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Blaenavon Industrial Landscape, South Wales

“… an outstanding and remarkably complete example of a 19th century industrial landscape.” (Unesco)

Your expert tour guide specialises in Bath, Blaenavon and other World Heritage Sites in England and Wales. The Blaenavon World Heritage Trail includes:

  • a spectacular journey over the Severn Estuary to South Wales
  • a visit to the National Mining Museum of Wales
  • a tour of the ‘Big Pit’ mine
  • a visit to Bleanavon Iron Works and World Heritage Centre
  • a guided walk around Iron Mountain

The Blaenavon World Heritage Trail begins with the spectacular drive from Bath, across the Severn Bridge to South Wales. The tidal rage here is the second highest in the world - up to 15.4 metres (over 50 feet)!

South Wales is rich in iron, limestone and coal, and became the world's major producer of iron and coal in the 19th century. Blaenafon is one of the finest surviving examples of a landscape created by coal mining and iron making. The mines, quarries, railway system, furnaces and workers' homes can still be seen.

We visit Big Pit, the National Mining Museum of Wales* (UK Museum of the Year 2005), and descend 90 metres underground with a real miner. The visit also includes a multi-media tour of a modern coal mine, and excellent exhibitions in the Pithead Baths. Admission is free!

A guided walk (approx. two miles / 3.2km) includes Blaenavon Iron Works and the new World Heritage Centre*. The Iron Works, with its workers’ cottages, is probably the best example of an 18th century iron works anywhere. It started production in 1789 and is one of the most important monuments from the early Industrial Revolution.

The new World Heritage Centre (opened Easter 2008) is in St Peter’s school. This was the first purpose-built school in Wales to be established by an industrial employer for the benefit of the workers’ children.

Finally, we walk part of the Iron Mountain Trail with spectacular views over the valleys.

*NB: The cost of meals is not included. Meals are available at both Big Pit and the World Heritage Centre. We recommend a large hunk of Blaenavon Cheddar Cheese, matured at the bottom of Big Pit!

World Heritage Trails

Guided tours- Bath
Guided tours- Stonehenge & Avebury
Guided tours- the Jurassic Coast
Guided tours- Blaenavon

Local Heritage Trails

Cheddar Gorge
Forest of Dean
The Cotswolds
© 2008 World Heritage Trails (Bath). Site by WynnUK. Photos © Southwest Tourism, keeping watch by Mark Gibson, The last picture of Durdle Door by Richard Schofield