The historical market town of Neath, less than ten minutes from Port Talbot by train, is well worth a visit for an engaging afternoon out. Explore its castle ruins and quaint streets for less when you take advantage of our Off-peak tickets, available to buy on the day with no booking fees!
Perched upon the River Neath, from where it takes its name, this lovely town may seem unassuming at first - but it’s made quite an impact upon the international stage! As the home of the Neath Rugby Football Club - better known as Wales’s All Blacks, its Castle Hotel bore witness to the formation of the Welsh Rugby Union in 1881. This charming hostelry has, in its time, hosted not only Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton - if local rumours are true, but also their 20th century equivalents Elizabeth Taylor and local lad Richard Burton. As if this weren’t enough, Neath can lay claim to a further array of stars, including the singer Katharine Jenkins and numerous sporting heroes.
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Taking its origins from Celtic hill forts, Neath was appropriated by the Romans who recognised its strategic potential. It was later expanded by the Normans in medieval times, chiefly by Robert, Earl of Gloucester who began construction of Neath Castle in the 12th century. Its atmospheric ruins stand proudly today in what’s now the town centre, with the great twin-towered gatehouse on its west side still discernible.
Neath would later play an important role in the Industrial Revolution, becoming a major manufacturing centre for iron, steel and tinplate. With the area’s extensive coal industry using its excellent transportation routes, it was also a prominent market for locally fired bricks and cattle. Nowadays, Neath enjoys a more cultural profile, hosting the National Eisteddfod and revelling in its status as the birthplace of Rugby Union.
With a wealth of great places to eat out or enjoy a pint with friends, Neath’s welcoming atmosphere will leave a lasting impression - so why not plan your return trip now with our free downloadable app? With ticket options to suit every budget - even Group Tickets for match days and more, we’ve got you covered.