welsh family holidays. Things have changed over the years, the holiday camps have long since gone, and so have the vast crowds of holidaymakers. However, the Pleasure Park is still alive and kicking and so is the beautiful Whitmore Bay beach. The holiday makers may be a bit thinner on the sand but at least now you can find a space for your deck chair and there is plenty of room for the more active beach sports that are popular today. Yes besides the traditional family holidays, Barry Island beach now caters for surfing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, beach volleyball ...all need space on Whitmore Bay sands. Add to these the latest addition of Surf Boat Rowing and it starts to be a bit overcrowded again!
What is Surf Boat Rowing You may ask. Well according to the Whitmore Bay Surf Life Saving Club web site, they were originally used to rescue swimmers who were too far out to be reached by the belt and reel technique. With the introduction of inflatable rescue boats, the Surf Boat is no longer used in rescues but now forms part of lifesaving competitions. Powered by a 4-person crew with oars and steered by a fifth person - the Sweep, boats race through the surf and return to the beach on a wave. ...Phew!
The Barry Island pleasure park has over 50 rides and attractions for all ages including the Log Flume, Viper Ride, Pirate Ship, Galloping Horses, and the Quasar Centre offers a high tech paint ball style experience. The nearby Barry Island Railway Heritage Centre offers visitors to Barry Island the chance to return to the "Age of Steam”; visit the historic station buildings and view the exhibits. On "Steam Days" travel behind a full sized locomotive and view carriages and wagons being restored in the purpose built workshop. The Railway also runs special 'Footplate Experiences' offering a day to remember with the thrill of learning to drive a steam or diesel locomotive. Barry Island is a great centre for a holiday in Wales with a choice of hotels or bed and breakfast accommodation in Barry town, and being close to the city of Cardiff and the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan it is a perfect location for touring South Wales.