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Rhydycar West
Photograph: Rhydycar West

Forget the Alps: Wales is getting a £300 million indoor ski centre

The complex will also feature a tropical water park with slides and a surf simulator

Written by
Amy Houghton

As beautiful and green as it is, Wales isn’t known as a luxury holiday destination. But get ready to ditch your preconceptions. Huge plans for a new Welsh ski resort are about to be submitted, so you may soon find yourself ditching the Alps for the rolling hills of the Brecon Beacons. Chamonix, who? 

Rhydycar West will be built in the Brecon Beacons National Park in a valley opposite the coal mining town of Merthyr Tydfil, a 40-minute drive from Cardiff. The project is expected to create 500 new jobs in the area, which struggles with high unemployment levels.

Plans for the resort include the UK’s longest indoor snow centre (measuring 400 metres), a tropical water park with slides and a surf simulator, and 30 cosy woodland lodges for guests to stay in. There will also be a conference centre and a resort hotel with a luxury spa. Whatever the Welsh weather brings, guests will have plenty of activities to choose from. Honestly, what more could you ask for? 

Richard Arnold, Rhydycar’s chief operator officer, told Metro: ‘We want to be a base camp for the uniqueness of the Welsh valleys area and there’s no better place. We want to create that guarantee that will make people want to come and engage and stay longer – many trips here are one-day trips or short trips.’ 

Those behind the scheme also have ambitions for it to become a ‘world class’ and ‘internationally recognised’ destination for sports teams and elite athletes as well as tourists. GB Snowsport and Snowsport Cymru Wales are both backing the project, which will become the official training headquarters for the Welsh and GB national, Olympic and Paralympic competitors. 

Victoria Gosling, chief executive of GB Snowsport, said: ‘As well as providing for our elite athletes, the national centre will help generate more opportunities for participation at grassroots level, opening up snow sport to a whole new audience.’ 

Building work isn’t set to start until 2024, so it will be a while yet before your Welsh skiing dreams can become a reality. It’s hoped the resort will be up and running by 2027.

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