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Southerndown is a village close to St Brides Major, Llantwit Major and Ogmore-by-Sea, mostly known for its beach, which is a popular tourist destination during the summer months. When the tide is out there is an expanse of sand and pools. The cliffs are an impressive, and very obvious, example of sedimentary rock.

As Southerndown is a west-facing, Atlantic facing beach, off-shore winds from the East generate superb surf, and along with nearby Ogmore-by-Sea, Southerndown is known to have some of the best quality surf in South/South-East Wales.

Southerndown, along with Ogmore-by-Sea is the best beach near to Cardiff, benefiting from the warming effects of the Gulf Stream.

There are actually two beaches separated by a headland. On the headland is ruined Dunraven Castle.

The second beach is only accessible by steep steps and is largely unused. The steps also reach the beach fairly far out from the cliffside, so it's easy to become cut off from them and stranded on the beach. The second beach is one of the largest in Glamorgan and stretches all the way down the coast to Nash Point near Llantwit Major.

 Pubs/Bars in Southerndown:
 The Three Golden Cups
       CF32 0RW
 01656 880432



The images below are © Sean Bolton
 To view a larger image, just click on the image











Southerndown - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
SOUTHERNDOWN, a hamlet, in the parish of St. Bride's Major, union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Ogmore, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 5 miles (S. by W.) from Bridgend; containing 313 inhabitants. This place is situated on the sea-coast, and comprises the southern declivity of a very extensive down. It is resorted to for sea-bathing. Close to it, on a small promontory, presenting rocky and lofty cliffs, stands Dunraven Castle, once the seat of Thomas Wyndham, Esq., who erected the present spacious and elegant structure, in the early English style, on the site of a more ancient castle. The latter is said to have been the oldest in Wales, and the residence of the celebrated Caractacus, as well as of his father, Br�n ab Llyr. It continued occasionally to be the seat of the reguli of this district after the capture of the British hero, and until the Norman conquest of Glamorgan in the time of Iestyn ab Gwrgan, when, on the partition of that territory by Robert FitzHamon, the castle and manor were assigned to William de Londres, who bestowed them on his butler, afterwards Sir Arnold Butler. One of Butler's female descendants conveyed them by marriage into the family of Vaughan, from whom they were purchased by an ancestor of the late Mr. Wyndham, whose only daughter and heiress conveyed them by marriage to the present Windham Henry Wyndham-Quin, Earl of Dunraven and Mountearl. The castle is the residence of Viscount Adare, the earl's eldest son.

A lofty embankment across the peninsula, still traceable, protected the castle on the land side, while the bold cliffs rendered it inaccessible from the sea. About a mile westward from it are three very extraordinary natural caverns, formed by the action of the sea on the projecting rocks. One, termed by pre-eminence the "Cave," is approached from the south by a rude piazza worn through the rock, the appearance of the sea and sky between the rough arches of which has a grand and singular effect. The next is a cavern called the "Wind Hole," extending about twenty-seven yards, with two or three fissures in the roof, at a considerable distance from the edge of the cliff; and if a hat or any other light substance be placed on the opening on the top, it will be violently blown into the air. The third has received the name of the "Fairy Cove," from the number of petrifactions which it contains, and which have assumed such a variety of grotesque shapes as to render it the most curious of the whole. At the western end of the down, which abuts on the Ewenny river, is another singular object, consisting of a large body of water issuing from the bottom of the down, foaming and boiling with much force, and forming two small streams.�See St. Bride's Major.


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