ABERDARE FESTIVAL is back this year, and once again, it will be a two-day extravaganza. It happens over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of June, and as well as enjoying all that is great about Aberdare, with plenty of family fun, it’s also a great chance to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

It’s still a little early to tell you everything they have planned, but it is one of those events you need to get into your diary.

It seems like forever since the last festival in 2019 when thousands of people travelled from far and wide to beautiful Aberdare Park to enjoy live entertainment and attractions, tribute act performers, local food and drink and a funfair. Among the most popular attractions were Little Al, a giant animatronic dinosaur and his prehistoric pals, Sooty’s Birthday Bake Off live show, animal petting farm, Parkour and the traditional land train that took guests around the park.

But what is so nice about the event is that you can visit all the fantastic attractions around Aberdare and really make a day of it. Here’s a few ideas.

DARE VALLEY COUNTRY PARK is one of the most exciting and diverse destinations in South Wales, with over 200 acres of open space packed with things to do.

It’s home to the brand-new Gravity Family Bike Park, where riders can take on mountain-side trails with pump tracks to test their skills on along the way.

You can bring your own bike or hire one of ours on site.

There is also an uplift service to take you and your kit to the start of the trails, so you can save your energy for the ride down!

Stay in the on-site accommodation, which has recently been modernised and refurbished with on-site rooms, including ones that can accommodate families, wheelchairs and even dogs.

If you prefer, bring your caravan, motorhome or campervan and camp out under the stars amid stunning Valleys scenery. The country park is a Dark Sky Wales site, which means it offers perfect night sky conditions for star-gazing and constellation-spotting.

For more information, go here – DARE VALLEY COUNTRY PARK.

Dare Valley Country Park

CYNON VALLEY MUSEUM is a definite stop-off point, filled with local history and gallery space nestled in the north of Aberdare.

The Museum is managed by the Cynon Valley Museum Trust.

The Cynon Valley Museum sits in front of the remains of the four blast furnances which belonged to the Gadlys Ironworks. The area inside the museum, where visitors explore the displays was once the site of busy casting houses into which the white hot molten iron flowed on being tapped to be either removed for further processing or cast in situ.

Visiting the museum is free. Learn about the fascinating stories of the Cynon Valley and the people who have lived here throughout history in the permanent displays.

There are two gallery spaces, the Lower Gallery and the Mezzanine Gallery,  with a regular programme of exhibitions featuring local artists, community groups and special local stories. Why not visit the Museum shop and discover the amazing array of beautiful local crafts we have on sale? Treat yourself or someone you love to a fantastic, unique gift.

To see what’s going on at the museum, go here – CYNON VALLEY MUSEUM.

Aerial View of Gadlys Ironworks and Cynon Valley Museum

There’s also the COLISEUM THEATRE which is nestled in a residential street in Aberdare. This striking building has a varied programme that includes comedy, music, drama, light entertainment and family events. Digital 3D cinema also forms an essential part of the programme. 

We’ve checked the festival weekend dates and no shows as such, but you can always take in a movie after your fun day in the park. Head over to the website here – COLISEUM THEATRE.

So a visit to the Aberdare Festival is so much more than what’s going on in Aberdare park, although if the last event is anything to go by it’ll hard to pull yourself away.

The air was filled with the sounds of Bruno Mars, Gary Barlow and Pink tribute acts and the aroma of local food, including candy floss, doughnuts, noodles and traditional hot dogs and burgers. In fact, we hear that Penaluna’s Famous Fish and Chips, had a long queue the entire day, as visitors snapped up the award-winning fish and chips that are putting Hirwaun on the map. 

You’ve pretty much got everything you need all in one place too.

Onsite facilities – Toilets, café, boating lake, tennis courts, bandstand, fixed benches, outdoor bowls and a vast area of grass areas for those all important picnics.

Off-site facilities – Cash machines, pubs, restaurants, indoor market and shopping centre (within 10 minutes walk of the park)

Disabled facilities – The venue in which the Festival resides is a public park and as such is open to anyone for use during operational hours. There is a tarmac track around the perimeter of the park which and several paths link various elements within the park such as the cafe, lake, tennis courts and children’s play area. Access around the perimeter of the park and to these elements is good for disabled patrons including wheelchair users.

Many of the attractions brought in as part of Aberdare Festival event are positioned on the grass field due to its size and the scope it allows, the terrain is very uneven and therefore access for disabled patrons is limited.

And you don’t even have to find loose change to park.

Parking – FREE parking will be available at St John Church in Wales School, CF44 8BW, and at the Coliseum Theatre, Aberdare, CF44 8NG – both in close proximity Aberdare Park. Aberdare Park as a venue does not allow for visitor car parking, apart from six car parking spaces for disabled drivers.

ABERDARE FESTIVAL is running over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th June in Aberdare Park. For more details head over to their site HERE.

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