Top 5 Memorable Stops along the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal

Here is a round-up of great stopping points that are part of the leisurely journey along the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal.  Included are some local favourites of pubs, cafes and scenic sites.  

Llangynidr’s 5 Locks!


Llangynidr’s five locks suddenly come along all at once.  Not only is it an interesting stopping point, it’s also a beautiful spot, right in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park, and there’s a pub called the Coach & Horses, by the bottom lock. Nearby attractions include Talybont Reservoir, famous for its water-based sport activities, and the very interesting Tretower Court & Castle historic house.

Talybont-on-Usk

The Star Inn Talybont was Powys Pub of the year, it has great beer garden and a very refreshing pint with some nice food.  Other places to eat close by include the newly revamped TalybontPost Office and Café which serves the most amazing cakes and the White Hart Inn.

The Brecon Basin


The finishing or starting point of the canal, offers a wonderful welcome or goodbye atmosphere to the town of Brecon.  The sights of canal boats docked up, the beaming Brycheiniog Theatre and surrounding cafes creates a great environment.

Llangattock Escarpment & Hillside


Between bridges 111 and 112 there’s an excellent viewing point of the surrounding area.  There are some limestone cliffs and the view behind Llangattock is of the picturesque Sugarloaf Mountain.  Passers by can also spot an Old Marina.  Also nearby is a famous geomorphic area where you’ll find some caves and some nice peaceful green fields.

Govilon Wharf

This is a nice stopping point where you’ll find a café, some old lime kilms, a picturesque Victorian church.
Historic sights include Bailey’s ware-house which was built on Govilon wharf in 1820 at the end of the Llanvihangel and Baileys tramway. Constructed on the wharf around 1820 was a bank of three limekilns, one of which made use of the canal for direct charging.  There are also the remains of an old building which is believed to be an old Inn.

Posted in Brecon Beacons Walking, canal, sunday stroll, Talybont, Things to do, Uncategorized, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Events at Tretower Court and Castle

Tretower Court and Castle are ready for a legendary summer, with plenty of events to keep everyone occupied! Dare to meet the Dragons, enjoy garden tours, expect lots of laughs with a unique take on Shakesperes The Tempest and you can even become a Bat-Man or Bat-Woman! Find out more below.

Sun 25 Jun 2017-Garden Tour and Talk

A humorous and informative herbal tour and talk in the beautiful medieval garden at Tretower Court.

Find out what strange and wonderful cures can be obtained from nature in your own back yard.

Herbs have been used throughout the centuries as an aid in medicines, to flavour our food, in cosmetics and to cover offensive odours. Touch, smell, feel, take away and enjoy!

Tours and talks at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

Dates, times and prices

Dates
25 Jun 2017

Times
11am – 4.30pm

Prices
Adult – £6.50
Family – £19.30*
Senior citizens, students and children under 16 – £4.20
Member – Am ddim / free
Disabled and companion – Am ddim / free
*Admits 2 adults and up to 3 children under 16

More info here

27th June-09th July- Dare to meet Dwynwen and the Baby Dragons

Date / Time: 27 June – 09 July
Venue: Tretower Court
Info: Visitors are dared to meet Dywnwen and her Dragon Babies at Tretower Court and Castle.
Booking: No booking required. The Dragons will be available to see until 09 July when they will continue their journey across Wales. Usual admission fees apply.

More info here. 

06 Jul – 09 Jul-Taking Flight — ‘The Tempest’ Tretower Court and Castle

Taking Flight Theatre return to Cadw sites across Wales once again, this time with their unique take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Join the Magic Staff Liner Corporation and indulge yourself with a jaunt on the newest addition to their fleet — their number one luxury ocean liner, The Remembrance.  Let their crew take care of your every worry, your every woe on their 10 year anniversary cruise to the Island that Time Forgot.

Expect lots of laughs, physical comedy, live original music and most of all expect the unexpected.

This performance has live integrated BSL interpretation and audio description. Touch tours and BSL introductions are available by arrangement — please contact beth@takingflighttheatre.co.uk or on 07785 947823 to discuss this, or any other access requirement.

Thursday 6 July 7pm
Sunday 9 July 5.30pm

For tickets click here

For information go to www.takingflighttheatre.co.uk or phone 02920 230020

Family friendly show.
Every performance is a relaxed performance and is supported with BSL/SSE and audio description

Dates, times and prices

Dates
06 Jul – 09 Jul 2017

Times
7.00pm – 9.00pm

Prices
Adult – £14.50
Family – £35.00
Senior citizens, students and children under 16 – £10.00

Child £5.00

More info here.

22nd July-3rd September-A Legendary Summer

Tretower Court

Tretower Court

It’s the Year of Myths and Legends – where do YOU fit in?

Come and join the fun at Tretower Court and Castle as we celebrate the summer holiday season with period games like “Horseshoes” and “Jeu de Mail” alongside activities such as face-painting and lantern-making – and maybe the odd story or two!

Dates, times and prices

Dates
22 Jul – 03 Sep 2017

Times
10.00am – 5.00pm

Prices
Adult – £6.50
Family – £19.30 *
Senior citizens, students and children under 16 – £4.20
Member – Am ddim / free
Disabled and companion – Am ddim / free
*Admits 2 adults and up to 3 children under 16

More info here

20th August-Sunday Best in the 15th Century

Tretower Court

Tretower Court

Discover a day in the life of the Tretower household – see the differences between now and then!

Have you ever wondered what day-to-day life was like in the 15th Century, with questions such as “What sort of food did people eat?” and “How did they spend their time?” Well, now you can discover the answers! While away an hour or two with our friendly re-enactors, who will be in residence to give appropriate advice on all sorts of subjects – from dining etiquette to the best way of keeping your sword sharp and your bowstring dry!!

Dates, times and prices

Dates
20 Aug 2017

Times
11am – 4.30pm

Prices
Adult – £6.50
Family – £19.30*
Senior citizens, students and children under 16 – £4.20
Member – Am ddim / free
Disabled and companion – Am ddim / free
*Admits 2 adults and up to 3 children under 16

More info here.

26th August- It’s a Bat’s Life

Brilliant Bats

Brilliant Bats

Become a Bat-Man or Bat-Woman! Join our Bat Investigation Team for a nocturnal tour of Tretower Court!

Join an evening tour of Tretower Court and be part of our bat investigation team, with the help of wildlife officers and bat detection equipment. What species are here? What do they eat? Where do they go during the day?

The Vincent Wildlife Trust works to protect wildlife and help people learn about the species with which we share our gardens, woodlands and ancient monuments.  Wildlife Officers will give a brief introduction to the work of the trust and the types of wildlife that may be encountered, whilst Tretower’s custodian will explain the history of the site over the last 900 years.

Please wear suitable clothing; and sturdy footwear and small torch also advisable.

£3.00 for adults, £1.50 for under-16s

Dates, times and prices

Dates
26 Aug 2017

Times
7.00pm – 9.00pm

Prices
Adult – £3.00
Senior citizens, students and children under 16 – £1.50
Disabled and companion – Am ddim/Free

More info here. 

23rd-14th September-Open Doors – Tretower Court and Castle

Tretower Court and Castle

Tretower Court and Castle

Join a tour with Tretower Court and Castle’s very own custodian. Find out more about its fascinating history and architecture, and take a walk around to appreciate its beautiful setting and location.

For over 900 years Tretower Court and Castle has been altered, adjusted and adapted. Much of this was done to keep up with style, fashion and the tastes of the time.

The Picards and the Vaughans who lived here were rich influential Welsh families; the movers and shakers of their time. They needed a place to impress. And the sumptuous accommodation they created reflected their high status as Welsh gentry.

When the Vaughans left in the 18th century, Tretower Court became a working farm and, where ladies and gentlemen had lived, lambs and geese moved in!

Now, in the 21st Century, we’ve recreated a suite of rooms as they may have been in 1470 when the Vaughans were part of high society. Discover a sophisticated way of life: from intricately carved furniture right down to the pots and pans of a working kitchen. Experience 15th century living at its best.

Tours will be at 11.00am, 1.00pm and 3.00pm.

Getting there – Signposted in Tretower village, off A479 3mls/5km north west of Crickhowell, Powys

Although admission to this event is free, it is a ticketed event. Tickets available on the website from the beginning of September.  here

Dates, times and prices

Dates
23 Sep – 24 Sep 2017

Times
11am – 4pm

Prices
Adult – Am ddim / free
Family – Am ddim / free
Senior citizens, students and children under 16 – Am ddim / free
Member – Am ddim / free
Disabled and companion – Am ddim / free

More info here. 

Posted in Cadw, dragons, gardens, Myths and Legends, summer things to do, Things to do, things to do with the children, things to do with the family, tours, Uncategorized, Year Of Legends | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s on at Theatr Brycheiniog this Summer?

Theatr Brycheiniog is a great place to enjoy live music and shows for all ages this Summer! It’s also in the perfect location for a day out,with a children’s park just around the corner and it’s situated on the canal basin where you can hire a boat or go for a stroll along the beautiful canal! They also have a new cafe and ice cream for sale. Read on for some of the events being held there this Summer.


June 24th-Live @ The Waterfront Presents: Elisabeth Webb

Elisabeth Webb is a Welsh Actor Musician and Singer Songwriter. She writes original music with guitar, ukulele and piano. She is a regular guest artist on the Jamie Owen Show- BBC Radio Wales. Elisabeth plays at her own shows in London and Cardiff, her favourite venue is Camden Proud.

Displaying Elisabeth Webb.jpg

Friday 30th June-Comedy Club

Little Wander (the team behind the Machynlleth Comedy Festival) return with their monthly comedy club. Catch some of the UKs finest stand up stars at fantastic value.

Friday 7th July- Sir Ranulph Fiennes – Mind Over Matter

Credit-John Cleare

In Mind Over Matter, Sir Ranulph Fiennes offers a personal journey through his life, from birth to the present day. From light-hearted to strikingly poignant, Mind Over Matter covers Sir Ranulph’s childhood, misdemeanours at school, army life and early expeditions, right through the Transglobe Expedition, to his current Global Reach Challenge, which includes the record breaking and immensely challenging projects – which saw Sir Ranulph receive the Guinness Book of Records accolade as ‘Greatest Living Explorer’ – while suffering frostbite and risking life and limb in some of the most ambitious private expeditions ever undertaken.

 

Saturday 22nd July-Live @ The Waterfront – Iron Eye

A crunchy, urban sax sound glued together with breakbeat drums. A bassy, raw and high-energy trio with a kick to their beats and a swing in their tails.Inspired by the dirty sounds of the New York cave music scene and New Orleans street funk, these guys fill more acoustic space than you ever thought could be possible. Fusing dance music and acoustic jazz they create the loudest, boldest and most original sound like you’ve ever heard. 

Saturday 12th August-Dream Team

Once Labeled by Independent Newspapers’ Sunday Tribune as “the most talked about group out of Durban about to make it big in the music industry,” DreamTeam has certainly lived up to this expectation, and were recently chosen to perfrom for the Zulu Royal Family.

DreamTeam is a concept that believes in pushing the envelope, surpassing conventional boundaries and setting new standards in music entertainment. The statement, “Teamwork makes the Dream work,” is the rudimentary element that brought group members Trevor Sineke (Trey), Lusaso Ngcobo (Saso) and Mthoko Mkhathini (Dash) into partnership in early 2011, and has since seen the trio take Durban, KZN and now South Africa by storm.

The name DreamTeam itself speaks to the friendship that existed before the group was formed, and the individual as well as team goals that laid the foundation behind the concept of DreamTeam.

Theatr Brycheiniog has free live music at their Waterfront Bar every Saturday from 1pm to 3pm, a perfect event for the whole family to enjoy! 

Click here for the full of schedule of events happening in Theatr Brycheiniog over summer!

Posted in Brecon, Brecon Beacons, music, shows, summer things to do, theatre, Things to do, things to do with the children, things to do with the family, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Walk Wednesday: Hay-on-Wye Circular and a Taste of Offa’s Dyke

A Taste of Offa’s Dyke Path

This week’s Walk Wednesday is a contribution from Drover Holidays, who are based in Hay-on-Wye.

Here’s a walk that offers an excellent insight to the surrounding Hay-on-Wye area and really showcases what is on the famous book town’s doorstep.  The walk goes past numerous historic spots including the famous Offa’s Dyke path.

DISTANCE – 8kms (5 miles)
START POINT – Hay on Wye Public Car Park
GRID REFERENCE – SO229422
MAPS – OS Explorer OL13.  OS Landranger 161

DESCRIPTION: Hay on Wye is well known for its bookshops but is also a wonderful base for walking.  This circular 5-mile walk takes you into the foothills of the Black Mountains and offers lovely views of the town and surrounding countryside – to the Central Brecon Beacons and beyond on a clear day.  The walk takes around two hours – three if you take it easy – and is just strenuous enough to work up a good appetite!

PARKING: Plentiful parking at the main pay and display car park in Hay on Wye.  Hay on Wye is also served by a regular Hereford to Brecon bus service.

DIRECTIONS:
From the top of the main car park on Oxford Road turn right and walk along the road passing two tall semi-detached houses.  Turn right onto a lane, you’re now following the Offa’s Dyke Path, a long-distance path which runs for nearly 180 miles along the English-Welsh border.  It follows, roughly, the line of a defensive earthwork built by King Offa in the 8th century AD.  This is a National Trail and marked by the acorn symbol which you will see regularly as you follow the footpath.

Visitors on a guided walk with Luke from Drover Holidays ©

At the end of the lane, go through a kissing gate and follow a broad path across a large field, the hedge to your left.  Continue through two more gates.  The path starts to ascend more steeply.  Cross a footbridge over a stream which runs down into the Dulas Brook which, despite it’s small size, forms the border between England and Wales.  Continue straight ahead at the next two gates, following a finger post pointing to Cusop.  Go over a stile and cross a track, now bear slightly left across the field.  At the fence line, bear right and follow the field boundary with the stream below in the valley on your left.  These gardens belong to Lower House B&B, a beautiful property in a secluded spot.  Their eco-friendly cabin is visible from the path and blends modern and old technologies and materials perfectly – sheep’s wool insulation and triple-glazing combine to keep it cosy in winter!

Cross a stile to reach a road.  Turn left and walk up the road for 150 metres, then turn right across a stile. Ascend steeply bearing to the right of the dwelling to cross the stream via a footbridge and kissing gate.  Turn sharp left and continue uphill following the field boundary closely.  Cross a stile to reach the road.  Turn right and walk between the buildings of Upper Dan y Fforest.  Follow the road which now climbs steeply through mixed woodland.  At the cattle grid, turn sharp right across a stile and descend through the wood.  Bear left to reach a stile.  Cross this and continue downhill through a broad, steeply sloping field.  50 metres beyond the stile, turn left across a stile and cross a steam.  Ascend to another stile and cross this to reach a large field, farm buildings are visible on the far side of the field.  Bear right acrross the field diagonally, cross the small stream (no footbridge) then cross a stile to reach the lane.  Turn left and follow the lane past Pant y F farm.

250 metres on from the farm, leave the road via a stile on your right.  A fingerpost points towards Llanigon.  Cross the field, keep to the left to avoid losing height and aim for the metal gate on the skyline.  Go through the gate onto a track.  Take a moment to enjoy the fantastic view of the Central Brecon Beacons and the  Radnorshire Hills to the North.

Do not follow the main track but turn right from the gate onto a footpath heading north.  Cross a stile and descend through Wern Wood on a very pleasant path which winds down through the trees to emerge into field beside The Werns, an isolated stone-built house.  Pass to the right of the house, cross the access track to the dwelling, and go over a stile into a field of rough pasture – usually full of inquisitive sheep.  Bear left to reach the left-hand field boundary and follow the path which keeps to this side of the field as you descend through scrubby vegetation and trees.

The field tapers to a point as you reach the bottom corner.  In fact, many of the fields are small and oddly shaped in these foothills of the Black Mountains!  This pattern is a relic of medieval and early post-medieval enclosure which was characterised by small irregular fields.  The mixed woodland and, where they survive, hedges of hawthorn, hazel and ash are also centuries-old features of the landscape.

Continuing the walk – from the bottom of the field bear right here and follow the field boundary for 400m – there are some distinctive metal railings which run almost the length of one field and make a good landmark.  At the end of this level path, the path forks.  Bear left and begin your descent into Hay following the beautiful Login Brook.  Wooden bridges and steps have been installed to make the descent less slippery and this mossy, green corridor is especially welcome on a summer’s day when the shade and cool water are welcome!  At the bottom of the path you emerge onto a perfectly mowed lawn, the brook disappears into a culvert, and the churchyard appears on your right.  Go straight ahead to reach Brecon Road – and civilisation!

Turn right here and follow the road into town, passing The Swan Hotel and continuing uphill to the junction with Oxford Road.  Turn right and you’re back at your starting point.

To extend your walk and visit St Mary’s Church, turn right upon reaching Brecon Road and then turn left into St Mary’s Road at the end of which you will find the church.  From the entrance gate, a path leads straight down to the River Wye, passing underneath the old trackbed of the railway which once served Hay on Wye.  Now turn right and follow the pleasant riverside walk for 500m to reach the main road bridge.  Ascend to the road and turn left for the town centre – the chippy and The Granary Cafe are just around the corner if you’ve worked up an appetite!

For more information on Drovers Holidays click here or for more Walking Wednesday routes click here.

Posted in Brecon Beacons Walking, family walks, hay on wye, short walks, Uncategorized, walk, walk wednesday, Walking, Walking Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abergavenny Festival of Cycling begins this Saturday!

The Iron Mountain and Monmouthshire Sportif Four sportives on June 24th are included in the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling for 2017. The four events are: the Monmouthshire 20 (previously titled “Leisure Ride”), the Monmouthshire Sportif 40 miles, the Iron Mountain 70 miles and the famed Iron Mountain 100 mile event.

In addition, we again provide the Wales Open Criterium comprising two events our ever popular ‘Traders’ Race’ and the E/1/2/ Event, both held on 7th July. Use the form below to start your entry.

Schedule of Events 2017

Date Time Event Distance Fees Enter Option
Sat 24/06/17 09:00 Iron Mountain 100 100 miles Online from £20.00
On Day: £40.00
CLICK TO ENTER
Sat 24/06/17 09:30 Iron Mountain 70 70 miles Online from £20.00
On Day: £40.00
CLICK TO ENTER
Sat 24/06/17 10:00 Monmouthshire 40 40 miles Online from £15.00
On Day: £35.00
CLICK TO ENTER
Sat 24/06/17 10:30 Monmouthshire 20 20 miles Online from £10.00
On Day: £20.00
CLICK TO ENTER
Fri 7/07/17 18:00 Wales Open Criterium Traders Race On Day : £10.00 Click to Enter
Fri 7/07/17 20:00 Wales Open Criterium E/1/2 Race Online : £25.00 Click to Enter

Having again listened to the feedback from you we have tweaked the rides which we hope make for a more enjoyable and challenging experience.

The Monmouthshire 20 over the flatlands of the Usk Valley make for a leisurely ride on the existing course with a stop at the Black Bear Bettws Newydd.

A Monmouthshire Sportif over a shorter route than last year which but still retains the challenging ride around North Monmouthshire. The undulating roads of the iconic Rolls Estate before descending into the Monnow Valley and climbing out through the historic village of Grosmont to meander back over the rolling roads back to Abergavenny

The Iron Mountain 70 completes the ride through the Monmouthshire Sportif before tackling the Iron Mountain and Llangynidr Moors before descending into Llangattock and returning to Abergavenny.

The Iron Mountain 100 again completes the Monmouthshire ride, climbs the Tumble and heads over the Llangynidr Moors and descends into Llangynidr. On through Talybont, Llanfihangel Tal-y-llyn and Llangorse before climbing the Dragons Back and descending to Abergavenny via Crickhowell.

Click here for more info 

Posted in Abergavenny, Abergavenny Festival of Cycling, activiites, Adrenaline activities, adventure, Bikes, Challenge, cycling, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tawe Valley Arts Week-23rd June-2nd July

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A local Arts Week is a great way to show case the huge variety of creativity in your area. The Tawe Valley is home to many hidden treasures; in the landscape, the history and especially in the people. The time feels right to share the rich culture of our Valley. This years Tawe Arts Week will be from the 23rd of June until the 2nd of July.

Art Studios, Craft Workshops, creative groups, venues and Artisan businesses will come together in a printed Directory, on this site and the Facebook Page, to show off all the fabulous things that are going on around here to everyone who is interested in having unique, hand-made, beautiful things around them. On the 23rd of June, 2017, we will open our studios, put on exhibitions and invite the public to tour this wonderful area and visit us to learn about our art-work and buy pieces to keep.

Tawe Valley Arts Week is the opportunity for a wonderful day out; expect the unexpected, be inspired, diverted and delighted- and come home with a unique artwork of your own. You’ll be able to meet artists in a wide variety of amazing venues, talk about their work, watch demonstrations and maybe have a go yourself. Or simply feast your eyes on a huge range of creative activity, from painting, photography, textiles, sculpture and ceramics to furniture, glass, mosaics, jewellery, digital art and much more.

 

Click here for more info.

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Best Spots for Picnics in the Brecon Beacons

Make the most of the sun this weekend by heading outside for a relaxing picnic! Here are some of our favorite picnic spots for a blissful weekend in the #BreconBeacons

Craig-y-Nos Country Park
Lakes, ponds and big valley views mean that the Craig-y-Nos Circular is the ideal walk for some alfresco eating.
Vaughan Gardens
Take a break from the Talybont Valley by walking through a peaceful garden sown with herbs and other plants author and physician Henry Vaughan would have used in his scientific and medical experiments, the Vaughan Gardens are a fragrant spot to stop and bask in the serenity of the surrounding countryside. Laid out with benches, it’s also the ideal place for a relaxing picnic.
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Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal
A short distance into the Brecon to Pencelli canal walk you’ll find the perfect picnic spot, complete with ornate woodcarvings that depict the canal’s industrial heritage.
National Park Visitor Centre
With spectacular views, naturally beautiful grounds and children’s trails for little ones to explore, the Visitor Centre is the perfect place for a picnic. Get your fill before walking on Mynydd Illtud.
Llangorse Lake

the_lake.pngThe grassy common alongside Llangorse Lake is a popular picnic site and often grazed by horses, sheep and sometimes cattle. It is the ideal place to mess about in boats, take a gentle stroll or watch the bird life.

Castle Meadows- Abergavennny
This 20 hectare site of flat, floodplain grazing land is next to the River Usk, along with bordering trees, small copses, streams and ponds making it the perfect picnic spot! Waitrose is near by so you can stock up on the essentials. More here

Pontneddfechan
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to inviting riverside picnic spots on a Waterfall Country walk to Sgŵd Gwladus.
Click here for our top walks of 2017 if you fancy something more energetic!
Posted in family, family walks, picnic, summer things to do, things to do with the family, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment