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History, giants and ghosts in Cwm Tawe

History, giants and ghosts in Cwm Tawe

A perfect day out for culture seekers start with a visit to the Ynyscedwen Ironworks at Ystradgynlais, where over 1000 men worked in 1853 using a new smelting process discovered by David Thomas, who later moved to the USA and became the father of the American iron industry.

This area sometimes known as the Land of the Sleeping Giant, as the distinctive profile of the Cribarth mountain looks like a giant on his back catching forty winks. Another dramatic natural sight is the Henrhyd waterfall, at 27 metres the highest in South Wales. A steep walk takes you to the foot of the falls and you can then follow a path further downstream through a wonderful ‘Celtic rainforest’ to where the small fast flowing Llech joins the Tawe, passing an old woollen watermill known locally as the ‘The Factory’. An audio trail on the route tells stories of the area and gives ample opportunity to rest and take it all in.

The romantically named Craig-y-Nos Castle, translates as ‘rock of the Night’, is now a hotel but in Victorian times was home to Madame Adelina Patti, a world famous opera singer whose voice was renowned for its incredible purity. Inside there is a beautiful Grade 1 listed theatre built by Madame Patti and it is reputed that her ghostly voice can sometimes still be heard.

Sample Itinerary

11.00 Visit the Henrhyd Waterfall and walk along the Nant Llech Waterfalls trail
13.00 - 14.30 Pub lunch in one of the local pubs
15.30 - 16.00 Visit Craig-y-nos Country Park and visit Madame Patti's theatre in Craig-y-nos Castle Hotel
16.00 Depart for home

Take a walk through the adjacent county park was formerly the pleasure gardens of the castle and end the day with tea and cake at the Changing Seasons Café in the park.


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