Nestled 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 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.
The 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
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
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