Merthyr's rich history
Merthyr Tydfil’s county town is best known for its industrial and political history. Located in a bowl at the head of the south Wales Taff Valley, ringed by slagheaps and quarries, it has enjoyed its fair share of both boom times and economic hardships over the years. While it might not make the itinerary of every visitor to Wales, it does boast attractions such as the Cyfartha Castle Museum and Art Gallery, which are well worth a visit. The nearby BikePark Wales has brought a new lease of life to the town. Opened in 2013, it is the country’s newest mountain bike park, with routes graded from green to black like ski-runs, and lifts to the top for those who don’t fancy getting there by pedal power.
Not far from the town of Merthyr Tydfil is the Brecon Mountain Railway, a narrow-gauge railway following part of an old British Rail route, which closed in 1964. The present route starts at Pant Station and runs for 3.5 miles through the Brecon Beacons National Park. The train is pulled by a vintage steam locomotive and is one of the most popular railways in Wales.