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Located in South Wales, Merthyr Tydfil is a popular town for tourists wanting to experience a slice of rural life in the British countryside. It is one of the biggest towns in Wales, and with most road signs translated into English, as well as the traditional language, it is an easy place to explore by car.
Merthyr Tydfil is believed to have been named after the daughter of King Brychan of Brycheiniog, Saint Tydfil. Legend has it that she was killed by Pagans here, so the town was subsequently named in her memory. Much of the myths and legends about the area are best picked up from the locals, who were all fully-briefed on their town's history from an early age and happy to share their knowledge.
Wales is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and there are many places to explore. Sitting in the South Wales Valleys, the town is just below the Brecon Beacons National Park (pictured above), which is a great place for hiking, cycling and family picnics.
For serious cyclists, a National Cycle Route also passes through the town, offering wonderful scenery. The Brecon Mountain Railway is a fun trip out and should be ridden simply for the stunning views. The railway is easily accessed by car or bicycle.
The Taff Bargoed Valley is the best area for outdoor pursuits, with the Summit Centre, formerly known as the Welsh International Climbing Centre, and a huge park to explore. For a spot of history, visit the nearby towns of Bedlinog and Treharris, where you will find quaint shops and cafes in its pretty streets.
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Buses only operate between major towns, such as Ebbw Vale to the east, Aberdare to the west and Pontypridd to the south, so opting for car hire during your stay here is definitely your best bet to seeing the countryside and its many attractions, including Brecon Beacon's National Park to the north of Merthyr Tydfil.