Blaenavon and Goytre Wharf: experience the industrial past
Many visitors enjoy the truly memorable experience of the Big Pit National Coal museum – but there is far more to our industrial past.
The Blaenavon World Heritage Centre is the ideal starting point for your visit. It provides a great overview of the history of the region and explains why the Blaenavon Industrial landscape was awarded the UNESCO World Heritage status. The centre also has a cafe and a TIC, ideal for morning coffee, centre is closed on Mondays. After coffee take the short drive to the Blaenavon Ironworks - where there are substantial remains of five early blast furnaces, cast houses and a magnificent water balance tower. You will also find the iron workers cottages and information centre – which were the location of Iron works Blaenavon on the popular BBC Coalhouse television series. Even better is that entry to both these attractions is completely free.
Depending on the season and weather – you can either return to the World Heritage Centre for lunch or follow the B4246 back towards Abergavenny over the Blorenge and stop at the Keepers Pond for a picnic. Also known as the Forge Pond as it was built in the early 19th century to provide water for the Garnddyrys Forge. When the forge was dismantled in 1860 it rapidly became a local beauty spot with good reason – the views are stunning. This is also a good starting place for a walk on the Blorenge Mountain – ideal for dog walking and kite flying.
After lunch – complete your industrial education with a visit to Goytre Wharf on the Monmouth and Breconshire canal, a 200 year old industrial heritage site that now houses an Italian cafe and a visitor centre. Should the Blorenge walk be a little too challenging – you can also enjoy a meander along the canal towpath.
10.00 - 11.30 Enjoy a visit to the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre and morning coffee.
11.30 - 12.45 Visit the Blaenavon Ironworks, information centre and the workers cottages.
12.45 - 14.00 Either lunch at the World Heritage Centre Cafe or picnic and walk up at Keepers Pond.
14.30 - 16.00 Drive to Goytre Wharf visitor centre, take a walk along the canal and enjoy afternoon tea and cakes at the Canal cafe.
Where is it?
The Blaenavon World Heritage Centre: Find it on Church Road, Blaenavon NP4 9AS
(or NP4 9AE for some sat–navs)
Tel: 01495 742333
The Blaenavon Ironworks is found on North Street Blaenavon NP4 9RN Tel: 01495 792615
(Landranger Map 161 SO322 064)
The Canal cafe and Information Centre NP7 6EW Tel (01873 880899)
The Visitor centre is signposted off the A4042 between Mamhilad and Llanover.
Facilities & Access
The Blaenavon World Heritage Centre
9.00 to 17.00 Tues - Sun April to September
9.00 to 16.00 Tues - Sat October to March.
The cafe is open when the Centre is.
Parking is available and the centre has full disabled access. Entrance is free.
The Blaenavon Ironworks
31/3 – 31/10 – Mon – Sun 10.00 - 17.00
1/11 – 31/3 Mon - Thurs closed. Fri -Sat 9.30 – 16.00, Sunday 11.00 - 16.00
The cottages which house the exhibitions have level floors but outdoors path surfaces are rough and the ground uneven. Disabled parking is permitted on-site and there are toilet facilities accessed by a ramp. Dogs are welcome on the site but must be kept on leads.
Always open. There is a car-park but the area has un-even ground which prevents disabled access. As a beauty spot it is always available for enjoyment.
The Canal cafe and Information Centre
Wed to Sun 9.00 to 17.00.
Thurs - Sat it is open evenings 18.00 - 23.00.
The cafe and information centre are downstairs and have full disabled facilities.
There is a large car-park close to the centre. The route down to the centre is slightly sloping.
By Train: the nearest station is Pontypool
By Bus: The X3 service operates between Abergavenny and Pontypool. The X24 and X30 services operate between Pontypool and Blaenavon.
The Services are operated by Stagecoach (0871 200 2233)