Aberdare City Guide

Aberdare is a bustling town in the Cynon Valley, South Wales, and the most populous in the Rhondda Cynon Taf county borough. The town has a history that goes back to the Middle Ages, when it was just a small village in an agricultural zone. The village grew rapidly in the early 19th century thanks to the plentiful presence of coal and iron ore in the region, and the population of the parish grew tenfold in the first half of the century.

Aberdare today is a popular tourist destination, its once scarred industrial landscape replanted and returned to nature. The town is conveniently located around 20 miles from Cardiff and 22 miles from Swansea, and on the doorstep of Merthyr Tydfil and the Brecon Beacons.

Shopping in Aberdare

As the biggest town in the Rhondda Cynon Taf county borough, Aberdare has a large selection of shops, with many high street chain stores, a good number of independent traders and an indoor market.

Food and Drink in Aberdare

There are lots of restaurants, cafes, takeaways and pubs in Aberdare, whether you’re after traditional Welsh or English food, fish and chips, international cuisine or fine dining. If you’re eating in one of the pubs you might like to try one of the beers produced by Aberdare’s own brewery with your meal.

Sport in Aberdare

Aberdare has its own rugby union team, Aberdare RFC, formed in 1890, who play at the Ynys Stadium, and also its own football team, Aberdare Town FC.

Places to Visit in and Around Aberdare

Dare Valley Country Park is less than a mile from Aberdare, and is a public park covering 500 acres of countryside, with a network of walks and trails, a visitor centre, a camping and caravan site, and a wide range of flora and fauna. The park is situated on land formerly used for coal mining, that was reclaimed and landscaped in the 1970s.

Aberdare sits just outside the Brecon Beacons National Park, which offers an incredible range of outdoor leisure activities and has a long history and many ancient monuments, including cairns and standing stones, as well as an abundance of wildlife.

Cynon Valley Museum and Gallery is located on the outskirts of Aberdare, on the site of the old Gadlys Ironworks. The museum offers a glimpse into life in the Cynon Valley over the last 200 years, and houses collections revealing the history of humans in the valley over the past eight millennia, while the gallery shows exhibitions of contemporary Welsh art, crafts and design.

Penderyn distillery, in the nearby village of Penderyn, is the only distillery in Wales and the first to legally distil whisky in the country for more than 100 years. It produces a selection of single malt whiskies, as well as vodka, gin and a Welsh cream liqueur. The distillery is a very popular tourist attraction, with a visitor centre, an exhibition about the history of Welsh whisky, tours of the distillery, a tasting room and a retail shop.

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