Aberdare, in the Cynon Valley area of the Rhondda Valley, South Wales, is neighbour to Merthyr Tydfil and only 23 miles from Cardiff. Lying in the shadow of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Aberdare sprung up where the Rivers Cynon and Dare meet.
What’s Aberdare Like?
A town with origins in the middle ages, Aberdare was once an agricultural village and centre, with simple church, houses and traders, but by the mid 1800s its growing coal and iron ore industries had transformed it into an industrial centre. Canals, railways, and the town’s population increased massively as a result, as locals left agriculture and sought work in the town. Interestingly, Aberdare has roots as a publishing centre.
What to do in Aberdare
The first ever host of the Welsh National Eisteddfod (1861), Aberdare has grown in cultural importance hosting regular festivals, but back in the nineteenth century it was best known as a book publishing town – mainly for books in Welsh, and trade union newspapers, though this ceased in the early twentieth century.
Close by to the Brecon Mountain Railway, many cairns and prehistoric/historic visitor attractions, and even to the BikePark Wales, (the UK’s first large-scale mountain bike park!), Aberdare is a wonderful holiday location for all the family.
Cynon Valley Museum and Gallery
This vibrant museum, on the site of a nineteen century ironworks, is all about life in the Cynon Valley and the effects of war, industry, religion, sport and disaster. With its art gallery, shop and cafe, plus the 1857 ironworks’ blowing-engine house on site, this is a great day out, and not far from Aberdare.
The great outdoors
The Dare Valley Country Park, with its interactive visitor centre set in 500 acres of countryside, is all about enjoying the South Wales outdoors, with regular events, a family quest trail, and even an infra red combat zone! See more at
The Aberdare Golf Club was founded in 1921 and is a beautiful places to play with panoramic views.
Aberdare Park Road Races
The Road Races are an annual motorcycle event held on the park’s race circuit – only half a mile from Aberdare town centre! The circuit is demanding as it slaloms through trees in this, the town’s main park. Held since 1950, it has now become an annual event with celebrity guests, sidecars, go-karts, classic bikes, traders and much more.
How to get to Aberdare
Aberdare is fortunate to have a well used railway station and bus station (for routes to local towns and villages) but most visitors arrive here via the network of A roads or perhaps via the South Wales motorway (the M4) at junction 12 – it is then an easy half hour drive to Aberdare.
Where to stay
We are pleased to offer visitors to Aberdare and the surrounding areas, some lovely accommodation, mainly self-catering cottages, but also hotel rooms. Do feel free to browse our lists below, but bear in mind that accommodation gets booked up quickly when events such as the Road Races are on, so ensure you book with us today!