The Year of Adventure!-with Hawk Adventures

2016 is the Year of Adventure here in Wales and to celebrate, Hawk Adventures are offering a whole range of open activity days for couples and individuals to book on without the usual small group premium.

More information on these days and the dates they are running on can be found below. Each activity costs just £45 per person, or £65 if you do two activities in a day.

It all kicked off on the Weekend of Adventure back in April, a national celebration of adventure in Wales. We’ll be running Caving, Climbing Coasteering and Gorge Walking sessions throughout this year as our Adventures.

Keep an eye on what we have been up to and what’s coming up on our Facebook, Trip Advisor or Google pages.

Cave Tours
Forget small, muddy and scary, our cave tours are designed to show you the wonders of the underground world without the claustrophobic bits. We still dress you up in all the same gear but there are no belly crawls on hands and knees needed to see the beautiful formations and wildlife normally hidden from view.

  • June 19th
  • July 3rd
  • August 28th

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Gorge Walking
Our most popular activity involves climbing, hopping, traversing, wading and swimming your way up a river gorge to a climatic finish, jumping off cliffs and waterfalls.
We supply the wetsuit, footwear and safety gear, then your guide will lead the way along one of nature’s finest natural assault courses.

  • June 18th am
  • July 2nd am
  • August 27th am

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Coasteering
A dynamic journey through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty where you swim, scramble, climb and jump your way along along the coast, taking in sea caves, cliffs, beaches and forgotten coves.
This is quite a challenge so make sure you’re feeling fit and water confident. The tide dictates what time we start and if the swell is too big then we’ll change plans.

  • May 29th

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Rock Climbing
Get to grips with our local limestone and go climbing in the Brecon Beacons National Park. You can pick from a range of routes from easy to hard and short to long, all in a beautiful setting.
We’ll even throw in some Abseiling on the way down if you are feeling adventurous.

  • June 18th pm
  • July 2nd pm
  • August 27th pm

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More dates will be added so keep an eye out or register your interest by emailing Hawk Adventures

Mountain Skills
If you are thinking of getting out walking this summer, and would like to gain some more skills and confidence in getting out into the mountains, on or off the beaten track then, have a look at our Hill and Mountain Skills Courses from Mountain Training – our next course is running on June 4th and 5th.
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Getting Active on the Canal- Llangynidr to Pontymoile

If you prefer smooth water to rushing rapids, you’ll love our canal. Once an important transport route, it’s now a lovely place for lazy strolling and boating. Peaceful and rural, with a flavour of times gone by, it’s often voted Britain’s prettiest canal. It passes through a generous swathe of the Brecon Beacons National Park, with appealing towns and villages to visit on the way. Read on to plan your journey-with help from the Canal River Trust

This post will take you along the canal from Llangynidr to Pontymoile-click here for the journey from Brecon to Llangynidr.

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Llangynidr
Llangynidr Home to the Greenman Festival in the grounds of the Glanusk Estate. On the canal, Llangynidr is known for its locks. You can’t help but stop and watch a working lock, and you’ve five to choose from here. As well as being a beautiful wildlife and picnic spot, the pond between bridges 68 and 67 helps balance these locks with water.

Ashford Tunnel is 375 yards long with just of headroom!

nigel-forster-llangynidr-locks.jpg

Nigel Forster-LLangynidr Locks

Crickhowell | Crug Hywel
Look no further for your truly local shopping experience… butchers, bakers, books, arts, crafts… Ask a local, who will tell you how passionate the town is about keeping it local, so much that they’ve launched their own Totally Locally campaign http://www.totallylocallycrickhowell.co.uk

Llangattock | Llangatwg
Get off the canal here to see the impressive lime kilns or to visit Crickhowell. If you’re staying on, look out for the gigantic Redwood tree near bridge 113. Rumour has it that the iron used for the gates at Buckingham Palace was brought down from Nantyglo Ironworks and transported on from the wharf here at Llangattock.

Gilwern
You are just about at the halfway way point of the canal. It was close to bridge 110 that the first building work started on the canal in 1796.

Govilon | Gofilon
This small village, split across the centre by the canal, once played a much bigger role in the iron industry, today noted by its inclusion in the Blaenavon World Heritage site. Up above Govilon towards Blaenavon you’ll find the memorial plaque and burial site of 1952 Olympic Gold Medal show jumping horse, Foxhunter.

Llanfoist | Llan-ffwyst
As you come into the picturesque wharf at Llanfoist, there are some small steps heading down to the road and tunnel that runs under the canal. From here you can walk the old Hills Tramroad, which linked the canal to Blaenavon Ironworks during its heyday in the early 19th Century.

Abergavenny | Y Fenni
Behind the Norman castle, on the edge of the town and River Usk, this market town really knows how to throw a festival. The calendar is full of events in Abergavenny. Turn up in June and you’ll join the greats of the road bike world for its Festival of Cycling, then come back in September to get your taste buds tingling at Abergavenny Food Festival.

Llanover | Llanofer
Next time you hear the chimes of Big Ben, remember that Llanover was once home to its namesake, Lord Llanover, Benjamin Hall.

Goytre Wharf | Glanfa Goetre
Boats, canoes, trails and a tea stop. The wharf at Goytre has it all. A good place to stop and have a chat to one of the team that work on the canal. They are a mine of information on its history and the area.

Pontymoile Basin |Basn Pont-y-moel
The joining point of the Monmouthshire Canal to the Brecon and Abergavenny Canal at the Tollhouse in 1812 to form today’s Mon & Brec. Hop off the canal to enjoy a stroll around the nearby Pontypool Park. For the more adventurous, you’re just a short jump away from the dry ski slope.

Set up your fishing rod and relax on the canal bank… There are a number of locations you can fish along the canal..

  • Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association Downstream of Brecon Basin to Bridge 153 Day permits available from Edwards Newsagents, 50 Watton, Brecon, LD3 7EL T: 01874 623304
  • Waterway Wanderers Scheme Buy your permit in advance. Contact Mr John Harding on j.harding048@btinternet.com or telephone 01829 732748.
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Bwlch With Altitude Challenge

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Bwlch with Altitude is a family friendly navigational challenge in the Black Mountains region of the Brecon Beacons National Park, which can be conducted either by walking or on your mountain bike.  It is a team event (minimum 2; maximum 8 members per team), whilst navigating the routes you will have to answer some basic questions and collect mementos and there will also be a prize for the best photograph taken during the challenge.

There are 3 Challenges for you to choose from, they are:

  1. A 15 mile circular mountain bike route – ideal training for the Brecon Beast. Entry fee £8 adult & £4 Junior (Early Bird booking) the cost will be higher if booked on the day of the event (£10 adult & £5 Junior).  This route requires entrants to have some experience – it contains steep ascents/descents over rough terrain.  Riders will have to wear a safety helmet.
  2. A 12 mile circular walk – ideal training for WAAT4. Entry fee £8 adult & £4 Junior (Early Bird booking*) the cost will be higher if booked on the day of the event (£10 adult & £5 Junior).
  3. A 5 mile circular walk – ideal for families of all ages.  Entry fee £4 adult & £2 Junior (Early Bird booking) the cost will be higher if booked on the day of the event (£6 adult & £4 Junior).  A family ticket is also available (2 adults & 2 juniors) for £10 (Early Bird booking) the cost will be higher if booked on the day of the event £15.

There will be donations made to the following:
Brecon Mountain Rescue Team
Llangynidr Primary School
Llangorse Primary School

On the day Bwlch Village Hall will be open from 9am, refreshments will be available.

Challenge start times:

  1. Mountain Bike Route – 10am
  2. Long walking route – 10.15am
  3. Short walking route – 11am

Click here for more information 

* To take advantage of the Early Bird offer, click here register online before Tuesday 31st May 2016.

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Getting Active on the Canal- Brecon to Llangynidr

If you prefer smooth water to rushing rapids, you’ll love our canal. Once an important transport route, it’s now a lovely place for lazy strolling and boating. Peaceful and rural, with a flavour of times gone by, it’s often voted Britain’s prettiest canal. It passes through a generous swathe of the Brecon Beacons National Park, with appealing towns and villages to visit on the way. Read on to plan your journey-with help from the Canal River Trust

Brecon to Llangynidr 

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We begin the journey along the canal in the Town of Brecon and finish in Llangynidr. Watch our blog for the next part of the journey!

Brecon | Aberhonddu
History, heritage, culture, arts and some fantastic local ale… this market town really packs a punch. And beyond that, it’s a great place to start your exploring. Get on your bike, meander on a boat trip or hire a canoe and head downstream to find a picnic spot. Pack up your fishing rod to find your spot on the towpath, or just take a stroll around one of the many walks of the area. Check out our Town Guide of Brecon here.

Brynich
Something to think about as you enjoy your packed lunch at the picnic spot at Brynich… firstly the aqueduct; it crosses the River Usk and is the largest on this canal. Secondly, if you notice the number on the lock here [69], that gives an indication of how many locks once existed on this canal.

Pencelli
With the big bend in the canal at Pencelli, it’s not hard to believe that the moat at the former Pencelli Castle was used to make part of the canal here.

Talybont-on-Usk | Tal-y-bont ar Wysg
A good central activity hub for the upper section of the canal, with numerous walks, including an uphill stroll to the nearby reservoir; canoe launches; cycle hire; or just a great place to rest up, enjoy lunch in a pub or a cream tea in the local shop.

talybont-on-usk-canal.jpg

Talybont on Usk Canal

Llangynidr
Llangynidr Home to the Greenman Festival in the grounds of the Glanusk Estate. On the canal, Llangynidr is known for its locks. You can’t help but stop and watch a working lock, and you’ve five to choose from here. As well as being a beautiful wildlife and picnic spot, the pond between bridges 68 and 67 helps balance these locks with water.

Ashford Tunnel is 375 yards long with just of headroom!

nigel-forster-llangynidr-locks.jpg

Nigel Forster-Llangynidr Locks

Take a boat trip… Hire a narrowboat, paddle your own canoe, or take a day trip with a number of hire companies along the canal. The following can be found between Brecon and Llangynidr. 

Get on your bike and ride… The full length of the canal is accessible by bike and links in to National Cycle Network routes such as the Taff Trail.

Click here for the full version of the map and for more information

There’s all sorts of wildlife to be seen as you explore the canal. Mallards, moorhens, swans, butterflies and dragonflies are often around and if you’re lucky you may spot a frog or a kingfisher. Look out for shy, elusive mammals, too, such as otters, water voles and bats. To find out more, visit our pages on Wildlife-watching, birdwatching and nature trails or check out our blog here.

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Celebrate National Go Canoeing Week with Want to Canoe?

160x600_WideSkyScraper.jpgSo this half-term week in Hay on Wye, right next to WANT TO CANOE? HQ it is the world famous Hay Literature Festival as well as the‘How The Light Gets In Festival’. . . you can join us on the river to escape the festival buzz for a while and enjoy some peace and tranquility! It also happens to be NATIONAL GO CANOEING WEEK so you can #JoinTheJourney with us and clock up some official miles on the River Wye!

Canoeing with us is a great way to have some fun in the outdoors, get a gentle work-out, oxidise and blast those bleary eyes from last night at the festival or simply just sit back and enjoy the breath-taking wildlife and scenery . . .

Book our hire-canoes and head off on your own or even better join one of our guided adventures. . . a bespoke set of tours for groups/families/staff teams etc covering a glorious stretch of the Mid-Wye from Glasbury on Wye, through Hay on Wye to Whitney on Wye. Having a guide means being able to learn basic canoe-skills or brush up on existing skills and techniques, play games and make the most out of the new skills you’ve been practicing, also take in the scenery and wildlife more easily.

Set yourself a challenge. . . Our Challenge Paddle provides you with the opportunity to complete a six mile route in a handpicked, scenic location, in your own time and at your own pace.

Everyone who takes part in one of our Challenge Paddles will receive a Go Canoeing medal for their efforts and the mileage completed can be registered with us to help us reach our overall target! You’ll also be entered into our prize draw to be in with a chance of winning some awesome prizes. . . #JoinTheJourney

The Wye is by far one of the most beautiful rivers in the British Isles and one of the few you can navigate by canoe, without restriction, for well over 100 miles. want to canoe offer you the chance to embark on a relaxing river adventure from two different start-points, all with their own unique sights, sounds and smells. Along your journey, you can expect to see a number of spectacular and fascinating characters in their natural habitats, including kingfishers, herons, cormorants, dragonflies, ducks, swans and otters
all from the prime viewpoint of your canoe. #FindYourEpic

Pre-booking is advised but not essential and we have an enormous fleet of versatile Old Town Canadian Canoes available to hire including two-man, three-man and family options. We supply all the kit you need as well as the all-important return transport at the end of your challenge. There’s also a complimentary cup of tea or coffee on arrival while you are completing paperwork and planning your route with the team.

You will receive a thorough safety-briefing and practice paddle before you head off downstream so be assured you are in very safe hands. Challenge Guided Tours are also available!

Alternatively, if you have your own boat and equipment you can bring it down, we will arrange your logistics and support!

To find out more call Want to Canoe? Tel: 01497 820604 or Email: hire@canoehire.co.uk

Check out our blog on what else you can get up to this half term!

 

 

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Ten Things to do and see during Hay Festival

The world-renowned Hay Festival takes place in the small Welsh Town of Hay-on-Wye on the edge of the Brecon Beacons each year. The literary event attracts novelists, poets, scientists, musicians and comedians who congregate to celebrate great writing, music and comedy. This year’s festival runs from Thursday 26th May until Sunday 5th June

Festival site © Finn Beales

There are 700 events over 10 days running from breakfast until midnight feasts across seven venues at the 2016 Hay Festival.

If you are coming to this year’s festival, then heading into town is a must.  Hay on Wye is full of interesting places to visit and is a short walk (or shuttle bus ride) away from the festival site.

Have a read of our top ten things to do during Hay Festival for ideas.

1. Head to one of the many second hand bookshops 

© Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

Explore one of the many independent bookshops. Hay has a lot – it’s not known as the town of books for nothing. There is something for everyone.

© Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

2. Wander around Hay Castle

You can’t miss the Castle as it is located in the center of the market town.   Inside the grounds there are lots of shops for you to peruse.

3.Hire a bike

© Drover Cycles

Hire a bike from Drover Cycles they have bikes for roadies, mountain bikers and leisure riders. And if you want to take the string out of the hills, they have electric bikes too. Contact them here.

4. Buy an Ice-Cream
Pop into Shepherds to buy a delicious homemade ice-cream, then sit down and eat it. They also serve a great coffee and cake! Perfect way to watch the world go by.

5. Explore all the wonderful independent shops
Shop! Hay has a great range of shops where you can buy anything from clothes to decorative nick-nacks.

6. Hire a canoe
Hire a canoe and spend some time discovering the beautiful River Wye. Contact canoe hire companies here. 

7. Find yourself a pub and sample a local ale
Get yourself into a local pub, there are plenty to try in Hay.  Have a look here

8. Go on a walk to the beach
Despite being landlocked, Hay on Wye has its very own beach. Yes, really. The Warren is a pebble beach about a 20 minute walk from town, find out more here

© Hay Warren

9. Go on a Hay Tour

Discover the history of a Hay by going on a Hay Tour. All the guides are local volunteers SPAB+Castle+Dave.jpgwho enjoy bringing the stories of Hay to life, many of which can be uncovered just by walking along the main streets of the town. During the Hay Festival they will be running a selection of tours including the Hay Railway Tour, Hay Heritage Trail, theSwan Loop,Armstrong Murder Trail and the Eliza Trail. For more information and to book click here

10. Attend How The Light Gets In, the philosophy and music festival

© How the light gets in

Check out HowTheLightGetsIn , the philosophy and music festival that’s part of the Hay Festival Fringe. It’s on at the arts venue The Globe At Hay among others, from the 26th May until 5th June. Perfect way to spend an evening as there are some interesting performances to take in.  find the full programme here.

Click here for our town guide to Hay-On-Wye

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Things to do this Spring Half Term

There are plenty of things to do this May Half Term with your family, come rain or shine! 

Myth and magic on the half term menu at the National Botanic Garden of Wales
The Lady of the Lake and the Physicians of Myddfai are the stars of the show for half-term story-telling fun at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. The myths and legends of ancient Carmarthenshire will take centre stage in the Garden with lots of dressing up and craft-making fun as the apothecary hall comes alive.nat2.png

And if you’ve ever wondered how they treated wounds in medieval times, now’s your chance to find out. There will be special 13th century-style Holby City wound-dressing sessions. There will be blood!

There is also an impressive supporting cast promising magic, music, water zorbing and balloon modelling.

The half-term kicks off with the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend of fun for all the family. Resident Folly Farm magician Luke Jugglestruck will be in the Garden on the Saturday and the Monday and there will be a delightful display of dolls’ house and wood carving demonstrations on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Honat.pngliday Monday.
Carmarthen Modellers and Dinefwr Photographic Club will be showing of their work, too, all bank holiday weekend.

The Garden is open from 10am to 6pm with last entry at 5pm. Entry is FREE for Garden members and parking is FREE for all.

For more information about this or other events, call 01558 667149 or email info@gardenofwales.org.uk or visit our website https://botanicgarden.wales/

Join in the fun at Cantref Adventure Farm
Live shows every half an hour including Bottle Feeding, Pig Racing, Tractor & Trailer Ride, along with Europe’s largest Super Sledge Ride. You are guaranteed a fun filled family day out this school holiday whatever the weather.May Half Term

Don’t forget to bring your favourite Teddy Bear to Cantref this half term for a fun Teddy’s Bear Picnic on 1st June 2016.

Dan Yr Ogof Showcaves
Visit Dan Yr Ogof Showcaves, spot over 200 life size dinosaur models and visit the Shire Horse Centre this half term. The 3 different caves Dan-yr-Ogof, Cathedral Cave and Bone Cave each offer a unique underground experience, with their dinosaur collection being one of the largest in the world. The Shire Horse Centre offers the excitement of the 2 covered children’s play areas, the farmyard area, and make friends with the gentle giants – the Shire horses who are waiting to say hello. Include the Iron Age village, museum, and stone circles, and you have plenty to see and do for all ages, and for those who may want a break, there is our Coffee shop, and the Rock and Dinosaur shop to enjoy.

Visit the Old Railway Line Garden Centre for thier ‘Father’s Day’ Wild Wednesday – Wednesday 1st JuneFather's Day Wild Wednesday

Our Wild Wednesday workshops offer a fun and creative workshop for children every Wednesday during school holidays. This session is packed with Father’s Day themed fun. Prior payment and booking is required. Click here to book and for more events
Join the Angel Hotel Abergavenny,  this half term, for their very own soft toy making workshop in the Ballroom!

Half Term Animal Stuffing both.jpg

World War 1 returns to Blaenavon Ironworks 
Dates:28/05/2016 10:30 – 29/05/2016 16:00
This 2 day event features weaponry displays and military life demonstrations from Great War actors, working blacksmiths, lathe turners, spook makers and other crafts people demonstrating their skills, traditional Edwardian Fairground stalls for children, facepainting ( 28th only) and the Pashy Pops & music of the Great War (28th only). The Gwent In The Great War mobile exhibition will also be on site showing the part South Wales played in the Great War. More here

Free entry for all 10am – 4pm.

Click here to find out what else is going on this May including the lineup for How the Light Gets in Festival!

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