Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal
The Monmouthshire and Brecon canal runs for 32 miles through idyllic scenery in the Brecon Beacons National Park between Brecon and Pontypool and then on into Newport. A section of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal passes through the Blaenavon World Heritage Site, affording spectacular views and with numerous industrial landmarks along its route. Walking and cycling routes and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Llanfoist wharf linked Blaenavon to the rest of the world by the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal. Canals were needed in order to transport heavy industry products like Pig Iron, Coal and Limestone. Llanfoist has a large warehouse alongside its wharf, which would have stored these products. The wharf was linked by a steep incline to the Hills tramroad which skirts around the Blorenge mountain to Pwll Du. Here the tramroad cuts through the mountain to the ironworks at Blaenavon. A later incline was constructed over the mountain.
The Keeper’s Pond, also known as Pen-ffordd-goch Pond or the Forge Pond, is situated near Pwll-Du, on the hill above Blaenavon. The pond was built in the early 19th century to provide water for Garn Ddyrys Forge. It acquired the name Keeper’s Pond because the gamekeeper of the grouse moors lived in a cottage nearby. Today it is a local beauty spot and an ideal pace to start a walk on the Blorenge Mountain.
Garn Lakes used to be an area covered in spoil tips and old colliery workings but following an extensive land reclamation scheme it was officially opened in 1997 as a beautiful area for residents and visitors. It covers 40 hectares, and with lakes and grasslands it provides a diverse habitat and breeding grounds for a wide range of wildlife. So much so, that it has now been designated as a Local Nature Reserve.
Blaenavon Heritage Railway
The Heritage Railway is the highest standard gauge preserved railway in
England and Wales. It passes the picturesque Garn Lakes and commands spectacular
views of the Industrial Landscape. With new stations at both Big Pit and
Blaenavon High Level, the train offers visitors an opportunity to use it
to get around some of the key attractions in the World Heritage Site.
Opening Times Weekends and Bank Holidays (Easter to September) with special services at Halloween and Christmas.
Please check the website for up to date information and special events.
Ticket Prices: please visit www.pontypool-and-blaenavon.co.uk for the latest prices.
Address: Furnace Sidings, Blaenavon, NP4 9SF
Tel: 01495 792263
Blaenavon Ironworks is the best preserved 18th century ironworks in the
world! Come and visit the workers’ cottages and Company Shop to see what
life was like during the Industrial Revolution.
Opening Times Monday – Sunday 10am-5pm (Apr-Oct) Friday-Saturday 9:30am-4pm & Sunday 11am-4pm (Nov-Mar) Free Admission
Address: North Street, NP4 9RN
Tel: 01495 792615
Blaenavon Community Heritage & Cordell Museum
Find out more about the work of Alexander Cordell, the author of the international
bestseller Rape of the Fair Country, at the Cordell Museum. The museum
also contains a treasure trove of records about Blaenavon's past. If you
are researching your family tree, be sure to pay the museum a visit!
Opening Times Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday (10am-3:30pm), Saturday (10am-1pm) Admission - £1.50 for adults, free entry for children
Address: Lion Street, NP4 9QA
Tel: 01495 790991
Big Pit: National Coal Museum
Descend 300ft (90 metres) underground into a real coalmine with a former
miner to find out about the dangers, working conditions and global significance
of the Welsh mining industry! If you don’t want to go underground, there
is plenty to see and do on the surface too!
Opening Times Monday to Sunday 9:30am-5pm (underground tours run frequently 10am-3:30pm but please call for December and January operating times) Free Admission (£2 car parking fee)
Address: Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenavon, NP4 9XP
Tel: 02920 573650
During the early Industrial Revolution poor sanitation meant that beer
was often safer to drink than water. The heat and strain of heavy industry
also gave workmen a great thirst so in iron-producing towns like Blaenavon,
beer was in high demand! Visit the new Rhymney Brewery Visitor Centre to
see how Real Ale is produced today.
Opening Times Monday – Sunday, 11:30am-5:30pm Admission - £2.50 per person
Address: - Gilchrist Thomas Industrial Estate, Blaenavon, NP4 9RL
Tel: 01685 722253
Blaenavon World Heritage Centre
Start your visit to Blaenavon at the World Heritage Centre, where the
story of Blaenavon and all of its attractions is told. It also contains
the Tourist Information Centre, a gallery and a café.
Opening Times Tuesday – Sunday 9am-5pm (Apr-Sep) Tuesday – Sunday 9am-4pm (Oct-Mar) Free Admission
Address: Church Road, Blaenavon, NP4 9AE
Tel: 01495 742333
The Hall, which opened in January 1895, is a testament to Blaenavon’s proud social history. Its creation was funded by the Blaenavon Workmen’s Institute, who collected a halfpenny every week from its members’ wages. For decades the Workmen’s Hall was the focal point of the community, providing a library, games, entertainment and recreational activities. Today it continues to be a hub of social activity.
Blaenavon Heritage Town
The 19th century town centre of Blaenavon contains a number of impressive
public buildings alongside a range of unique shops - the perfect place
to pick up a gift, or some provisions for a picnic!
Address: Broad Street, Blaenavon, NP4 9NF
Tel: 01495 742333