Southerndown is a village in South Wales to the southwest of Bridgend, in St Brides Major community, close to Llantwit Major and Ogmore-by-Sea. It is mostly known for its beach (officially named Dunraven bay), which is a popular tourist destination during the summer months and since 1972 has been designated a Heritage Coast and is part of the Southerndown Coast SSSI. When the tide is out there is an expanse of sand and pools. The cliffs are an obvious example of sedimentary rock.
As Southerndown, along with nearby Ogmore-by-Sea, is a west-facing beach (and hence on the Atlantic coast), off-shore winds from the East generate much good-quality surf, helped by the warming effects of the Gulf Stream.
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 at high tide. The second beach is one of the largest in Glamorgan and stretches all the way down the coast to Nash Point near Llantwit Major.
It has been used in the occasional TV production, including on Doctor Who: as Bad Wolf Bay in "Doomsday" and "Journey's End" and as the surface of the alien planet in "The Time of Angels" and "Flesh and Stone" and as the engine room of the ark ship in "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship". It also appeared in Merlin in the first season episode 'The Labyrinth of Gedref'. It was also featured in the Bob Dylan film Hearts of Fire, with Dylan looking out over the second beach down onto Rupert Everett.
During the summer, Southerndown Lifesaving Club use the beach as opposed to St Donat's Castle. It has a notable golf club, Southerndown Golf Club.
- BBC South East Wales: Southerndown beach panorama
- BBC South East Wales: Southerndown beach walks
- St Brides Major Southerndown and Ogmore-by-sea community website
- www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Southerndown and surrounding area
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