Win a Free Place On Adventure Britain’s Parent and Child Adventure Break!


Adventure Britain have come up with an activity break during the school holidays just for parents and children whether it be fathers or mothers and daughters or mothers and sons set in the stunning natural adventure playground, the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Win a free place for you and your child by entering the competition today!
What Do You Have To Do:All you have to do is e-mail us putting parent and child competition in the subject line of the e-mail. To read more about the adventure event, which includes gorge walking and climbing, then click here


Then just say why:-


It’s important for my child and I to attend this outdoor adventure because….
A fantastic opportunity to spend quality time together in the stunning outdoor environment of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Create those unforgettable memories with an experience you can’t buy in the shops!
”On behalf of both little Holly and me I wanted to thank your company and ALL of the staff involved in these last 2 days from the bottom of our heart. It exceeded our expectations and pushed us both beyond what we thought we could do. Little Holly took to it with gusto and made lovely friends in doing so. They were a fabulous crowd and we loved every minute. Our guides were tremendous – kind, thoughtful, funny and understanding and Jackie our cook was tremendous – all are a credit to your organisation. ”. J.Holmes 2019


Terms and Conditions: Competition ends 1pm 19th DecemberOnly one entry per familyActual event activities and itinerary may change due to weather conditionsThe dates for the adventure break are fixed and no alternatives can be provided (26th to 28th May)Age limits apply (8 to 16)

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Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2019

Deck the halls! 

Your Hay Festival Winter Weekend programme is on general sale NOW hayfestival.org/wwe. Fill your baskets, Haymakers. (And thanks to Henny Beaumont for this beautiful illustration)

The Hay Festival Winter Weekend will run from Thursday 28 November to Sunday 1 December 2019. 

Hay Festival Winter Weekend transforms “the town of books” into a festival wonderland of ideas with literary conversation, candle-lit storytelling, comedy, music, and family workshops. Celebrating its 20th year, events will take place in the charming town centre, with venues including the 500-seater Baillie Gifford Tent in the Cattle Market, The School Hall and St Mary’s Church. 


An intimate, fireside version of the Festival’s summer edition, the town’s independent bookshops, cafés and markets welcome festivalgoers within the stunning surrounds of the Brecon Beacons National Park.


Added sparkle comes from the iconic Market Square as a special Festival guest turns on the town’s Christmas lights, Friday 29 November, in a now annual weekend highlight, while Hay Winter Food Festival takes place on Saturday and Hay Artisan Market takes over on Sunday. 


Speakers this year include Booker Prize 2019 winner Bernardine Evaristo; artist Jackie Morris; poets Mererid Hopwood and Owen Sheers; BBC broadcasters Emma Barnett and Cerys Matthews; Extinction Rebellion’s Rupert Read; the Science Museum’s Tilly Blyth; historians Tom Holland, Sarah Churchwell, Max Hastings, Thomas Waters and Mike Pitts; writer Laura Cumming; cameraman Lindsay McCrae journalist Afua Hirsch; and illustrator Henny Beaumont. Plus, there’s late night music, comedy and cabaret from Chainska Brassika, Fr Richard Williams, Fiona Evans and the Hay Festival Choir, Jason Byrne, Russell Kane, Sarah-Louise Young, Mid Wales Opera, a surprise all-star Shakespeare performance; and a special tribute to the late ‘King of Hay’, Richard Booth.
Explore more at hayfestival.org/wwe.

WHERE IS THE FESTIVAL?

In Hay-on-Wye, on the edge of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. We’re between Hereford and Brecon just off the A438 – see travel. The venues for the Winter Weekend are all within a few minutes’ walking distance of each other in the centre of Hay.

The Winter Weekend, which has been running for nearly twenty years, is a smaller version of the main festival with events taking place in venues in the town. The 2018 Festival was our biggest and most high-profile yet.

The town’s atmospheric market square is a focus of festivities: On the Friday, the Hay Christmas lights are  turned on, transforming the town into a winter wonderland brimming with festive cheer, accompanied by carol singing, readings and evening entertainment.

On the Saturday, Hay Food Festival celebrates all that’s good about winter cooking, with over 50 stalls showcasing the very best of local produce, from savoury to sweet.

On the Sunday Hay Market Square is transformed into a festive outdoor artisan market with a wide range of traders offering a diverse collection of local arts and crafts. Get ahead with your Christmas shopping here.

WHERE IS THE FESTIVAL?

In Hay-on-Wye, on the edge of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. We’re between Hereford and Brecon just off the A438 – see travel. The venues for the Winter Weekend are all within a few minutes’ walking distance of each other in the centre of Hay.

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Brecon Festival Ballet presents a new Christmas Ballet at Theatr Brycheiniog – The Nutcracker.

The first ever full professional production of The Nutcracker created in Wales taking place 20th- 22nd December 2019 at Theatr Brycheiniog.

This extravaganza will feature:

  • Welsh Chamber Orchestra live
  • Professional principal dancers
  • Local dance students and actors
  • Original choreography by Artistic Director Katy Sinnadurai

Tickets on sale now from Theatr Brycheiniog Box Office
01874 611622 or book online here

Brecon Festival Ballet is a new, not-for-profit company that has been formed to present a brand-new production of The Nutcracker at Theatr Brycheiniog for Christmas 2019. Not only will this be the first time a professional version of this iconic ballet has been produced in Wales, it will also be the first time that Theatr Brycheiniog has ever presented a full-length ballet with a live orchestra!​

The Nutcracker is probably the world’s most popular ballet – performed to packed houses all over the globe each Christmas. The ballet is a winning combination of Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music featuring famous and very familiar tunes, and a magical story involving a Christmas party, a journey through the Land of Snow and a feast of iconic dances in the Kingdom of Sweets, ruled over by the Sugar Plum Fairy.​

The ballet will be created by Artistic Director Katy Sinnadurai, a ballet dancer and choreographer based in Brecon. All principal roles will be performed by professional ballet dancers, with children’s and character roles taken by local dance students and actors. The Snowflakes chorus will be sung by a local choir, and the production will be accompanied by the Welsh Chamber Orchestra.​

This is an extremely ambitious project, so we are applying for grants and launching a fund-raising campaign to help us cover the costs of this exciting production… Brecon’s very own Christmas ballet.

For more information please visit http://www.breconfestivalballet.com, or http://www.facebook.com/breconballet.

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Brecon With Bells On 2019

This year’s Brecon With Bells On event takes place on Saturday 16th November 2019, with the switching on of the Christmas lights at 6pm by Welsh International Rugby star Josh Navidi. We have a great event planned and are hoping to build on the success of previous years.

Brecon Town Council has provided the town with a Christmas tree for many years, along with the Christmas lights which are always switched on at the end of November but this year they are pulling out all the stops to put on ‘Brecon With Bells On‘, a Christmas extravaganza on Saturday 16 November which will appeal to local families and visitors to the town – with activities taking place from 10am – 8pm -the full programme can be be found here.

The Christmas parade will start at 11.45am led by the Mayor and the Dinkey Donkeys followed by the official opening at 12pm. The countdown to the lights switch on will start at 5.45pm.

Maverick from Good Day Out enjoying the recent snow.

In the afternoon traditional fairground activities will bring an old fashioned Christmas atmosphere to the town with a coconut shy, a children’s carousel, crazy golf and more. These will be free for children to enjoy.

The Craft Makers Fair by the Guide Hall this month is on Saturday November 16th between 9am and 4.30 pm. Come along to admire the lovely products and begin your Christmas shopping! Several shops will be staying open for late night shopping, possibly a glass of mulled wine and a hot minced pie.

Have a read of our Brecon Town Guide here – to find out more about the town.

For more information contact Brecon Town Clerk at brecon.guildhall@btinternet.com or find Brecon With Bells On on Facebook.

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Seasonal Finds Christmas Exhibition

Seasonal Finds is Found’s exhibition for Christmas – with beautiful paintings and many a lovely thing to help with you in your search for Christmas gifts.

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Seasonal Finds at Found Gallery, Brecon opens on Thursday, November 14th at 5pm and runs until the 24th December 2019.  Find out more here.

Seasonal Finds is Found Gallery’s exhibition for Christmas with the beautiful landscape watercolours and oils by Llangadog based artist, Duncan Macdonald Johnson and Judith Stroud’s paper sculpture relief prints with their wonderful quirkiness and sparkle. Ceramicist, Justine Allison Ceramics has a selection of her delicate, hand built porcelain vessels and bowls. Local artist, Toose Morton, is showing her colourful mixed media paintings on board as well as charcoal and pen drawings of Brecon.

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Christmas gift opportunities abound with Ruth Packham’s quirky birds, FfolkyFfelt’s heavenly angels, Molly Lemon Art‘s wood engravings, Paul Davies simple wood turned decorations, pens and more as well as gorgeous cushions, wraps and other lovely pieces from knitted textile designer @Katie Victoria DesignsHelen Flynn‘s framed paper cuts based on traditional embroidery samplers are coming straight to us from the Ruthin exhibition ‘Aelwyd’.

The sparkle continues with Angie Hughes colourful brooches and stunning jewellery by Alice Keeler whose lovely pieces are in the most glorious of boxes. Alice was the winner of this year’s h-Art Emerging Artist Bursary Award.

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Found is always keen to support photography and Seasonal Finds will feature the 12 images that are making up Discover Cymru‘s 2020 calendar and of course the calendar is on sale with profits going to Mountain Rescue England and Wales & Wales Air Ambulance.

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October half term fun in the Brecon Beacons

Autumn is the perfect time to get outside with your family and enjoy creating wonderful memories. And with all the events and activities you can get up to in our National Park it’ll be impossible for the kids to get bored this October half term.

  • 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.
  • Visit one of our many Castles. As our National Park is situated close to the border between Wales and England, many a territorial struggle has taken place on our doorstep. Magnificent ruins such as those at Brecon, Crickhowell, Llandovery and Tretower bear witness to a turbulent past, while grand mansions such as Cyfarthfa Castle, Newton House at Dinefwr and Tretower Court remind us that castles were once mighty symbols of power and wealth. Visit our most romantic Carreg Cennen-originally a medieval hill fort.   More information about all the Castles in the Brecon Beacons can be found here.
  • Enjoy an outdoor activity with a difference this October in the Brecon Beacons.With Good Day Out, you can enjoy one of their small group innovative Walking with Animals experiences. Take a Piggy Walk & Pig-Nic with a stroll along the scenic Senni Valley in the company of some KuneKune pigs with a paddle in the river if conditions allow and tea & cakes after, or Dinky Donkey Walking with sweet little Miniature Mediterranean donkeys around quiet farmland with far-reaching views and a picnic on the hill. You can also spend a morning learning about how to work a sheep dog. In the company of a local shepherd who competes internationally, you will see several dogs in different stages of their training, and get to have a go with voice commands and gestures to move a small herd of sheep. If you are keen on Wildlife and Conservation, the Hedgehog Experience is very very worthwhile, however it is only for ages 16 & over. Visiting a working Rescue, you will learn about emergency care and habitat, and will help with feeding any hoglets if this is needed. For these and other Good Day Out activities and adventures, please visit www.gooddayout.co.uk or contact them with hello@gooddayout.co.uk or 01874 749092.

 

  • 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
  • Head to Cantref for Harry Trotter And The Pumpkin Patch – 26th October – 4th November 2019. 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. 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!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!!  Find out more here
  • Keep 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! Find out more here.
  • Enjoy a Spooky afternoon tea at the Old Railway Garden Centre. Are you brave enough for our Spooky Afternoon Tea? We welcome families to join us for horror-rific Halloween themed cakes and spooky sandwiches before enjoying a scary story and venturing through our haunted Halloween Walkway – will you make it out the other side? There will also be a prize for the best child’s fancy dress and a party bag for each child to take home! Find out more here

Read more about the Halloween events happening over half term here.

  • 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
  • Did you know 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. Our Park has some of the highest quality dark skies in the whole of the UK, making it the perfect destination for stargazers. There are loads of Events to enjoy stargazing – check out the ones on this month here. Check out our top 10 places to go stargazing here
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Halloween in the Park

There are lots of spooky goings on in the Brecon Beacons National Park this Halloween. Here are a few family friendly events to take your pick from;

  • Make a mythical beast mask or lantern at a free workshop hosted by Brecon’s Mari Lwyd on Wednesday 30th October, 2-5pm.  (All children MUST be accompanied by an ADULT.)Then head out on the Mythical Beast & Lantern Trail on Thursday 31st October, 6pm starting at the Wellington Hotel in Brecon.
  • Take a ride on the Ghost train at The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway. Trains are running from our Spooky Furnace Sidings station at regular intervals from 4pm through to 9pm. All visitors are encouraged to dress up in their spooky clothes (but not essential).  Be prepared to be scared! Note:  All children must be accompanied by an appropriate adult. Click here to book tickets for this event.
  • Beacons View Tearoom at the National Park Visitor Centre, Libanus has spooky story telling sessions every hour from 1pm. There are awards for the best costume and lots of colouring activities and it’s all free, this Thursday 31st October 1pm-4pm.
  • Visit Harry Trotter And The Pumpkin Patch at Cantref Adventure Farm this Halloween!
    Put on your scarf, wrap up warm and fly over to Harry Trotter’s Wizard School for some magical fun, complete your wizard training and take a walk to see the Pumpkin Patch. The event runs until the 4th November, go online for more details.
  • Deep underground in Dan Yr Ogof, The National Showcaves Centre for Wales, Halloween is well underway! Hear the ghouls cry and see the witches fly as you brave the Halloween experience. The Halloween event runs up to and including Thursday 31st October 2019.
  • Spooky Halloween Day at Blaenavon Ironworks28th, 29th and 31st October.Join in a Halloween-themed trail for a day of thrills and chills! With a prize for the first 150 to complete our spooky trail through the Ironworks. £2 charge per trail.Halloween Day itself only: come and hear Welsh spooky tales and legends in our cottages with storyteller Cath Little. Find out more here.
  • The Old Railway Line Garden Centre in Glasbury has a Spooky Halloween Walkway open 11am-4.30pm until the 31st October. It’s only a £1 per person and no booking is required.
  • Spooky decorations are being made at Talgarth Mill, make a spider and a web on Wednesday 30th October. No booking needed – just drop in to the Granary Room – £4.40 a go. Find out more here
  • The Trail of Spookiness reappears at Tretower – Hhhhaaapppy Halloween!- 29th-31st October. 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… Find out more here.

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Celebrations planned for King Goodwell Zwelithini’s visit to Visit Brecon in July 2019.

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.

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Llandovery Motorbike Weekend 2019

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:


Classic Bikes

Vintage Bike Displays

Safety Exhibitions

First Aid Training

Biker Support

Bike Demonstrations

Children Activities

Fete & Gala Stalls

Arts & Craft Stalls

Youth & Biker Crier Competition

Trade Stalls

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.”


find out more about the event here http://llandoverymotorbikeweekend.co.uk/

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A new art Gallery for Brecon.

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.


If you would like to attend any of these talks you can register via Found’s website. http://www.foundgallery.co.uk


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.


Gallery opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm

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