Mid & South Wales

South Wales Bucket List

I’m a Welsh person born and bred but I’m ashamed to say that I don’t know South Wales at all. People seem to think that because I’m from Wales that I know the whole country but nope South Wales is like a whole other country to me. My knowledge stops at around Dolgellau or possibly Machynlleth.

Considering that foreign holidays are a no-go for a while yet, then I’m determined to explore my own country a lot more over the coming months.

With that in mind I’ve been looking at some places I’d like to visit in South Wales.

Big Pit and Big Pit Railway

Big Pit and Big Pit Railway
Photo courtesy of Chris Parry

Snowdonia is known for its slate mines but South Wales is famous for its coal mines. Big Pit is the place to go to learn about the coal mining heritage of the South Wales Valleys. It’s such an important part of the Welsh mining heritage that it has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I’ve been here when I was a child but I don’t remember it at all. I would love to go back and visit again. This time I’ll have a better appreciation of the heritage.

I’ve also been told that there’s a narrow gauge railway at Big Pit so yep I’m there!

Tower Colliery – Zirpworld South Wales


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Another famous coal mine which is now being turned into an adventure playground thanks to Zipworld. They’ve created a zipline over the water and a roller coaster through the pit landscape. It honestly looks absolutely epic! Also they have the Big Red zipline which cater to little ones over the age of 5. So I can now take the girls and make it into a proper day out.


Photo courtesy of Chris Parry

Complete polar opposite to Tower Colliery is Aberfan. Synonymous with coal mining heritage is the Aberfan disaster. On the 21st October 1966 a coal slag tip collapsed onto homes and schools killing 116 children and 28 adults. To this day it is considered the worst mining disaster to have happened in Wales (if not the UK).

I don’t know why I feel compelled to visit Aberfan but I feel like I want to pay my respects to those who died.

Brecon Mountain Railway

Yes another railway but you know I’m all about the steam trains! I have no knowledge of the Brecon Mountain Railway but having done some research, it would appear that the current railway was created in order to have somewhere to run steam engines collected from around the globe. The Railway runs along a section of the old Brecon and Merthyr Railway.

The place is full of industrial heritage and I’ll eventually want to visit all of them as there’s so many other places to see – the Valleys are full of coal mine heritage – Rhondda, Torfaen, Abergavenny to name but a few.

Anything else I ought to add to my South Wales Bucket List?

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