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Rhondda Cynon Taf

Group Travel Guide

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www.visitsouthernwales.org

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Contents 04 Regional Overview

08 Activities

Mae Parc Treftadaeth Cwm Rhondda yn darparu tystiolaeth fyw o gymunedau glofaol byd enwog Cymoedd y Rhondda drwy gynnig cipolwg diddorol ar y diwylliant cyfoethog a chymeriad Cymoedd De Cymru. Bydd cyn-lowyr gyda'ch ymwelwyr ar daith danddaearol 40 munud cyn archwilio stryd pentref hanesyddol, dan do sy'n dangos bywyd domestig a masnachol o'r Cymoedd. Mae cyfleusterau ychwanegol yn cynnwys canolfan i ymwelwyr, oriel gelf a chaffi. Digonedd o le i barcio bysiau ar y safle. Prisiau gostyngol ar gael ar gyfer grwpiau. Cynnig Grwˆp: • Amrywiaeth o amseroedd taith i weddu eich amserlen • Disgownt grwˆp • Mynediad am ddim ar gyfer gyrrwr bws ac arweinydd y grwˆp • Lluniaeth am ddim ar gyfer gyrrwr bws ac arweinydd y gr p (drwy drefnu ymlaen llaw) • Digon o le i barcio bysiau gyda mynediad hawdd o'r A4058

A living testament to the mining communities of the world famous Rhondda Valleys, Rhondda Heritage Park offers you a fascinating insight into the rich culture and character of the South Wales Valleys. Ex miners accompany your visitors on a 40 minute underground tour before exploring the indoor period village street that displays the domestic and commercial life of the Valleys. Additional facilities include a visitor centre, art gallery and café. Ample coach parking is available on site. Group discounts offered.

Attractions

10 Accommodation

13 Explore Rhondda Cynon Taf

Group Offer: • A variety of tour times to suit schedule • Group discount • Free entry for Coach Driver and Group leader • Free refreshment for Coach Driver and Group Leader (by prior arrangement) • Ample Coach Parking with easy access from A4058

16 Tour Guides

 reception@rhonddaheritagepark.com

06 12 Refreshment Stops

15 Event Highlights

17 Coach Parking

18 Maps & Travel Information

 01443 682036

Rhondda Cynon Taf

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.. … r u jo on B . … e a M d w h S Hello… it u d ia D o… ll a H . … g a T Guten Welcome (or Croeso as we prefer to say) to Southern Wales You may already have an idea what to expect from a trip to Southern Wales. We are split into six distinctive areas, each with their own character and charm. The areas of Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf are well known for their history and heritage, whilst nearby Monmouthshire is more rural and famed for its fabulous food and drink. Newport is a thriving city with some world class attractions whilst Bridgend is a mix of coastal resorts, market towns and fabulous countryside.

Discover Rhondda Cynon Taf Probably the most famous valley in the world – the Rhondda once powered the world.

We also have plenty of castles and museums but we also have a National Park, the start of the Wales Coast Path and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

For more information visit our website www.visitsouthernwales.org

We also have some things you may not associate with us. There are the remains of a Roman amphitheatre and barracks, vineyards producing award winning wine and a great big sculpture, soaring 20 metres into the sky and standing guard over the Valleys below.

To order group travel brochures for other areas of Southern Wales please contact +44 (0)1656 815336 or e-mail brochure@southernwales.com

or contact the tourism team: tel - +44 (0)1443 424052 email - tourismbusiness@rctcbc.gov.uk

Each of our areas has its own guide. So have a flick through this one and then take a look at the companion brochures and before long you’ll be planning your trip to Southern Wales.

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Those days are long gone, although the history and legacy are preserved, not least at the excellent Rhondda Heritage Park. Here, in the company of an ex-miner, you’ll hear the tales of how the men (and boys) lived and worked in the coal industry. It’s not all about the past. There are plenty of attractions that are looking to the future. The Penderyn Distillery, in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons has just unveiled their new, extended tours. It now means that visitors get an even greater look at how Wales’ only distillery produces its famed Penderyn Single Malt.

pools, café and explore the new adventure play area. Meanwhile, the Royal Mint at Llantrisant will shortly be opening their doors to the public. Visitors will see how the money in their pockets is made, as well as get the chance to strike their own coin. Elsewhere, enjoy the serenity of the Dare Valley Country Park or the charming hillside town of Llantrisant.

Lido Ponty will reopen Summer 2015 and will be Wales’ premier outdoor water attraction. Enjoy three heated

www.visitsouthernwales.org

Rhondda Cynon Taf

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Enjoy the best of what this area has to offer, including a top whisky distillery, beautiful countryside and an experience of what life was like underground. Dare Valley Country Park

Lido Ponty

500 acres of breath taking countryside near Aberdare. Explore our network of Countryside trails, take in the spectacular views and enjoy the play areas or even a game of laser tag at combat zone. On site café and visitor centre.

Pontypridd’s new and exciting premier outdoor water attraction and adventure park situated in the picturesque setting of Ynysangharad War Memorial Park. Lido Ponty will comprise three heated swimming pools. Café and a dry play area.

tel: +44 (0)1685 874672 email: darevalleycountrypark@rctcbc.gov.uk web: www.darevalleycountrypark.co.uk

tel: +44 (0)1443 495187 email: pontypridd@rctcbc.gov.uk web: www.lidoponty.co.uk

The Royal Mint

Penderyn Distillery Visitor Centre

Take a look behind the scenes at Britain’s oldest manufacturing organisation. See for yourself the people and processes that put the pounds and pennies in your pockets. Coming soon.

The distillery is the only one in Wales and the first to legally distil whisky spirit in the country for more than 100 years. Enjoy a tour through the history of whisky making in Wales, and understand the distilling process at first hand.

tel: +44 (0)1443 222111 web: www.royalmint.com

tel: +44 (0)1685 810651 email: visitorcentre@welsh-whisky.co.uk web: www.welsh-whisky.co.uk

Pontypridd Museum

Rhondda Heritage Park

The museum depicts the industrial, social and cultural history of Pontypridd, emphasizing the distinctive history of the town. Historic bridge nearby was built in 1756 and became famous as the first in Europe to exceed the span of the Rialto in Venice.

Don your safety helmet, ride ‘the cage’ to ‘pit bottom’ where you will ‘live the experience’ of life as a miner and hear from your guide about the hazards and tasks miners endured as part of their daily work. On-site cafe and visitor centre.

tel: +44 (0)1443 490748 web: www.pontypriddmuseum.org.uk

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tel: +44 (0)1443 682036 email: reception@rhonddaheritagepark.com web: www.rhonddaheritagepark.com

www.visitsouthernwales.org

G S ro pe A up ci a va ila Ra l bl te e s

Attractions

The Ty Newydd Country Hotel is set at the end of a lengthy drive off the A4059 on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park and has everything you have been looking for; tranquillity, comfort and excellent food. With the Brecon Beacons National Park, Valleys, Castles and Historic centres as our neighbours, we are ideally located to explore, arguably, the most beautiful part of Wales. Ty Newydd Country Hotel Penderyn Road, Hirwaun, Aberdare, Mid Glamorgan CF44 9SX Tel: 01685 813433 | Fax: 01685 813139 Web: www.tynewyddcountryhotel.co.uk Email: relax@tynewyddcountryhotel.co.uk

TY NEWYDD ———— ♦♦♦ ———— COUNTRY HOTEL

Open All Year 28 En-suite Bedrooms Free Car/Coach Parking Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Group Rates Lunch Stops Morning Coffee Afternoon Teas


Activities

Gwyliwch y byrdi Watch the birdie

Get an adrenaline boost by taking to the great outdoors. Enjoy some heart racing action in some of the most picturesque settings Southern Wales has to offer. Combat Zone Live

Mountain View Ranch

Combat Zone Live is the most realistic combat simulation you can find, short of joining the military. Use your skill and judgement to outwit your opponents. Weapons have no projectiles and use an infrared beam of light.

Mountain View Ranch offers over 100 acres of Trails, Meadows and Woodlands to explore, all crammed with wildlife and stunning views. Activities include a High Ropes Course and Segway Trekking.

tel: +44 (0)7859 898222 email: info@combatzonelive.co.uk web: www.combatzonelive.co.uk

tel: +44 (0)2920 886666 email: info@mountainviewranch.co.uk web: www.mountainviewranch.co.uk

Taff Valley Quad Bike Centre

Wales Activity Breaks

Activity Centre specialising in Quad Bike treks through the countryside on our 360 acre working hill farm. Try taster sessions in Archery, Clay Pigeon shooting and many more.

Specialists in Quad Biking, Archery, Clay Shooting & Gorge Walking. Excellent quad trekking with 360 acres of wild farmland to explore as well as archery & shooting.

tel: +44 (0)2920 831658 email: hopkinsmith@btconnect.com web: www.adventurewales.co.uk

tel: +44 (0)2920 831658 email: info@walesactivitybreaks.co.uk web: www.walesactivitybreaks.co.uk

Mae Rhondda Cynon Taf, sy'n gorwedd yn dwt rhwng Caerdydd a Pharc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog yn lleoliad perffaith i gael gêm o golff. Mae gan ein cymoedd syfrdanol 5 clwb golff mewn lleoliadau amrywiol. Mae cyrsiau golff uchaf ynysoedd Prydain yma, felly mae digon o gyfleoedd i wylio adar wrth ichi gerdded y cwrs. Yn ystod yr wythnos diwethaf, rydyn ni wedi gweld sawl byrdi, un eryr ac un albatros.

Rhondda Cynon Taf, nestled between Cardiff and the Brecon Beacons National Park, is the perfect setting for a game of golf. Our breathtaking valleys have five golf clubs in various settings. We have the highest altitude golf courses in the British Isles, so there are plenty of opportunities for bird watching while on the fairway. In the last week, we’ve seen several “birdies”, an “eagle” and an “albatross”.

Ac mae'r golff yn well na'r safon hefyd!

Oh, and our golf is above par too.

Chwiliwch am eich diwrnod arbennig o golff:

www.visitrct.co.uk/birdie

www.visitrct.co.uk/birdie

au i’w Diwrnod

ays Great D RHONDD

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www.visitsouthernwales.org

A CYNON

TAF

Find your great golfing day out at:


Accommodation Grand country houses, cosy rural retreats and high quality independent hotels mean that there is plenty of choice for you. Llewchwen Hall Hotel

Miskin Manor

Llechwen Hall Hotel is a privately owned historic country house hotel with magnificent views, exceptional food and stylish surroundings.

Miskin Manor Hotel is a Grade II listed hotel set in 25 acres of incredible gardens. The manor is one of the most beautiful, decadent country house hotels in Wales, providing guests with a beautifully warm & friendly welcome.

tel: +44 (0)1443 742050 email: enquiries@llechwenhall.co.uk web: www.llechwen.co.uk

tel: +44 (0)1443 224204 email: reservations@miskin-manor.co.uk web: www.miskin-manor.co.uk

Premier Inn Aberdare

Premier Inn Llantrisant

Walking, waterfalls and whisky... The Premier Inn Hotel Aberdare has all the ingredients for a fabulous getaway. Just minutes from Brecon Beacons National Park or an easy 35 minutes from central Cardiff.

There’s so much to see and do nearby. You’ll be less than half an hour from central Cardiff, a short drive from some top-notch golf clubs and near enough to the seaside to nip for an ice-cream.

tel: +44 (0)871 5278002 web: www.premierinn.com

tel: +44 (0)0871 5278640 web: www.premierinn.com

Rhondda Heritage Park Hotel

Tyˆ Newydd Country Hotel

Located adjacent to the Rhondda Heritage Park, the hotel is an ideal base from which to explore South Wales. The Brecon Beacons National Park and Cardiff, are only twenty minutes by car.

Tranquillity, comfort, excellent food - and some of the most beautiful scenery in Wales right on our doorstep. The grounds extend to over three acres and provide ample parking for coaches.

tel: +44 (0)1443 687057 email: reservations@heritageparkhotel.co.uk web: www.heritageparkhotel.co.uk

tel: +44 (0)1685 813433 email: relax@tynewyddcountryhotel.co.uk web: www.tynewyddcountryhotel.co.uk

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www.visitsouthernwales.org


Refreshment stops

Explore Rhondda Cynon Taf

Take time out from your tour to enjoy a spot of lunch or a refreshing tea or coffee at one of the many cafes, pubs or restaurants throughout the region.

1 day Itinerary

Caffi Lido Ponty

Caradogs at Tyˆ Newydd Country Hotel

Café at the heart of the new Lido Ponty development at Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd. Serving a variety of light snacks and teas and coffees in this beautifully restored outdoor water attraction. Opening summer 2015.

Modern restaurant serving honest, straightforward food. Caradog’s serves the best of Welsh local produce with seasonal ingredients taken from the Brecon Beacons and Neath Valley.

Pontypridd, CF37 4PE www.lidoponty.co.uk

Hirwaun, CF44 9SX www.caradogs.co.uk

Dare Valley Country Park

Heritage Park Hotel

Y Cwtch is the café at the heart of the Dare Valley Country Park serving a selection of teas, coffees and light snacks. The park covers 500 acres of beautiful valleys scenery.

The Loft Restaurant at the Heritage Park Hotel reflects tradition and heritage. The atmosphere is enhanced by the beamed features, with many of the timbers originating from the old wharf warehouses of Cardiff docks.

Aberdare, CF44 7RG www.darevalleycountrypark.co.uk

Trehafod, CF37 2NP www.heritageparkhotel.co.uk

Miskin Manor

Rhondda Heritage Park

The Meisgyn restaurant holds 2 AA Rosettes serving incredible locally sourced Welsh produce in menus that encompasses modern cuisine. The restaurant itself is beautiful; Located in the original manor house which dates back to the 16th century.

The Level One Cafe at Rhondda Heritage Park enjoys spectacular views of the lower Rhondda Valley. You can enjoy a wide range of Welsh food and drink, from quick snacks to full meals in our fully licensed cafe. Advanced group bookings are welcome.

Pontyclun, CF72 8ND www.miskin-manor.co.uk

Trehafod, CF37 2NP www.rhonddaheritagepark.com

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Whether it’s outdoor activities, relaxing places, inspiring views or historic treasures, Rhondda Cynon Taf has something for everyone.

Stop 1 – The Royal Mint Take a look behind the scenes at Britain’s oldest manufacturing organisation. See for yourself the people and processes that put the pounds and pennies in your pockets. www.royalmint.com Stop 2 – Rhondda Heritage Park

www.visitsouthernwales.org

Continue on to the Rhondda Heritage Park. Here, you can don your safety helmet, ride ‘the cage’ to ‘pit bottom’ where you will ‘live the experience’ of life as a miner. You’ll hear from your guide about the hazards and difficulties the men (and boys) endured as part of their daily work. www.rhonddaheritagepark.com Stop 3 – Dare Valley Country Park Explore some of the 500 acres of countryside that make up the Dare Valley Country Park. There are countless walks and trails to discover and fabulous views over the Cynon Valley to enjoy. www.darevalleycountrypark.co.uk Stop 4 – Penderyn Distillery Centre One of Wales’ most popular tourist attractions. Discover the secrets of how Wales’ only whisky is produced. Take a tour of the production area before sampling some of the finished product in the bar. www.welsh-whisky.co.uk Stop 5 – Tyˆ Newydd Country House Hotel Finally, it’s time to relax in the beautiful surroundings of the Tyˆ Newydd Country House Hotel. Enjoy a meal in the acclaimed Caradog’s Restaurant or indulge in a luxurious Afternoon Tea. www.tynewyddcountryhotel.co.uk

Rhondda Cynon Taf

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Explore the Region - 2 Day Itinerary

Day 2 (Continued)

With so much to do it can be challenging to know where to start. We’ve put together a sample two day itinerary for you, giving you the opportunity to visit some of the very best attractions in the region. Day 1 Stop 1 – Caerphilly Castle, Caerphilly Dominating the town of Caerphilly is one of the UK’s largest castles. The south-east tower, damaged during a 17th century siege, leans at a greater angle than its more famous counterpart in Pisa. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk Stop 2 – Llancaiach Fawr Manor, Caerphilly Llancaiach Fawr Manor near Caerphilly is a 17th century manor house. Take a tour of the house and meet the servants who will tell you tales of what life was like for them back in 1645. www.llancaiachfawr.co.uk Stop 3 – Penderyn Whisky Distillery, Rhondda Cynon Taf Take a journey through the history of Penderyn and a tour of the distillery, appreciating how it differs from any other in the world. www.welsh-whisky.co.uk Stop 4 – The Royal Mint, Rhondda Cynon Taf Take a look behind the scenes at Britain’s oldest manufacturing organisation. See for yourself the people and processes that put the pounds and pennies in your pockets. www.royalmint.com Stop 5 - McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, Bridgend Situated right on junction 36 of the M4 Motorway, the undercover mall has over 90 shops selling high street and designer brand names at discounted prices. www.mcarthurglen.com/uk/bridgend-designer-outlet Stop 6 - Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl Built in 1932, the Grand Pavilion is an Art-Deco multipurpose venue offering live shows, conference and wedding facilities and private parties. The Theatre is situated on the seafront with panoramic views of the Heritage Coast. www.grandpavilion.co.uk

Stop 3 – Shire Hall, Monmouthshire Built in 1724, the elegant building has a remarkable past. Once a centre of commerce and governance for the town, it also served as a courthouse. www.shirehallmonmouth.org.uk Stop 4 – White Castle Vineyard, Abergavenny Visitors are warmly invited to visit White Castle Vineyard to experience the beauty and tranquillity of this rural setting. www.whitecastlevineyard.com Stop 5 - Guardian, Six Bells Towering above the village of Six Bells is the Guardian Mining Memorial. Commemorating the 1960 Six Bells mining disaster, the monument was unveiled in 2010. www.guardianwales.info Stop 6 - Bedwellty House, Tredegar Bedwellty House is a listed Regency villa in the town of Tredegar in South Wales. It is surrounded by a historic garden that was established in the early 19th century for the Master of Tredegar Iron Works,Mr Samuel Homfray of the famous Homfray Ironmaster Dynasty. www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

What’s on in Southern Wales Time your visit right and not only will you stay in some great accommodation, get to sample some great food and visit some top attractions, you’ll also get to enjoy some fabulous events. We’ve highlighted some of the most popular ones here, but there are hundreds more going on throughout the year. For a full list of events in the region, please visit www.visitsouthernwales.org

Wales Valleys Walking Festival, Valleys

Day 2 Stop 1 – Tredegar House, Newport Set in 90 acres of beautiful parkland on the outskirts of Newport is this 17th century house. Now in the care of the National Trust, visitors can hear about the house’s history, eccentric former owners and view the art collection. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tredegar-house Stop 2 – National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon The National Roman Legion Museum tells the town’s story, whilst nearby lies the remains of the most complete amphitheatre in Britain, the fortress baths and the only Roman Legionary barracks still on view anywhere in Europe. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk

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The Big Cheese, Caerphilly Porthcawl Elvis Festival

Abergavenny Food Festival

Rhondda Cynon Taf

Nôs Galan Road Races, Mountain Ash

The Big Splash, Newport

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Coach Parking

Tour Guides

Find out where to drop off your passengers or park your coach in some of our main towns and attractions.

Make sure you get the most out of your visit to the region by hiring the services of a tour guide. Members of The Wales Official Tour Guide Association are the only guides officially recognised to be able to guide in Wales. They can provide highly trained, professional and experienced Blue Badge Guides, who will help bring your journey to life.

Aberdare Gateway to the valleys with notable attractions being the Cynon Valley Museum and the Dare Valley Country Park. Coach Drop Off and Parking The Ynys Car Park, CF44 7RP

Pontypridd Traditional market town with a bustling centre, historic bridge and peaceful park. Coach Drop Off Ynysangharad Park, Bridge Street, CF37 4PE Coach Parking Sardis Road Car Park, Sardis Road CF37 1HA

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There are dozens of guides, each with their own specialisms, interests and language skills. Blue Badge Guides can take you all over the region, whilst Green Badge Guides offer a more specialist and localised expertise.

To find a guide to suit your needs please visit www.walesbestguides.com


Maps and Travel Information Easy to get to We’re a different country with our own language and culture, yet we’re surprisingly easy to get to. We’re only around two hours down the M4 from London whilst Birmingham and the West Midlands are only an hour or so from our borders.

Scotland

So in next to no time you could be here, immersing yourself in our culture and traditions and who knows maybe even trying to get your tongue around our language. Croeso - or welcome in English. We’re not very big, but we certainly fit a lot in – and getting around the region couldn’t be easier. A comprehensive road system links all the major towns, while many towns and villages are well served by the local train network which connects with the mainline stations.

Manchester

Wales

Birmingham

England London

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, Southern Wales Tourism cannot accept responsibility for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions, or for any matter in any way connected with or arising out of the publication of the information contained within this brochure. The brochure may not be reproduced in part or in whole without the prior consent of the publisher.

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www.destinationrct.co.uk

Published by: Southern Wales Tourism Photographs: Southern Wales Tourism would like to thank Mike Chapman, Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC, Visit Britain and © Crown Copyright Visit Wales for the use of their images in the publication. Map © Collins Bartholomew Ltd Design: Mediadesign


PARC COFFA YNYSANGHARAD WAR MEMORIAL PARK

www.lidoponty.co.uk

Rhondda Cynon Taf Group Travel Guide  

Nestled in the centre of Southern Wales is perhaps the most famous valley in the world. Once upon a time, the Rhondda Valley produced the co...

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