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Valleys Life




There are lots of lovely places I have visited in Wales and hold fond memories of and for different reasons, but the most memorable for me are the days out as a child (some 40 years ago) to Porthcawl with my grandparents who were a huge part of my life and I really treasure these lovely memories.

We would take Sunday School trips there and sometimes my grandfather would take us in his Morris 1000 and, no matter how we travelled, it would take us what seemed like ages to get there even though it is really only about 40 or so miles. We would visit Rest Bay and walk a long way from there along the water front into the main beach/attraction area. We would always spend some time on the beach and in the fairground, and my grandmother had a particular fondness of what she called 'the diddlers' - the penny slot machines where coins slid onto a grid and pushed other coins along. My favourites were the lovely donkeys who worked hard giving all us children those trots along the beach. As we all became older, my grandfather stopped driving, but by then I had my driving licence so I would take them for days out instead. I enjoyed those days out as much as I know they did.

Sadly both have since died, my grandmother being the last to go, but even when in her nineties I would still take her to Rest Bay as this was her favourite and she would walk the whole distance from Rest Bay along the waterfront and still play on 'the diddlers'. She always had such a fantastic outlook on life and enjoyed every second of the days out that we had. These trips are always in my special memories, even now.

Liza Lewis
South Wales

Mountain Ash

My favourite Valleys place has to be Mountain Ash golf course. I use the course to play on but also to walk on, either alone or with my husband and our two-year-old Springer Spaniel, Seren.

The views, atmosphere and weather conditions are never the same twice, they are constantly changing and never fail to invigorate and uplift me. At one end of the course, views of the Brecon Beacons can be seen, with Pen-y-Fan standing proud, and I feel as though I am miles away from civilisation and can be alone with my thoughts, whilst at the opposite end views over the town and down the valley are to be had and I am reminded that this beautiful and very special place is just minutes away from my home and the town I grew up in. How lucky am I?

Helen Pritchard
Mountain Ash

Ynysangharad Park

My favourite place to visit is Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd.

Living nearby for twenty years I have many memories of time spent there. Tweny years ago sitting with my Uni friends having a picnic in the summer, revising for my exams sat on the cricket pitch. Over the years taking my foster dog and my parents' dogs for a run and playing ball on the cricket field.

My husband trying to teach me how to play football after work in summer. Listening to rock bands on a Sunday afternoon. Visiting the many events that take place there - The Big Bite, seeing Tom Jones, vintage-car rallys and many more. And when I needed to think and get fit, running around this beautiful and calming park. It's my happy place to escape to.

Suzanne B

Penyfan Pond

My favourite place to visit is Penyfan Pond near Oakdale, Blackwood.

A twenty minute walk around the pond is a treat all year round. In springtime, the wild flowers start blooming and the trees come into bud. The lambs in the nearby fields are born. Children can be seen at the water's edge collecting tadpoles in jam jars.

Summertime brings out the ducks with their ducklings in a line behind them crossing the pond. People paddle in the shallow end, have picnics and bbq's.

Walkers can be seen throughout the year and fishermen cast their lines in the fishing season, catching many a fine trout. A walk around the pond sets me up for the day. It's a little corner of Wales that I am particularly fond of.

Gill Thomas

Llanwonno Church

One of my favourite places to visit is Llanwonno Church which sits in a lovely setting above Rhondda Fach and Ynysybwl, Mountain Ash in the Cynon Valley.

It has a picturesque churchyard which conveys a sense of peace and tranquility. Wonderful views of mountains and villages in the Rhondda Valleys and on a clear day, you can see the Channel coast. The forestry provides colourful scenery, green in spring and glowing in autumn colours. Heather on the hills, interesting walks - a favourite of mine is a river walk along the Cwm to view Pistyll Golau Waterfall.

Llanwonno is a hidden gem that tempts you out of the car to enjoy the fresh air and the scenery.

Mrs Pat Davies




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