Things to do in Cwmbran, South Wales
Cwmbran, pronounced "Coombe-bran", is in the county of Gwent in South East Wales.
The name means "valley of the crow" in Welsh.
Once part of the huge South Wales coalfield, it is now one of the largest urban areas in Wales.
Cwmbran was the location of a Cistercian Abbey, founded in 1179 by Hywel, Lord of Carleon.
Local business owner, Reginald Blewitt, restored it as a family home and added the Great Hall.
Now known as Llantarnum Abbey, it is home to a large community of the Sisters of St Joseph and is run as a retreat.
Brick works, lime kilns, quarries and coal mines all kept Cwmbran locals occupied and in the 19th-century tinworks, iron foundries and coke works were in operation.
After World War I, the collieries began to close and Cwmbran had huge unemployment and poverty.
By 1970 the town's population had reached 33,000. Light industry and retail parks now replace the old mines and quarries and the town continues to expand.
Present Day Cwmbran
Cwmbran has a population of around 47,000 people. Surrounded by hills, the Afon Llywd runs through the valley along with the nearby Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.
There are several supermarkets, a health clinic, a cinema and several pubs and restaurants.
As well as the original Old Town, Cwmbran has seven neighbourhoods that promote a sense of identity and community within the wider town.
Older buildings include the Green House Inn and Llantarnam Grange which is now used as an arts centre.
Cwmbran has good sports and leisure facilities, an international sports stadium and several sports teams and athletics clubs.
Cwmbran Brewery is one of the best-known businesses in Upper Cwmbran.
Things to Do Around Cwmbran
The surrounding hills around Cwmbran rise to 1000 feet and are popular for walking and climbing.
See the impressive remains of Roman walls, baths and buildings. Audio-visual tours help visitors get the most from their visit.
For golfers, the Greenmeadow Golf and Country Club is on the outskirts of Cwmbran.
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