It’s Wales Tourism Week - and Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Tourism Team is encouraging everyone to get out and discover the delights we have right here on our doorstep.
The Week, which runs until March 2, shines the spotlight on Tourism and its importance to our communities and local economies.
Here are five ideas from our Tourism Team for great things to see and do this Spring in Rhondda Cynon Taf – and many of them are free:
* The region’s rolling hills with their wonderful views are perfect for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. There are a range of walking and cycling trails cross the county borough, including the Taff Trail.
* Dare Valley Country Park just outside Aberdare is a nature-lover’s paradise, offering walks and trails – and there is a cosy café when you need a breather. There is also an adventure playground, accomodation and camping and caravanning facilities on site. Dare Valley also hosts a range of events throughout the year. Families can head for Barry Sidings Countryside Park near Pontypridd and Clydach Countryside Park in the Rhondda, which both offer lovely views and walks, wildlife, fun for the little ones and places to eat and relax. Or simply soak up the peace and quiet in our lovely town parks.
* Heritage lovers can discover the medieval hill-top town of Llantrisant with its traditional shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs. There are a number of heritage trails to follow across the county borough, including some in audio format.
* Follow the ‘brown and white signs’ to some of Rhondda Cynon Taf’s popular viewpoints at the Rhigos and Bwlch mountains or attractions such as Rhondda Heritage Park and Taff’s Well Thermal Spring.
* Enjoy a range of great outdoor events this Spring, including the Aberdare Festival on Sunday, May 25. The iconic Queen’s Baton Relay will arrive at the festival in Aberdare Park as it continues its tour of Commonwealth countries, ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Dare Valley Country Park will host an Easter Egg Hunt on April 19 and 20 and Lap The Lake 2k family run or 5k run on April 20. Cyclists of all ages can take part in the Park to Park bike challenge on April 27, starting from Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd and heading to Bute Park, Cardiff, with the option of riding back to Pontypridd.
Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, Leisure & Tourism, Cllr Robert Bevan, said: "Recent Tourism reports show Rhondda Cynon Taf welcomed around two million visitors last year, spending more than £116 million. We have a wealth of great destinations and our Tourism team are working hard to promote these to visitors across the UK and beyond.
"We offer a great welcome, coupled with stunning scenery and unique places to visit. Wales Tourism Week offers an opportunity to celebrate this and help raise the local Tourism industry's profile."
To find out more about places to visit across Rhondda Cynon Taf, please go to the Tourism pages
You will find a great selection of events in our Whats On pages.