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Visit Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales - Croeso

Explore Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales, this summer


Posted: 21/06/2022

Explore Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales, this summer

Discover something different in Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales.

Located in the heart of the South Wales Valleys, between Cardiff and the Brecon Beacons, we are considered something of a hidden gem – but not for long!

We have everything you need for your perfect break away – a change of scenery, great places to eat, drink and stay and, of course, lots to explore and experience.

Here’s some of the best ways to spend your time with us.

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The National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty, Pontypridd.


You won’t find another attraction like this anywhere in else Wales. Bathe in the heated outdoor pools of Lido Ponty. Enjoy a refreshing early morning swim or a lazy afternoon dip.

Relax on the poolside loungers or grab a barista-made coffee from Caffi Lido to enjoy on the terrace.

Find out more and book your visit to Lido Ponty here

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lido explorer

A Welsh Coal Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park, Trehafod.


Men who once worked in the perilous coal mines of Rhondda Cynon Taf will be your guides for this award-winning experience.

They will share their personal stories and memories with you as they take you on a Black Gold Underground Experience tour, back in time and through the workings of a former coal mine. Get fitted with your miner’s helmet and find out how coal from the Rhondda helped to power the world.

A Welsh Coal Mining Experience has been created in the footprint of the former Lewis Merthyr Colliery and many of the original features and workings of the pit remain on site for you to see and explore in the courtyard and exhibitions.

Take time after your tour to enjoy a hot drink and maybe a slice of cake or snack in the onsite Caffe Bracchi, which is inspired by the many coffee shops and ice cream parlours that were opened in this area – and remain trading to this day – by Italians who flocked to the Rhondda during its industrial boom.

Find out more and book your tickets online

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The Royal Mint Experience, Llantrisant


Go behind the scenes at this fascinating institution, which moved to Wales from the Tower of London half a century ago.

Over 1,000 years of history, mystery and treasures are brought to life at the Royal Mint Experience. Learn about the significance of the coins in your pocket and how currencies used all over the world are made here in Wales. Find out just how they make those precious, coveted Olympic and Paralympic medals and strike your own coin.

The gift shop is perfect for those looking for that one coin to finish their collection.

Find out more and book online

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Penderyn Whisky Distillery, Penderyn

Penderyn Distillery - Whiskey - Bar - Shop - Gin - July 2021-59

They say it rains a lot in Wales. Well, that pure water flows from our mountains and is used at Penderyn Whisky Distillery to create one of the most distinctive blends in the world.

This attraction is one of the popular in Rhondda Cynon Taf and gives you an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of how this small corner of Wales is making its mark across the globe.

Of course, there is a chance to taste the delicious whisky, as well as other spirits and blends made at Penderyn, such as vodka and cream liquor.

Of course, there is a chance to taste the whisky, and other spirits made at the distillery, including Brecon Gin.. You can pick up a special gift – or treat for yourself - in the gift shop.

Find out more and book your tour online.

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Dare Valley Country Park, Aberdare

Lakes - Views - Camping - Walks - Birds - Flowers - DVCP-6

How much time do you have? Welcome to 200 acres of stunning open countryside, just waiting to be explored.

Dare Valley Country Park has been completely reclaimed from industrial land by Mother Nature and is filled with walks and trails. Get the routes here

From gentle strolls where you can drink in the sights and sounds, to mountain-top treks, there is something for everyone. Bring your bike to explore – you can even try the trails at Gravity Family Bike Park on site.

Black Rock Café is open and ready to serve you everything from coffee and cake to a meal with wine.

Dare Valley Country Park is also home to a caravan, motorhome and campervan park with electric hook-ups. It’s a Dark Sky accredited site, which means you will be staying under crystal clear night skies that are perfect for star-gazing.

Find out more and book online

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dvcp explorer

Relax, be pampered and dine in style


Rhondda Cynon Taf is home to two incredible, luxurious hotels that boast spa treatments and pools.

Both are also sumptuously converted former country homes, set in lavish grounds that are perfect for the ultimate get away from it all.

Lanelay Hall Hotel and Spa in Llantrisant is set on the edge of stunning forestry. Each of its rooms is individually designed and it has three dining areas offering a range of formal and informal dining. Tribe spa is the ultimate relaxation spot, has indoor and outdoor elements and is absolutely gorgeous. Find out more and book

Miskin Manor Hotel and Health Club is just as beautiful, set in 25 acres with large, airy rooms overlooking the grounds. It also offers a range of dining options including a divine afternoon tea.

You can indulge in head to toe pampering in the health suite, where you can enjoy hot stone or Indian head massages, facial treatments, manicures and pedicures and more.

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Nantgarw China Works, Nantgarw

Pottery - Ovens - Gardens - China - Tea Room -10

Fine china once that was considered among the best in the world and adorned the dining tables of Russian aristocrats was made here, over 200 years ago.

Nantgarw is the only surviving 19th Century chinaworks in the UK. Pieces regularly turn up on the Antiques Roadshow, where they are admired for their delicacy and historic significance - Antiques Roadshow stalwart Henry Sandon is a trustee.

As well as celebrating and preserving its history, Nantgarw is moving forward with resident artists and regular arts and crafts sessions.  Fragments rescued from the original pottery are turned into jewellery you can buy. There is a lovely tearoom on site.

 Find out more and book online

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A change of scenery

Rhondda Cynon Taf is filled with beautiful sights and plenty of tracks, trails and walking routes you can use to explore them.

You can get the full list of walks, including the ones below, plus route maps and video guides, here

We recommend:

Maerdy Reservoir, a serene spot packed with history as it is the site of the former Castell Nos

Clydach Vale Countryside Park, not one but two lakes to discover as well as an abundance of wildlife

Llanwonno forestry is steeped in history and you can see a hidden waterfall and reservoir.

Llantrisant Forestry, known locally as Smilog Woods is like entering a different world as the sunshine spills through the tree canopy.

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scenery explorer

Historic Llantrisant

Perched high on the hilltop at the southern approach to Rhondda Cynon Taf is the tiny town of Llantrisant. Its ancient, cobbled streets are steeped in myths and legends.

Visit the Castle green, castle ruins and the Guildhall, where thrilling tales of captured Kings, fearless warriors and eccentric characters await.

Explore onto the common and up into surrounding nature with the Bunny Walks or download the audio trail to be taken on a journey through the town and back in time.

The old Bullring – yes it was used for bull fights until they were stopped due to the rowdiness of the spectators – is now a lovely central spot surrounded by independent shops and places to eat.

Find out more about Llantrisant

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We’ve already mentioned some great places to stay, but there are lots more. If you want a space of your own, why not try Ty Ffarm at Gelliwch, set in sprawling countryside in the Taff valley or cosy Blaencwm Cottage at the top of the Rhondda. Llechwen Hall is beautiful and has a great menu, while the Heritage Park Hotel is perfectly located for exploring.

Get the full list of places to stay

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Where in the world would you like to dine from? Rhondda Cynon Taf has everything from street food such as the award-winning Janet’s Authentic Northern Chinese Cuisine and the delicious vegetarian and vegan Veggie Hut in Pontypridd to fine dining in luxury hotels.

The Cardiff Arms Bistro does a great range of traditional meals, tapas and wood-fired pizza, while Alfred’s is a great place to stop in Pontypridd, with places to go for a drink after. If you are out and about in the day you can’t beat the Bike Doctor Café at Barry Sidings for burgers and loaded fries.

For a meal with a view, get a takeaway from Penaluna’s Famous Fish and Chips to enjoy al-fresco on top of the Rhigos mountain.

Get the full list of places to eat

Get your free visitor guide delivered to your door.