Penarth (population 20,930), is a coastal town in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. Penarth is a suburb of Cardiff, and one of the nicer ones - it blends into the rural area of Cosmeston, the neighbouring town/villages of Barry and Sully and straddles a stretch of the South Wales coastline (one end of the Cardiff Barrage). A Victorian resort town, Penarth has a Pier and an Esplanade on the seafront. (The distinctive pier buildings can be seen as the Bingo hall exterior in the movie House!)

There are many Victorian houses and churches in the town, interspersed with more modern housing developments. Penarth also boasts the Turner House Gallery. There is a small shopping district (well, street) with a number of banks and chain stores (including a tiny David Morgan's). There are two main large comprehensive schools (Stanwell and St. Cyres), serving the town and the surrounding area.

There are numerous pubs, including The Railway, The Bear's Head, and the one in the old swimming baths building which is continuously under new management and has had a variety of names. There is a Valley Lines train station. (Skater kids like to congregate in its carpark.) There is also one tiny nightclub, voted the worst in Europe, called Tel's.

I lived in Penarth for about ten years before moving to London for college. It's an idyllic and very relaxing place to live, but it can also be incredibly dull.

The Normans landed at Penarth in 1088 and almost immediately conquered the whole of Wales. Penarth means "Bear's Head" or "Head Land" depending on who you ask (supposedly because the outline of the coast looks like a bear's head).

More on Penarth: http://www.thisispenarth.co.uk/penarth/info/town_guide/penarth.html

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