Discover the vibrant location that sets the stage for the heart-pounding action of Aberdare Park Road Races, nestled in the historic and picturesque Cynon Valley.
Known as 'Brenhines y Bryniau' or 'Queen of the Hills,' Aberdare and the surrounding Cynon Valley have a rich history and stunning natural beauty waiting to be explored. Once the cultural hub of the South Wales Valleys, the town still offers a wealth of experiences in the 21st century.
The Cynon Valley (Cwm Cynon) stretches from Penderyn in the north to Abercynon in the south, but at its geographical and administrative heart is the town of Aberdare (Aberdâr). Aberdare is nestled in a wide and grand valley, earning its 'Queen of the Hills' moniker, and offers a bustling town centre with quaint cafes, restaurants, and cultural heritage.
Aberdare boasts impressive Victorian architecture and holds cultural distinctions. Notably, it played a crucial role in Wales' reputation as the 'Land of Song,' with Caradog leading 'Y Côr Mawr' to victory in the Crystal Palace Choral Competition in London.
The Cynon Valley also offers outdoor adventures and cultural activities. Dare Valley Country Park, set in a beautiful glacial valley, provides diverse walks, camping, and outdoor activities. The Coliseum Theatre and Cynon Valley Museum offer a dose of arts and history, and the Victoria Square monument celebrates Aberdare's musical heritage. Grey Trees Brewery's National Tap is the place for real ale and craft beer enthusiasts.
And of course there is Aberdare Park. Aberdare Park, steeped in Victorian history, maintains its charming original boating lake – where you can take a leisurely sail on swan or dragon-shaped paddle boats. Make a pit stop at the lakeside café, perhaps grab a refreshment, and pick up some treats to feed the ducks and geese that call this serene spot home. The tranquility of the park offers a perfect escape before you venture further.
As you explore, don't overlook the grandiose fountain just behind the café, a replica of the iconic one gracing Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Follow the winding pathways shaded by trees and rhododendrons, leading you to the Gorsedd Circle. This remarkable monument was erected to commemorate Aberdare Park's role as the host of the National Eisteddfod in 1956.
Families with little ones will delight in the adventure playground, providing endless fun. For those with a sporting spirit, bring your gear and enjoy a game of tennis on the courts. And if you fancy some shopping or a delightful meal, Aberdare town centre is a mere stone's throw away.
Explore Aberdare and the Cynon Valley to discover the charm of this region, its dramatic landscapes, and a rich tapestry of history.