Merthyr Tydfil sits at the head of Taff Valley and was once the epicenter of iron manufacturing. The town’s story is told at the lavish Cyfarthfa Castle, the former home of the ironworks-owning Crawshay family. Nearby, Joseph Parry’s Cottage is one of a line of tiny worker’s cottages and the birthplace of the famous composer. The tourist office by the bus station has details on local sights and walking trails. If you’re feeling active, you can take the Taff Trail from Cardiff to Brecon which runs the length of the valley and is excellent for walking and biking.