The Valleys is the ideal base for a weekend break - with so many great events and attractions to is this compact area, you can base yourself in one of the welcoming hotels or B&B's and spend your time "doing" rather than travelling. Here are just a few ideas - exploring this site will give you loads more.
How about an active weekend
The green hills of The Valleys provide a wonderful backdrop to so many activities. There are hundreds of miles of footpaths and trails - providing more than enough walking for a weekend. How about walking along the ridgeways from Tredegar to Newport on the Sirhowy Valley Trail or enjoy gentle strolls around one of the brilliant County Parks such as Bryngarw Country Park, Parc Cwm Darran or Parc Bryn Bach. Or, how about an autumnal visit including the Walking Festival (early September) where you'll get the benefit of great guides as well as fascinating walks?
If wheels are more your thing - then how about spending the whole weekend mountain biking - Cwmcarn, BikePark Wales and the Garw Valley; all have their own unique character and challenges - a day at each would be a brilliant weekend. For those who want to travel further afield - we've got 400km of safe, off road tracks, that run up and down The Valleys - often following former railway lines that link together unique communities and places to visit. The Trevithick Trail that commemorates the first journey by a steam locomotive in 1805, is a great example.
Get a taste of something new!
We all need to try new things from time to time - so here are a few that you can try in The Valleys.
Did you know that there is Welsh Whiskey - ever tasted it! Take a trip to Penderyn Distillery near Hirwaun - see how its made and enjoy a taste of this unique golden amber! Across The Valleys you'll also find great breweries and ice cream makers. There are also great foodie events - from THe Big Cheese in Caerphilly to the Chilli Festival in Merthyr - a challenge for any tastebud!
For a taste of real adventure - start with climbing - visit The Summit Centre near Merthyr Tydfil or Go Vertical at Cwmbran Stadium to learn a new skill with expert coaches.
Every part of the UK has its own, unique history - but in The Valleys we really do have history that you can touch. How about visiting Big Pit National Coal Museum where you get kitted up with helmet and lights before descending 100m underground with real miners to discover what life was like as a miner - literally touching the coal! Or you can step back to 1645 at Llancaiach Fawr Manor where the household is considering how to proceed in The Civic War. You can chat to the servants in the language of the time as well as sitting on furniture built as it was over 350 years ago.
Other ideas include the majestic castles (how about Ogmore or Caerphilly), fascinating reminders of the wealth that industry brought to The Valleys such as Bedwellty House and Cyfarthfa Castle, and sites where local stories of heartache are captured by the communities - such as with "Guardian" at Six Bells and the memorial to the worst industrial incident in 1913 at Senghenydd.