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Visit Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales - Croeso

Things You Won't Believe Are In RCT


Posted: 30/11/2021

Things You Won't Believe Are In RCT

Nestled between the capital city of Cardiff and the Brecon Beacons is a hidden treasure of South Wales.

Most people will have heard of the coal mining industry in the Rhondda, perhaps heard the name Pontypridd in the same sentence as Sir Tom Jones or know of Treorchy because of its acclaimed male voice choir. 

Well, it’s time to settle down for a read of our top things you will not believe you can experience in Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales. 

After reading this, and learning we are less than half an hour from Cardiff, you may well want to discover more – and we can’t wait to welcome you.

Find out more in our free Visit guide - get yours now.

1. We are home to one of just two table-top mountains in Europe. Penpych is amazing




2. We are home to the only Zip World experience in South and Mid Wales. Zip World Tower opened this year and is home to Phoenix, the world’s fastest seated zip line, and Tower Coaster, which twists and turns at speeds of 25 mph and is the only one of its kind in Europe.



3. Have you seen the National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty? That’s here too, offering visitors three outdoor heated pools, Mediterranean terrace, and al-fresco dining.



4. Pontypridd, our county town, and home to the National Lido of Wales is pretty special too, packed with history and heritage – the Welsh National Anthem was written here – and lots to see and do


5. Or how about the winner of the Best Independent High Street of the Year Award? Treorchy High Street has an ice cream parlour, its own independent craft beer and ale shop and loads of great places to eat and drink.



6. Who likes a luxury spa, with indulgent treatments, relaxing pool, and ultimate get-away-from-it-all vibes? Here’s the one at our Lanelay Hall Hotel and Spa (and yes, the rest of the hotel, its restaurant and surroundings are just as gorgeous).



7. How do you fancy dining in the grounds of an historic manor house? The pods at Miskin Manor are divine – scattered among the landscape amid flowers and streams.



 8. Like to get out and about in nature?. We can help. Here’s Cwmparc in the Rhondda.



9. Or you can try the Bwlch mountain at sunset (there are lots of walks, trails and cycling tracks to enjoy as you wait for the sun to go down)



 10. Or the “rollercoaster” Rhigos, which is perfect for road cycling, mountain biking and walking.



11. Like your nature mixed with history? Try Maerdy Reservoir.  Here you will find the remains of Castell Nos, built by the Welsh Lords of Meisgyn, descendants of Iestyn ap Gwygant, the last Welsh King of Glamorgan. The castle stood proud over the Rhondda, which remained in Welsh control long after the Normans had already conquered the richer lands to the south.



12. Everyone loves a legend. Llanwonno Forestry has lots of walks and you can explore the Clydach Reservoir and Pistell Golau waterfalls. It was once the training ground of the fastest man on Earth – Guto Nyth Bran. The Nos Galan Road Races are held in Mountain Ash every New Year’s Eve to keep this runner’s legend alive.



13. An ancient chinaworks. Nantgarw is the last-surviving 19th Century chinaworks in the UK and it is beautiful! It’s pieces were considered some of the finest in the world and adorned the dining tables of the aristocracy including, it is rumoured, the doomed Tsar Nicholas of Russia. As well as working to protect its legacy and continue production, Nantgarw also hosts modern artists and designers and has turned some of the shards of its original work into beautiful jewellery.



14. Over 1,000 years of treasure and secrets. The Royal Mint moved from London to Llantrisant over 50 years ago and now makes all the money spent in the UK – as well as currencies for over 40 different countries. The Royal Mint also loved the recent Tokyo 2020 Olypmpics as all of the winners medals were made there too! You can go behind the scenes at this fascinating attraction and delve into over 1,000 years of history – how coins are made, what they mean and more. You can strike your own commemorative coin.


 Find out more in our free Visit guide - get yours now.

Thanks to residents:

Delme Thompson

Carly Davies

Martin Agg

Scenic Footprints

Heritage Hiker

Matthew Carpenter

for letting us use their stunning pictures of our county borough.