Today I’m taking you on a trip to Eve’s hometown of Ystradgynlais. Although she has moved on to bigger things and currently lives in the city of Cardiff, I thought it would be interesting to see where she grew up.
Ystradgynlais is located on the River Tawe and is situated between Penrhos, a small village to the northeast, and Ystalyfera, a slightly larger town located just a few kilometers to the southwest. See map. A bit further to the north of the town is Brecon Beacons National Park, a popular tourist and vacation spot. If I were taking a trip to Ystradgynlais I’d certainly make my way up to Brecon Beacons for some great views. The Dan-yr-Ogof Showcaves and the Sleeping Giant appear to be worth the trip alone.
Many residents of the town and surrounding areas speak native Welsh, a language that dates back as far as the 6th century. While entering any of the local pubs, you’re sure to get a belly full of good food and drink along with some great stories of the town’s history. If you’re lucky you might even learn some Welsh while you’re there!
While mostly a rural community today, Ystradgynlais was built upon its iron-making, coal-mining and watch-making industries. It was the home of some of the first Welsh ironmasters with evidence of smelting reaching back to the reign of Elizabeth I. The picture below shows the remains of an ironworks.
Not far from Swansea, Ystradgynlais offers city amenities with the lifestyle advantages of a small market town. Shopping, entertainment and all commercial services can be found as well as high quality leisure amenities including golf, sailing and country pursuits.
This small Welsh town serves as a gateway to some of the most wonderful scenery in all of Wales. The surrounding areas are filled with beautiful mountains, waterfalls, deep ravines and ruins. If you love nature and Welsh history, this would be a great place to stay while you venture out and take in all of its beauty.
I was able to find some great video clips on YouTube of a town resident who was out on an evening bike ride (please note that these are not my videos).
A view of the downtown area.
Visiting a Welsh town requires at least one stop for some good food and drink. Here’s a video of the Ynyscedwyn Arms (the Sked).
If that’s not enough, check out the Penybont Inn. Here we get a real feel of the town and its people, who are enjoying some good beer, conversation and music.
The band that’s playing is Pure Floyd, a Pink Floyd tribute band performing a great song called “Wish You Were Here.” Watching this video makes me wish I was. I love the crowd and great atmosphere.
The town of Ystradgynlais looks like a great place to visit or at least a quick stop if you’re traveling in the area. The rich history, great surroundings and wonderful people should make anyone who visits there feel welcome.