The main beach on Barry Island is Whitmore Bay which has a large expanse of sand at low tide. There is plenty to do, including horse carriage rides operated along the beach and other attractions on the promenade, Pleasure Park and amusement arcades.
Whitmore Bay has a ban on dogs on the beach and promenade during the summer months.
This Edwardian building originally housed the Carnegie Library from 1906 and the Town Hall from 1908. After a number of years unused the building was restored (c. 2005), this sparked any enquiry as it cost far more than originally anticipated. [At the beginning of the 21st century the building was restored and a new wing was provided for the library. The redevelopment of the former town hall building cost £371,000, £124,000 more than had been set aside; the increased cost sparked an inquiry in February 2008. A wing to house a new library has been added.
The Barry Island Tourist Information Centre is located on the promenade and provides material covering the Barry Island vicinity and is a great source for accommodation, local Eateries, Pubs, Theatre, Tourist Attractions, Travel and National Trust properties.
Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Barry was fortunate to get a brand new County Library in 2006. At the back of the library (in part of the old Town Hall building) is a new art venue, called Art Central. This is a pleasant, modern, glass fronted area with large windows, feeling very much like a modern art gallery should!
They seem to have a wide variety of exhibitions. When I last visited there was a show of wax paintings by a local member of the Royal Academy. Other planned exhibitions seem to be for local art groups, so I would advise you to check the WEBPAGE to see whether there is anything good happening.
The County Library is not difficult to find, behind the 1908 Town Hall at the end of Holton Road. Opening hours are not generous, only 10am to 4pm (closed Sunday and Monday).
Barry Island has shot to fame with the hugely successful TV Comedy drama Gavin and Stacey. Even though the programme has finished it was so popular that it’s legacy lives on in Barry. Gavin and Stacey tours are run during the summer months. Dave’s Coaches will ferry you around the popular filming locations such as Stacey’s house, Marco’s coffee shop and the caravan park where Dave and Nessa live. During our visit we went to Barry sea front where you will find the Coffee shop where Stacey worked and took a short drive to view the exterior of the West’s house which is situated in Trinity street. The owner of the house will gladly show you around if you so wish.
Another popular TV series which has recently moved from Bristol to Barry Island is Being Human. This programme follows the lives of a group of friends which are made up of a Ghost, Vampire and two Werewolves.
Barry Island lies on the Bristol Channel and ships can be seen on the horizon, appearing at Flat Holm and Steep Holm Island, and fairly quickly disappearing beyond Friar's Point headland.
It is so peaceful watching the passing ships, the waves breaking on the shore. A great way to de-stress yourself. It was the Victorians and rail travel that introduced seaside holidays to the masses, and a good habit was born especially in a country where nowhere is very far from the sea,
Leaving Barry Island , on your left as you come off the bridge is Watchtower Bay where there can be seen boats at anchor, and sheltered by the old harbour.
I can't resist marinas and harbours as there are inevitably attractive scenes to be found. There's something so relaxing watching boats at rest- waiting for the next trip.
Barry's Island is an interesting place with an excellent beach. There used to be a Butlin's Holiday Camp on Nell's Point headland, but this has been developed with new houses springing up.
Whitmore Beach has a good sandy beach and a number of the typical seaside entertainments and amusement arcades. In November I was surprised at the number of people on the beach, and walking along the waterfront or on Friar's Path. An amusement arcade was open for business, but I saw no sign of life at the other places.
This is a centre for birds of prey. Falcons are released to hunt at certain times, so check beforehand or you;ll miss it. Otherwise walk around the cages of owls, hawks and other birds of prey. There are also horses, guinea pigs, ducks and geese. It is interesting for the smaller children,
Entry £5 for adukts, £3 children and OAPs
Demonstrations 12 noon and 2.30pm
Cold Knap was settled on by the Romans who established it as a port.
The remains of a Roman building whose use is unknown can be seen just off the carpark behind the toilets at the far end. There are some information boards which give some details of the building and artists impressions of how it may have looked.
After a walk along the beach at Barry island we walked along Friars point which gives some great views of Whitmore bay and the old Harbour
On friars point there is a path that takes you right out to the end of the headland . On Friers point there are the remains of some Pillow mopunds were rabbits were farmed in Medieval times and In 1873 a J Romilly Allen excavated some buriel mounds that were situated at some place on the point.
There is an information board giving some information on the point and the area close by.
All that remains of Barry Castle are a small two-storey gatehouse with the adjacent walls of a hall. It has been restored and now stands in a pleasent Garden and is free to walk around.
It was once the seat of the de Barry family and was more of a fortified manor house than a Castle, built in the 13th and 14th centuries it replaced an earlier earthwork fortification.
Barry Island is reached across a causeway from Barry and is a popular place for the people of South wales to go on a weekend and bank holidays. Although when i visited it was a virtual ghost Town, the beach was empty and most of the shops closed i'm assured that in season it is really very busy with hardly a gap of sand to be seen on the beach.
The Watchtower at Cold Knap was built in the 1860's. The building has two storeys and was used for many years as a lifeboat station. When built it had double doors and a slipway for launching the lifeboat. The slipway has been removed and the doors bricked up, but traces can be seen under the low arched window. A new set of doors and a small slipway is still used to launch small craft. The bell from the lifeboat St. David (the crew of which were honoured for their rescue of the crew of the "Goeland"), still hangs in the Watchtower, which is used as a water activities headquarters by the 6th Barry Sea Scout Group
At the top of Parade gardens are the ruins of the Ostry (or as it is now known "The Austry") and the Storehouse. The Storehouse was known as "The Sign of the Ship". In the 1850's the Ship Hotel, complete with a thatched roof was built on the opposite side of the road. The 1890's saw the present day Ship Hotel built, and the demolition of the old thatched roof Ship.
C. Meggitt used the Austry as a store for his new business, selling building materials brought to the harbour by small coasting vessels. The building of Barry Docks started in 1884, and the contractor, Mr. Walker, required the site and asked Mr. Meggitt to move from there. In return for this, Mr. Walker bought all his stock.
From the Austrey you can get some great views of the old harbour.