Often recognised for its steel making heritage, visitors might be excused for thinking that Neath Port Talbot is dominated by its steelworks but now a new range of videos which showcase the rural areas of the county are aiming to challenge this common misconception.
The six new videos produced via the Tourism Development in Neath Port Talbot Project, highlight the beautiful scenery that surrounds the county and show-off the area’s world famous mountain bike trails, scenic walking trails, wildlife and breath-taking waterfalls.
Starting in the east of the County, Margam Country Park is well known as a great family day out and is a great starting point to discovering both flora and fauna in Neath Port Talbot. Margam Country Park also offers a range of adventure activities and has its very own zip wire.
Heading towards the western edge of Neath Port Talbot’s five valleys you will be greeted first by the Afan Valley, a well-known mecca for outdoor activity. Afan plays host to an extensive network of mountain bike trails and people travel from all over the world for an exhilarating experience.
The family friendly Rookie trail highlights that the Afan Valley is not just great for experienced mountain bikers but children and beginners too. In the Afan Valley, you will also find South Wales Miners’ Museum, where you can meet local people who actually worked at the coal face.
North of the county, the Vale of Neath, also known as Waterfall Country, has some of the most breath-taking waterfalls you’ll ever see. The most famous of them all is Sgwd Gwladys at Pontneddfechan, but if you are looking for a less strenuous walk then head to Melincwrt Waterfall or Aberdulais Falls which are both easily accessible from the A465.
Did you think that St Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland was Irish? Then think again because it is said that he actually hails from the village of Banwen in the Dulais Valley which neighbours the Vale of Neath. In the Dulais Valley, you will also find a rich mining heritage at Cefn Coed Colliery Museum.
And finally to the West, there’s the Swansea Valley and Amman Valley. Surrounded by the River Tawe and extensive wildlife the Swansea Valley is home to the thriving cultural town of Pontardawe where you’ll find Pontardawe Arts Centre and Cwm Du Glen, a picturesque walk along an ancient wooded valley located slap bang in the middle of the town centre. The Cwmtawe Cycle Way (National Cycle Route 43) meanders alongside the River Tawe and stretches the length of the valley offering a great way to see the Swansea Valley on two wheels.
The most western of the five valleys within Neath Port Talbot, the Amman Valley, is home to beautiful views over the Brecon Beacons and is known widely as the ‘Gateway to the Black Mountains’. At Tai’rgwaith you can experience an alternative, and just as exciting, take on a day at the races through the sport of harness racing at Amman Valley Trotting Club.
So as you can see, our valleys are packed with outdoor activities, history, culture and areas of natural beauty. With all this activity you may want to spend a few days taking it all in, so we also have a concentration of excellent quality accommodation, activity providers and country parks to ensure that you enjoy all that our rural areas have to offer. To find out more and to view the videos go to www.visitnpt.co.uk/discover
Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainable Development, Councillor Annette Wingrave said: “Neath Port Talbot Council is committed to raising the profile of the county borough as a visitor destination and these stunning videos capture the everyday beauty of our Valleys as a place to visit, live or invest in”.
The Tourism Development in Neath Port Talbot project is funded by Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
Quick links to videos:
Vale of Neath and Dulais Valley
Swansea and Amman Valley
Afan Forest Park For Mountain Bikers
Afan Forest Park For Families
Margam Country Park