If you want to travel from Carmarthen to the glorious market town of Pontypridd, or Ponty as the locals call it, the easiest way is to catch the train. Relax as the stunning Welsh countryside flies by, and why not take advantage of our free onboard Wifi? Catch up with work - if you must, connect with your friends or plan your day exploring Ponty.
Playing a crucial role in the Industrial Revolution, Pontypool was known as the Welsh Wild West thanks to its production of coal and iron. The rich coal seams and iron ore drew people in from across the country and beyond, all looking for employment. As a result, today’s Pontypool has a diverse and vibrant culture, welcoming visitors from around the world. Pontypool’s place on the world stage is hardly surprising thanks to a certain sexy singer - the one and only Sir Tom Jones! Born in the town in 1940, he has gone on to sell more 100 million records, played the star of stage and screen and has demonstrated that if a young man from a small town in Wales can make it big, there’s hope for us all. There are numerous tours that follow the heartthrobs footsteps, taking you to his favourite haunts. He can still be spotted around the town on occasion, with the Indoor Market and Pontypridd Lido being popular with his fans.
Known as the People’s Park, Pontypool Park is a fabulous family friendly attraction, offering a wide range of activities. The vast sweeping parklands are home to a fascinating double ice house, a mysterious three-storey folly dating back to the 1700s, and an atmospheric shell and bone grotto. The latter was constructed in 1830 and has been attributed to Molly Mackworth, the first wife of Hanbury Leigh. Leigh was the owner of the grand stately home set within the parkland, and grandson of John Hanbury (1744–1784) who built and developed the site. Within the park’s glorious vistas are tennis courts, a bowling green, leisure centre and the fantastically popular ski slope. The annual Jazz in the Park draws visitors from miles around.
If you’re after a retail fix, head for Pontypridd’s market. Showcasing local talent and those with artistic flair, there’s an eclectic mix of treasures here. From gorgeous handmade silver jewellery, bright knitwear, and studio pottery, to delicious local delicacies, such as homemade clotted cream fudge, Welsh shortbread and rich farmhouse cheeses. Pick up something tasty to snack on as you travel home by train.
Plan your next trip while on the journey back to Carmarthen. Use our downloadable app to access all our special offers, including discounts on Off-peak travel and the flexible Anytime tickets, leaving you more in your wallet.