2014 Canalathon a huge success!

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© Canalathon 2014

The FIRST EVER Canalathon in the Brecon Beacons has been an absolutely massive success following the inaugural event last Sunday!

The introduction of a Canalathon at the Brecon Beacons saw more than a thousand people turn up at the Canal basin to see the teams crossing the finish line on Sunday the 14th of September.

The Canalathon attracted 204 competitors with 51 teams of four canoeing, cycling and running their way from Pontymoile to the finish line outside Theatr Brycheiniog in the Canal basin.

The day wasn’t over when teams crossed the line; there was a party at the basin! Several live bands played all day while onlookers gather to greet and cheer for all of the very happy, very sweaty participants as they made it to the finish line.

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© Canalathon 2014

Mayor of Brecon, MP Roger Williams, Neil Sandford and Chairman of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Councillor Geraint Hopkins bestowed medals on the proud members of the finishing teams.

When asked what he thought of the event and it’s future Councillor Hopkins said;  “The inaugural event was a massive success.  As soon as they got their breath back lots of the competitors were asking whether there would be another event next year – I really hope this will be the start of a fabulous yearly event for the canal.”

The Canalathon was organised by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, The Canal and Rivers Trust and Adventa. The event was funded by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Rural Alliances project. EU’s Interreg IVB NWE programme and the Welsh Government fund this project.

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© Canalathon 2014

With the event being a huge success, there is little doubt that it’ll be on again next year! Check out the Monmouthshire, Brecon & Abergavenny Canals Trust website for details on this years event and hopefully an announcement for next year!

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What’s on – Abergavenny Food Festival 2014

The Abergavenny Food Festival is only two days away from hosting another massive weekend of food, activities and entertainment. Don’t miss out on all of the action at Abergavenny with guest performers, book signings and celebrity chefs, local produce, delectable desserts and SO MUCH MORE!

This Saturday and Sunday (20th & 21st)  is going to be the biggest weekend for avid foodies and local communities. Local producers are stocked and ready for you to eat your fill on some of the best food Wales has to offer.

festival-bag

© Abergavenny Food Festival

This quick guide will let you know what’s happening where and what time to be there so that you don’t miss out on the excitement.

The Market Hall
Saturday 9:00am – 6:oopm
Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm
The Victorian Market Hall  is the place to be for all chef demonstrations, the latest cook books and book signings with the likes of Wesley Hammond, Chris Harrod and many more showcasing their culinary skills!

Lower Brewery Yard 
Saturday 9:30am – 10pm
Sunday 9:30am – 5:00pm
After a hard day roaming or to kick off your day in style, The Brewery Yard is ready to serve you local craft beers and ciders from . Don’t forget to stop by La Cave a Fromage for an excellent selection of artisan cheese! On your way out the Visit Wales stall will be armed and ready to tell you all about the local food scene.

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© Abergavenny Food Festival

Night Market – Lower Brewery Yard
Saturday 6pm – 10pm
This years night market is set to be one of the best with a wide variety of street foods on offer. Enjoy the gourmet frankfurters from Native Breeds and deliciously traditional paella at The Spanish Buffet. Free entry with any Saturday Stroller ticket or £2 at the gate.

The Castle
Saturday & Sunday 9:30am – 5:00pm 
The perfect area to relax and enjoy wonderful music, food-themed workshops, food stalls, comedy, games and covered seating. The Party at the Castle will have the music pumping on Saturday night with live performances from The Zen Hussies, The Brass Funkies and more! Make sure you grab a drink from the Chase Cocktail Bar!

cookery-demonstration

© Abergavenny Food Festival

The Food Academy 
Saturday & Sunday 9:30am – 5:00pm 
The biggest and best area for the kids to get involved in the festival and participate in The Food Academy at the Dome in the Castle Grounds. The academy is sponsored by Organic Centre Wales and is set to be better than ever with Jethro Carr from the Kitchen Academy teaching your children how to cook one of several different dishes. This event is free to all ticket holders, spaces are limited.Food Festival Debate

Saturday 1pm – 2pm 
The Vintage Tent at The Castle will be holding this year’s great debate. Is Healthy Eating making us ill? Listen to the professionals and decide for yourself!

Special Events
We have a lot of special events happening this year with new acts and performances still trying to get a spot in our listings. With Jay Rayner kicking things off on Friday night at Borough Theatre, brew your own sake with Marie Cheong-Thong on Saturday and finish off with the Chiappa Sisters, Simply Italian – Cooking at Home on Sunday.  Make sure you check out the full list of Special Events.

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© Abergavenny Food Festival

Stroller ticket wristbands will be available for purchase at the general entry points of Saturday and Sunday.
Ticket prices
Saturday only stroller – £10
Sunday only stroller – £8
Weekend stroller – £15
Child stroller tickets – FREE!

With so much to see and do at this years Abergavenny Food Festival you’ll need the whole two days to make sure you see absolutely everything. So get ready for the biggest and best food festival in Mid Wales.

Tickets are still available online for advance purchase. Book your tickets at the website!

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Charity Ceilidh Evening this Friday!

The Mozart Music Fund is hosting a ceilidh (or barn-dance) charity evening with the Cambridge University Ceilidh Band at Henderson Hall, Talybont on Usk, at 7.00pm this Friday 19th September.

The South Powys-based charity (under the umbrella of the Brecon Beacons Music Trust) was set up by Brecon-based international violinist Rachel Podger, and her partner Tim Cronin, in 2006 to provide vital financial assistance for families across South Powys, so that their children and young people can afford to have music lessons, instrumental or vocal.

Rachel Podger © Chris Stock photography

Rachel Podger © Chris Stock photography

We’re very lucky to be able to welcome the Cambridge University Ceilidh Band who will be providing the music and the caller for the night; their violinist and leader, Owen Jordan, from Llangammarch Wells, is a former member of SPYM (where he was leader of the youth orchestra) and the National Youth Orchestra of Wales.

Rachel Podger is very much behind the day-to-day work of the charity, and is a great believer in giving all children an equal opportunity when it comes to something as basic as having the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. She says: “It’s widely known, and also scientifically proven, that learning an instrument is an essential tool in the development of young brains, hearts and spirits!  The more children have access to learning an instrument the better, and this is the precise purpose of our Mozart Music Fund. Please come and support if you can!”

So do come along to Henderson Hall, Talybont this Friday 19th September at 7.00pm for what promises to be a great evening of wild county dancing (no previous experience necessary!) played by this talented bunch of musicians, with top-quality, award-winning local ales from The Brecon Brewing Company and a hearty buffet.

 

Tickets, which need to be bought in advance, are only £7.50 (adults) and £5.00 (under 18s) and ALL proceeds will go directly to The Mozart Music Fund. Please contact Tim Cronin at timcronin.spym@gmail.com to buy tickets and for further information, or send cheques, payable to The Mozart Music Fund, to The Mozart Music Fund, c/o Gwybedog, Cradoc Road, Brecon, Powys LD3 9LH.

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Eco Travel in the Brecon Beacons Wins Top Award

An eco travel initiative established in the Brecon Beacons, to encourage visitors to ditch their petrol guzzlers and seek a more pleasant green experience has been recognised in one of the UK’s leading Low Carbon Awards.

814_original-lowThe Eco Travel Network, based in the Brecon Beacons, was delighted to win the category for Low Carbon Road Transport Initiative of the Year at the The LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards.

The aim of the awards is to recognise best practice, and innovation in cutting carbon from vehicles and fuels. An initiative perfectly suited in the clean, fresh and green green green Brecon Beacons National Park.

About the Eco Travel Network

A winning idea in a world class destination

A winning idea in a world class destination

A handful of hotels and self-catering accommodations have teamed up with the Eco Travel Network, offering visitors a chance to rent a Twizy before arriving and to take off from their accommodations doorstep.
From Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages and the Angel Hotel in Abergavenny to Westview Guesthouse in Llowes and Old Radnor Barn in Talgarth, these accommodations are helping make it that much easier to experience everything that makes the Brecon Beacons such a special place to visit without impacting on the landscape. You can even expect special itineraries based on the very best things to do and see while renting one, while Llansantffraed Court near Abergavenny are even offering their Twizy as part of a complete weekend package.

To discover more about the Eco Travel Network see our guide or for further reading click here.

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You need to ‘B’ at Abergavenny Food Festival 2014

The Abergavenny Food Festival is less than two weeks away and everyone is getting into the festival spirit. Local producers are stocking up, locals are purchasing their weekend tickets and foodies from around the country are preparing for a weekend away.

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© Abergavenny Food Festival

The Abergavenny Food Festival, 21st and 22nd of September, is getting ready for another successful year with more local producers and more entertainment than ever before.

With Abergavenny located at the eastern side of the Brecon Beacons, we decided to put a list together the food festival producers and exhibitors starting with the letter B!

Brecon Brewing
Buster Grant, aka one of Wales’ best-known brewers, has created an excellent range of full flavoured, quality cask ales and bottled beers; he established the Brecon Brewery in 2011.

Bakestone Bakery
This brilliant bakery set out on a quest to perfect the recipes for gluten and lactose free steam puddings, muffins and bakestones. No one will miss out on these delicious treats.

Bellota
The folk over at Bellota really know their ham! The breed of pig and how and where it was raised distinguishes these Spanish hams with these factors influencing the taste and texture of these delectable hams.

piggies

© Bellota

Brockleby’s
Feel confident knowing exactly where your food comes from; this local pie-maker sources all of his ingredients from his own local area. Stop by for a Wild Beaver Pie, a winner at the British Pie Awards.

Butford Organics
This family-owned organic smallholding specialises in cider, perry and preserves. They have been doing a top-notch job producing food in a naturally, nutritious and environmentally stable way since the family moved to Herefordshire in 1999.

Barry Colenso Master Chocolatier
Stellar pastry chef to sought after chocolatier; Barry Colenso has a full resume of delectable delights and a long list of clients. Remember to pick up your selection of delicious chocolates; after all, they’re fit for the Queen!

Now we know how much you LOVE food, but it’s also about the music this year with the Party at the Castle set to go off on Saturday the 20th from 7:30pm to 11pm with a line up of talent musicians. 
 
Dome

7:45pm – The Zen Hussies
A rock and roll romp through musical history with a little swing, ska, rockabilly and calypso mixed in.

9:30pm – Baila la Cumbia
Bristol’s finest purveyors of Cumbia and Latin music from this excellent ten piece band.

The Vintage Tent

7:30pm – Brass Funkies
Ready to play a wide range of funk, jazz, reggae and Dixie on the sousaphone, trombone, trumpet, saxophone and percussion.

8:45pm – Little Rumba
Bringing out the mandolin, guitar, bass and sax to bring you lyrically witter, romantic bohemian tunes.

10:00 – The Zen Hussies
Taking to the stage for a second set of their evolved rock and roll so that no one misses out on the action.

market-hall

© Abergavenny Food Festival 2013

Pop-up restaurants are literally popping up everywhere and the Abergavenny Food festival is no different. Pop into the stall for La Cave à Fromage, meet the owners of Premier Cheese and sample some amazing French and British cheese, bread and wine.

Make sure you head over to the Abergavenny Food Festival website 
 to get a complete guide and see why they received the award for the Best Event in Wales in 2013!

Make sure you don’t miss out on this years Abergavenny Food Festival, it is going to be the biggest and best yet!

 

 

 

 

 

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Tour of Britain Stage 3 – Preview Video

The Brecon Beacons will host Stage 3 of the Tour of Britain next week, welcoming world class cyclists including national treasures Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins. Stage 3 of the Tour takes place on Tuesday the 9th of September and runs from Newtown in North Powys to Abergavenny in the Brecon Beacons, crossing into both the Cambrian Mountains and the Wye Valley. It is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque stages of the Tour, from the mighty vistas of the Black Mountains to the idyllic towns of Talgarth and Abergavenny.

So we thought we’d go and see what all the fuss was about. We spent the weekend experiencing the route the pros will be embarking on next Tuesday and here’s how it went.

For full information on the route click here.

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NEWSFLASH: Felin Fach Griffin Dining Pub of the Year 2015

The Felin Fach Griffin is pleased to announce it has been named Dining Pub of the Year for Wales in the 2015 Good Pub Guide which is published today! This is the fifth year running that it has won the award (2011 – 2015), in addition to being the UK’s overall Inn of the Year in the 2013 Guide.

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The Griffin, hosted by Julie Bell, is a seven bedroom inn at the foot of the Brecon Beacons, owned since 2000 by brothers Charles & Edmund Inkin through their company EATDRINKSLEEP. It has a thriving restaurant and bar that is a base for the community, supporting local producers, brewers and growers, as well as having its own kitchen garden. It follows the brothers’ belief in “the simple things done well”, a philosophy which was developed during their dairy farming childhood in neighbouring Monmouthshire.

The 2015 Good Pub Guide says of The Felin Fach Griffin: “Highly thought of dining pub with home-grown vegetables among its carefully sourced ingredients, a fine range of drinks and upbeat rustic décor….. this well run dining pub is a civilized place for a first class meal – or even better, a relaxing break.”

Edmund Inkin commented on the Good Pub Guide’s Dining Pub of the Year award, “Having won this important award for Wales for the last four years, we really weren’t expecting the letter to drop on the doormat again this year. So we’re excited, grateful (and not a little surprised) that the Editors have translated its readers’ feedback into a 2015 award. It’s a good moment to thank our many suppliers, without whom our mainly wonderful guests would remain hungry, thirsty and probably cross.”

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