What to do in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales?
Merthyr Tydfil in Wales is a place for hikers, families and general tourists. We visited this top Welsh town to do an amazing activity weekend. We got to try out some of the best activities Merthyr has to offer. And we were not disappointed. We had an epic time doing things like rock climbing, caving and mountain biking in Merthyr Tydfil. We were lucky enough to try this out on a free press-trip. During our stay, I can surely say we got to see the best things to do in Merthyr Tydfil.
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In this post I want to share with you the awesome tourist attractions in Merthyr Tydfil and why you need to put this place on your bucket list. Whether its food, history or activities is your thing. You will surely find something you enjoy in this top place to visit in Wales.
History of Merthyr Tydfil
Merthyr Tydfil was once the largest town in Wales with a population of over 63,000 ideally located between Cardiff and the Brecon Beacons National Park. Fuelled by the Industrial revolution in the late 18th and 19th century’s Merthyr Tydfil became a gateway for job opportunities for steal, copper, tinplate and coal industries.
People from Wales and the rest of Britain flocked to the area and new a society developed which still has an impact on Merthyr Tydfil today. Interestingly, Merthyr Tydfil had the world’s first cast iron railway bridge, the world’s largest iron works and the worlds first steam locomotive, now that’s an impressive title!
You can check out the VisitMerthyr website for some more information on the history on Merthyr
Best things to do in Merthyr Tydfil
Are you a film junkie? You will love the Vue cinema in Merthyr Tydfil to fill your movie needs. This is a very modern cinema that shows all the latest films. Also, it sells the usual cinema snacks such as pop corn and sweets.
To find out what’s on at the Merthyr Tydfil Vue cinema just visit the website. Also, if you are looking for what to do in Merthyr Tydfil for kids. You should visit the Merthyr leisure centre for things like family swimming and more.
Here is the Full list of what to do in Merthyr Tydfil on your visit to this epic holiday destination in Wales.
Bike Park Wales
Bike Park in Wales was backed by the EU and opened in 2013 costing £1.8 million. Wales Bike Park has taken the best aspects of mountain biking resorts around the world and created a brand new unique approach to the sport.
There are 40 trails to enjoy ranging in difficulty which is made simple by clear grading system from green to black trails. This amazing park also operates a vehicle uplift service that transport bikers up to the top of the mountain where they can choose from 6 downhill adrenaline pumping tracks. I would definitely recommend this service as having to cycle up 491 metres of elevation to the summit of Myndd Gethin isn’t for the faint hearted, believe me!
If you love outdoor adventure, you need to visit the amazing Argyll in Scotland. Check out outdoor adventures in Argyll for some adventure inspiration!
Bike Park Wales also offers mountain bike hire for those who simply want to give it a go and if you enjoy it that much you can even purchase the bike afterwards! All their bikes are professionally maintained by top mechanic to ensure they are in tip top condition for you to enjoy.
The Bike Park also offers coaching sessions for riders at any level to help you improve your skills are build your confidence. I had a half day session with Grifth who went through the basics of mountain biking, before starting off on the green trail and pump track. After mastering the basic skills we then went onto a blue trail to test out what I had learnt in the morning.
I thoroughly enjoyed my day at Bike Park Wales from the friendly reception staff, to the knowledgeable coaches, and master chefs providing a tasty fulfilling lunch. My only tip is to be sure to book in advance as the uphill lift passes often get sold out during busy periods such as weekends and summer holidays.
How much is the Bike Park Wales?
- Day ride pass = £10
- E-bike day pass = £15
- Uplift pass = from £35 (includes your park entry fee)
- Bike hire = from £40
The contact details for bikeparkwales;
- Phone: 07730382501
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Web: www.bikeparkwales.com
- Location: Gethin Woodland Centre, Abercanaid, Merthyr Tydfil, CF481YZ
Rock UK Summit Centre
Summit Centre is located in the heart of the Welsh Valleys, south of Merthyr Tydfil and is overlooked by beautiful hills and woodland. The centre boasts stunning indoor climbing walls, bouldering, group accommodation, a cafe, outdoor play area, gym, a man-made caving system, aerial course and over 23 instructed activities.
Summit Centre holds to title of the largest indoor climbing centre in south wales, now that’s something to shout about. With over 120 routes that are rest regularly you’ll never get bored. Whether you’re a professional climber or completely new to the sport, there’s a range of courses to suit everyone’s needs. And don’t worry Rock UK provide high quality equipment and tuition to help you get started.
If you want to challenge yourself why not try abseiling, canoeing, gorge walking, rafting, hiking or archery. There’s a wide range of activities that with test your strength, skills and nerve. You’ll be in the safe hands of well trained professional friendly staff that will push your limits and help you conquer your fears.
After all that exercise why not relax and take in the beautiful surrounding with a cup of freshly brewed coffee and a piece of cake at the Summit Café. A perfect way to end a perfect day!
How much is UK Summit Centre in Wales? Adults Climbing/Bouldering = £8/£6 (no instructor required)
The contact details for the summit centre;
- Phone: 07730382501
- Email: email@example.com
- Web: https://rockuk.org/centres/summit-centre/
- Location:Old Drift Mine, Trelewis, Treharris, CF466RD
Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer
The Parkwood Outdoors is a multi-activity centre situated alongside Ponsticill Resvoir in the rolling hills of Brecon Beacons National Park.
Parkwood Outdoors offers bespoke packages to suit your individual needs. Whether you want to stay for the day, overnight or even a week, they provide packages for families, friends, stag/hen parties, schools and corporate events. Some of the activities at Parkwood Outdoors include;
- rocking climbing
- bush craft
- stand up paddle barding
Also, be prepared for getting wet and the Welsh weather can be unpredictable as I discovered during my weekend at Parkwood Outdoors. I tried stand up paddling boarding for the first time and loved it. The instructors were highly skilled and were always on hand to answer any questions.
Parkwood Outdoors offers a range of 3/4 accommodation, which sleeps from 6 to 44 and you can even bring along your fury friends as every accommodation is pet friendly. There are self-catering facilities which all the essentials you may need including, fridge, microwave and kettle and there’s also a café onsite serving yummy cakes and fresh brewed coffee. Book accommodation at Dolygaer and get discounts on activities, could it get any more perfect!
Keep an eye out on Parkwood Outdoors website for the latest offers and package deals. Hopefully they are going to provide a package including Rock UK Summit Centre and Bike Park Wales, now that’s an action packed weekend anyone would enjoy!
How much is Parkwood Outdoors in Wales?
For prices contact Parkwood Outdoors directly via their website or telephone
The contact details for parkwood outdoors;
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Location:Dolygaer, Pontsticill, Merthyr Tydfil, CF482UR
Garwnant Visitor Centre
Garwnant Visitor Centre sits in the heart of beautiful forest and is the starting point for walking trials and mountain bike routes. There’s also a play area, low ropes course and two puzzle trials that the whole family can enjoy. If that isn’t enough, Garwnant Visitors Centre also holds a mountain bike skills park which is a series of child friendly obstacles designed to improve skills and build confidence.
Visit the café at Garwant visitor which serves the following;
- hot drinks
- Cold drinks
- Lunches and daily special
You can also bring a picnic and enjoy the peaceful scenery. There is parking for a small fee and dogs are welcome.
How much is Garwnant Visitors Centre?
It’s totally FREE
The contact details for the Garwnant visitors centre;
- Email: email@example.com
- Location:Merthyr Tydfil CF482HU
Cyfarthfa Park is one of the most frequently visited free tourism attraction in South Wales and provides entertainment for the whole family rain or shine. Set in over 65 hectares of stunning scenery, Cyfartha Park is a dominant historical site in Merthyr Tydfil and is home to Cyfartha Castle, a majestic Grade 1 listed building.
Cyfartha Castle was designed in 1824 for William Crawshay and only took one year to build costing £30,000. Today the castle is home to a museum, which is a testament to the hard working spirit of Merthyr Tydfil, as well as an art gallery and tea shop. It’s definelty worth a visit when in Merthyr Tydfil to learn about the history and culture that has shaped the town and people that live there.
Cyfarthfa Park also boasts an active zone splash pad and playground for younger visitors to enjoy, as well as a short golf course of 9 par 3 holes.
How much is Cyfartha Park (museum)?
- Adults = £2
- Concession = £1
- Children = FREE
The Contact details for Cyfartha Park (Museum)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Location: Cyfarthfa Park, Brecon Road, Merthyr Tydfil, CF478RE
Brecon Mountain Railway
The Brecon Mountain Railway was built over 40 years ago when a search started to find a suitable site to build and operate a steam railway using locomotives collected from around the world. The line now runs from Pant, 3 miles North of Merthyr Tydfil, to Torpantau following part of the route of the original Brecon & Merthyr Railway which closed in 1964.
The journey takes you into the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park, through Pontsticill and along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservoir before climbing to Torpantau high in the Brecon Beacons and the summit of the original line. At the main station in Pant you can visit the Tearoom for refreshments, gifts and souvenirs are available from the quirky Shop.
How much is the Breacon Mountain Railway?
- Adult = £10
- Child = £5
The contact details for Breacon Mountain Railway;
- Phone: 01685 722988
- Website: https://www.bmr.wales/about-bmr/history-of-the-brecon-mountain-railway
- Location: Pant Station, Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan, CF48 2DD
Brecon Beacons National Park
The Brecon Beacons National Park is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in South Wales, full of grassy moorland, tranquil reservoirs, stunning waterfalls and high mountain plateaus. Like the mount Snowdon walk the Brecon Beacons National Park is the perfect location if you love the outdoors, with an array of different trails for walkers, runners, mountain bikers and cyclists. It is the perfect location for the ultimate trekking challenge!
Why not take advantage of the Beacons summer bus, which is a hop on and hop off service that runs throughout the park, making it easier to see all the hot spots. For more information on activities and events visit Breacon Beacons website to avoid missing out.
How much is Brecon National Park?
FREE. We love any activity that’s free, pack a picnic and head out for the day to enjoy the dramatic scenery.
Contact details for the the Brecon National park
You can also check out the Brecon Beacons camping if you’re looking to camp on this amazing national park.
- Phone: 01685 722988
- Website: http://www.breconbeacons.org/
- Location: Pant Station, Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan, CF48 2DD
Shopping in Merthyr Tydfil
As well as awesome activities, there is plenty of things to do with the kids, like the Vue cinema and the fun shopping centre in Merthyr Tydfil. The Cyfartha shopping centre epic shopping centre has lots of big name brands for you to explore.
The Cyfartha shopping centre in Merthy Tydfil is probably the most popular and the best. Also, don’t worry about the kids, you can bring them along with you. Because, there is plenty of places to eat so they won’t go hungry.
If you’re looking for clothes, electricals or general goods. You will be able to find it at the many shops in Merthyr Tydfil.
Check out this list of shopping places in Merthyr Tydfil.
Best places to eat Merthyr Tydfil
Woodfired – 4* Tripadvisor
- Fantastic pizza and grill restaurant, which a quirky cocktail bar in a stunning space in the heart of Merthyr! Their giant Woodfired pizza oven and great chefs make the best pizza for miles! The service is slick and the food portions are generous so definitely good value for money.
The Crown Inn – 4.5* Tripadvisor
- The Crown Inn is a vibrant pub located on the High Street in Merthyr Tydfil. Having built up a great reputation for their live music and high quality food and drink you’ll be sure to have a great time and full stomach when you leave!
JOLS – 4.5* Tripadvisor
- A combination of wonderful home cooked food and friendly staff make JOLS a perfect place to relax and unwind. The calming atmosphere makes this place perfect for a lunch time catch up for romantic date night.
Where to stay Merthyr Tydfil
- Premier Inn – 4* Tripadvisor
Enjoy a good night sleep at Premier Inn with their best beds yet and look forward to a freshly cooked breakfast to start your day. With free WIFI, free parking, tea/coffee facilities and a luxury power shower, you’ll be guaranteed to have a perfect stay.
Average price = £58 per night
Book a room: Premier Inn
- Arfryn House Bed and Breakfast – 5* Tripadvisor
Situated within the picturesque Brecon Beacons National Park, Arfryn House Bed and Breakfast offers accommodation 5 minutes’ drive from Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales so perfect for those looking for an adventurous weekend. Free WiFi and free on-site parking are provided for guests and a traditional cooked breakfast can be ordered on request for a small fee.
Average price = £85 per night
Book a room: Arfryn House
- The Grange Guesthouse – 5* Tripadvisor
The Grange is a new relaxed boutique 5 bedroom guesthouse in the quiet village of Cefn-Coed-y-Cymmer on the edge of Merthyr Tydfil and the Brecon Beacons National Park. This beautiful 120 year old property is your home from home for outdoor sports and exploring the stunning scenery of South Wales. There’s free WIFI, onsite parking and breakfast included.
Average price = £90 per night
Boom a room: The Grange Guesthouse
We just want to say a massive thank you for the teams at the activities in Merthyr Tydfil. They made sure we had an amazing time at this number one tourist destination in Wales. There is plenty of things to do in Merthyr Tydfil on your visit.
The locals are friendly, the activities are amazing, the town centre is fun and the place as a whole is really epic location to spend a good few nights.