Brecon Baroque Festival 2017

26/10/2017 18:00 – 30/10/2017 23:00

Image result for brecon baroque festival

Brecon Baroque’ 12th Festival celebrates Vivaldi and explores the music of Venice. Five landmark concerts with Rachel Podger, Brecon Baroque, I Fagiolini, Ensemble Diderot and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama frame a long weekend which also includes a pop-up café – Caffe Florian – with live chamber music, Festival Evensong and Eucharist at Brecon Cathedral, a guided walk plus tour of Penpont House in the Usk Valley and our annual Baroque dance events.

Featured events                                                   View all

Friday 27 Oct 2017 – 7.00pm

The Other Vespers: I Fagiolini

The Other Vespers: I Fagiolini

I Fagiolini directed by Robert Hollingworth

  • Brecon Cathedral
  • Tickets: £20 (concessions £18 / under 18s free)

Saturday 28 Oct 2017 – 3.00pm

Baroque Tea Dance

  • Theatr Brycheiniog Studio
  • Tickets: £12
Baroque Tea Dance

Sunday 29 Oct 2017 – 7.00pm

Brecon Baroque directed by Rachel Podger

Ensemble Diderot

“From Canzona to Sonata: the Chamber Music of Venice”

  • Theatr Brycheiniog
  • Tickets: £16 (concessions £14 / under 18s free)

View all or book your tickets here.

If you need somewhere to stay near the historic town of Brecon then book your accommodation here!

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Hay Festival Winter Weekend – Win a Family Ticket


Hay Festival Wales - credit SamJPeat_preview

Conversations, compelling stories, music and family workshops meet with the best of Hay-on-Wye’s seasonal shopping and the famed natural surroundings at Hay Festival Winter Weekend, 23 – 26 November 2017.

Now in its 18th year, the programme of talks will be the most ambitious yet, highlighting the world’s best new fiction, non-fiction and poetry.  A new venue will transform the town centre into a playground of ideas.

Winter Weekend - audience 2_preview.jpeg

Workshops for young people take inspiration from the festival’s #HAYTREES project, with tree to type printmaking, festival crafts, and Forest School events.

Winter Weekend - bookshop_preview.jpeg

Vintage fashion, fine foods and seasonal crafts share centre stage in the town’s market square: the Hay-on-Wye Christmas lights are switched on Friday 24 November, Hay Food Festival takes place Saturday 25, and Hay Does Vintage takes place Sunday 26.

Win a family ticket!

We’re offering you the chance to win 4 tickets to a Hay Festival Winter Weekend event of your choosing (subject to availability). You can mix and match events, or bring the family along.

All you have to do is subscribe to our Brecon Beacons mailing list – remember to confirm your subscription in your email after (we promise we won’t send you lots of emails!)

Good luck – we’ll announce the winner on the 11th November 2017.


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12 things to do in the Brecon Beacons this Autumn

As the Brecon Beacons turns golden this Autumn, it’s time to reach for your wellies grab your camera and explore our wonderful National Park at one of the most beautiful times of the year!

Have a go at one of our 12 things to do in the Brecon Beacons and share your Autumnal snaps with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #visitBreconBeacons. Happy exploring!

1. Go for a stroll in our beautiful countryside

Little can match the enjoyment of striding along our open ridges, strolling along our peaceful towpaths or exploring our beautiful, sun-dappled woods this Autumn. The Brecon Beacons National Park is full of wonderful places, guaranteed to give you a sense of exhilaration and freedom. Click here for all our wonderful walking routes.

2. Visit Waterfall Country

The sound of water rushing, gurgling and dripping over stone fills the ears. This is a place of movement, colour and sound, our Celtic rainforest. Nestled into the southern slopes of the Fforest Fawr massif, west of Merthyr Tydfil, Waterfall Country is one of the most beautiful and popular parts of the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Fforest Fawr Geopark, with steep, tree-lined gorges and an abundance of tumbling water. The most famous waterfall is Sgwd-y-Eira, the Snow Waterfall, on the River Hepste, where a natural path leads right behind the curtain of water. Click here for more.

3. Cover more ground on a family bike ride

There are six recommended moderate, traffic-free cycle touring routes in the Brecon Beacons National Park. They’re perfect for a half day or full day cycle ride and a great way for you and your family or friends to get out into our beautiful countryside. Check out the routes here

4. Take to the sky – for a fun-filled day out

How better to enjoy the autumn colours and the changing of the seasons than to head to the sky and have a go at something new.   Talgarth airfield is home to a small and very active gliding club, 970 feet above sea level in the stunning scenery of the Black Mountains.  With soarable conditions on most days, our average flight times are amongst the longest in the UK.  Find out more here

5. Layer up and take to the water

Give your legs a break from walking, hiking and cycling and check out the spectacular views from the water.  The Brecon Beacons National Park offers an array range of options for paddlesports, from the tranquillity of canals, reservoirs, lakes and rivers to extreme kayaking over jaw-dropping waterfalls. Find out more here

6. Warm up with our Welsh Whisky

Penderyn Distillery plans to triple production to nearly half a million bottles a year

Credit: Wales Online

The Brecon Beacons is home to Wales only Whisky producer, Penderyn Distillery. One of the few remaining independent distilleries, Penderyn takes its name from the old Welsh village in which it is located and nestles in the foothills of the ancient Brecon Beacons mountain range. Enjoy a distillery tour and take a journey through the history of single malt whisky-making in Wales, and explore the distilling process at first hand.Take a bottle away with you from the gift shop!

7. Enjoy a show at Theatr Brycheiniog

Situated at the end of the picturesque Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal in the pretty market town of Brecon on the edge of Brecon Beacons National Park, Theatr Brycheiniog offers a popular and acclaimed programme of performing arts and entertainment throughout the year.

8. Wet day? Head underground to marvel at the caves at Dan Yr Ogof

With ten attractions all covered on the one entry ticket – there is plenty to see and do for all ages at Dan Yr Ogof Showcaves. There are 3 different caves Dan-yr-Ogof, Cathedral Cave and Bone Cave each offering a unique underground experience. They also have one of the world’s largest collections of life-sized dinosaur models, a shire horse centre, Iron Age village, museum, and stone circles.

9. Explore ancient woodlands

There’s nowhere better to admire the changing seasons than in our woodlands. They stimulate the senses, from the beautiful songs of the birds and the smell of wildflowers, to the crunch of leaves underfoot. Click here for woodlands to visit.

10. Spend an afternoon in one of our many bookshops

Have a day out exploring the many bookshops in the Brecon Brecons, with bookshops being the local speciality in Hay-on-Wye! Visit Book-ish in Crickhowell, the quirky Hours Cafe and Bookshop in Brecon or Richard Booths Bookshop in Hay-it’s Europe’s largest secondhand bookshop!

11. Relax by a fire in a cosy country pub Image result for felin fach griffin

Pubs are very much a key part of community life to most villages and towns in the Brecon Beacons National Park.  Visitors can quite easily stumble across a pub that offers a unique experience along with a fine selection of local food and drink, that makes the Autumn just that little bit better! Click here for some of our best pubs and inns.


12. Enjoy a great brew and a piece of cake

It’s the little treats, like a fresh pot of tea with sandwiches, Welshcakes or scones, jam and cream, that make holidays in Wales really special. Here in the National Park, we have lots of lovely cafés, tea shops and tea rooms. As a bonus, some of them double as galleries and gift shops. Check out our Cafe Guide here



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Jasper Fforde at Brecon Libary this Friday!



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Halloween in the Brecon Beacons

It’s almost time to dig out your scariest costume and pick the perfect pumpkin for Halloween at the end of the month! Scare yourself silly with the best spooky events in the Brecon Beacons…

The Trail of Spookiness at Tretower Court

Join in a Halloween-themed trail at Tretower Court for a day of thrills and chills!

 reappears at Tretower – Hhhhaaapppy Halloween!

It’s that time again; time for the bats, the rats and the creepy-crawlies to emerge from their hidey-holes and join the ghosts in making a Trail of Spookiness around Tretower Court. Bring your youngster to test the trail, but BEWARE – you may yet see the White Lady walk along her balcony…

Spooky Halloween Day
28 Oct – 31 Oct 2017

10am – 5pm

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

  • Postcode: NP8 1RD

View all events here

Blaenavon Ironworks Halloween and Haunted Tours  

We have a “Spooky Halloween Day” 28th & 29th October, children’s spooky Halloween trail with a prize for the first 100 to complete the trail. Free for all.
Haunted History and Folklore Evening Tours, 29 Oct, 1st Nov & 3rd Nov. 7pm – 9pm with spooky tales, historic folklore and ancient legends!  Suitable for adults only.  £10 per ticket.
Book via the Ironworks shop, 01495 792615, book early to avoid disappointment, more detailsavailable.

Pontypool and Blaenavon Heritage Railway
Ghost Train – 28th to 31st October 

The darker nights of Autumn mean it’s time for pumpkins and witches at the railway. Our ghost train will now be running for 4 evenings from 28th to 31st October. There is a standard fare of £6 and trains run from 4pm until about 9pm. Come dressed to scare for ghoulish games, foul food tasting and other frights. This event is always very popular so come early.
Our Santa Special trains are filling up already this year – visit our website for details of how to book your seats on our website. E-mail:

Craig Y Nos Ghost Tours

Saturday 28th October –
pre-Halloween Special G.H.O.S.T. tour – Sold out
Monday 30th October
Special pre-Halloween G.H.O.S.T. tour – date newly added as other dates sold out
Tuesday 31st October –
the main Halloween Night Ghost Hunt – Sold Out

Halloween Poster for Most Haunted Castle in South Wales

Stay over this year for our “exclusive”
All Hallows Ghost Tour  – £99.00 per person (2017) on Monday 30th October
Only 30 places available on each tour
For the serious ghost hunter we are offering the chance to stay at Craig Y Nos Castle in an en suite room, then at 7.30 pm you can enjoy a 3 course meal, and relax in the bar over a few drinks before embarking on the 5 hour “serious” ghost tour from 9.00 pm, finishing 02:00 hrs.
You will also have the chance to stop off at our Haunted Bar where you will hear about the Hauntings of the Castle and visit areas unseen by the public and experience first hand the ghostly goings on. The next day, you will have a bit of a lie-in, then rise to a hearty cooked breakfast, before being taken on the full Castle History Tour from 10.30 am – 12.00 midday. On the History Tour you will be able to compare anything you experienced during the night, with the known history of the castle.
Only 30 places are being made available – see grid on Ghost Tours Page for current booking level
Halloween Weekend Childrens Day Event Saturday 28 Octoberr 2017

Childrens Halloween Event, Fancy Dress& Best Pumpkin Prize Awards Ceremony

on Saturday 28th October 2.00 to 6.00 pm

Fancy dress in Halloween costumes optional, music, prize giving for best costume and for best pumpkin – bring your own decorated pumpkin for the Pumpkin Prize Awards ceremony.

Ticket Prices £8.00 per child, £0 per adult
  • 1 slice cake & 1 scoop of ice cream per child
  • free bouncy castle
  • free glitter tattoos
  • free disco
  • ghost tour prizes given out all day for various competitons including best dressed fancy dress and best pumpkin
Please book in advance 01639 731167 or email so we know numbers in advance.

Halloween Experience at Dan Yr Ogof Caves

Deep underground in Dan Yr Ogof Cave our annual ‘Halloween experience’ takes place. Long before you get to the unique setting for our Halloween festivities the cries, moans of the ghosts, and ghouls can be heard echoing through the cave! Looking up you will see witches flying out of the smaller cave passageways as they make their way to Cauldron Chamber, which is the starting point for this unearthly event. Everywhere in this section of the cave the human skulls, spiders, rats, and screeching sounds indicate that you are in another world, the underworld, where everyone’s most terrifying fantasies have suddenly become a reality! Skeleton like creatures offer you sweets for your onward journey in to the cave – but will you be brave enough to take them? Image result for dan yr ogof halloween

The Cauldron waterfalls hide hideous half eaten mortal remains, while the witches look on grinning, and screaming hideously! As you finally approach Bridge Chamber a cold damp eerie mist descends, and the screams of the ghouls indicate you are in the land of the ‘undead’. Only seeing is believing, as the mist finally reveals even more horrors! More info here.

Hocus Pocus Under The Stars

On Saturday 28th October 2017, Slip and Slide Events bring an amazing Halloween outdoor cinema experience for all the family to the stunning setting of The National Botanic Garden of Wales, with a showing of the Disney classic, Hocus Pocus! Bring a blanket and sit under the stars! 

As this is an outdoor event, we will be sat on grass, so we recommend that you bring blankets and camping chairs, although there will be a number of blankets and pillows available to hire on the night.

The event will get underway at 5pm, with Halloween fancy dress, a barbeque, bar, fresh popcorn, toffee apples, spooky music and more.  The film will start at 6:30pm.

Tickets are £12 for adults and £8 for children and available here.

The event will go on in the event of rain, the screen isn’t able to be used in high winds. More here.

History & Hauntings at Dinefwr

Join us for our History and Hauntings evenings at Wales’ most haunted National Trust property this October.

  • Booking essential

Explore the spooky atmosphere of Newton House by torchlight, discover the darker tales from history and more recent ghostly encounters, told by local storyteller, Nick Brunger.

  • All£15.00
    14+ Years
Booking details
Call 01558 824512
Unfortunately dogs are not welcome at this event.
Meeting point
Head to the main entrance of Newton House in time for your chosen tour. Our tour guiding team will be there to greet you. More info here.


Event opening times and availability
Day Times Availability
21 October 2017 20:15 – 21:15 Available
21:30 – 22:30 Available
26 October 2017 20:15 – 21:15 Available
21:30 – 22:30 Available
27 October 2017 20:15 – 21:15 Available
21:30 – 22:30 Available

Harry Trotter And The Pumpkin Patch at Cantref Adventure Farm

Put on your scarf, wrap up warm and fly over to Harry Trotter’s Wizard School at Cantref for some magical fun this October Half Term. Harry Trotter and The Pumpkin Patch

Hop aboard the Cantref Express through Platform 9 and 6/8 to driving past the spooky forest,continue on your journey to marvel at the talking pumpkins and complete your wizard training at Wizard School with the star attraction Harry Trotter himself!

Take a walk to the Pumpkin Patch, pick out a pumpkin, push up those sleeves, get stuck in and carve your pumpkin before taking home to enjoy your creative delight. A visit to the Pumpkin Patch will be £3.50, including pumpkins your own carving kit and a tealight.

A day at Cantref Adventure Farm is always a full fun day, but this October half term, we promise it will be more fun than ever before!! Halloween Bingo, Dress the Mummy,Pin the Nose on the Witch, Skeleton building & much more!! We’re having a Fancy Dress Competition so find your scariest costumes and give us a fright!!! Also there’s a Spooky Prize for every paying child who enters ourFrighfully Fun Treasure Hunt! so get your thinking caps on & follow the clues around the farm!

The popular event of Pumpkin Launching is back too so why not enter the competition & see if you can beat your brothers & sisters, mums & dads or your grandparents!!

This is all going on aswell as our much loved animal shows that happen every half hour from 11.00am through to 5.00pm & our Longest Sledge in Europe & our Swamp Ride are open ready for you to have a go.

What else do you need for a fun filled day? More here.

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Craig y Nos, Saith Maen, Cribarth & Dan yr Ogof

We hope you enjoy this walking route by Simply Strolling! It takes us from the wonderful Craig-y-Nos Country Park, through a trekking centre and up unto the beautiful open space to see our standing stones and hut circle remains, head towards the hulking mass that is Cribarth. We then retrace our steps along the tramroad, hit a boulder field and then skirt Castell y Geifr. We take a lovely route to an amazing array of fossils and then join the path that will eventually lead us back down into Dan-yr-Ogof. a short road section and then back into the Country Park and the car. And a lovely coffee shop!


Parking at the Country Park (SN 839 155) does afford a safe place to leave a car and as
previously mentioned a coffee shop to either frequent before the walk or after it. There is a small charge to park here but as it’s supporting the National Parks I refuse to complain about it!

Approximately 10km depending on how much wandering you do amongst the sites…. give yourself 4 hrs. Ability to navigate essential in bad weather. Shakeholes/Sinkholes, bogs and tough going underfoot, unless on the tramroad, when its lovely!
Heading out of the car park turn left and follow the road until you see a bridle way sign.
Cross the road and follow the fenced off paths.

I do have to say that the first part of the path was rather errrrr disgusting as you do go through a trekking centre, and all the associated horse manure seems to have been piled close to the stile you have to cross to access the path. It’s a case of man up, don’t think too much about it and go. Previously this stile had carabiners on is that you could tether the dogs to it while you climbed over but sadly these seem to have been removed. Be warned some dogs may find it difficult to get over this stile and the others on the route.
Follow the fenced off paths, I didn’t take any pics here as I was more concerned with keeping my footing on the muddy ground and two dogs just aching to be off the leads meant I was getting dragged up the path! Dogs stay on leads here. Horses and sheep around.

At one point you will see a break in the fence and a path leading up and another path off to the right with another stile at the end. You are going to turn right and climb over the stile. You will also cross a stream. the next section is a bit muddy, but clean mud this time!

Our next stop was Saith Maen , this is a row of seven stones (guess what Saith Maen
means…..) Five are still standing with the other two in situ but fallen over. Interestingly one of the stones is red sandstone, the rest aren’t. To find the stones, follow the path ahead which is an old quarry path, dug into the earth. it is boggy but at least it’s defined. You will want to veer slightly off course to head to the stones (grid reference in the link) . Don’t forget to turn around at this point and enjoy the views of the Tawe Valley.


From the stones if you look round you will see a dry stone wall with a stile and a gate. We are headed for this, after we find the hut circle and cairn marked on the map!

Avoiding the shakeholes head for the gate and stile. Climb over and you will see a path
directly in front of you. This is the remains of a tramroad or quarry road. The industrialisation of this area saw a huge amount of work go on up here, and even today, when you get onto Cribarth itself, you can see the evidence of the open cast coal mining scars from more modern times.BB£.jpg
As you follow the tramroad around Garreg Fawr, this is the view, please do note the huge
bog. That’s the more red/brown area in the picture and just behind you can see two great
examples of shakeholes, where the limestone underneath has collapsed due to it and or a layer below of another soluble rock being worn away by water. That’s a very simplistic way to describe it but it’s basically what happens, a stone that is soluble wears down and creates a cavern that the remaining stone will eventually collapse into.

Looking ahead you will see this…

For those of you interested in geology you will already know that this is a fine example of a geological “fault” where there has been movement of the earths tectonic plates and something has caused them to lift out of a flat position and basically rupture upwards, This one is part of the Swansea Valley or Neath Disturbance.

No matter what it’s called it great to clamber on and to see the different layers of rock and how they have been pushed up and out of context.

We did the best thing we could, wandered around and then sheltered around the back of this out of the wind and had lunch! In the October sunshine.


In the above picture you can see how the rock across the valley, above Penwyllt Quarry are looking like sea beds, in plateaus. Well at one point this was a warm lagoon, somewhere close to the equator and that’s why it’s shaped like that. We are on Carboniferous Limestone. After the Limestone comes Coal and then Farewell Rock. That’s where the coal seams finish and there is no more mining. If you are interested in the geology , take a look at this link. Rocks and the Geology of the Geo Park









After lunch we made our way up to the trig point on Cribarth, to see it’s Cairn and also to
look at the impressive workings evident on the back face. And to eat cake. There is always cake.


We then descended again and followed our trail back along the tramroad.
It should be noted that you can also go down the back and happily wander there and follow the track around the opposite side of Garreg Fawr if you fancy it, we were just looking for something a little easier going under foot.

When we retraced our steps to the stile we had crossed to get over the wall, we followed the boundary wall to it’s corner and followed it right. Again a bit on the boggy side but worth it.

There is a swallow hole located to your right, slightly different to a shake hole. If
carboniferous limestone is capped by impermeable rock, surface streams can run on to
limestone. However, this water disappears from the surface, either by seeping through joints in the limestone or as streams disappearing down through swallow holes.
Yep clear as mud to me too.

Following the wall, a lovely linear feature for all those who like to navigate, the whole way to the end at Carreg a ‘r Gap you have a choice, clamber the stile, at the massive erratic, and return to Craig-y-Nos through some of the most excellent examples of shakeholes you will come across, and indeed one in which a farmer has tried to build a wall across (Pwll-yrCawr) and one with a waterfall in it (Pwll-yr-Wydden).

Decision made and you’re heading onwards. You will also see to your left a rather cracking boulder field with some lovely erratics in situ. Do not believe the picture you will find online that these are Saith Maen….. they are natural, left there by retreating glaciers.

We however turned right and followed a track that would see us skirt Castell y Gefir and it’s shakehole field. The track is fairly distinct if somewhat narrow in places. In poor visibility navigation would be needed to keep on track.

Suddenly you hit a track that descends into a valley and as you come out the other side….
well if you like fossils……. I’m not going to give you the grid reference for this one, you
have to find it yourself! There is an abundance of coral fossils, brachiopod and gastropods.

So much so, we bored one dog, and she fell asleep…..



If anyone wants to see a slide show of fossils, I think I’ve a good hours worth of pictures……I have no idea how long we did actually spend there but it was fun! Heading back now again we are spoilt for the view.bbbb

And also a lovely red sandstone erratic….


We are on the home stretch now, we will descend down into the Dan-yr-Ogof site through
old limekiln workings and into the park itself.


as you wander down and through the campsite at Dan-yr-Ogof take a look out for the animals in the park…. I think this is a Llama cross Giraffe but I might be mistaken….

bbbbIf you head towards the main entrance /exit area you will see a field marked “burial
chamber”, there is a path through here which finishes at a stile before you hit the road, either come out the main entrance way or use this path.

Now there is a bit of road without footpath.

As quickly as you like head back towards Craig-y-Nos, you will come to a sign which says
1/4 mile to the park, quite soon after this is a gate that allows you into the back entrance of the country park and you can finish the walk off walking around the lake and back to the car.

We also came across this chap on the walk, I’m fairly certain it’s a Red Tiger Moth
caterpillar getting ready to over winter. Looks a bit like a small bottle brush…. I’ve named him Fred….bbbb.jpg

Here’s the GPX File link to OS Maps, not my exact route, that would have had a. some very strange blotches of me wandering in circles looking at fossils and b. as someone’s watch magically switched itself off whilst she was taking off her rucksack, and the  and b. as someone’s watch magically switched itself off whilst she was taking off her rucksack, and the watch route is missing about 3.5km! *never rely on technology*

Cribarth to Dan-yr-Ogof 


Click here for more info on this route! 

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Brecon Beacons – Our Landscape, Our National Park for 60 Years

7th October – 29th October

A photography exhibition at the Andrew Lamont Gallery, Theatr Brycheiniog which includes the work of 10 photographers who responded to an open call for landscape photography as part of the 60th anniversary of The Brecon Beacons National Park. The exhibition includes the framed work of each of the following photographers as well as prints that will be for sale:

Michael Field

Adam Tatton-Reid

Velvet Cole

Jon Roberts

Ade Ward

Lucy Gold

Sean Crawford

Neil Mansfield

Dan Santillo Photography

Thomas Roberts

 Image may contain: text
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