South Wales Valleys attractions

Top Choice Castle in Caerphilly (Caerffili)

Caerphilly Castle

You could be forgiven for thinking that Caerphilly Castle – with its profusion of towers and crenellations reflected in a duck-filled lake – was a film set rather than an ancient monument. While it is often used as …
Top Choice Mine in Blaenavon (Blaenafon)

Big Pit National Coal Museum

Fascinating Big Pit provides an opportunity to explore a real coal mine and get a taste of what life was like for the miners who worked here from 1880 to 1980. Tours descend 90m into the mine and explore the tunnels…
Mine in South Wales Valleys

Welsh Mining Experience

Until its last pit closed in 1990, the Rhondda Valley was synonymous with coal mining. That industrial heritage is celebrated within the buildings of the Lewis Merthyr coal mine, closed in 1983 and now the Rhondda H…
Historic Site in Blaenavon (Blaenafon)

Blaenavon Ironworks

When it was completed in 1789, this ironworks was among the most advanced in the world. Today the site is one of the best preserved of all its Industrial Revolution contemporaries, with a motion-activated audiovisua…
Castle in Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful)

Cyfarthfa Castle

For a measure of the wealth that accumulated at the top of the industrial pile, check out this castle, built in 1825 by William Crawshay II, overlooking his ironworks. The house is now jam-packed with interesting st…
Heritage Railway in Blaenavon (Blaenafon)

Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway

Built to haul coal and passengers, this railway has been restored by local volunteers, allowing you to catch a train from the town centre to Furnace Sidings (near Big Pit) and on to Whistle Halt, which at 396m is on…
Museum in Blaenavon (Blaenafon)

Blaenavon World Heritage Centre

Housed in an artfully converted old school, this centre contains a cafe, a tourist office, a gallery, a gift shop and, more importantly, excellent interactive audiovisual displays that explore the industrial heritag…
Heritage Railway in Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful)

Brecon Mountain Railway

Between 1859 and 1964 this narrow-gauge railway hauled coal and passengers between Merthyr and Brecon. A 5.5-mile section of track, between Pant Station and Torpantau at the head of Pontsticill Reservoir, has been r…
Historic Building in Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful)

Joseph Parry's Cottage

A half-mile to the south of Cyfarthfa Castle, a row of pint-sized 19th-century ironworkers' houses built by the Crawshays stands in bold contrast to their own ostentatious house. Number 4 was the birthplace of Welsh…
Historic Site in Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful)

Trevithick's Tunnel

The site of the first test of Richard Trevithick's steam-powered locomotive may interest trainspotters, but there isn't a lot to see here apart from a blocked up tunnel entrance, a mosaic memorial and some informati…