Explore the industrial past of the
Blaenavon World Heritage Site.
Blaenavon’s Heritage Railway is set within the stunning UNESCO-listed Blaenavon Industrial Landscape World Heritage Site on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
During the nineteenth century, Blaenavon found itself at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, quickly becoming the world’s major iron and coal producer. The rural landscape was transformed as heavy industry boom, and in the 1860s our railway line was constructed to carry coal to the Midlands and Newport Docks, enabling the area to thrive for the rest of the nineteenth century.
Nevertheless, Blaenavon’s fortunes dramatically changed during the twentieth century as heavy industry declined. Blaenavon Ironworks closed in 1924, with Big Pit colliery closing in 1980 – our railway finally closing to freight traffic that same year.
Although Blaenavon’s prospects appeared bleak, its rich and important history was not to go unrecognised. In 2000, UNESCO listed the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape as a World Heritage Site for its role as the world’s major iron and coal producer. As the organisation commented, the area constitutes an ‘exceptional illustration’ of the social and economic structure of the nineteenth century, being an ‘outstanding and remarkably complete example’ of a ninetieth-century landscape.
Today the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape contains numerous attractions that tell the story of its rich heritage. These include the Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon Ironworks, and the World Heritage Centre. Other local businesses such as the Rhymney Brewery Visitor Centre and Blaenafon Cheddar Company ensure that Blaenavon has something for many tastes!
COMBINING YOUR VISIT:
A round trip on our railway lasts approximately one hour, and we highly recommend combining your visit to us with that to another of the attractions in the Industrial Landscape. On most running days your ticket is valid all day, so why not alight at one of our stations, explore another attraction and then return on a later train?
BLAENAVON ATTRACTIONS BY STATION
Blaenavon High Level: Town centre attractions (including the World Heritage Centre and Blaenavon Ironworks), local shops (e.g. the Blaenafon Cheddar Company), pubs and restaurants, Pontypool to Blaenavon Cycle Route.
Whistle Inn Halt: Whistle Inn public house and Garn Lakes
Check Visit Blaenavon for other attractions and more information on what Blaenavon's Industrial Landscape has to offer you!
SOUTH WALES ATTRACTIONS
We are very lucky to be located in a region packed with stunning scenery, fantastic city life, a rich history, and beautiful beaches! Whatever your tastes, South Wales almost certainly has something for you!
We've partnered with Visit Southern Wales to highlight some of the best attractions that the area has to offer. To find out more, visit https://www.southernwales.com.
The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway Company (1983) Limited cannot take responsibility for the provision of events, facilities and services at other attractions. Please check with the relevant attraction ahead of your visit.