Penarth lies in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. Penarth is on the north shore of the Severn estuary between Cardiff Bay to the north east and the town of Barry to the southwest. It is a superbly elegant Victorian town, proud of retaining its heritage, boasting superb parks and gardens and a range of stores, gift shops and galleries.
As with many British holiday resorts it owes its development to the Victorian and Edwardian fashion of visiting the seaside. Penarth was never a brash "kiss me quick" seaside resort such as its near neighbour Barry Island but rather an exclusive resort and residential area for the better off.
With it being fashionable again to visit the seaside Penarth has undergone somewhat of a revival with a refurbished Esplanade and pier, but although it continues to be a regular summer holiday destination for predominantly older visitors they are nowhere near the numbers that were common from Victorian times until the 1960s.
The pebble beach has a backdrop of fine Edwardian buildings with a Yacht Club, and "Italian Gardens". The winding pathways of the Alexandra Gardens lead to the town centre and its Cardiff style Arcades, and an eclectic mix of shops including high quality organic and fair trade.
Within Penarth a walk to Penarth Headland offers views over Cardiff Bay and the new Marina. A walk along the Esplanade in the opposite direction leads to Lavernock Point and fine views of the Bristol Channel, the islands of Flat Holm and Steep Holm and the north Somerset coast. (Lavernock Point is where in 1897 Marconi received the first ever radio message sent across water.)
The Victorian Pier is a staging point for the various pleasure steamers, including the Balmoral, that ply their trade in the Bristol Channel during the summer months.
Being close to the City of Cardiff there is no shortage of things to do and attractions to visit. Close at hand (2 miles) is the medieval village of Cosmeston where a fascinating reconstruction of a medieval settlement sits among the nature trails and lakes of Cosmeston Country Park. It is a popular attraction with re-enactments staged during bank holiday weekends.