St. David’s Day – Celebrate All Things Welsh!

The day to celebrate everything Welsh, St. David’s Day, is just around the corner. Parades, entertainment, daffodils, and folk costumes! But there are other ways to celebrate by loving your environment and appreciating the Welsh land right in front of you.

Here are some of the things you can do this St. David’s Day:

1. Crickhowell Walking Festival – running from 27 Feb – 7 March it offers plenty of old and new walks to enjoy.

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©Kevin Walker

©Kevin Walker

2. Black Mountain Activities – There’s plenty of things to do here, from caving to archery, white water rafting to paintballing. It’s a great way to experience the outdoors, appreciate Welsh lands, and have fun!

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© Brecon Beacons National Park

© Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

3. Cantref Riding Centre – View the vast Welsh landscape of Brecon Beacons on horseback. Saddle up and trek across hills and plains, and see sights that will take your breath away.

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web_Offa's Dyke Path near Hay Bluff

© Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

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4. Geocaching – like a little treasure hunt, explore the lands while searching for surprises hidden around the area. With over 180 geocaches, it’s a great way to explore.

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5. Wildlife Spotting – There are so many species of animals to find. Search for creatures while adventuring through the Welsh wilderness!

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Crickhowell Walking Festival 2015

Lace up your boots and get ready for the Crickhowell Walking Festival. From this Saturday 28 Feb to 8 March, the Brecon Beacons will be a hub for walkers of every experience, ability or age.

©Kevin Walker

©Kevin Walker

Up and down steep hills, traversing rough terrain… Every walk has its own challenges and sights to see. One walk will take you past aircraft crash sites, while another will get you nice and muddy as you hike. Spots for walks are filling fast, so grab your place as fast as you can!

Since there are 84 in total, walks of all difficulties are available, as well as other activities and events such as bushcraft courses, foraging, pub quizzes, and a music for St. David’s Day. It’s not just all walking!

Don’t forget about the CWF photo contest, where you could win a pair of Scarpa Delta Walking Boots if you hand in the best photo. Last year’s winner was a beautiful shot of the snowy Beacons. Can you top it this year?

© Ceridwen Coulson

© Ceridwen Coulson

A few highlights

Lunch at Llanthony – Walk both sides of the lower Honddu, then have lunch in the crypt at Llanthony Abbey. This 11 mile walk takes place Wednesday, 4 March and is £7.50 to participate.

All Around Waun Fach – This 16 mile walk takes you around the Grwyne ridges, without touching Waun Fach. It takes place Thursday, 5 March and is £7.50 to participate.

The Fan Dance Challenge – Mimmic the SAS as you climb up to Pen Y Fan carrying the full weight of a 40lb backpack, rifle, and water (though it’s by no means required). This 16 mile hike takes place Sunday, 1 March, and is £7.50 to participate.

For more walks and how to sign up, visit CrickhowellFestival.com.

©Crickhowell Walking Festival 2012

©Crickhowell Walking Festival 2012

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Double Whammy for Talgarth Mill!

Hot on the heels of the notification that they are finalists in the National Tourism Awards 2015, The Bakers’ Table at Talgarth Mill received two  more fantastic pieces of news.

©Talgarth Mill

©Talgarth Mill

‘We are pleased to announce that The Bakers’ Table has been shortlisted as one of the top 20 entries to the Best Small Shops Competition 2015.

Your business was selected by an independent panel of judges from hundreds of high quality applicants from a wide range of retail sectors throughout the UK.

The Best Small Shop 2015 will be chosen from the 20 shortlisted shops and announced at the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group, Westminster Reception on 25th February 2015.’

©Talgarth Mill

©Talgarth Mill

 

 

 

Later they received a phone call from the Producer of the BBC Radio Four Food and Farming Awards with the news that –

‘The Bakers’ Table has been nominated in the Food Producer category for this years BBC Food & Farming Awards and our judges have selected you to go on the longlist.  This means that it has gone through to the next stage of the judging process and will go forward to a full judges meeting next week to determine the three finalists.’

‘We are absolutely delighted to have been nominated for this award by our customers’ said Nicola, ‘and will be sending some of our 100% Talgarth bread (Bara Felinwr) along with a Bara Brith by courier on Monday for the judges to taste on Tuesday. Thank you to all who nominated us.’ 

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Pancake Day: Top 5 Recipes

Pancake Day is nearly here, and perhaps you’re tired of plain old pancakes. Maybe you didn’t know all of the things you could do with this simple dish. Here’s a few of our favourite pancake recipes and where you can get some of the ingredients locally:

  1. Beer & Bacon “Mancakes” – Too manly for regular pancakes? Try some of these “mancakes” on for size. Only real men can handle these pancakes. Don’t forget to pick up some
    © Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

    © Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

    bacon from Coity Bach Produce.

  1. Crème Brûlée Pancake– For something a bit classier, try these delicious pancakes that taste like a crème brûlée. Topped off with some fresh raspberries, these pancakes are sure to be a hit. Grab some much-needed butter from Grenfells & Sons.
  1. Peach Pancakes with Butter Sauce– Slightly healthier than our other options, and a lot quicker to prepare, these pancakes have a peachy taste for you fruit lovers. Grab some flour from Talgarth Mill.

    © Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

    © Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

  1. Red Velvet With Cream Cheese Glaze– If you’d prefer sweets for breakfast, or pancakes for desert, this recipe is perfect for you. Stop by the Beacons Farm Shop for some eggs.
  1. Stardust Chocolate Pancakes– Named for their night sky appearance, thanks to powdered sugar sprinkled on top, these chocolate pancakes are absolutely heavenly. Top it off with some ice cream from Llanfaes Dairy, and you’ve got a wonderful desert.

For places to eat in Brecon Beacons, click here.

 

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New Abergavenny Video – Just Taste It!

A new video showcasing the spectacular beauty of the Welsh town of Abergavenny has been launched this week, with the aim of helping to attract new visitors to the area.

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 14.19.10

The video is a celebration of all that makes Abergavenny unique. The footage, taken using the latest aerial drone technology, offers a unique, never before seen view of Abergavenny – capturing the exciting hustle and bustle of one of its signature cultural events, The Abergavenny Food Festival, as well as providing a glimpse into the stunning landscape that surrounds the town.

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Andrew Williams, Sustainable Tourism Officer, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “This video offers potential visitors a chance to catch a glimpse of what Abergavenny and the surrounding area has to offer, including stunning countryside to walk and cycle in, a welcoming town full of independent shops and an array of year round festivals and events. The video will be a key promotional tool for the town to use to promote itself and help put the town on the map.”

Abergavenny is a versatile, surprising and beautiful town. Visitors come to Abergavenny to eat, to walk, to shop, to ride and to get away from the hustle and bustle of cities. Against a stunning backdrop of rolling hills that lift and dip, this traditional bustling market town, long considered to be a gateway to Wales and to the Brecon Beacons National Park, boasts an internationally renowned food festival and a rich history as well as being a fun day out.

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The town attracts a wide range of visitors - from foodies to families and, with a welcoming population of just over 14,000, visitors are greeted by the wonderful Abergavenny hospitality and a town that is more than pleased to accommodate.
Abergavenny has great connections by road, rail and bus. Despite the area’s amazing rural location, it’s just one hour from Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea and less than three hours from London along the M4. The town is well connected, with frequent train and bus services from Newport and Cardiff, Hereford, Shrewsbury and Manchester to the north.

 
More information can be obtained from the National Park & Tourist Information Centre, or via the VisitAbergavenny website

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Top 10 Valentine’s Day Ideas

It’s that time of year again; time to stand in line for flowers and wish you’d bought chocolates earlier. But what if you want to do something different for your love this Valentine’s Day? Perhaps a weekend holiday would be just what you and your sweetheart need.

  1. Get engaged - With Adventure Britain, stags or hens go free if engaged on Valentine’s Day, and they don’t have to take place on the same dates. If you book before the end of February you get a free bottle of champagne!

    © Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

    © Brecon Beacons National Park Authority 

  2. Go Stargazing - Brecon Beacons is a Dark Sky Reserve. Join us on Valentine’s Day with your loved one for an Evening With an Astronomer where you will learn about the night sky and its constellations.
  3. Arts and Crafts Fayre - Browse a wide selection of locally and handmade arts and crafts. Don’t forget to grab a gift for that special someone. Admission is free.
  4. Take a hike through the park together. Short and long walks are available,
    © Brecon Beacons National Park

    © Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

    as well as geotrails and more.

  5. Craig-y-Nos Country Park - A romantic area with a lot of history and a beautiful landscape to gaze at with your sweetheart. And it’s open 24 hours a day!
  6. Rent a cottage - If you act quickly, you can get quite a great discount for your weekend getaway. Quote Breconlove for 20% off of all bookings for February and March. Visit www.brecon-cottages.co.uk or give them a ring at 07837 010356.
  7. Go sailing together on Llangorse Lake. There is a launch fee, but you can spend precious alone time together on the open water.
  8. Go Caving - With as many caves Brecon Beacons has, it would be a shame not to go caving with your loved one. There are three different caving experiences, for beginners, intermediate cavers, and advanced cavers.
  9. © Brecon Beacons National Park

    © Brecon Beacons National Park

    Brecon Mountain Railway - A short, relaxing little train ride past Pontsticil Reservoir beginning at Pant Station.

  10. Horse Riding and Pony Trekking - The best way to see the landscape is by horseback with someone you love. Brecon Beacons offers some of the best riding in Europe.
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Greed The Rock Opera – it’s an activist fairytale with guitars

A new Welsh rock opera written in Brecon is set to premiere at Theatr Brycheiniog on Friday 27th February! 

Greed Band Promo

Greed Band Promo 

Greed The Rock Opera was written by Nigel Evans and recorded over 18 months, using nearly 30 Brecon singers, musicians and actors whose number include a nurse, a cab driver and a town councillor. Greed, the first ever activist rock opera, is a musical protest and reaction to bankers bonuses, big corporations, austerity and government cuts – a theme that brought the Brecon performers together.

Ex-Stranglers manager, Dai Davies has also called it the first ever ‘Facebook Opera’.

The rock opera was recorded during 2014, at night-time, in a disused storeroom above the local tack shop. The finished recording features hystrionic metal guitar work from joinery teacher Billy Strangward, narration from local cab driver David Luther Jones and rousing choruses from members of the Aberhonddu Male Choir.

A scaled back version of Greed The Rock Opera was roadtested live on audiences at Brecon Fringe Festival in August. Festival goers were in turn, enthusiastic and shocked.

Greed Jamie Thomas Promo 090115

Ex-journalist Evans says: “Greed is about the big bad world we live in but I’ve shrunk the world in Greed to make it easier to follow. It’s about hapless politicians in Abertaff and the evil bankers like Rotkin who control them. Greed is about the fake world we live in where 1% own 99% of the wealth. It’s about the debt controlled slavery system we’re manacled to called money. It’s a love story really.”

“It’s terrifying actually but quite exciting at the same time, when people like Owen Jones and Russell Brand talk about revolution. It’s inevitable though. The world has to change and that change begins with us.”

Greed Nigel Evans Promo Crop 090115

 

Greed The Rock Opera premieres at Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon on Friday February 27 and continues at Redhouse in Merthyr on Friday March 20.

Call 01874 611622 for tickets or book online at www.brycheiniog.co.uk (Brecon)

Call 01685 384111 or go to www.redhousecymru.com (Merthyr)

 

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