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Merthyr Tydfil, United Kingdom

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Downtown MERTHYR TYDFIL (or Tudful), ten miles north of Pontypridd, is a robust place whose main glory is its location at the top of the Taff Valley, on the cusp of the industrial coal country to the south and the grand, windy heights of the Brecon Beacons to the north. In the eighteenth century it became the largest iron-producing town in the world, as well as by far the most populous town in Wales, with four massive ironworks exploiting the local abundance of the key ingredients. It became a hotbed for industrial disputes, resulting in occasional riots and eventually the election of Britain's first socialist …
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Part of the Brecon Beacons National Park, a short drive north of Newport, the mountain of Pen-y-Fan offers a challenging walk amid dramatic scenery. The most popular route starts at the Storey ...