The historic market town of Neath has been in existence since at least Roman times. The ruined castle dates from the Norman era, as does the stunning ruin of 12th century Neath Abbey.
The town thrived during the industrial revolution, when local coal mining and the manufacture of iron, steel and brick brought great prosperity - learn more at the nearby Cefn Coed Colliery Museum with its impressive winding tower. Much of the architecture in the town belongs to this period, such as the Gothic Saint Davids church, the indoor market and Gwyn Hall Theatre.
The surrounding countryside is breathtaking, particularly the fine woodland and waterfalls in the steep valleys upstream. Gnoll Country Park is one of the most accessible and scenic areas, with elegant 18th century landscaped parklands and cascades. Aberdulais falls is a spectacular location with a working waterwheel and museum.
To the west is the Afan Forest, a magnet for walkers and cyclists. This park has some of the most beautiful natural scenery in Wales, is also rich in industrial heritage and home to the South Wales Miners Museum.
A visit to Swansea is a good choice, but also go north into the countryside of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Towns Near Neath To Visit - straight line distance:Pontardawe (4.48 miles) Port Talbot (4.65 miles) Swansea (6.58 miles) Maesteg (7.17 miles)
Neath and Tennant Canal Boat trips along a historic waterway.
Neath Castle Remains of the impressive castle gatehouse.
Neath Abbey Beautiful ruins of a once magnificent monastery.
Cefn Coed Colliery Museum Former coal mine, now preserved as a museum.
South Wales Miners Museum Discover the life and hardships of the coal mining communities.
Neath Indoor Market Local produce and interesting gifts.
Gnoll Country Park Picturesque landscaped park with 18th century cascades.
Aberdulais Tin Works and Waterfall Picturesque falls and the history of water power.
Afan Forest Park Beautiful wooded landscape much loved by families, walkers and cyclists.
Glyncorrwg Ponds Woodland, lakes and Mountain Bike Centre in the beautiful scenery of Afan Valley Forest Park.
The Gwyn Hall Newly refurbished Victorian theatre.