Caerphilly County Borough is fast becoming one of the top tourist destinations in Wales. With a vast array of activities, attractions and accommodation venues, the borough offers an appealing and all-round extensive visitor experience.
Whilst Cwmcarn Forest is one of the focal attractions for the area, there are plentiful new businesses emerging all over the borough. Morbitorium is a small oddities museum that has sprung up at the foot of Cwmcarn Forest, whilst Ty Coppi Adventures and Alpacas is a relatively new family run outdoor adventure business based in Blackwood. It offers activities from rock climbing and E-biking to gorge walking and canyoning; you can even stay the night at the 4-star self-catering accommodation. In addition, forget taking the dog for a walk … this hidden gem offers something far more intriguing … alpaca walking! And why not?!
Award winning Escape Blackwood Limited in Pontllanfraith and VR Experience Wales in Abercarn offer something different for those rainy days, stimulating the mind and our competitive qualities. On the outskirts of Caerphilly town centre boasts The Meadows attraction which has diversified and expanded at a fast pace and now offers a great family farm day out. There is also an abundance of local businesses offering horse-riding treks, golfing experiences, food, drink and so much more!
As a visitor destination, to sustain the industry and the ever-increasing appeal of these activities and attractions, a wide selection of accommodation is paramount to its success. The demand is evident and with business entrepreneurs seeing the all-important gap in the market, there has been some great developments and additions to the accommodation provision in the area.
The newly refurbished The Junction Inn, situated by Hengoed Railway Station, offers 4 en-suite bedrooms with top quality food being served in the bar area. The venue is in keeping with its railway theme but now has so much more to offer its visitors with the added bonus of direct access to Cardiff for those looking to explore the capital. Owner Yvonne Ingram said “The initial concept was to develop on the existing features of the building and create an attractive family friendly venue with a top-quality dining experience. The accommodation provision needed to be equally as popular to ensure we attracted tourism trade and I think it is fair to say we have achieved both goals.”
Castell Cottages in Caerphilly has been equally as busy and is nearing completion of five new holiday apartments at the rear of their self-catering accommodation, with plans for a summer reopening. Y Fan, known locally as Van Mansion and also located on the outskirts of Caerphilly Town Centre, opened its doors at the end of 2020 following its purchase in 2017. The Grade II listed Tudor mansion house underwent substantial restoration to a very high standard and is now pleased to be welcoming overnight visitors again, as well as welcoming guests for drinks at the licensed bar or indulging in a delicious afternoon tea.
Under the Oak Glamping in Bedwas recently secured Welsh Government funding to build a new unit on the glamping site. Officially named Catref, the converted railway carriage is positioned to make the most of the stunning views. Owners Lydia and Richard said “Catref is a real labour of love for us as we did a majority of the work ourselves. They added, “Whilst the past year has not been easy, with restrictions denying visitors access to our beautiful venue, we have used the time wisely and developed the site and its offerings to ensure we can remain open all year round.”
Nearby at Rudry, TOG Farm offers an exciting new rural retreat which is host to a selection of luxurious bell tents; all dressed with king sized beds, wood fired hot tubs and their infamous ‘igloo’. Previously a dairy farm, TOG Farm have no animals that are bred or raised for slaughter, instead they work with the Rare Breed Society Trust, and keep only rare breed animals, along with highland cattle and Valais sheep.
Situated in the Ebbw Valley, Cwmcarn Forest is home to six new luxury lodges. Sleeping two to six people, the lodges are fully furnished and decorated to a very high standard, complimenting their popular glamping pods, not to mention the traditional caravan and camping pitches. A more rustic offering is available at the nearby Woodlands Log Cabin & Teepee Holidays who have recently introduced a Romany Vardo to their repertoire and are currently restoring an 80-year-old ‘Bow Top – Open Lot Vardo’. Sited in the woodlands it offers a more authentic night away from the luxury of home comforts whilst the traditional log cabin and tepee offerings are still available too.