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Archive for tag: Rhondda Heritage Park

Discover Rhondda Cynon Taf

Lluest-wen ReservoirNestled at the heart of the Southern Wales is perhaps the most famous valley in the world. Once upon a time, the Rhondda Valley produced the coal that powered the world.

How times change, the pits and heaps have long gone to be replaced by glorious countryside and great mountain top views.

There are still reminders of the area's past, not least at the Rhondda Heritage Park, where in the company of an ex miner you embark on an Underground Experience Tour. Find out what life was like for the men (and indeed boys) who worked in the mines.

Up above the valley, the views from the mountain tops are spectacular. There are many walks and routes to follow, not least from the Dare Valley Country Park. Who knows, they might lead to historic sites or hidden waterfalls.

The valley actually stretches all the way up to the Brecon Beacons.  And it is here, in the foothills of the mountains that you will find the tiny village of Penderyn, home to the only whisky distillery in Wales.

They started production here in 2000 and the first bottle was released on St David's Day in 2004. It was the first whisky to be (legally!) produced in Wales since the 19th century. The distillery is situated on a natural spring and it uses this water, to produce the whisky.

The visitor centre opened in 2008 and gives visitors a tour explaining how the distilling process works. Even better, at the end of the tour you get the chance to sample the whisky (or vodka, gin or cream liquor that they also produce).

For more information on this region of Southern Wales, please visit the website.

Valleys Essentials

Big Pit National Coal MuseumThe valleys of Southern Wales have long been known for it's wealth of heritage attractions and castles.  But did you know there are so many other attractions, events and other days out for you to experience.

Now, the people of the Valleys Heart and Soul website have come up with a list of the top 50 things to do in their area.   They teamed up with Rough Guide author Mike Parker to create a list of the Top 50 Valleys Essentials.  Included on the list are the must-see heritage attractions, unmissable eateries and events and scenic walks across The Valleys.

Which is your favourite?  Maybe you're a fan of the area's industrial history and therefore Rhondda Heritage Park, Big Pit National Coal Museusm or the World Heritage Site at Blaenavon will get your vote.  Caerphilly Castle is also in the list as is the nearby Llancaiach Fawr Manor House and Merthyr Tydfil's Cyfarthfa Castle Museum.  The Guardian statue at Six Bells near Abertillery is probably the newest attraction featured.

Food and drink lovers maybe tempted to vote for the Blaenavon Cheddar Company or the Penderyn Whiky Distillery.  There's also plenty of choice for outdoor lovers with the Brecon Mountain Railway nominated as well as the Mountain Biking tracks at Cwmcarn.  There are plenty of walks to choose from too including the Taff Trail and the Iron Mountain Trail as well as some slightly more unusual sights, such as the 200 metre long earch sculpture of a horse at Parc Penallta near Ystrad Mynach.

Don't forget to vote, or if you can't see your favourite on the list you can nominate on the website by clicking here