My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Things to do in Neath Port Talbot this summer

Cycling in the Afan Valley

Now that summer is in full swing and we are in the midst of a cost of living crisis – why not come to Neath Port Talbot for dozens of things to do without breaking the bank?

The county borough bristles with forests whose cool interiors are perfect for bracing walks or exciting mountain biking – in fact statistics show Neath Port Talbot has more tree cover than any other part of Wales and is in the UK’s “tree cover top ten”.

Most of the forests are in the beautiful upland areas of Neath Port Talbot which include The Vale of Neath and the Dulais, Afan, Swansea (Tawe) and Upper Amman valleys.

Safe cycle routes can be enjoyed by all the family at a number of locations across Neath Port Talbot. Whether it’s disused railways, through glorious countryside or following canal towpaths past locks and bridges, there is a wealth of family-friendly places just waiting to be discovered.

The Richard Burton Trail, set around the spectacular Afan Valley village of Ponthrydyfen where Burton was born, takes visitors to the places where the world famous actor spent his early years before moving to nearby Taibach.

And more than 20 works make up ARTwalk Port Talbot, a new street art trail and smartphone app (free downloads from Google Play and App Store) including works from internationally recognised artists Ame72, Hazard One & Mike22inks as well as local talents like Rarebit, Bims and SoK.

Links : https://www.visitwales.com/things-do/adventure-and-activities/walking/walking-trails-neath-and-port-talbot: Neath Port Talbot Cycle Map (PDF 5.55 MB); Walking; Wildlife Explorer Trails; Countryside Access; http://theatr3.com/artwalk.html

Port Talbot’ s sandy, Aberavon Beach is one of the longest in Wales with RNLI lifeguards on duty, with ample parking and a promenade packed with play areas, a thrilling Aquasplash water park (free of charge) and many other attractions including cafes, bars and restaurants with spectacular Swansea Bay views. As well as being a surfing hotspot there are numerous other water sports also available at Aberavon Beach like windsurfing, kite surfing and kayaking – and of course fish and chips are available for restoring energy afterwards!

Links : https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches/aberavon-beach; https://www.npt.gov.uk/6875 ; https://www.surfschoolwales.co.uk/

Other top NPT attractions include Margam Country Park, regularly voted among the top ten most popular parks in Britain, (entry free, £6.80 for car parking) it boasts 800 deer roamed acres featuring activities like horse riding, fishing, lake boating and archery and Go Ape tree top adventure activity. Margam Activity Centre also offers peddle karts, stand up paddle boarding, bush craft and kayaking. (https://goape.co.uk/locations/margam). It is also hosts the stunning, gothic, Margam Castle, the remains of a medieval monastery plus an 18th Century Orangery. Gnoll Estate Country Park is an early 18th Century landscaped garden set on 100 relaxing acres with lakeside and woodland walks, restored formal cascades, a grotto, coarse fishery, ponds, a play area, adventure playground and a visitor centre. It has a shop, toilet facilities and a cafè. Entry is free – parking £2.60 per half day, £3.60 all day. Waterfall Country –  The rivers Mellte, Hepste, Pyrddin and Nedd-fechan wind down deep gorges, over a series of dramatic waterfalls before joining the River Neath. Neath Abbey, among the most important monastic remains in Wales, it was founded in 1130. By the late 13th Century it was one of Wales’s wealthiest abbeys. Virtually the entire Abbey layout and its buildings can still be seen today.(Free entry).

For those seeking something for their children to do this summer, one port of call should be Neath Port Talbot Council’s Physical Activity and Sports Service (PASS) whose mission is “promoting better health through active living” for all ages and particularly young people.

Also, Our Family Information Service has a schedule of activities for children that happening throughout the summer. There are things going on daily which they are posting on their Facebook page.

In NPT there is also a wide range of organisations and youth clubs such as, Baglan Boys’ and Girls’ Club, Neath and District Sea Cadets, Port Talbot YMCA and many more which encourage young people to get involved in a variety of activities.
•    https://www.npt.gov.uk/23665 (NPT Council Youth Service)
•    https://bptfl.co.uk/club.php?id=6 (Baglan Boys’ and Girls’ Club)
•    https://www.facebook.com/neathscc/ (Neath and District Sea Cadets)
•    https://ymcaporttalbot.wales/ (Port Talbot YMCA)
•    https://snacwales.wordpress.com/about/ (Special Needs Activity Club Port Talbot)
•    https://www.facebook.com/neathboysandgirlsclub/ (Neath Boys’ and Girls’ Club)

Councillor Jeremy Hurley, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Wellbeing, said: “Providing opportunities for children, young people and families to get out over the summer holidays can help their wellbeing and promote their emotional and physical health and there is plenty to do throughout the county borough.”