Find your epic in the South Wales Valleys. With a green, welcoming landscape and loads of opportunities within a short drive from Cardiff, both thrill seekers and family adventurers alike can find a space to suit them.
 
Here are 10 of the best ideas for a Valleys Adventure.

Swim outdoors

Lido Ponty, the National Lido of Wales, is a great family adventure with hand boats, stand up paddle boarding and zorbing wheels as well as lots of opportunities for swimming, playing (or just lounging) in the sunshine. 

Get on your bike

The Valleys used to be filled with railways and tram roads – now many of these have been turned into fantastic, safe, off-road cycling routes. Why not walk or cycle along the famous Taff Trail, linking the valleys to Cardiff, stopping off along the way to watch the world go by? 

Image of two people cycling on the Taff Trail in Cardiff with a bridge in the background
Cycling along the Taff Trail, Bute Park, Cardiff

A tasty adventure

Try some of Wales’ finest premium foods, made in the Valleys – how about Caerphilly Cheese, Sub Zero ice cream or a spot of Penderyn Welsh Whisky?

Whiskey barrels in Penderyn
Barrels upon barrels at the Penderyn Distillery, Rhondda Cynon Taf

Make a mint

A unique opportunity to discover the story of the coins in your pocket – from blank to bank at the Royal Mint Experience. Find out about one thousand years of history and craftsmanship. For refreshments and a stroll, pay a visit to the traditional shops and inns in nearby Old Llantrisant.

The Royal Mint, Pontyclun
A Mini covered in coins at The Royal Mint Experience
The Royal Mint, and the Royal Mint Mini - completely covered in coins!

Climb the walls

Ever wondered if you are secretly harbouring incredible James Bond-esque climbing skills? Prove your sporting prowess and have fun at Go Vertical, Cwmbran or the Summit Centre, Bargoed.

Discover dark skies

The Valleys fuse an incredible mix of both compact and wide open spaces. You’ll find striking views across the Valleys, and also clear, wide views of the sky above, ideal for viewing the stars. Dark Sky Wales regularly hold expert-led events to help you interpret the ever-changing skies above and listen to the stories of the stars and the names behind them.

Dark skies in Brecon Beacons
The ever-changing starry skies in the Brecon Beacons

Throw yourself off a mountain – on a bike!

The Valleys offer fantastic rugged terrain ideal for mountain biking – and there are routes for all skills. Cwmcarn Forest and the Garw Valley both give impressive views across the Severn Estuary, while many of the crazy routes at BikePark Wales give views into the Brecon Beacons, if you dare look up from the trail in front of you!

A mountain bike riding through a stream
The Valleys offers rugged terrain for mountain biking

Step in to history

We’ve loads of fascinating stories to be explored. How about experiencing the life of a miner at Rhondda Heritage Park or Big Pit National Coal Museum, or holding up the leaning tower of Caerphilly Castle? You can walk in the footsteps of ancestors and feel what life was like for the noblemen and kings who conquered (or fought) the Welsh!

Caerphilly Castle
Inside Caerphilly Castle showing old brickwork and doorway
Caerphilly Castle's leaning tower, and a view inside the majestic castle

Make a splash

Life’s too short to stay in the dry indoors and there is nothing like the exhilaration of a bracing splash in the water! There are loads of opportunities for water sports or just generally splashing around across the Valleys. How about surfing at Rest Bay, kayaking at Parc Bryn Bach or paddle boarding at Llandegfedd Reservoir? Smaller kids will love the splash pad at Cyfarthfa Park.

Plan a spooky winter adventure

Explore one of Britain’s most haunted houses, Llancaiach Fawr Manor. Experience strange goings on – the rustle of petticoats, your hand being held or even the occasional smell of violets or roast beef!

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