Where tourists seldom tread, part 8: five more towns with hidden treasures

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Port Talbot, Rochdale, Wick, Croydon and Kettering – we continue our series on places the guidebook writers skip
Where tourists seldom tread, parts 1-7

Port Talbot recently returned to the spotlight, when Tata Steel announced electrification and layoffs last month and the BBC broadcast Michael Sheen’s television series The Way this week. Politicians and foreign companies can shut down entire towns with impressive equanimity when the factories they are mothballing and the lives they are destroying are invisible. Port Talbot, however, would seem hard to ignore. As you approach on the M4, which undulates gamely on stilts across the skyline, the view of the vast Tata Steel plant is bracing. The hills on the inland side are squat, solid-looking lumps but greenish and pleasant enough. The sea glints on the far side of the works. You may catch sight of beautiful Aberavon Beach. Whitish steam – and a 50th of the UK’s CO2 emissions – curls up into grey estuarial cloud.

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