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Llantwit Major

Vale of Glamorgan CF61

South Wales has plenty of picturesque villages and towns, but chilled-out Llantwit somehow still manages to stand out.  The town – a mere 30 minutes from Cardiff – has the usual charm and idyllic character expected from the best British coastal towns, yet with all the resident surfers and students, it manages to maintain a young, edgy vibe.  Essentially it's just a small suburb, with boutique shops, mini supermarkets, a butchers, a handful of pubs and – its major USP – one corker of a beach.  Part of the Glamorgan heritage coast, rocky Llantwit beach is one of the finest in South Wales. Made up from the remains of an ancient stone wall from Iron Age hill fort, Castle Ditches, it happens to be one of best spots in Wales to find Jurrassic fossils and other historical relics.  The surf here is impressive too, and draws in the crowds during the summer.  Llantwit Major or Llaniltud Fawr in Welsh is also the home to St Illtyd's Church, which helped give rise to the town name (Llan meaning church enclosure & Mawr meaning great).   It's one of the oldest parishes in Wales and together with St Illtud himself, allegedly educated famous Patron Saints, Patrick and David.  Despite Llantwit's miniature size and relatively unknown status, it ticks all the right boxes, dripping with history, character and laid-back coolness.

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