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Barry Island - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
Barry Island
Our second day of exploring new places in South Wales took us to Barry. We caught the local train and found ourselves in a small, pleasant seeming town, which became a little weirder as we walked down the main street to find several nightclubs, closed at this time in the morning, of course.

Our walk then took us through a huge development of new houses with many more under construction. This was probably old railway land from when Barry docks was a huge exporter of coal. Now, of course, the collieries are closed and the dirty industry is gone. (More about this in my next post.)

We soon reached Barry Island or "Barrybados" as it is sometimes known, mostly jokingly. It wasn't anything like as big as I expected. From what I'd heard, I'd thought it was somewhere like Rhyl but in fact it was quite small with a lovely beach.

Here's the funfair, with a new rollercoaster being built.

Fun fair

I thought this roundabout for small children was rather jolly!


Here's a view of the beach from the headland.

Whitmore Bay beach

I'd expected much more of a dump, but it was perfectly pleasant, so it seems the main reason people are rude about Barry is because it's a big favourite with all the working class families who live in the Welsh valleys. I suspect it can get rather rough at night when the families have gone home and the younger people have been drinkng, but it looks as though efforts are being made to improve the resort's image and I hope it works because it's a nice example of a traditional British seaside.
4 comments or Leave a comment
lab_jazz From: lab_jazz Date: August 1st, 2018 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
looking at the last photo - the tide seems to go out a long way.

heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: August 2nd, 2018 07:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that's average for a British beach. There are places where the tide goes out for miles. I remember holidays at Southport on the Lancashire coast where it was an epic trek to go and paddle.

The beach shelves very gently, which means that the tide also comes in very fast and people often get cut off on sandbars and need rescuing.
lab_jazz From: lab_jazz Date: August 2nd, 2018 11:49 am (UTC) (Link)
which means that the tide also comes in very fast and people often get cut off on sandbars and need rescuing.

Do people ever drown?

I wouldn't have liked to take my kids to a beach where the incoming tide could come in faster they could walk/run ahead of it.

Our beaches aren't like that. There isn't much difference between the tide in and the tide out.

That picture that you put in the comment is amazing. Come down to the beach - if you're lucky you might be able to find the water.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: August 3rd, 2018 08:28 am (UTC) (Link)
People do occasionally drown, though we have excellent lifeboat and coastguard services that rescue many people. The worst case of drowning in recent times was when 23 cockle pickers, all Chinese immigrants, died in 2004 in Morecambe Bay. There was only one survivor. You really have to check tides carefully and also watch the weather.

When I was small and we went to Southport for holidays or day trips, instead of a boat offering sea trips there was a DUKW, probably ex-army. As it was an amphibious craft, it could drive you the long distance to the sea, take you for a sail around and then drive you back.
4 comments or Leave a comment