Things to do: Step back in time at Rhondda Heritage Park
The Welsh Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park, based at the former Lewis Merthyr Colliery, Trehafod, near Pontypridd, offers a fascinating glimpse of our industrial past, with a few modern twists.
It’s the attention to detail at this attraction that really makes it stand out. From the former miners who act as guides (because nobody knows the industry better than those who once worked underground) to the delicious Italian café, this really is an opportunity to step back in time.
The Black Gold Tour takes you through the Trefor and Bertie Engine Houses and into the original lamp room, where you can almost hear the banter between the miners at the start and the end of their shifts.
At this point you can view the historic chimney stack, which dominates the skyline, along with the original pit-head wheel and winding gear.
Then it’s on to the Fan House and two engine houses, built in the late 1800s, before
it’s time to hold onto your pit helmets and prepare yourself for the new ride simulator, taking you through the underground tunnels of the former colliery!
After all of that, you will have earned yourself a cappuccino or two, and Caffe Bracchi offers a delicious menu, celebrating the impact the Italian community has had on South Wales for more than a century.
Many Italians moved to the Valleys as part of the industrial boom, all those years ago, capitalising on the coal and iron industry with their coffee shops and ice cream parlours.
And while you enjoy a few refreshments, younger visitors can burn off their excess energy in The Energy Zone. This seasonal attraction offers everything you need to keep children, up to the age of 13, occupied while you sit back and relax.
Situated on the Colliery Court Yard, The Energy Zone is fully equipped with swings, slides, a climbing frame and much more.
At the end of the visit, there is the obligatory gift shop, which stocks everything from local interest books and cards to the more unusual items such as coal sculptures and replica miners’ lamps.
For further details contact 01443 682036 or visit www.rhonddaheritagepark.com