We live in Merthyr Tydfil, in the heart of the South Wales Valleys. You've heard of it, the town gets a lot of negative press for being full of benefit claimants, scroungers and underachievers. That's not actually true. The town's got its difficulties, but really, I wouldn't move (aside from the fact I can't afford to). Let me show you some of the sites, with a bit of help from Squeaky.
Joseph Parry was born in the row of little cottages just along from my street. He's known for writing "Myfanwy", apparently. He's also quite useful for giving people directions to my house, because the cottage he was born in is a museum, and there's plenty of little brown tourist road signs.
It calls itself a castle, anyway. This is Cyfarthfa Castle, home of the Crawshay family, who owned the local ironworks. They liked to remind their workers how much richer they were, and built their own castle. Daddy & I got married in here, it's partly a museum, and partly the lower school base for the local secondary school, until they relocate next year. The castle is set in a huge park, all open to the public, with a lake, fountains, and a playground (that you're not allowed to take photos in or the park police will get very cross with you)
Squeaky likes to look into the fountains. They're quite unusual for fountains in the UK. Not because of their design, the cherubs, or the fact they're actually switched on quite often. But the fact that this is a pool of standing water in a public place, but people don't feel the need to throw money in it. I've never understood that. A real wishing well, yes. But any old fountain, pond or underground lake & people suddenly start emptying their pockets.
I love having the park on our doorstep, it's only a ten minute walk away at Squeaky's pace, 5 minutes at grown-up pace. Aside from the museum, playground, ducks, etc, the park is also used to host events. The council's firework show is held there every year - we could probably get away with not going & just look out of the back bedroom window to tell the truth, as well as fun days in the holidays, the fair, concerts and all sorts. Status Quo and Donny Osmond have held concerts there (not at the same time, I hasten to add). We're just about far enough away not to be disturbed by the events when they're on, but it's great having so much happening on our doorstep if we want it.
I might do some more of these posts, show you some of the other interesting places around where we live. I can't promise how often, or how exciting they'll be, but it's almost like visiting, right?