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There are no tourist traps I could warn VT'ers about - this is probably because, as you could probably guess from the small amount of tips/places to go, Rhondda is not really a traditional/typical tourist area.
So, if you want to go somewhere different, where there are very few (if any) tourists, this would be the place for you!
Updated Aug 29, 2005
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Would recommend light rainproof clothing whatever time of year you visit, Wales does seem to be pretty rainy! The summer can be warm (just same as rest of Britain), but advisable to have warm clothing for higher ground (such as hillwalking in Brecon Beacons)
Written Aug 21, 2005
Located just off a roundabout, high on the Penrhys mountain is the statue of Lady of Penrhys.
There is not much on this mountain apart from the statue and the large council housing estate, but the views are great.
IN 13th Century, Cistercian monks from Llantarnam Abbey built a grange here. The monks that lived here lived a very simple agricultural life, and legend has it that one of them found a statue of the Holy Mother when working one day in the fields. So, the monks then built a chapel and shrine to put the statue in. Penrhys became a centre of pilgrimage, to pay homage and to be healed. Although there is no longer a chapel/shrine, there is a statue dating from 1953 placed in its site.
The site has to be one of the best viewpoints in the area, giving fantastic views of Rhondda Valleys.
To get there, B4512 road, between Tylorstown and Ystrad, roundabout, Penrhys mountain.
Written Aug 29, 2005
Favorite thing: The rich history of Rhondda, and the determination and sincerity of the people who live there.
The area is not perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing but it is the grittiness that creates its' unique appeal. The rows and rows of terraces hugging the valley walls, whilst behind the terraced houses is open mountainside- this unusual combination epitomes Rhondda for me - a unique place. Most of the housing has not basically changed in over 100 years, and the basic structure of inside the terraced miners cottage is still the same - how did they fit in families of 10 or 13 people in these 3 up, 2 down houses.
Although its' population is perhaps now declining (as more move away for employment, etc), in the heyday of mining, the rate of absorbtion of immigrants into Rhondda was faster than anywhere else in the world (apart from USA).
In the heyday of coal mining, one third of all the world's coal was produced here - the Kuwait of its time!
Fondest memory: The closeness of the people, which could be a result of the closeness of housing! And the fact that even though you could be standing in the middle of a street, with houses on both sides, with another street just behind and another street just in front - you only have to tilt your head up slightly to see welsh countryside mountains. When I go away, I miss the mountains.
Written Aug 29, 2005