The Vale of Glamorgan is in South Wales. It has a population of around 126,000 and covers approximately 33,000 hectares. Here is a list of nearby or neighbouring counties: Bridgend, Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taff.
Hundreds of millions of years ago the land that now forms the county borough of the Vale of Glamorgan (Bro Morgannwg in Welsh) was covered by equatorial waters. Geological activity pushed up the seabed to create cliffs that are rich in the fossilised remains of creatures which once lived in the sea and inland fertile soil well suited to farming. Today the Glamorgan Heritage Coast draws visitors who appreciate the areas picturesque landscape and tourists attracted to popular seaside resorts such as Penarth and Barry Island. The town of Penarth has much Victorian architecture, including a pier which was renovated during recent years to serve as a venue for events such as the showing of films and art exhibitions. Nearby Cosmeston Medieval Village was built during the late twentieth century on the site of an excavated medieval village and today visitors to the living history museum can see buildings reconstructed as they would have looked over six hundred years ago. Events are sometimes held where people dress in period costumes as villagers for historic re-enactments and the village has also been used as a location for filming television shows. The village is located within Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, which is home to a variety of wildlife and where people can walk through meadows and woodlands or look out across the large lakes.
Dating back to the twelfth century, St Donats Castle was purchased and renovated during the twentieth century by American newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst and today houses the United World College of the Atlantic, which has students from many countries. The castle overlooks the Bristol Channel, has landscaped gardens and facilities which can sometimes be hired to host events such as banquets and team building activities. The St Donats Arts Centre is located in the grounds of the castle, within the converted fourteenth century Tythe Barn. The arts centre is a venue for a range of cultural events including theatrical performances, films, live music and exhibitions of arts and crafts, such as painting and photography inspired by the regions landscape. Art Central, located in Barry Town Hall, serves as an exhibition space showcasing the work of contemporary artists, designers and crafts people as well as running workshops and activities to encourage the involvement of local people. Coed Hills Rural Art Space, near the market town of Cowbridge, is an open air sculpture trail designed to help visitors learn about sustainable living and art in the environment. Other attractions in the Vale of Glamorgan include Porthkerry Country Park, Dyffryn Gardens, six thousand year old Tinkinswood Burial Chamber and the ruins of Ogmore Castle and Beaupre Castle.