The Fair Vales of Neath and Dulais

Spectacular waterfalls-fascinating heritage-great walks.
Easy by bus from Neath, Port Talbot and Swansea

The Vale of Neath has been renowned through the centuries for its remarkable beauty, epitomised by some of the world’s top artists, notably J.M.W. Turner; the tributary Dulais Valley is also very attractive.

The two valleys contain Britain’s greatest number of spectacular waterfalls, with nine significant ones and numerous smaller falls and cascades. There is a series of walks of varying grades that caters for all from the leisure walker to the very energetic.

Aberdulais Tinworks and Waterfall

A superb heritage site where the former tinworks and waterwheel have been beautifully restored to tell the story of Aberdulais’ contribution to the Industrial Revolution; its spectacular waterfall is a key part of the story as it provided the means to power the tinworks.

Get there on the 58 or T6 bus direct from Neath and Swansea; the bus stop is adjacent to the entrance. The T6 bus also provides a direct link from Brecon.

Visit website

  • Aberdulais Falls 58, T6

Cefn Coed Colliery Museum

The museum tells the story of coal mining here – once the deepest anthracite coal mine in the world – through words, pictures and artefacts throughout the museum. The underground gallery, a simulated working seam, brings the harrowing conditions of the miners to life. It is also home to a massive steam winding engine and houses a former Neath gas tram which last ran in 1920 and beautifully restored.

Please note the museum is open on weekends and weekdays (except Mondays and Wednesdays) and will be closed during the winter months. Get there on the 58 or T6 bus direct from Neath and Swansea; the bus stop is adjacent to the entrance. The T6 bus also provides a direct link from Brecon.

Visit website

  • Cefn Coed 58, T6

Neath and Tennant Canals

Though only partially restored the two canals provide a wealth of transport history and natural heritage along their length through locks, aqueducts and canal basins (used for loading and trans-shipment).

There is good, level walking on the towpaths of both canals and access by bus is easy at various points.

  • Jersey Marine X55 or 58
    Neath Abbey 34
    Tonna X55
    Aberdulais 58 or T6
    Clyne X55
    Resolven X55

St Catwg’s Historic Church, Cadoxton

St Catwg’s Church is believed to be the oldest church in the valley, founded in the 13th century by St Catwg, arch rival of St Iltyd who built his church across the valley in Llantwit. The tower is from the 13th century, the nave, chancel & porch from the 18th century.

It is renowned for its ‘Murder Stone’ marking the grave of Margaret Williams, murdered in 1822, age 26. The words on the stone are from Elijah Waring, a local Quaker, who commissioned it to express outrage of the community at the murder and belief in retribution from which there could never be any escape.

  • Cadoxton Green Dragon 58

Public transport

  • Neath

  • X55 Swansea and Neath to Tonna, Melincourt,
    Resolven, Glynneath – Mon to Sat
    58 Swansea and Neath to Cadoxton, Aberdulais, Cefn Coed, Banwen, Coelbren Mondays to Saturdays
    T6 Swansea and Neath to Aberdulais (on to Ystradgynlais, Brecon) – Mon to Sun