Guide for Hungry Cyclists

We’ve all gone cycling mad with the Tour of Britain only a few weeks away, but make sure you keep your energy up! Cycling means burning calories, a lot of sweating and hard work with much needed snack breaks in between.

Here’s our guide to the best places to rest your weary cyclist legs and nibble on a well deserved cake (or two)

©Black Mountain Smokery

©Black Mountain Smokery

Black Mountain Smokery, Brecon have luxurious fillings to make the fanciest sandwiches a cyclist could hope for. That’ll keep you motivated!

 

The Welsh Venison Centre, Bwlch is well worth a visit for its fantastic deli. Fill up on the best – snack on pork pies, Welsh cheeses, olives, chocolates and cakes.

©Welsh Venison Centre

©Welsh Venison Centre

Talgarth Mill The Baker’s Table cafe will welcome tired cyclists in with open arms, then fill them up with delicious sandwiches and cakes before they head off again.

©The Baker's Table

©The Baker’s Table

Black Mountain Gold, Crickhowell – if you’re in dire need of a sugar rush, these artisan chocolates will give you a boost.

 

If you’ve worked yourself up into a bit of a sweat, cool down with an ice cream from Llanfaes Dairy in Brecon or Shepherds Ice Cream in Hay-on-Wye.

 

©Llanfaes Dairy Ice Cream

©Llanfaes Dairy Ice Cream

Of course, you could always indulge in some ready-made hampers from Authentically Welsh, forget the spreading and packing, save your energy for the ride!

©Authentically Welsh

©Authentically Welsh

For more ideas on the perfect Brecon Beacons picnic, read here

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Tour of Britain 2014 Guide!

The biggest cycling event of the year is passing through our national park on the 9th September so we’re all itching to hop on our own bikes, or try to catch a glimpse of the pros! Inspired by the Tour of Britain, here’s our guide with everything you need to know about cycling in the Brecon Beacons… 

© Tour of Britain 2013

© Tour of Britain 2013

Cyclist-friendly accommodations

Check out the accommodation website  for you and your two-wheeled companion, or here are a few ideas…

Coed Owen Bunkhouse sleeps up to 26 tired cyclists and plenty of spare to store your trusty bikes.

The Bridge B&B have secure bike storage and can offer a hosepipe, and basic spare parts for mountain bikes. The owners can advise on the best routes and lend waterproof maps, help dry wet gear, and provide packed lunch and hot flasks!

The Gliffaes Hotel welcome all cyclists, they even put on road cycling weekend breaks and corporate cycling days inviting people to escape the city for a ride they’ll remember. The hotel even has its own tandem bike which you can borrow if you ask nicely…

Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages have over 60 self-catering cottages  with Cyclists Welcome awards which means they have made a safe area for bike storage, washing and maintenance, and provide information about the many routes available.

©Tour of Britain 2013

©Tour of Britain 2013

Bike hire and guided tours

Drover Cycles are experts in exploring the national park on two wheels, offering cycling itineraries graded from “easy” to “strenuous” and the best local advice you could hope for.

Black Mountain Activities  offer mountain bike hire, guides and lesson on skills and maintenance.

Bikes and Hikes deliver your bikes direct to your hotel, hostel or B&B front door (or to your tent) along with everything you’ll need for a full day ride.

Tour of Britain 2013 © Dai Hazelden

Tour of Britain 2013 © Dai Hazelden

Tour of Britain packages

The Gliffaes Hotel, Brecon Beacons
With stage three of The Tour of Britain passing through, Cwndu, Tretower and Crickhowell, The Gliffaes Hotel is in the prime location for spectators. It is only two miles for visitors to reach Tretower and three mils to see them zip through Crickhowell. For bookings on the 8th, 9th or 10th of September, you will have free access to the hotel’s bikes for half days and a free packed lunch for your ride or afternoon tea on your return. If you would like to bring your own bike they offer secure storage at no extra cost. Call 01874 730 371 and quote ‘Tour of Britain Offer’, valid only when bookings are made directly with the hotel. Package is £149 per night per person for standard double or twin B&B.

Tour of Britain with Drover Holidays
Ever wondered what it would be like to be a pro cyclist? Drover Holiday’s has some packages on offer for you! Discover the market towns and diverse scenery of Mid Wales as you follow the Stage Three route of the Tour of Britain. Take on the 120 mile route in a single day, or experiences the region with the two day package. Breakfast and bike hire are included in the tour price. The one day/two nights package is set at £245 per person and the two days/three nights package is £345 per person.

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Five attractions in the Brecon Beacons for the bank holiday weekend

With the August bank holiday weekend looming, head to the Brecon Beacons. We’ve come up with five family favourites. From the highest summit to mountain caves, Brecon Beacons has something for everyone. 

Enjoy a weekend in Mid Wales for the August bank holiday and explore some of our favourite attractions!

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©Carreg Cennen Castle

Carreg Cennen Castle
Situated in the Brecon Beacons National Park, near the River Cennen, lies the ruins of Carreg Cennen Castle. There is a natural cave beneath the castle which continues deep into the hillside. This very popular tourist attraction is open 364 days of the year. Perfect for history buffs and medieval enthusiasts! It costs £4 for adults, £3.50 for students/16 and under and £12 per family to be admitted to the site

Pen y Fan
The highest peak in South Wales, located in the Brecon Beacons National Park and almost 3,000 feet about sea level is the Pen y Fan; which loosely translates to top of this place. The National Trust works to reduce the erosion caused by thousands of tourists who visit the mountain and surrounds. The best way to spend an active day out with the family. And it’s Free!

Henrhyd Falls
This 90-foot waterfall is the tallest in South Wales and lies at the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Henrhyd Falls can be reach from the carpark that was established by the National Trust. The walk down to the waterfall is very steep so extra car needs to be taken if you want a closer look. Relax in this serene location and enjoy your long weekend away from work. Free!

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©Dan yr Ogof

Dan yr Ogof
Sometimes referred to as the National Showcave Centre for Wales, the 11-mile long cave system is situated in (under) the Brecon Beacons National Park. The first section of the cave is open to the public, whereas the cave system beyond is only open to legitimate cavers. An excellent choice for an activity that is a little bit different and enjoyable for everyone. Prices are set at £13 for adults, £9 for children aged 3-16 and children under 2 are welcome without charge.

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©Llangorse Lake

Llangorse Lake
The largest lake in South Wales, Llangorse Lake, resides within the Brecon Beacons National Park close to the town of Brecon and near Llangors village. The Llangorse Lake has always been known as a place that has a very large population of birds and sea life. There are a number of activities; canoeing, water skiing, fishing and boating that are available from local vendors.

Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages have some last minute availability or check the Brecon Beacons website for B&B and other accommodation suggestions.

Take time away from the bustling, overcrowded city this long weekend and enjoy some time outdoors, on top of and under mountains!

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Summer Fayre 2014

Brecon Beacons National Park is the only place to be this August Bank Holiday weekend with food, music, activities and art at the National Park Visitor Centre.

From the 23rd to the 25th of August the whole family can enjoy the annual Summer Fayre at the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Visitor Centre near Libanus. 

Rain, hail or shine there is a large selection of local foods, drinks, produce, art and crafts available from a number of exhibitors. From Gladiator style bouncy castle to trying out the merchandise at Cotswold Tent Show, this years Summer Fayre has something for everyone.

_CPW3606_1

© Summer Fayre 2013

With over 10,000 visitors expected to attend over the long weekend, local producers have their products stocked and ready for a big weekend. Offering up delicious organic meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, jams, smoked foods, bread, ciders, beers and wines, cheese, chocolate and so much more! 

The Summer Fayre isn’t all about the food, with the Brecon Town Concert Band playing Saturday and a Welsh folk band pumping out the tunes on the Sunday. 

With over 50 stands showcasing Welsh food, arts and crafts, the tenth annual Summer Fayre is the place to be for the entire family. Entry into the fayre is free; car parking is set at £2 for the entire day.

Fancy staying for the weekend? Head to the Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages website and book in today!

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Sell-out crowd at Green Man Festival 2014

Bringing in its tenth year with record crowds, Green Man Festival 2014 is set to be the biggest one yet. 

Unsurprisingly, tickets for the UK’s friendliest festival sold out weeks ago.

If you were lucky enough to snag a ticket to Green Man you’ll be getting ready to pack up and head to Wales for a long weekend (if you’re not already there).

INTERIM DESCRIPTION Green Man Festival 2013

© Visit Wales

Thursday 14th

Kick off your Thursday evening with three big performances from The Water Boys, Jimi Goodwin and The Pictish Trail in the Far Out Tent!

Friday 15th

Gear up for the first full festival day with the Augustines and Beirut on the Mountain Stage. Over at Far Out Field there will be big performances from The Phantom Band and Far Out After Dark duo The Two Bears.

Saturday 16th

With another full day ahead, get ready for some amazing sets from a lot more talented artists. The War on Drugs and Angel Olsen will be jumping on the Mountain Stage whereas the Far Out Tent will be hosting Fat White Family and Sons of Noel and Adrian. When the moon comes up, Luke Abbott and The Field are going to keep the festival going.

Sunday 17th

The final day at Green Man is set to be action packed with the stage at The Mountains Foot to showcase the talented Other Lives and Boy & Bear. Head over to Far Out Field for Speedy Ortiz and Hockeysmith followed up by dub step up and comer Ben UFO after dark.

All weekend shenanigans 

Green Man isn’t just a music festival there are other activities and talents that are there to be enjoyed. Head over to Einsteins Garden for some science and nature fun. Babbling Tongues is showcases the spoken word, comedy and literature while The Walled Garden is the perfect place to listen to DJs and The Courtyard for catching up with friends. For the 13 to 17’s we have Somewhere multimedia adventure zone ready to entertain you while the 12 and under’s hang out at Little Folk. For a few moments of rest and relaxation the Fortune Falls and Nature Nurture are the places to be to enjoy a little peace.

INTERIM DESCRIPTION Green Man Festival 2013

© Visit Wales

Festival foodies

There are a wide variety of food stalls at Green Man this year with local produce on show amongst Middle Eastern, French, Goan and Spanish cuisines. There will be sausages from the local Glanusk Estate, organic meats and a wide range of vegetarian options.

The five bars will be stocked with a huge range of locally sourced beers, ales, ciders, wines and spirits. 

Pack your bags, organise your camping gear and have an amazing time at this years Green Man Festival!

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Wile away ‘The Hours’ at the 2014 Brecon Fringe Festival!

 There is another fabulous Brecon Fringe line-up this year with free live music from 3pm and 7pm from Friday to Sunday with the bar open all weekend at The Hours in Brecon.

The Hours © Chris Townsend

The Hours © Chris Townsend

Swing by for a deliciously chilled Fursty Ferret, a lip-smacking Cloudy Rosie or a simple glass of pinot grigio and listen to some tunes from a unique line-up that you won’t hear anywhere else over the weekend. Enjoy one of the most unique venues that the Fringe has to offer.

Between music and drinks be sure to feast on the Mediterranean platters, freshly prepared sandwiches and the delicious cakes that will be on offer.

The Hours’ also has a new exhibition upstairs with works from four artists from Carms Artists Network featuring pieces from ceramic to printmaking and sculptures to painting.

If you’re interested in staying in Brecon to make the most of your weekend check out the Brecon Beacons site for last minute accommodation.

 

Brecon Fringe logo

Friday 8th of August

 3pm – Steph James

This Brecon based singer and songwriter has performed all over wales with her band and as a solo artist. Prepare yourself for some soulful poppy tunes to open this year’s festival.

7pm – Greed the Rock Opera

Get ready to here the quirky musical style of Nigel Evans and his band as they perform their newest rock opera.

 

Saturday 9th of August

3pm – The Mike Chappell Trio

Sit back, relax and enjoy the laid back classic jazz from The Mike Chappell Trio on what is set to be a sunny afternoon at the Fringe Festival.

 7pm – The Keith Little Trio

Known for their tantalizing combination of jazz, swing and jump & jive; kick your Saturday night at the fringe off with The Little Keith Trio.

The Hours 1

Sunday 10th of August 

3pm – Penniless Cove

Penniless Cove will be playing an emotional set as they tell their dark and quirky tales of every day life and of the things that are often forgotten.

7:30pm – Calling Card

As this years Fringe festival comes to a close, enjoy the sultry, smoldering rhythm of the blues with Paul Keddle and his talented band.

 

Entry into The Hours is FREE all weekend.  

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Brecon Jazz Guide 2014!

With the UK summer well under way, Brecon is heating up for their 30th year of top quality jazz!

Brecon Jazz 2013

© Brecon Jazz 2013

Brecon is set for a whirlwind of performances this year for the 30th anniversary of Brecon Jazz. With an all-encompassing line-up you are set to see some of the biggest names in jazz as well as a parade of up-and-comers. From Burt Bacharach to Troyka, you are expected to see a broad range of styles and talents that will get everyone’s feet moving. If traditional is your style, head over to Mike Harries Root Doctors. If you enjoy something a bit more quirky; then the Michael Wollny Trio might be more your thing.

Interested in making it a weekend trip so that you can soak up all the Jazz you can? Check out the Brecon Beacons website for all of your accommodation needs.

Thursday 7th August

8:00pm – Burt Bacharach
The three-time Academy Award winner who has compiled eight Grammy Awards in an outstanding career will be opening the 30th edition of Brecon Jazz with a sold out performance. Lets just hope the expected rendition of “Rain Drops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” isn’t an ominous weather prediction.

Anthony Strong

Friday 8th of August

6:00pm – Michael Wollny Trio
We welcome one of the world’s most unique pianists to the stage with his new talented counterparts. With different faces on the stage you can expect to see a truly quirky performance from the trio. £17.50

9:00pm – Zara McFarlane
With two albums under her belt the amazingly talented Zara will take to the stage presenting deep and spiritual jazz with a distinctive dub and reggae feel£17.50 

Saturday 9th of August

12:30pm – Mike Harries Root Doctors
With the iconic Captains Walk re-opening for performances this year it seemed right that Mike Harries would be the frontman to take to the stage. With the Mike Harries Jazz Band present at Brecon Jazz 84’ there was no question that the man and the band would be there for this 30 year milestone. £25 (day ticket)

2:00pm – Masterclass – Jean Toussaint – All Things Saxophone
It isn’t only about listening at Brecon Jazz 14’ but learning as well. Take a masterclass with the internationally renowned saxophonist and perfect your sax style. £7.50

7:30pm – Troyka
The new kids on the block are refusing to stick to the old boundaries and blurring the lines of what was once considered the norm for jazz musicians. These young musicians showcase an exceptional with their blend of jazz, rock and dance music. £15.00

9:00pm – Penguin Cafe
Having recently released a new album (The Red Book), returning from a sold-out UK tour and a string of performances across Japan and Australia; the performance by Penguin Café is a must see at Brecon Jazz 14’. £18.50

Sunday 10 of AugustCourtney Pine3

12:30pm – James Clark’s Lonely Hearts CLWB
The Captain’s Walk will be the stage set for 19 talented individuals showcasing some of the best tunes from around the world. This big band is known for its upbeat, uplifting and of course fun atmosphere for their audience. £25.00 (day ticket)

4:30pm – John Taylor Trio
On the tenth anniversary of the formation of this particular trio, John Taylor is making a rare performance for the 30th year of Brecon Jazz. With over 50 years in the jazz world this is one performance you won’t want to miss. £16.50

9:00pm – Rhythms of the City
As the UK’s premier samba percussion group the RotC are well known for their traditional Brazilian songs and dances. What make the RotC so unique are their reggae, salsa, afrobeat, funk, soca and hip-hop influences. £25 (day ticket)

Go to the website and find out how you can secure your tickets today; but be quick, they’re selling out fast!

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