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Aerial view of Blaenavon showing main attractions
Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal showing boats moored up

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 showing boats moored up

Llanfoist Wharf

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.

Keeper's Pond showing the lake and an information sign

Keeper's Pond

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, a train can be seen in the distance from across the lake

Garn Lakes

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.

A train driver at Blaenavon Heritage Railway operating the train

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
Email: info@pbrly.co.uk
Website: www.pontypool-and-blaenavon.co.u

Children reading an information sign outside Blaenavon Ironworks

Blaenavon Ironworks

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
Email: blaenavonironworks@wales.gsi.gov.uk
Website: www.cadw.wales.gov.uk

A desk where Alexander Cordell worked, now located at the Blaenavon Community Heritage and Cordell  Museum

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
Email: blaenavoncordellmuseum@hotmail.co.uk

Children listening to a Miner talk at the Big Pit National Coal Museum

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
Email: bigpit@museumwales.ac.uk
Website: www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/bigpit

Many beer barrels on display at the Rhymney Brewery

Rhymney Brewery

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
Email: enquiries@rhymneybreweryltd.com
Website: http://www.rhymneybreweryltd.com

Lots of information boards on display at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre

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
Email: blaenavon.tic@torfaen.gov.uk

Outside view of the Workmen's Hall in Blaenavon

Workmen's Hall

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.

Photo shows the main street in Blaenavon, many shops can be seen

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
Email: blaenavon.tic@torfaen.gov.uk