PENARTH Pier has been voted one of Wales’ top 10 Special Places in a major campaign by National Trust Wales.

Penarth Pier, which was crowned Pier of the Year in April, is now hoping to be crowned as the top spot in the competition that aims to get the country talking about what makes the places in Wales special.

For the past six weeks the conservation charity’s Special Places campaign has sparked a national conversation that has seen people talking about, and voting for, their own ‘special place’ in Wales.

Now the public are being asked to vote in person at Penarth Pier by Thursday, July 31, or online by Sunday, August 3, to help make Penarth Pier champion as it battles against places such as Dyffryn Gardens, Gower, and Hay-on-Wye.

The top ten announced at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show also included Mwnt, Brecon Beacons, Tenby, Snowdonia National Park, Cyfarthfa Castle, and The Lonely Tree.

The recently refurbished Penarth Pier was shortlisted by the judges for its iconic status and the way the town rallied together to keep one of its most precious buildings alive, and its representation of Welsh Seaside culture in general.

Grammy Award-winning opera singer and local Penarthian, Rebecca Evans, said of her special place: “Penarth Pier is such a special place for me. During my rehabilitation after an operation last year I was told to walk a lot to get my strength back. My route every single day, whether wind, rain or sunshine, included Penarth Pier. I found it very healing, very spiritual and very uplifting.

“I think the recent redevelopment of the pier is absolutely amazing. I love the vision the architect had for the whole project. It’s still very in-keeping with the style and image that we have in mind of what Victorian piers should be like and it completely enhances it. It was such a good idea to put the cinema in there – all you need is a Wurlitzer and it would be complete.”

Dr David Trotman, Director of the Penarth Pier Pavilion, said of the news: “Many people have worked so hard over the years in order to make the Pavilion such a special place to visit and enjoy. To make the shortlist shows how the Pavilion and the Pier are loved, and it’s a great honour and privilege to be thought of in this way. It would be wonderful to see the restored Pavilion be crowned the winner in August.”

Local artist Sheridan Ward, the first artist to exhibit her work in the revamped Penarth Pier Pavilion after its refurbishment, said: “The pier's iconic architecture and breathtaking panoramic views are inspirational to me as an artist. It boasts a fantastic exhibition space and I was honoured to have a show there earlier this year, after its incredible refurbishment. It’s certainly a very special place for everyone to enjoy and it is a delightful asset to our lovely seaside town of Penarth.”

The fully restored Art Deco Pier Pavilion joins a line-up of much-loved beaches, landmarks and places of cultural interest which have made the National Trust Special Places shortlist for 2014.

The shortlist was chosen by a panel of official judges, a mixture of travel and heritage experts including broadcaster Roy Noble, travel journalist and TV Presenter Simon Calder and TV wildlife presenter Iolo Williams, who are spearheading the campaign and calling on the public to join in and vote for their favourite place to be crowned Wales’ official Special Places.

To vote for their winner, people of Penarth are being urged to vote via Twitter using #lleoeddarbennig / #specialplaces @NTWales or on Facebook at