The journey from Pontypridd to the town of Aberdare takes just half an hour - no sooner have you sunk into our sumptuously comfortable seats than the train will be pulling into Aberdare Station, ready for you to jump off and begin your adventure.
Located in the beautiful Cynon Valley, where the Rivers Dare and Cynon meet, Aberdare grew into a small settlement, thanks to the fertile soil, in the first half of the 13th century. Initially centred around the Church of St John the Baptist, it became an important hub for agriculture, with farms rapidly spreading across the region. With the birth of the Industrial Revolution, the discovery of coal and iron ore seams, the population of the hamlet increased tenfold during the early years of the 1800s. It also gained importance as a notable publishing centre and with income from the mining industry, the growth of local breweries, and brickworks, the region enjoyed a good standard of living.
Now known for its cultural diversity, range of family friendly attractions and home to the supergroup The Stereophonics, Aberdare is a fabulous destination with so much to offer the visitor.
A great place to start is the Cynon Valley Museum. Home to some impressive collections, from showcasing local artists to religious relics from the region's long distant past, the museum is a true feast for the eyes and minds. Education has never been so much fun! Why not pick up a souvenir or two from the well-stocked gift shop?
The natural world is a fantastic antidote to the stresses and strains of daily life, and it has been proved repeatedly that spending time in nature can help ease depression and anxiety. So a stroll through the gorgeous Dare Valley Country Park is relaxing and beneficial for everyone. Surrounded by the glorious Welsh flora and fauna, this is the perfect place for birdwatchers and a rare opportunity for youngsters to learn about these species close up, away from the TV or tablet screen. From peregrine falcons, kingfishers and the rare ring ouzel, to slow worms, lizards and bats, there’s always something interesting to spot.
Home to all of the big high street names and designer labels, Aberdare’s High Street offers plenty for the shopaholic to gain their retail fix, but for something different head for the Indoor Market. Here you’ll find numerous independent boutiques showcasing local talents. With home crafted silver jewellery, beautifully knitted cosy jumpers, and all manner of one-off gifts and treasures. For that unique artisan piece that is a real talking point, look no further.
If you’re in need of a cultural fix, the Coliseum Theatre has a full-on programme of events, exhibitions and performances. Whether you’re a fan of stand up comedy, live music or classic theatre, there’s something to suit everyone, and this is a great end to your day exploring Aberdare.
Hop on the train home to Pontypridd, and take full advantage of our free Wifi, keeping you well connected with your friends, work or enjoying streamed music. Download our app and be the first to hear about all the special money saving ticket offers, leaving you more in your wallet for days out.
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