Here’s a selection of photos taken around Penarth Promenade, pier and beach last week.
It’s a place I’ve been visiting ever since childhood, and it was lovely to see both the pier and the recently restored pavilion in such great shape.
The pier is some 500 metres from the railway station, and there’s an attractive wooded pedestrian path down to the esplanade.
This wonderful Victorian building housed the municipal baths before they were relocated in the 1980s. After being converted into a pub (‘In At The Deep End’) the building is now a luxury home.
I wrote about the pier in a previous article:
Opening in 1895 in response to the growing popularity of the nearby beach and to service the lively ferry trade to Cardiff, Penarth Pier on the South Wales coast stands 50 feet (230 m) long.
After being sold to the council in 1929, a new concrete landing stage was built at the seaward end, followed by a delightful Art Deco pavilion at the shoreward end,
Used as a venue for traditional seaside entertainment and a concert hall, the building fell into disrepair over the years, but a 2009 Heritage Lottery Fund led to a £3.9m refurbishment scheme which [saw the] the pavilion being used as a cinema, cafe, observatory and multi-purpose community complex.
Inside the Olde Sweet Shop by the pier entrance.
Penarth hasn’t got the greatest of beaches, being a mix of pebble, sand and mud, but it’s still a pleasant place to go pottering around at low tide.
The restored pavilion looks fantastic.
Looking out towards Cardiff.
There’s ice cream, drinks and snacks available from the pier buildings. And, err, conveniently, there’s public toilets too.
Looking out to Flatholm (Ynys Echni), from where Messrs Kemp and Marconi successfully transmitted the first ever wireless messages to go over the sea in 1897.
In the distance you can see Cardiff docks and bay, dominated by the copper-tiled roof of the Millennium Centre.
I took a photo from a similar angle in the 1980s (below):
Inside the restored pavilion’s exhibition space. A modern tea room can be found on the seaward side (below):
Flatholm and its neighbour, Steepholm (Ynys Rhonech).
The distinctive outline of the Monkstone Lighthouse, which is located in the Bristol Channel, near Lavernock Point.
Built in 1839, it remained largely unaltered until its conversion to solar powered operation in 1993.
Rebuilt upmarket flats facing the Bristol Channel.
The pier at low tide.
Established in 1861 and covering part of the Bristol Channel, Penarth Lifeboat Station operates two inshore lifeboats, a B class Atlantic 85 and a D class. The replacement boathouse was built in 1995.
Unusual tri-lingual sign by the beachfront.
Walking back to the railway station via the splendid Alexandra Gardens.
The Grade II listed Paget Rooms were built in the early part of the 20th century and came into public ownership in 1949 when the former Penarth U.D.C. took over the lease from Kibbor Cinemas Limited.
All that’s left of the Cardiff, Penarth and Barry Junction Railway is this short single line branch that terminates at Penarth station.
[From the New Adlestrop railway map]
The line used to run through to a junction at Cadoxton. until closure in 1968.
Subsequent development on the trackbed means there is very little chance of the the line being reinstated, although this novel video has virtually recreated the line:
Looking from the buffer stops towards Cardiff.
The original railway hotel is now a pub.
Chat about Penarth
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Penarth town, pier, promenade and more – photos & chat
Penarth Pier and the restored Pavilion in pictures, South Wales [Aug 2013]
Photo feature on Penarth Pier with archive images [Aug 2009]
Penarth Pier gets thumping big grant from Heritage Lottery Fund [2011 report]
A steamer trip from Penarth to Somerset [Aug 2003]