A Trip to Barry Island

Route planning from Cardiff to Swansea we spotted Barry Island was a stone’s throw out of our way. The detour had to be made. Any Gavin and Stacey fan would do the same – having been there though, I would definitely stress you don’t have to be a fan of the offbeat BBC comedy about the Essex boy and South Wales girl to enjoy this place. Barry Island is quiet, old fashioned (in a good way) and a beautiful little resort. In the words of Nessa, “Barry’s cracking.”

06.24.15 - Barry Island

06.24.19 - Barry Island

I did expect a slightly tacky and faded seaside resort. There were a few cheesy shops and an amusement arcade – but hey you are by the beach after all. We also found a gorgeous, golden, sandy bay and a relaxed, calm and super chilled out atmosphere. The perfect spot to break up a journey and relax.

06.24.17 - Barry Island

The turn of the millennium saw Cardiff and its derelict docks transformed. Now, as we found the previous evening, it is a fabulous waterside destination in itself. Barry was not so lucky and apparently lagged well behind it’s bigger neighbour, people are slowly starting to rediscover its incredible natural beauty.

06.24.18 - Barry Island

Our biggest problem was actually finding a parking spot. After several frustrated attempts driving around we finally found a car park and were able to explore on foot. We strolled along the promenade with the sea glinting beside us and spotted a few Gavin and Stacey references. In dire need of coffee we again struggled a bit – there is only one decent place to get it. Fish and chips were in plentiful supply but at 10 in the morning this was not quite what we had in mind.

06.24.22 - Barry Island

06.24.20 - Barry Island

06.24.21 - Barry Island

The main beach is long, fabulous, sandy and has two limestone outcrops either side that soak up the sun. We found a path along one of the outcrops, walked along and enjoyed views to the twin islands of Flat Holm and Steep Holm. Away from the town itself we got to see Barry at its natural best. Gorgeous views across the Bristol Channel and hardly another person in sight.

06.24.23 - Barry Island

06.24.25 - Barry Island

Barry was beautiful. Thank you Gavin and Stacey for bringing it to our attention – I’m so glad we stopped by.

38 thoughts on “A Trip to Barry Island

  1. I agree; as a Gavin and Stacey fan you could not have passed Barry Island on. I have never been myself but it looks beautiful. I am from Ireland so are used to cute little towns like this where there is nothing to really do only relax. Places like this I really miss in Berlin.

  2. We were close to this area in July, but headed south on the train into the snowdonia area. After seeing these photos, I wish we could have spent some time on the coast!

    • It is a beautiful area, we were blessed with an abundance of sunshine (always helps by the coast) which made it even more spectacular. Snowdonia though is beautiful too – just different!! We’ve never had sunshine there – always rain!!

    • It was unplanned for us too – lucky coincidence we just happened to spot it on the map!! It’s beautiful though, glad we went. Agree about Gavin and Stacey too – they should bring it back!

  3. Blue skies and water views with a beach thrown in. It doesn’t get much better than that. I haven’t heard of Gavin and Stacy but I agree, Barry’s cracking!

    • We were definitely not expecting such an unspoiled and beautiful little place – definitely not the impression I got from Gavin and Stacey!! Fish and chips by the seaside – nothing quite like it – I am drooling too!!

    • It’s very funny – in a UK sort of way!! Quirky and different. The beaches here were incredible – and deserted. We’d explored this area in the past but further along the coast and found more of the same. If you get good weather (no way guaranteed) it is just perfect!

  4. When I’ve been to Cornwall and Ireland and come home with photos of beautiful beaches, my American friends are always so surprised–this looks like another example! After all, the UK is just a big island–of course there are beautiful seaside spots!

    • We are very lucky in the UK – all kinds of beaches from golden and sandy like this one to rocky and craggy and most places are within easy reach of a beach. But I know what you mean, lots of people seem surprised we have good beaches here! What we don’t have though is reliable weather I suppose – the day we went to Barry Island was glorious, that definitely helps to make the most of a beach like this one!

  5. Always wondered where Barry Island was Joy and now I know! Thanks for bringing it to my attention 🙂 I’ve never watched “Gavin and Stacey” myself but Monsieur Le Chic has and says it’s funny- apparently Gavin is a Spurs fan like him and Stacey is the Welsh actress from “Love Actually”! Thanks for sharing your lovely photos too 🙂

    • It’s really funny Rosemary and I’d actually forgotten about the actress being in Love Actually. I’d never heard of Barry Island before the TV show and didn’t really know where it was until we spotted it on the map leaving Cardiff!! It’s gorgeous – glad we made the detour!

  6. I had to look up Gavin & Stacey and I see it’s on Netflix… uh oh… anyway, when I am in England I stuff myself silly with fish ‘n chips and 10:00am seems reasonable to me!

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