Described in The Rough Guide to Wales as ‘a curious town with antiquities from the Roman, Norman and Medieval periods’, Neath has a charm all of it’s own.

For a history fix visit Neath Abbey, dating from 1130 and founded by Baron Richard de Granville. The ruins are lit up at night on the way from the town and are open to visitors.

Neatly manicured ornamental trees and colourful flowerbeds surround the bandstand in Neath’s Victoria Gardens, commemorated Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee in 1898.

The Gnoll Estate is close to Neath town centre. It is an early 18th century landscaped garden and offers great fun and relaxation. Take a stroll around the lakes or amuse the children in the play area and adventure playground.

For food, find the best faggots and peas in Neath’s indoor market – the little meat parcels of liver are flavoured with sage and onion.

Close by to Neath town is the Margam Stones Museum, which has a collection of inscribed pre-Romanesque, Roman and Celtic stones and crosses. The thousand acres of Margam Park offer an18th Century Orangery, a Tudor-Gothic style Victorian mansion, a 12th Century Chapter House. Also with an unique fuschia collection and newly restored historic castle gardens and monastic gardens. The park features walks, a narrow gauge railway and for children there is an adventure playground, farm trail, pets corner, and Fairytale Land. There is also fishing and the best collection of deer in Wales. The visitor centre at the castle courtyard is the starting point for parkland walks.

Your cottage is in the Vale of Neath, on the doorstep of nine mini Niagras which make up ”˜Waterfall Country.’ The well-hidden waterfalls have been inspirational to many artists including Turner, who painted Aberdulais Falls, now owned by the National Trust.

If the Vale of Neath is all waterfalls, then Afan Argoed Forest Park is all mountains. Known as “Little Switzerland” the Afan Valley slopes rise over a thousand feet and have marked footpaths, nature trails and some of Britain’s best mountain biking. Also an excellent place for orienteering and walking, there are nine marked walks. The bike trails are not all for experienced mountain bikers. There are also several paths with easy gradients and good surfaces for families.

Self Catering near Neath

Our holiday cottages are 4 miles from Neath town centre. Head to the village of Rhos, turn left and follow the main Pontardawe-Neath road (A474) all the way to the town centre.