Museums of South Wales

South Wales museums are a highlight for many guests at our self catering holiday cottages. There is plenty of choice – from anthracite to Zulus “ and most offer free admission! Here are a few of our favourites (all are within easy reach of our holiday cottages):

National Waterfront Museum (11 miles away) at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.

Cefn Coed Colliery Museum (10 miles away) “ Cefn Coed was once nicknamed The Slaughterhouse due to the number of men and boys that lost their lives digging for the anthracite coal deep underground. Their story is told through first-hand accounts of what it was like to work in what was once the deepest mine in the world, and there are many poignant and intriguing artefacts dotted around the museum to look at.

Penderyn Distilliery (20 miles away) “ Not a museum as such, this is Wales only distillery and one of the worlds smallest. Recognised as distillers of one of the finest whiskies in production today, Penderyn’s tour will take you through every stage of the process.

South Wales Borderers Museum (33 miles away) “ Situated in the town of Brecon, a highlight is the Zulu Room, packed full of memorabilia from the regiment’s defense of Rorke’s Drift in 1879, when it held out against 4,000 warriors. The battle became the subject of Zulu, an early Michael Caine film.

Rhondda Heritage Park (37 miles away) “ This excellent attraction at the old Lewis colliery in Trefhafod offers something for everyone with many activities tailored for the kids. Discover what it was like to be a coal miner on one of the tours, or visit the art gallery in the excellent visitors centre. Relax while the kids run around in the adventure playground.

Neath Abbey (4 miles away) Founded in 1130 by the Norman Baron Richard de Granville and described as the “Fairest Abbey in all Wales” by Tudor historian John Leland.

National Museum of Wales (44 miles away) “ The National Museum of Wales is in the centre of Cardiff and makes for a great day trip from our cottages. It is home to one of Europe’s best collections of Impressionist paintings.

Dolaucothi Roman Gold Mines (37 miles away) These unique goldmines, a likely source of gold bullion for the Imperial Mints of Lyons and Rome, are set amid the wooded hillsides overlooking the beautiful Cothi Valley.

The Museum of Welsh Life (40 miles away) is a collection of buildings from all corners of Wales that have been carefully dismantled and rebuilt around St Fagans Castle, a country house built in 1580. The 50 acre outdoor collection makes it Europe’s largest open-air museum.

Dylan Thomas Boathouse (43 miles away) Dylan Thomas boathouse is situated in the pretty town of Laugharne on the Afon Taf estuary. Learn all about the celebrated Welsh poet and discover his writing shed perched high above the estuary.

Blaenavon World Heriatge Site. (41 miles away) It is estimated that a third of all wealth created during the Industrial Revolution was created here in the coal mines and the iron and steel works. In 1913, Cardiff became the world’s busiest coal exporting port, dispatching over 10 million tons of ‘black gold’. At Blaenavon, you can see Western Europe’s best preserved 18th century ironworks and experience a guided tour of Big Pit coal mine – 300ft below the surface!

Caerleon Roman Fortress (58 miles away) A major military base in Roman Britain, equalled only by Chester and York. It boasts baths and a hugely atmospheric 5,000 seat amphitheatre, the only one of its kind preserved in Britain. Some believe that Caerleon is King Arthur’s Camelot – the Roman Amphitheatre his “Round Table”.

The Museum of Speed. (45 miles away) Open throughout the summer this charming little museum charts the history of Pendine sands, forever be associated with the world record attempts. The vast 6 mile beach was used for land speed record attempts in the 1920s. Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the world record when he drove Blue Bird here at over 170 mph (274 kph).