Rhondda Cynon Taf is a Borough named for three valleys near the southernmost tip of Wales. The Rhondda Valley, the Cynon Valley and the Taff Ely Valley. The largest towns in this borough are Aberdare, Pontypridd, Tonyrefail and Mountain Ash. More important towns would be Talbot Green, Llantrisant and Ferndale.
Previously a coal mining town and a community involved in ironworks, Aberdere is still involved in cultural arts and the town's Coliseum Theatre is complete with a six hundred seat auditorium plus cinema. The band Stereophonics are from the neighboring village of Cwmaman. Churches are important in Aberdere, old churches that have been in service since as early as the 12th century are an interesting find. The St; John the Baptist Church is from the eleven hundreds and you can investigate some original architecture if you visit it. St. Elvan's Church is from the eighteen hundreds and includes a pipe organ. St. Margaret's Church also sports a pipe organ. Many people consider pipe organs even more beautiful to listen to than regular organs. Coleg Morgannwg's main campuses are found in Aberdare, Nantgarw and Llwynypia. Vocational courses, teaching courses and business and technology courses are offered.
Pontypridd is one of the larger towns of the borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf. It is known for its "Old Bridge" that was built across River Taff in 1756. The bridge is very impressive considering the era in which it was built at a height of thirty-five feet over the water and in a circular segment. The bridge is architecturally unique from other bridges and very steep. About 100 years later another bridge was built next to it to be not as steep and this bridge was named Victoria Bridge.
There is a mansion that was built in this town in 1093, it overlooks the whole village and was probably built by Einion ap Collwyn who was a Welsh nobleman. It stands three storeys tall. Another key interest is the windfarm here which is found on Mynydd Maendy.
Mountain Ash has a railway service to Fernhill and Penrhiwceiber. There are many businesses in Mountain Ash and a sports team by the name of Mountain Ash RFC. Once a year in Mountain Ash there is a 5 kilometres rum on New Year's Eve and includes entertainment much like a fair with over 800 running participants and approximately 10,000 people in attendance.
Talbot Green sits in the Ely Valley. The River Ely creates one of the borders. Main Motorway M4 is hooked to Talbot Green via highway A4119 and a railroad track travels through the village where you can still see the bridges, signals and the track. Shoppers will love the retail parks in Talbot Green, Glamorgan Vale Retail Park and Talbot Green Shopping Park include a variety of stores and eating establishments.
Llantrisant means 'Parish of the Three Saints" and the three saints would be St. Dyfodwg, St. Ilityd and St. Gwynno. Llantrisant Castle or the Church of SS Illtyd, Gwyno & Tyfodwg also relates to these saints and a special stone slab cross from medieval times is reserved in one of its chapels. The Royal Mint, the place where coins are minted for the United Kingdom is found in this town
Ferndale has built an astro-turf field and cricket training center in recent years. Ferndale is a favorite filming location for th ecomedy series Stella. The town has also opened a Skate Park, the Ferndale Skate Park that includes facilities for skateboarding, BMX riders and roller blading.
Where to Stay
The Llechwen Hall Hotel with its elegance and spaciousness or the Winchfawr Lodge with modern amenities such as Wireless hook-up, Internet service, bicycle rentals, children's playground, kitchen facilities and radio are fine places to stay while in Pontypridd or anywhere else in the nearby area.