17 March 2011>
During January and February visitors and residents were urged to vote for their Top Valleys visitor attraction in a 'Top 50' poll launched by The Valleys Heart and Soul campaign and Rough Guide author Mike Parker.
The results have been announced and the county borough of Caerphilly has secured 3 places in the Top 10!
Ruperra Castle in Draethen scooped number 2 spot with Cwmcarn Forest at number 7 and Winding House, New Tredegar at number 9! The Winding House did particularly well as they were not listed in Mike Parker's original Top 50, and have been voted in as 'The People's Choice'.
The Valleys Heart & Soul campaign stretches across ten Welsh local authority areas, giving the county borough of Caerphilly some tough competition from many visitor attractions across the region. Remarkably, the county borough of Caerphilly was the only local authority area to claim three spots in the Top 10.
To see The Valleys Top 10 and Top 50 take a look at the website www.thevalleys.co.uk/top-50 or download the app to your iphone: http://itunes.apple.com/app/the-valleys-top-50-guide/id422013899?mt=8
The ruin that is Ruperra Castle is set amongst stunning woodland and wildlife close the village of Draethen. This medieval house was built in the 17th Century and partially destroyed by fire a century later. Walkers can now enjoy the surrounding woodland, which provide superb walks, which stumble upon the remains of Ruperra Castle.
Cwmcarn Forest attracts thousands of walkers and cyclists every year with visitor numbers increasing year on year. With a new visitor centre opened in 2008, work continues to develop the car park, more mountain bike trails, new and improved footpaths, a new access to the Visitor Centre, new camping pods and hard standings, and other upgrades of the Visit Wales 3 star caravan and campsite.
The Winding House in New Tredegar opened its doors in 2008 and is proud to be 'the' museum of Caerphilly. It tells the history of the County Borough from its first inhabitants to the present day - from the Celts and the Romans, to Castles, Cavaliers and the Industrial Revolution.
Cllr Ron Davies, Caerphilly CBC Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning said, "I am delighted that so many of our county borough's most popular visitor destinations have made it onto this prestigious list of the top Valleys attractions".
He continued, "These and the many other popular visitor attractions located right across our county borough really help to put Caerphilly county borough on the map as a primary tourist destination across the Valleys and indeed Wales".
The Top 10 success doesn't stop there; recent figures show an increase of 6% in day visitor numbers to the county borough of Caerphilly in 2010 and an increase in overnight stays to self-catering accommodation by a staggering 10%.
The year round events program and variety of walking and cycling routes in the county borough have contributed to this increase, and it is hoped that 2011 will see many more visitors staying in the county borough for short breaks and holidays.
With exciting events ahead of us; including BBC Proms in the Park on 10th September and the Big Cheese Festival 29th – 31st July, 2011 is set to be a busy year.
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