With miles and miles of stunning scenic tracks, canal towpaths and historic trails that suit all abilities and ages Merthyr Tydfil is the prefect destination if you love the great outdoors.
Taff Trail: Nestled in the heart of South Wales lies the Taff Trail, a once vital transport link that encapsulates the areas history complemented by miles and miles of natural beauty.
The Taff Trail takes you on a 55 mile journey from waterfont of Cardiff Bay up to the market town of Brecon through the heart of Merthyr Tydfil’s villages. The historic route partially follows the historic Glamorganshire canal with a trail that takes in a wide variety of urban and suburban landscapes as well as more peaceful/tranquil surroundings. As a large proportion of its course is traffic-free the Taff Trail offers great opportunity for walking, cycling and horse riding.
With the heart of the Taff Trail running through Merthyr Tydfil there are ideal occasions for users to stop-off for a spot of lunch or explore many of the historic villages and sites that are situated near by.
Celtic Trail: The Celtic Trail is a dedicated cycle network that covers east, south and west Wales. The 377 mile, largely traffic free route encompasses some of the country’s most diverse scenery taking in Wales’ eastern gateway across to the Pembrokeshire National Park and through the best cycling routes in the UK by The Guardian the Celtic Trail is a must for the cycle enthusiast and two-wheeled backpack.
Trevithick Trail: the Trevithick trial, which starts in the heart of Merthyr Tydfil, celebrates the bi-centenary of the first ground breaking trip into the ‘Age of Steam’ in 1804 and still incorporates the original Trevithick Tunnel which is an attraction in itself. Local artwork and areas of natural beauty can be found along this historical trail with some amazing sights to be discovered around every corner.
The route commemorates the first journey by a steam locomotive to pull a load on iron rails in 1804, the precursor of the ‘Railway Age’ which changed the world in the 19th century. On Febuary 21, 1804, the Penydarren locomotive, designed and built by the Cornish inventor Richard Trevithick for Samuel Homfray, master of the Penydarren Ironworks, pulled a load of 10 tones of iron and 70 men nine miles down the Taff Valley- all for a bet.
The historic Journey went from Penydarren Ironworks to the Navigation where it joined the Glamorganshire Canal so linking the industrial heart of Merthyr Tydfil with the port of Cardiff and the rest of the world. Along the trail markers and stone sleepers point out the historical significance of various locations as you follow the track along the nine-mile route.
So why not try the Trevithick Trail, a walk through history surrounded by the beauty of nature.
FACT: The Trevithick Tunnel was created for the first steam locomotive journey and is arguable the oldest railway tunnel in the world, for self-propelled steam engines on rails.
Bike Park Wales: The UK’s first full-scale mountain bike park set in wooded terrain on the side of the valley overlooking Merthyr Tydfil. Imagine a ski resort without the snow, and replace the pistes with a broad mix of natural trails that meander to the bottom of the mountain. Built by riders for riders, it rivals the best in the world.
It’s designed to make mountain biking accessible to everyone including young children. Yes, it’s a world class venue that has hosted the National Downhill Championships, but it’s also a great day out for anyone who can ride a bike and would like to try one of the UK’s fastest-growing sports.
Where is it?
Off the A470 at the Pentrebach roundabout, Merthyr Tydfil. Pentrebach train station is nearby.
Please visit www.bikeparkwales.com For more information