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Archive for tag: Bedwellty House

Best of Bedwellty

Bedwellty HouseTredegar is a small town with a big history.

At the centre of the town is the beautiful Bedwellty Park.  The 26 acre park dates from the 19th century when it was created for the Master of the local iron works, Samuel Homfray.

The parkland is full of interesting features such as cascades, a bandstand and an ice house.  It also boasts the biggest single lump of coal ever mined.

The park's centre piece though is Bedwellty House.  Once home to Homfray, the house has a remarkable history.  As well as being a residence, the house also became the headquarters of Tredegar Town Council.

And it was in this council chamber that a young Aneurin Bevan took his first steps into politics, before he went on to become the local MP and founder of the NHS.  Visitors can take a look inside this historic room and watch a short film as well as browse through a number of other exhibitions.

Bedwelty House and Park is open all year round to the public.

Visitors to the house and park can relax and unwind in the Orchid House tearoom where they can sample a range of homemade specialities, including produce grown in its very own kitchen garden.

For more information please visit the website

Gwent Gems

GuardianBlaenau Gwent…or head of the Gwent valleys if you want to know what it means.  Being at the top of these valleys, it comes as no surprise that the area has a number of lofty claims to fame.

It has the highest town in Wales - Brynmawr, standing at 380 metres above sea level.  It is also home to the highest golf course in Wales, with the West Mon course standing at 457 metres.  It also has one of the tallest sculptures in Wales - Six Bell's Guardian memorial towering 20 metres over the village below.

As well as all these giant geographical landmarks, it also an area that celebrates political giants.  Tredegar was the home town to Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS.  In fact, the place where he first cut his teeth in politics, Bedwellty House is now open to the public.  Together with the surrounding parkland, it is now one of the most popular attractions in the area.

Other attractions in the area include the Festival Park shopping village and Parc Bryn Bach, a acres of green space, morrland and lake - ideal for all sort of outdoor pursuits.

Click the links to take a look at what else Blaenau Gwent and the surrounding Valleys can offer.

Whistle Stop Tour of Southern Wales

Six Bells Mining MemorialI had a great couple of days out of the office showing a group from UK Inbound around our area.

UK Inbound is a trade association that represents Tour Operators from around the world who bring travellers into the UK.  And 15 of those operators pitched up in Cardiff on Thursday to see what Southern Wales could offer them.

Arriving in Cardiff Central train station the group made the short journey out to Llanerch Vineyard on the outskirts of the city where they enjoyed a cookery demonstration from chef Angela Grey in the vineyard's cookery school.  Next it was into the restaurant for lunch and a welcome from owner Ryan Davies who gave the group a taste Llanerch's very own wine.

Following Llanerch Vineyard the group made the quick hop to the UK's favourite Tourist Attraction, the St Fagans National History Musuem.  They were intrigued by the buildings which make up the museum's exhibits, particularly the Workingmen's Institute, church and the row of ironworkers' cottages from Merthyr Tydfil.

Caerphilly CastleThe following day saw the group visit Caerphilly Castle, one of the biggest in Europe, before winding their way through the Southern Wales Valleys to the town of Tredegar and the newly restored Bedwellty House.  From there it was a short journey to the village of Six Bells and the impressive sight of the Guardian Mining Memorial.  Next stop was the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre for lunch and a quick tour to find out why the area has been named as a World Heritage Site.

Then it was time for many people's highlight of the day, a tour of the Penderyn Distillery, the only whisky distillery in Wales.  The group had a guided tour of the site where they learned all about the process of making Welsh wysgi before finding themselves in the bar where they could sample some of the finished product.

The group then headed back to Cardiff for their last night in Wales.  We only had a couple of days to show them what we can offer.  We really could have done with a couple of weeks instead.

You can see more images from the trip on our flickr page