Page 1


Group Travel Guide

nt u Gwe Blaena von Blaena nd Bridge hilly Caerp f Cardif fil yr Tyd h t r e M ire outhsh Monm ort Newp

Taf ynon C a d d Rhon rgan Glamo f o le Va

Contents 04 Regional Overview

08 Activities


10 Accommodation

13 Explore Blaenavon

16 Coach Parking


06 12 Refreshment Stops

15 Event Highlights

17 Tour Guides

18 Maps & Travel Information 3

….. r u jo on B . … e a m w h S o… ll e H 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 ten distinctive areas, each with their own character and charm. The areas of Blaenau Gwent, Blaenavon, Caerphilly, Merthyr 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 and Cardiff are thriving cities with some world class attractions whilst along Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan is a mix of coastal resorts, market towns and fabulous countryside. We 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. 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.

Discover the Blaenavon World Heritage Site Explore the Blaenavon World Heritage Site, set in 33 square kilometres, the area is packed full of attractions, activities, heritage, arts and a spectacular landscape. For more information visit our website or contact the tourism team: tel - +44 (0)1495 742333 email - To order the brochures for the other areas of Southern Wales please contact +44 (0)845 6002639 or e-mail


nty Bridgend Cou

von Blaena vel Guide

nt Gwe nau Blae avel Guide

Group Travel Guide

Group Tra

Group Tr

dfil yr Ty Merth avel Guide

thshire Monmou Guide

dd Rhon

ent Gw

enau Bla on n orga Blaenav Glam

fil Tyd rthyr Me hire ouths nm Mo ort n Taf Newp Cyno dda n Rhon rga mo of Gla le Va

ent u Gw Blaena von Blaena

fil r Tyd Merthy ire outhsh Monm port New on Taf a Cyn ndd Rho n morga of Gla Vale

d gen Brid




Gwent Blaenau



nt Gwe Blaenau on Blaenav d Bridgen

e4438 Cardiff Council


y Caerphill thshire Monmou Newport Rhondda

Taf Cynon

Tydfil Merthyr ire Monmouthsh Gwent Blaenau Blaenavon www.visit of southernwales.orgBridgend end rg lly Vale Bridg s.o rphilly www.visitsout Caerphi Cae rnwaleerphilly Caerphilly iff southe Ca Card Cardiff w.visit fil ff Tydfil Cardiff wale ww yr Tyd Cardi Merthyr dfil hern Merth ire Tydfil yr Ty sout rth uthshire Merthyr outhsh Me hire visit Monmo Monm ouths hshire www. nm t Monmout ort Mo

ort f n Ta Newp Cyno dda n rga Rhon mo of Gla


Taf non a Cy ndd n Rho morga of Gla Vale

Vale of Glam

Group Travel Guideorgan Gwent Blaenau Blaenavon


ff Cardi

l Tydfi hyr hire Mert uths mo Mon f ort wp n Ta no Ne a Cy

In 2000, UNESCO inscribed the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape as a World Heritage Site, for the part the area played as the world’s major producer of iron and coal in the 19th Century. Today you can see remains of all of the necessary elements needed for the iron and coal industry, including a coal mine, quarries, railway systems, ironworker’s cottages, churches, a school and a workmen’s hall. All set in a landscape that is a favourite for walkers and cyclists.

Group Travel Guide

Group Travel Guide

ent u Gw Blaena von Blaena gend Brid illy Caerph

end Bridg hilly Caerp

iff Card

Group Travel Guide

Group Travel Guide

ent au Gw Blaen n avo Blaen

ent Gw enau Bla on enav Bla end Bridg hilly Caerp

Rhondda Cynon Taf


Group Travel

Group Tr

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.

Located at the gateway to the South Wales Valleys, partly within the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape is a testament to the human endeavour of miners and ironworkers of the past.

artwork for SW Guide

v3.indd 1

Newport Cynon Taf Rhondda rgan 18/09/2015 17:04 Glamo

Vale of

por New

on Taf a Cyn Rhondd n orga of Glam Vale

Newport Taf Cynon Rhondda Glamorgan

Vale of Vale rg www.visitsouth ernwales.owww.vis .org .visitsouth wales www uthern isitso www.v

Blaenau Gwent Blaenavon Bridgend Caerphilly Cardiff Merthyr Tydfil Monmouthshire Newport Rhondda Cynon


an Vale of Glamorg


Start your journey at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre to find out why the area was the perfect location for the Iron industry to thrive. Venture 300 feet below ground at the Big Pit National Coal Museum; see the remains of the blast furnaces at Blaenavon Ironworks; view the industrial landscape from a carriage of a train on the Blaenavon Heritage Railway, or sample some of the local beer at Rhymney Brewery. With FREE entry to most of our attractions, free coach parking, tailormade itineraries and a range of 4* accommodation within 12 miles of the site, the Blaenavon World Heritage Site is the perfect destination for your groups and independent travellers.


Big Pit Amgueddfa Lofaol Cymru Big Pit National Coal Museum

Attractions Here are a few ideas of how you could combine the historic attractions within the World Heritage Site to create a fascinating day out. Big Pit National Coal Museum

Blaenavon Heritage Railway

Big Pit stands high on the heather-clad moors of Blaenavon, and in its heyday, employed 1,300 workers. Today you can follow in their footsteps through award winning interactive exhibits and the world famous underground tour led by a real miner.

Blaenavon’s Heritage Railway is set at the head of the Eastern Valley. From Furnace Sidings you can take the train to the Big Pit National Coal Museum, the heritage town of Blaenavon or simply relax and take in the scenery.

tel: +44 (0)2920 573650 email: web:

tel: +44 (0)1495 792263 email: web:

Blaenavon Heritage Town

Blaenavon Ironworks

Take time to explore Blaenavon Heritage Town, which is the best preserved early iron town in Wales. Only a few minutes stroll from the World Heritage Centre, discover what this town has to offer.

One of the best preserved 18thcentury ironworks to be found anywhere in the world. When Blaenavon Ironworks was built in 1788 it was part of a revolution of industrial proportions. Visit Stack Square cottages and see how generations lived.

tel: +44 (0)1495 742333 email: web:

tel: +44 (0)1495 792615 email: web:

Blaenavon World Heritage Centre

Rhymney Brewery Visitor Centre

Located in two beautifully restored former industrial schools from the early 19th Century, the Heritage Centre provides visitors with a unique insight into the significance of Blaenavon’s Industrial Landscape and also introduces them to the area’s many attractions.

Sample a unique opportunity to step back in time when ale was king. Go on a journey through the history of the Rhymney Brewery up until the modern day and witness the brewing process of award winning ales.

tel: +44 (0)1495 742333 email: web:

tel: +44 (0)1495 790456 email: web:



Diwrnod ig bendiged ! t i P g i B n y

t u o y a d A big at Big Pit!

Dewch i ddarganfod treftadaeth lofaol gyfoethog ein gwlad mewn amgueddfa ryngweithiol anhygoel o fri, sy’n cynnwys taith danddaearol.

Discover Wales’s rich mining heritage in this amazing, award-winning interactive museum complete with underground tour. Open daily: 9.30am-5pm. Underground tours run frequently: 10am-3.30pm.

Ar agor bob dydd: 9.30am-5pm. Teithiau cyson danddaear: 10am-3.30pm. Llywio â lloeren , teipiwch Blaenafon (Blaenavon)neu NP4 9RL a dilynwch yr arwyddion twristiaeth brown ar ôl i chi gyrraedd y dref.

For Satellite Navigation enter Blaenafon (Blaenavon) town or NP4 9RL and follow the brown tourism signs once arriving at the town.

um @BigPitMuse



Activities Blaenavon has a great range of activities to suit your group visit. Here’s just a taster of what you can experience during your visit. Blaenavon Digital Passport

Garn Lakes Local Nature Reserve

With so much to explore in the Blaenavon World Heritage Site use the Blaenavon Digital Passport to help you discover and enjoy the story of the Heritage Site, including three new virtual reality experiences.

Covering 40 hectares with lakes and grasslands it provides a diverse habitat and breeding grounds for a wide range of wildlife. A great location for walking, cycling, fishing or a picnic.

tel: +44 (0)1495 742333 email: web:

tel: +44 (0)1495 742333 email: web:

Industrial Landscape Walking Trails

Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

Covering 33 square kilometres the landscape is filled with a wealth of historic sites and fantastic views, the perfect base for a short stroll or a challenging weekend of adventure. A wide range of leafleted trails are available.

Constructed in 1812, it was the export route for Blaenavon iron to the world. This beautiful canal is now used by pleasure craft, and the towpaths by cyclists and walkers.

tel: +44 (0)1495 742333 email: web:


tel: +44 (0)3030 404040 web:



Accommodation With a range of accommodation from spa hotels to unique historic buildings, groups are welcome and catered for in the Blaenavon locality. Lion Hotel

Parkway Hotel & Spa

Fusing contemporary chic with classic luxury, the Lion Hotel’s 12 rooms all feature en-suite rooms with a wide range of amenities, including a restaurant, to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

A friendly and enthusiastic welcome always awaits you at this family owned and family operated luxury spa hotel. Renowned locally for its high standards of food, service and accommodation, this hotel prides itself on its Welsh heritage.

tel: +44 (0)1495 792516 email: web:

tel: +44 (0)1633 871199 email: web:

The Angel Hotel

Blaenavon World Heritage Site

This Georgian coaching inn is situated in the bustling market town of Abergavenny - located approximately six miles from the town of Blaenavon. This stylish hotel boasts a high level of service and accommodation.

tel: +44 (0)1873 857121 email: web:


For group and coach travel information in the Blaenavon World Heritage Site, including itineraries and accommodation, visit the Group Travel section of @VisitBlaenavon VisitBlaenavon



Refreshment Stops

Explore Blaenavon

The Heritage Site can offer a variety of eating experiences including fine dining, traditional welsh dishes and coffee and cake, all served in unique locations across the Site.

1 Day Itinerary

Big Pit National Coal Museum


Heritage Tea Rooms

Take a tour around the Blaenavon World Heritage Site. Venture 300ft underground, see the remains of the blast furnaces, walk through the industrial landscape and sample some of the locally produced ale. Stop 1 – Blaenavon World Heritage Centre

Experience lunch in the Miners’ Canteen in the Pithead Baths, serving various refreshments including snacks, cakes and hot meals. Blaenavon, NP4 9RL

Butterflies Restaurant, situated in the heart of Blaenavon, offers a vast selection of traditional foods and a la carte menus. Blaenavon, NP4 9PN

Blaenavon, NP4 9AE

Lion Hotel

Little Crown

Rifleman’s Arms

The Lion Hotel offers a fantastic selection off fine dining dishes using the best ingredients that Wales has to offer.

Specialising in traditional Welsh fare, game, grills and vegetarian dishes, there is definitely something for everyone in this unique pub.

This traditional pub, on the outskirts of Blaenavon Heritage Town serves traditional dishes with a very comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.

Wainfein, NP4 6DR

Blaenavon, NP4 9QS

Blaenavon, NP4 9NH

The perfect place to start your visit, the Centre features an interactive Victorian schoolroom, film and multi-media displays telling the story of the World Heritage Site. Visit the gift shop and café. Admission FREE.

Located in the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre, have lunch or coffee and cake whilst enjoying the views over the Coity Mountain.

Stop 2 – Blaenavon Ironworks Visit the Stack Square cottages and see how generations of workers lived and call into the recreated company truck shop. Don’t miss the cast houses coming to life through sound and light. Admission FREE. Stop 3 – Blaenavon Heritage Town Take time to explore the town, the best preserved early iron town in Wales. Follow the town trail using the Blaenavon Digital Passport App and visit one of the cafes and receive a warm welcome. Stop 4 – Big Pit National Coal Museum Big Pit National Coal Mining Museum is one of the few mining museums where visitors can descend in the pit cage. Visit the places where generations of coal miners worked.

The Angel Hotel

Stop 5 – Rhymney Brewery Visitor Centre Journey through the history of the Rhymney Brewery up until the modern day in the Visitor Centre and watch the brewing process of award winning ales. Sample beers in the Brewery’s own pub.

The Angel’s talented culinary team provide guests with a memorable dining experience choosing the freshest and finest ingredients. Abergavenny, NP7 5EN




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.

Stop 3 – Dyffryn Gardens, The Vale of Glamorgan Covering more than 55 acres, Dyffryn Gardens feature a stunning collection of intimate garden rooms including a rose garden, Pompeian garden and an extensive Arboretum featuring trees from all over the world. Stop 4 – 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.

Day 1 Stop 1 – 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.

Stop 5 - The Royal Mint Visitor Experience, 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.

Stop 2 – Cyfarthfa Park & Museum, Merthyr Imposing 1824 castle housing a museum with a collection of fine art and social history items. Stop 3 – Guardian Mining Memorial, 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. Stop 4 – Blaenavon World Heritage Centre, Blaenavon The Centre features an interactive Victorian school room, film and multi-media displays which not only provide visitors with a unique insight into the significance of Blaenavon’s Industrial Landscape, but also introduces them to the area’s many attractions.

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

Stop 5 - 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.

Steelhouse Festival, Blaenau Gwent

Nos Galan Road Races, Mountain Ash

Isle of Fire, Vale of Glamorgan

Abergavenny Food Festival

The Big Splash, Newport

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 and it’s eccentric former owners and view the art collection.

RHS Flower Show Cardiff

Stop 2 – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff As part of a visit to the Centre, behind the scenes tours are offered where you can discover the secrets of the landmark building and find out what lies beneath the inscription. Special deals are available for groups and there is ample coach parking nearby. Merthyr Rising



The Big Cheese, Caerphilly

Porthcawl Elvis Festival

Blaenavon World Heritage Day, Blaenavon


Coach Parking

Tour Guides

Find out where to drop off your passengers, park your coach or get further information about our main towns.

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.

Blaenavon Coach parking is available at both Big Pit (NP4 9RL) and the Ironworks (NP4 9RQ). Whilst there are currently no dedicated coach parking bays in the town centre, a coach drop off space can be found in the World Heritage Centre car park on Church Road (NP4 9AE) and spaces for smaller (30 seater) coaches are available in Prince Street Car Park (NP4 9BD). Both are within a short walking distance of the town. Coach parking is also available at Rifle Green Car Park (NP4 9QS), opposite the Rifleman’s Hotel. Please be advised that there are some vehicle restrictions in the area: • B4246 Llanfoist to Blaenavon – Weight Limit 7.5 tons • B4246 Blaenavon to Varteg – Bridge Height 13ft 9in • Minor road from B4246 to Pwll Du – no access to coaches beyond the Lamb and Fox Inn


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


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.


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.




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.
























National Cycle Route 492 Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal Blaenavon Heritage Railway Iron Mountain Trail Brecon Beacons National Park Boundary

1 2

Blaenavon World Heritage Centre


Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall

Big Pit National Coal Museum


Blaenavon Community Museum

Tourist Information Centre


Blaenavon Ironworks




Blaenavon Heritage Railway



5 6

Rhymney Brewery Visitor Centre


Blaenavon Heritage Town

Maps are not to scale and are for illustrative purposes only


Brecon Beacons National Park

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. This publication is available in Welsh. @VisitBlaenavon VisitBlaenavon

10 11 12 13

St Peter’s Church Garn Lakes Local Nature Reserve Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal Keeper’s Pond

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

Profile for Southern Wales Tourism

Blaenavon Group Travel Guide  

Located at the gateway to the South Wales Valleys, partly within the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape is a t...

Blaenavon Group Travel Guide  

Located at the gateway to the South Wales Valleys, partly within the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape is a t...