The perfect stop-off with young children, your local library is a treasure trove of magical adventures you can share via a book. The library at Bridgend Life Centre organises a baby bounce and rhyme session every Monday from 11–12 and story times every Saturday 2.15–3. Plus a film club and reading group for children aged from seven.

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Merthyr Mawr, Vale of Glamorgan After a scenic drive past thatched cottages, blow the cobwebs away with a two-mile walk to the sea, or sledge down the amazing dunes (including one of the largest dunes in Europe) and picnic on the sand. If you’re lucky, you might even spot the Welsh rugby team training or see a movie being filmed.

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Fountain Road, Tondu CF32 0EH. Tel: 01656 724100 A fantastic place to go cycling or walking, see wildflowers and watch birds in woodlands, wetlands and grasslands. There are some charged facilities. For example you can sample the refreshments in the coffee shop, rent an Explorer Backpack from the Visitor Centre, make a bird-box or sign up for activities such as pond-dipping and bug-hunting.

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St. Bride's Major, CF32 0TF Although the beach is officially called Dunraven Bay, the locals in this county call it Southerndown beach. Whatever you call it, the views will blow your mind.

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Ton Kenfig, Bridgend CF33 4PT. Tel: 01656 743386 Learn to identify birds and plants with the help of the reserve’s rangers and interpretation boards, spot rare orchids and wander round Glamorgan’s largest lake at this stunning Site of Special Scientific Interest.

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Coity, Bridgend CF35 6BH Cross the bridge that spans the dry moat and picnic amid the impressive ruins. Walk in the footsteps of Owain Glyn Dŵr’s besieging army, and see if you can spot which parts of the site date from the twelfth century and which from the fifteenth.

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Bridgend, CF35 5BW Touch hands with the past at this castle-like Norman church which has remained in use for nearly 900 years. Once garrisoned by soldiers and tended by monks, it features a fortified curtain wall, a gatehouse and castellations.

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Picnic amid the castle ruins, prominently situated on a grassy mound overlooking Bridgend. Budding history buffs and architects will appreciate the well-preserved Norman gateway and thick curtain wall and square mural towers, and younger children will enjoy the opportunity to run about in the footsteps of knights and kings like Henry II.

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Nr Bridgend, Bridgend, Vale Of Glamorgan About ten minutes drive from Bridgend near Ogmore, you can explore the castle ruins (often populated by sheep or ponies), then use the stepping stones to cross the River Ewenny at low tide.

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Graig Fawr hillside, Margam, SA13 2TA The monastic trail north of Margam Abbey takes you through heavily wooded slopes behind an Iron Age hill fort to the medieval Chapel of Cryke (also known as Hen Eglwys and Capel Mair). Feed ducks at the fishpond along the way, eat a picnic, and enjoy views across Swansea Bay and Port Talbot.

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Near Porthcawl, Bridgend CF36 3UW This popular Blue Flag beach is a few miles out of Porthcawl but when you get there it offers miles of fine sand, coastal walks (the new coastal path is accessible to wheelchairs) and you can walk down to Sker or Pink Bay.

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Porthcawl, Bridgend, CF36 5NG This beach is next to Coney Beach and lovely and quiet while only being five minutes walk from all the facilities you might need at the Trecco Bay Holiday Park.

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