There are lots of events planned to celebrate King Goodwell Zwelithini’s visit to Visit Brecon in July.
Zulus will be welcomed into Brecon this July, making a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the descendants of the Zulu warriors who fought at Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. There will be several evening performances at Theatr Brycheniog and a special concert at the Cathedral. Read on for a schedule of events.
21st July – 1 pm – 5.30 pm Pageant at Brecon Barracks to Welcome King Goodwell. – FREE ENTRY
22nd July- A concert to Celebrate King Goodwill Zwelithini’s visit to Wales at Brecon Cathadral. 7.30pm find out more and book tickets here
KING CETSHWAYO THE MUSICAL at Theatr Brycheniog
Tracing the life of this heroic Zulu leader, King Cetshwayo: The Musical is a vibrant and colourful production performed by over 20 artists as well as live musicians from South Africa which combines theatre, film and traditional Zulu and Shembe dance movements.The story tells of the Zulu’s defiance against the English and Welsh Regiments during the Anglo Zulu Wars, and the victories that re-inspired the pride of a nation.
Motorbikers Rev up for Llandovery Motorbike Weekend, which takes place next weekend.
The local community in Llandovery, at the western gateway to the Brecon Beacons National Park, are inviting bikers to make time for more than a pit-stop at the picturesque, historic town with a special Motorbike Weekend on 6th -7th July – to show fans of the steel horse just what it has to offer!
Hundreds of motorcyclists pass through Llandovery every year, stop for a cup of tea and then travel on to other destinations. This summer Llandovery is hosting a weekend centred around motorcycles in a bid to give riders a more complete picture of the town, and a reason to stick around longer.
The weekend will include the following:
Vintage Bike Displays
First Aid Training
Fete & Gala Stalls
Arts & Craft Stalls
Youth & Biker Crier Competition
Health and Wellbeing
Live Music and much more!
Two of the key event organisers are Jonah and Sue MacGill, who run a five star self-catering holiday cottage near the town. Sue said: “Llandovery is already a magnet for bikers, so we’re celebrating that by welcoming and promoting responsible motorcycling in what promises to be a really exciting weekend.”
Found Gallery – will open its doors on the 5th July. The new contemporary art gallery is on The Bulwark in Brecon. Found is situated in a prominent position, opposite Y Gaer, the new community hub, museum, gallery and library that is also due to open this summer.
Local residents, Punch and James Maughan, have been working on Found Gallery for the last year – aiming to build on their support for the arts having hosted Art @ No 10 for seven years and Punch more recently working as the Visual Arts Coordinator at Theatr Brycheiniog.
Their first exhibition, ‘First Found’, opens to the public on Friday, July 5th and will run until Sunday, August 4th. First Found will feature a group of artists and makers from across Wales as well as the iconic documentary photographer Roger Tiley. Roger, ceramicist Kim Colebrook and water colourist Philip Ross are connected by the poignant theme of mining, a story that has always resonated with the Maughans. The exhibition will include Kim’s graduate piece ‘Survival’ – a memorial to Aberfan. Other makers in the exhibition have been chosen ….because they loved them!
In the 1930s 1, Bulwark was a shop called ‘Ships and Sealing Wax’, an eclectic phrase from the poem ‘The Walrus and The Carpenter’ by Lewis Carroll. As part of the first exhibition, and ongoing, the Maughans have captured some of this history by commissioning a print maker from West Wales to do a series of collagraphs of the characters in the poem. As Ships and Sealing Wax the shop was run by the Murray family of Penpont and a sales ledger lent by Penpont will be framed in the gallery.
Found will be hosting three events relating to the first exhibition: Saturday July 13th. 2pm ‘Kim Colebrook, Ceramicist, in Conversation’ Kim will talk about her journey, late in life, to become a ceramics artist; how she has linked her new passion for clay to her career in heritage and tourism; and will explore her approach to creating the group of works that remember one of south Wales’ worst disasters, Aberfan.
Wednesday, 17th July. 2pmCeri Thompson , the curator of the Coal Mining Collections for Big Pit, National Coal Museum will discuss the life of Dr Henry Naunton Davies who was from a family of Rhondda doctors in the 19th century. He came to the notice of the wider world for his actions during the rescue of trapped men from the Tynewydd Inundation of 1877, for which he was awarded the first British Medical Association Gold Medal.
Sunday August 4th. 2pm ‘Roger Tiley – Reflections on life as a Documentary Photographer’Roger will be sharing his work on the last day of the First Found exhibition talking about why it is important for him, as a documentary photographer and film maker, to become part of a community. Roger is currently working on an approximately 90 minute documentary film about life in the Dulais Valley, South Wales, talking to some of the real life characters from the much loved film, Pride.
Found’s ongoing exhibitions will celebrate the diversity of talent across Wales and beyond, featuring established artists and makers, the hidden secrets that are discovered and graduates who are emerging as the next generation of the artist community! The summer exhibition ‘Jazz Finds’ will open on August 8th to coincide with the well-established Brecon Jazz Festival. This exhibition will feature the jazz paintings of John Clare, founder of Honest Jon’s Records and connected to the 100 Club in London, some never seen jazz photographs by the very well-known photographer John Bulmer; as well as black and white photography by Max Farrar taken in the jazz scene in Leeds in the 1980s. Jazz Finds will include 5 other makers responding to the musical theme.
May is National Walking Month and Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark are encouraging everyone to get outdoors and discover the western half of the Brecon Beacons National Park. There are plenty of short rambles over low ground, hillforts with impressive views or longer hikes if you want to make a day of it. With walks to suit all abilities get your walking boots on and discover the Fforest Fawr Geopark. Here are a few ideas for places to go and what there is to see in May.
Bluebells in bloom
the National Park the bluebells are blooming. At Castle Woods at Dinefwr
Park and Castle near Llandeilo, walk through the woodland carpeting
with lilac flowers, to the castle at the top for 360 views of the Wales. In
Brecon visit Priory Groves next to the Cathedral, a mixed woodland full of bluebells
Craig-y-nos Country Park
Historic Park and Garden in the Upper Swansea Valley has plenty of
short walks through woodlands, meadows, past rivers and fishponds. Plan a visit
for Wednesday 29th May and join in the fun of GeoFest
Family Activity Day. Perfect for a family day out, try canoeing, stone-carving
or the popular zip wire. All activities are free.
Head up a
steep ascent to the rocky slopes of Cribarth,
a spectacular hill rising above Craig-y-nos Country Park in the upper Swansea
Valley (Cwm Tawe). The 3.25mile walking trail visits the remains of a quarry,
limestone crags and unfinished sections of 19th century industrial tramroads.
Views of the Tawe Valley and Fan Gyhirch make it a better option for a clear
Discover aNational Nature Reserve
Pen-y-cae at 350m above sea level is the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu
Nature Reserve. Herb-rich grasslands grow on the limestone and there
are views across South Wales and the Brecon
Beacons. For a gentle, easy walk you can follow the old railway line along the
side of the valley or walk to the heart of the reserve following the old
tramway. Or wander Craig
Cerrig-gleisiad a Fan Frynych National Nature Reserve near Storey
Arms. A short walk leads you to an atmospheric natural amphitheatre created by
the soaring, craggy cliffs. Take binoculars to spot some of the many birds that
use the reserve and arctic-alpine plants that live on the craggy northern
Head for the mountains
With three mountain ranges in the
Fforest Fawr Geopark, there are more options for a summit hike than just Pen y
Fan. In the centre of the Geopark is the Fforest Fawr Massif,
with the peaks of Fan Fawr and Fan Frynych. Far out west is the more remote Black
Mountain range with magical glacial lakes and spectacular views,
especially from the summit of Fan Brycheiniog. Take a day, plan your route and
get to know the wilder west of the Park.
Hike a hillfort
western half of the Brecon Beacons National Park has many Iron Age Hillforts.
The shorter walks can be done in under two hours and suitable for less
experienced walkers. Pen-y-Crug, just above Brecon, has impressive
archaeological remains and breath-taking views of the Central Beacons. Twyn y
Gaer is a short walk across Mynydd Illtud
Common from the National
Park Visitor Centre at
Libanus. And Garn Goch, located between Llangadog and Llandeilo, is
one of the largest Iron Age forts in Wales.
Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark is a geologically significant part of the
Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. It covers the western half of the Park,
from Llandovery in the north to Merthyr Tydfil in the south and from Llandeilo
in the west to Brecon in the east. The purpose of the Geopark is to generate
social, environmental and economic benefits. The Geopark is currently
participating in a project to create a European Atlantic Geotourism Route which
aims to support the development of Geotourism in a number of destinations
through the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal. This project is
co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg
Atlantic Area Programme.
Black Mountains Smokery have some great serving suggestions which will get your taste buds tingling and some foodie gift ideas for Christmas, Easter, birthdays and all occasions.
Smoked foods are perfect party food – ready to eat and easy to prepare.
A garnished side of award-winning Oak Roasted Salmon served with buttered new potatoes, roasted beetroot and dill sauce, is the easiest way to entertain family and friends. Alternatively, enjoy carving their gorgeous Glazed Free Range Ham, served with oven baked potatoes and a selection of the Smokery’s fabulous locally made chutneys and preserves.
Produce an impressive starter in seconds with Smoked Duck sliced into a salad with seasonal fruit or berries and roasted nuts.
Conjure up canapés in the blink of an eye.
With a stunning sliced side of Smoked Salmon and a jar of dill sauce, you have the makings of beautiful, classic blini.
Gourmet Food Gifts and Luxury Hampers – Look no further for the finest presents for foodies.
Black Mountains Smokerys’ hampers range from the Taste for Two Hamper, a perfect introduction to smoked foods at £49, to the mighty Classic Crickhowell Wicker Hamper (£375) which combines smoked salmon, duck and chicken with cheeses, chocolates, pates and all manner of accompaniments – all beautifully packed in a traditional wicker hamper – everything you could need for a luxury spread in one go!
Treat your loved one to a Smoked Food Gift Voucher, allowing them to choose their favourite smoked foods direct from Black Mountains Smokery! Each voucher carries a discount code that can be used online or over the phone. £25, £50, £75 & £100.
Need even more luxury?
Why not include a hand crafted oak platter in a hamper or with a side of smoked or roasted salmon? Gift pack your goodies in a traditional wicker hamper, £25/£40 with a special insulated lining ready to reuse for classic summer picnicking.
On the 25th of January each year, people all over Wales celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day, the Welsh patron saint of lovers. A Welsh love spoon is traditionally given as a Saint Dwynwen’s day gift.
Dwynwen lived during the 5th century and fell in love with a prince called Maelon Dafodrill but, unfortunately her father had already arranged that she should marry someone else. Dwynwen was so upset she could not marry Maelon that she begged God to make her forget him. After falling asleep, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.
God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; her second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; and third, that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God’s service for the rest of her life.
Traditionally a Welsh Love spoon is given as a Saint Dwynwen’s day gift but there’s plenty more to give in the Brecon Beacons. Read on to find all the gifts you can give this St Dwynwen’s Day!
Stockists for Emma Bridgewater pottery, Carrie Elspeth Jewellery, Powder scarves, Alex Clark Art, alongside homeware, gifts & wonderful Welsh products. A great independent shop in the charming town of Brecon, where you can pick up some delightful items and gifts!
For those who like a tipple!
If your other half likes nothing better than sipping away at a scotch or gin at the end of the day, forget the big names and watch them marvel at the taste of one of Penderyn award wining welsh whisky’s or gin’s. Or why not book a tour of the distillery, something to look forward to in the New Year find out more here.
Take a pick from the many selections of hampers Authentically Welsh have put together containing all Welsh produce!
Authenically Welsh provide a wonderful range of hand packed hampers bursting with flavoursome Welsh foods … delivered directly to your doorstep – perfect for a loved one Have a look at all the hampers and order yours online.
Indulge in Afternoon Tea
Whether enjoyed in a 5-star hotel or a delightful Welsh Cafe, Afternoon Tea is one of the best ways to treat your loved one! The Brecon Beacons have some of the finest Afternoon Teas around, using local produce to create an afternoon tea worth having! Click here for our top places to enjoy afternoon tea in the Brecon Beacons.
Browse the shelves at the Old Railway Line Garden Centre
If you’re stuck for ideas of a special gift to give this St Dwynwens and Valentines day, then head to The Old Railway Line Garden Centre where there are plenty of gifts to choose from! Why not visit the florist who can make you a bespoke bouquet from their extensive range of cut flowers for a romantic gift to a loved one.
Who cares if it’s dark & cold outside? Burns Night was created to hold a candle in the midst of the dark for friends to get together to feast and celebrate. Combine that with the Saints day of the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers, Santes Dwynwen, and we have a good reason to create a Burns night menus using local Welsh produce. Starting at 7.30 pm and sitting for 8 pm. Enjoy a welcoming drink on arrival, something to take the chill off. Tickets are priced at £30 a head. Sharing tables (unless specifically requested otherwise). Please contact the team to purchase your ticket on 01874 620 111 or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Stare at the stars
What could be more romantic than gazing at the stars together? On a clear night in the Brecon Beacons, you can see the Milky Way, major constellations, bright nebulas and even meteor showers. It’s enough to make anyone starry eyed! Find out our top places here.
For a bike lover!
If your other half loves nothing more than a cycle, then pop to Drovers Cycles in Hay On Wye for your one stop shop for clothing, gifts and bikes!
Its home is in the vaulted caverns once used as the house cellars – we thought being close to the earth in the Brecon Beacons would naturally generate energy, and be a perfect location for our spa. Its design introduces a place of calm where you can slow-down, unwind and be pampered,
allowing you a little well deserved ‘me’ time.Our spa also offers you the chance to relax in the Jacuzzi; detox in the sauna; take a dip in our seasonal heated pool or work-out in our gym, where qualified fitness instructors are on hand to help you. Or simply sit in our Moroccan styled relaxation room after a treatment, have a drink and just chill-out. However, it must be said that the views of Cribyn and Pen Y Fan from the house will almost help you to recharge as much as the treatments do, but one thing is for certain, with this combination we know you will leave us feeling relaxed, refreshed and simply – lovely!
Don’t forget, there’s also plenty of accommodation where you can have a romantic getaway in the Brecon Beacons! From secluded Shepherds Huts to cosy B and B’s there really is somewhere for everyone to enjoy a memorable Valentines Day! Book your stay here!
As most of our walks take place on open mountain and moorland, appropriate clothing is required at all times. This includes:-
Walking Boots (not trainers)
Spare warm clothing eg a jacket or fleece
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Note: Jeans are NOT acceptable, as they act as a refrigerator when wet and can cause hypothermia.
You will need to bring your own food and drink(preferably a hot drink for the 3 and 4 boot walks).
You should carry a rucksack to put your spare clothing, food and drink and personal items in.
And, finally, when booking:-
Check the grade of walk you wish to book on by reading ourGrade Guide.
For safety reasons we ask you to provide the names of all the walkers in your party (including yourself, please) and to provide a telephone number which we can use in case anything happens to you or one of your party and we need to contact a relative or friend (not the phone you will be carrying with you, please!).
Note that bookings are held for only 24 hours, before payment is made. If you do not pay within 24 hours your booking will be cancelled. By paying through PayPal your is processed immediately.