Hosting beautiful beaches, a lively centre with great independent businesses, speedy transport links with the Welsh capital, and of course its famous pleasure park and amusement arcades, the town of Barry has so much going for it. Situated on the beautiful coast of South Wales, just 10 miles from Cardiff, Barry was formerly an agricultural village that went on to play a major part in the coal trade in the late 1800s, at one point being the largest coal exporting port in the world. In more recent years, the dock has become a major centre of industry and employment, while the famous Barry Island peninsula is loved for its traditional seaside resort feel and funfair attractions. Though the island is a hugely popular holiday destination, the town is a fantastic place to live thanks to family-friendly amenities and superb commuter links. You don’t need to take our word for it – a 2017 study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research named Barry the most desirable place to live and work in Wales, while according to Rightmove the town was the UK’s top property hotspot for growth in 2019.
Great local amenities
There’s a wide range of shops and services to be found Barry, with two main shopping areas, Mermaid Quay and King’s Square, hosting high street shops and banks. In the heart of the town, stroll down the long and bustling high street to discover a vast selection of eateries and independent stores, and for larger chains there’s the Waterfront retail park with a Morrisons superstore.
It’s not far to go for a full spree – a half-hour drive or 25-minute train takes you to Cardiff, home to numerous shopping streets, several large malls, and arcade filled with independent boutiques, plus a market selling local produce.
Fun-filled coastal living
Barry is best known for Barry Island, the vibrant seafront area beloved by locals and tourists alike. Once a true island, it was connected to the mainland in the 1880s, and now hosts traditional seaside stalls and eateries, amusement arcades and the Barry Island Pleasure Park, along with the sandy beach.
Once you’ve exhausted the island attractions there are plenty more leisure spots to explore. Pebble Beach and Watchtower Bay are beautiful and quieter beaches, while Knap Gardens and the Marine Lake provide a lovely setting to walk, visit the swans and enjoy the stunning views. More panoramic views can be enjoyed from Friars Point, and the gardens, tennis courts and play areas make Romilly Park a popular place to take children.
There are many more coastal delights a short distance from Barry in either direction, from the bustling marina at Penarth to the beautiful beaches of Porthcawl.
Great choice of schools
Proving again that this is a highly family-friendly location, there’s a great range of schools in Barry. For English-medium primary schools there’s Holton School, High Street School, Romilly Primary School and Barry Island School; Welsh-medium primary schools include Ysgol St Baruc and Ysgol St Curig; while for denominational primary schools you’ll find All Saints Church in Wales School and St Helen’s Catholic School. Secondary age children can attend Whitmore High School (English-medium), Pencoedtre High School (English-medium), Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg (Welsh-medium) and ST Richard Gwyn RC (denominational).
Superb transport links
Barry benefits from two train stations, one in the town centre and one on Barry Island, which both offer speedy routes to Cardiff Central and onward links to Newport, Bridgend, Bristol and London, making it a great location for commuters. The nearby A4050 and A4226 mean you’ll be well situated for road travel, and air travel will be a breeze thanks to the 10-minute drive to Cardiff Airport.