Arts in the Tawe Valley presents Art Week 2018

This year’s Art Week will take place from the 22nd June to the 1st July 2018, with a great programme of exhibitions, workshops and other arty happenings during the week! Find out the schedule of events here. Arts in the Tawe Valley was set up in 2015 by a group of artists based in the upper Swansea valley to promote artists and make this area a place of artistic excellence to encourage visitors and buyers. During the first year and a successful first Arts Week, we currently have over 40 members and many of us are surprised by the number of artists working in such a small location. By bringing artists together we not only encourage networking, cooperative promotion and affordable gallery space, but also to combat the isolation of working on our own.

If you enjoy Art Week, make sure you go to Portraits in the Park at Craig Y Nos Country Park on the 1st of July! 

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It’s National Picnic Week!

15-24th June 2018

Have a Picnic to remember this Summer!

National Picnic Week takes place this June across the UK, so grab your blankets and baskets out of the cupboards and get out to great outdoors for a good old fashioned picnic. Here are some of our favourite picnic spots for a blissful weekend in the #BreconBeacons.

 Craig-y-Nos Country Park
Lakes, ponds and big valley views mean that the Craig-y-Nos Circular is the ideal walk for some alfresco eating.

Vaughan Gardens
Take a break from the Talybont Valley by walking through a peaceful garden sown with herbs and other plants author and physician Henry Vaughan would have used in his scientific and medical experiments, the Vaughan Gardens are a fragrant spot to stop and bask in the serenity of the surrounding countryside. Laid out with benches, it’s also the ideal place for a relaxing picnic.
Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal
A short distance into the Brecon to Pencelli canal walk you’ll find the perfect picnic spot, complete with ornate woodcarvings that depict the canal’s industrial heritage.
National Park Visitor Centre
With spectacular views, naturally beautiful grounds and children’s trails for little ones to explore, the Visitor Centre is the perfect place for a picnic. Get your fill before walking on Mynydd Illtud.
Llangorse Lake

The grassy common alongside Llangorse Lake is a popular picnic site and often grazed by horses, sheep and sometimes cattle. It is the ideal place to mess about in boats, take a gentle stroll or watch the bird life.

Castle Meadows- Abergavenny
This 20 hectare site of flat, floodplain grazing land is next to the River Usk, along with bordering trees, small copses, streams and ponds making it the perfect picnic spot! Waitrose is near by so you can stock up on the essentials. More here

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to inviting riverside picnic spots on a Waterfall Country walk to Sgŵd Gwladus.
Find out more about Picnic Week here.
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Food Festival Guide to the Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons is a real treasure trove of fine and organic produce, showcased at our superb food festivals throughout the year. Take a look at our list of foodie festivals taking place in the Brecon Beacons National Park in 2018…


Dinefwr Food Festival-23rd-24th June 

Take one historic parkland and mansion, add soImage result for Dinefwr Food Festivalme professional cookery demonstrations and a pinch of foodie entertainment, mix in a whole host of local food and drink producers and what have you got? – Dinefwr’s annual Food Festival.

This June, Newton House and Courtyard will be jam packed with stalls designed to tickle the taste buds of even the most sophisticated palates. We’ve chosen to support our local producers and chefs as much as possible, each providing a unique taste of Wales. The courtyard will be a hive of activity with live music to enjoy while you fill your bellies with delicious street food and local delicacies. As well as many taster talks, there’re lots of Fun With Food workshops to sink your teeth into; From cake decoration and pasta making to discovering the delights of a healthy diet with family Plant it, Grow it, Eat it activities.

Cooking up a storm in the inner courtyard will be a host of industry professionals who’ll be demonstrating the tricks of the trade that got them to the top of their game. Cwtch Catreing will be showcasing a dinner party extravaganza that you can impress your friends with. The guys at The Warren in Carmarthen will take the stage with one of their signature dishes, there’ll be butchery demonstrations on both days and lots, lots more. Find out more here.


Abergavenny Food Festival-15th-16th September


Abergavenny Food Festival enjoys an exceptional reputation as a place for chefs, food businesses, journalists, farmers and food producers to come together. We are known for being an inclusive and welcoming event, delivering a delicious opportunity for people from all walks of life to explore and learn about food. Through an outstanding programme of activities, including product tastings, kids’ activities, masterclasses, hands-on cookery lessons and topical debates, they provide the inside track on food issues, offer new ideas about the future of our food and showcase rising stars emerging from the industry. Over the years, the festival has attracted top food heavyweights such as: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver, Monica Galetti, Jane Baxter, Jose Pizarro and Valentine Warner, to name but a few. By engaging with influential chefs, commentators and journalists both nationally and internationally, they have grown to become one the highest profile food events in Britain. Find out more about this years food festival here.


Brecon Beacons Food Festival- 6th October

Brecon Beacons Food Festival is an annual event bringing the best food and drink producers in and around the Brecon Beacons together for the public to enjoy. As well as over 60 exhibitors the day includes a wide range of entertainment and celebrity and local star chef demonstrations. This free event is the perfect day out for the whole family! Discover more here.


Hay-on-Wye Winter Food Festival-22nd-24th November 
This festival celebrates all that’s good about winter cooking, with stalls from local producers and free musical entertainment. Like Hay’s Summer Food Festival, it’s held outdoors in the Memorial Car Park in the middle of town. In past years, Father Christmas has been in attendance and the town’s Christmas lights have been switched on at dusk. The programme will be released in October.

Royal Welsh Winter Fair-26th-27th November 

The massive Royal Welsh Showground near Builth Wells gets festive in the run-up to Christmas with this cheery winter agricultural show. While the livestock breeders battle it out for the top prizes, you can browse the food hall for Christmas treats such as cheese, cookies and handmade artisan chocolates.

All year round

Outside festival season, you can buy fresh, local produce at our many food markets, agricultural shows and shops…

  • Brecon Farmers Market-has a farmers market bi-monthly and its always a culinary treat! Find out more here.
  • Usk Farmers Market-is also excellent! For more on the Usk market click here.
  • Llangynidr Agricultural Show-August 26th-In the heart of the Brecon Beacons – the Llangynidr Show is a great day out for everyone and there’s plenty of good food to enjoy. There’s cookery demonstrations, sheep sheering and family activities, we are sure you’ll be kept busy just deciding what to do next! More here.
  • Brecon County Show-August 4th-The Brecon County Show is held annually on the 1st Saturday in August at The Showground, Watton, Brecon. There’s over 200 trade exhibitors bringing you the best in British Farm Produce, a beer tent and much more-you will be sure to have a great family day out.

To find out more, visit our Shopping for food and drink page.


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Brecon Town Open Studios 2018

Saturday 23 June and Sunday 24 June 2018 11.00am – 6.00pm

Brecon Town Open Studios publicity leafletA walking art trail around the lovely Welsh market town of Brecon, taking in the studios of several of Brecon’s resident artists. Friday 23 and Saturday 24 June 2017, 1-7pm.

Brecon Town Open Studios takes place over Saturday 23rd June and Sunday 24th June and offers visitors the opportunity to view the work of local artists in their studios, most of which are in characterful and/or historic houses and buildings, and chat to the artists.
This year there are fourteen artists taking part with the addition of three new names, Sylwia Mucha, Chris Luffman and Christine Lewis. Painting, photography, pottery, weaving, jewellery making, pinhole photography and textile art will be on display at the studios and most artwork will be for sale.

The studios will be open from 11am – 6pm on both days (with the exception of Sean Crawfords which will be open on Sunday 24th June only). A trail map will be available from all of the studios, Visit Brecon in Lions Yard, Brecon Library and other venues. Full details are available here and news and updates will be posted on Facebook here.

gemma Schiebe oil painting (3)Hilda Benham textile art.JPG

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Water way to spend a summer evening at The National Botanic Garden of Wales!

Symphonica Tywi will be celebrating the ‘Year of the Sea’ in their annual midsummer concert at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. The popular concert – on Saturday June 23rd – will have a watery flavour to reflect the Welsh Government’s tourism theme for 2018.

In the stunning surrounds of Lord Foster’s awesome Great Glasshouse – the world’s largest single-span glasshouse – the 55-piece symphony orchestra will strike up at 7.30pm and play until dusk. The event is a highlight of the season and promises, once again, a feast of popular classical music.

Conductor Mike Cottam says: “There’s so much to choose from but we will be more than dipping our toe in the water with Fingles Cave, Handel’s Water MusicBlue DanubeThe Swan by Sibelius, the theme from JawsTitanic and Pirates of the Caribbean. And we will enjoy a rousing ‘Last Night of the Proms’-style finish with Rule Britannia.”

Garden spokesman, David Hardy said: “It’s always a wonderful occasion. People bring along picnic hampers and really make a night of it. In truth, there’s not much to beat sitting in among the marvellous Mediterranean plantings as the sun goes down, listening to this fantastic orchestra play their beautiful music.”

Bring your picnic and celebrate the Year of the Sea and a midsummer’s night to remember. Tickets are on sale now at £14 (£12 for Garden members). Buy yours by calling 01558 667149. The National Botanic Garden of Wales is a registered charity, partly funded by the Welsh Government. For more information about this or other events or anything Garden-related call 01558 667149 or email  or visit


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Things to do this weekend

There are plenty of things to do this weekend in the Brecon Beacons! Ystradgynlais will be holding its own Big Weekend, the WAAT4 Challenge will be taking place in the mountains, you can support the cyclists taking part in the Everesting Challenge, enjoy a cream tea garden party hosted by the Friends of the Regimental Museum…and don’t forget it’s Fathers Day!

The Big Weekend Ystradgynlais-15th-17th

Image may contain: textYstradgynlais Big Weekend will kick off on the 15th June with Gin and Jazz! The evening will be held in a large marquee at the Gorsedd Park Ystradgynlais. Get your tickets from the Welfare Hall box office! The next event will be Buskagynlais held on the 16th June, with buskers around town, choirs at the Con Club, a fun fair and stalls at the Welfare hall. This is a free event with no tickets needed! And last but not least-the 17th of June will see Proms in the Gorsedd! Classical favourites, movie hits, popular hymns and arias and much much more! marquee seated tickets are £20pp-bring a seat or blanket and relax in the park tickets -£5pp 1-3pm. Gates open midday.  Find out more here.

WAAT4 Challenge-16th June

Become part of Team WAAT4 by taking part in the WAAT4 Challenge 2018, and raise funds for the vulnerable within the communities. Attracting over 500 participants and over 1,000 spectators each year, this iconic event has become a must do in the outdoor calendar. With 2 routes to choose from it doesn’t matter whether you’ve never done a navigation event before or are an champion of the mountains – there’s something for all abilities and ambitions! More here.

The Drover Cycles Gospel Pass Everesting Challenge-16th June

Fancy a sensational summer cycling challenge?? The concept of “everesting” is simple. Choose a hill and ride up and down by the same route until you have clocked up 8,848 meters of ascent, i.e. the height of the world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest. Simple does not mean easy. For our chosen route, from Hay on Wye to Gospel Pass, you’re going to need to repeat the climb 16 times. It’s as much a psychological challenge as it is a physical endeavour. How will you motivate yourself to keep grinding the gears and turning the pedals to achieve your goal? Base Camp at Drover Cycles will be in operation throughout offering food, drink and mechanical support as well as a bike expo, family-friendly activities and BBQ open to all. Spectators and supporters welcome! This event is raising funds for Himalayan Quests Foundation. Team entries available. More here.

Royal Welsh Museum Friends Garden Party-17 Jun 2018

Don’t forget it’s Fathers Day on the 17th! Check out our gift guide here. Find out what else is going on in June here.

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Gifts to give this Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming up on the 17th June, so show your dad how much you love him with one of these Brecon Beacons experiences, gifts and meals out. Your only problem will be choosing which one to go for……

Treat him to an artisan hamper from Black Mountains Smokery
Their hampers range from £35 – £300 and they can even make up vegetarian hampers with smokedcheese, smoked nuts and seeds, scrummy vegetable crackers, hand stirred chutneys and jellies and artisan chocolates.You can order ahead over the phone or online for delivery or collection from the smokery on a day of your choice.  They also have foodie Father’s Day Gifts available-here.

Take him on a scenic train ride at Brecon Mountain Railway 
Bring your father with you and he can travel for the price of a child. Your dad whatever his age will enjoy a day out at the Brecon Mountain Railway, whether its reminiscing about steam trains, engineering, building or just a trip down memory lane.

Tickets for a show at the Theatre
We are lucky to have Theatr Brycheiniog on our doorstep, who have lots of different shows to take your dad along to.  What about enjoying lots of free, live music at their Waterfront Cafe, browsing through photos at their rally exhibition or enjoying some comedy with Tim Key: Megadate.

Book him on a Whisky tour at Penderyn

welsh whiskyPenderyn Distillery has one of the best visitor centres in the UK. Learn for yourself the history of whisky making in Wales as well as more general Welsh history in our exhibition centre.  Discover the secrets of Penderyn Single Malt Whisky, Brecon Five VodkaBrecon Gin and Merlyn Cream Liqueur. Find out more here

Take him on a foraging adventure with Brecon Beacons Foraging 
Courses include half-day courses, running during the week and at weekends, including forage and refreshments, once-a-month seasonal half-day midweek courses, ‘Wild Wednesday, Botanical Gin Workshops, including 300ml of your very own unique blend, a cocktail and nibbles and forage From Your Garden; become familiar with the plants closest to home! More here

Buy him a gift voucher for adventures with Good Day Out
Our Gift Vouchers are redeemable against any experience or product on the site, and are great for for special presents and significant birthdays. Available in £5 increments, you can buy a voucher for the amount you would like, and it can be redeemed against any experiences and products on the site. The voucher will be valid for one year from date of issue. Great presents for birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas! Vouchers can be sent by e-voucher for free, or we can print and post to you or the recipient for just £2.99 Buy a voucher here.

Creative Photography Wales Gift Voucher
If your dad is interested in photography but would like to learn more then why not buy him a Creative Photography Wales Photography Course Gift Voucher. They are available for all our Group and Individual Course Options run by professional photographer Nigel Forster.

Take him on a Guided Adventure
There are so many experienced tour guides here in the Brecon Beacons, who can really show you and your father everything this part of Wales has to offer. Check out our blog of some of the guides available here. Or why not learn all about the famous book town of Hay on Wye with Hay Tours, info here

Book a table at one of the Brecon Beacons finest pubs or restaurants.
Treat your father by taking him tThe Felin Fach Griffin, with its top pub atmosphere and delicious locally sourced food or why  not take him to whats said to be Wales oldest Inn, The Skirrid  Mountain Inn for a decent spot for a pint! (Watch out for the ghosts though!) Take him to the welcoming Bear Hotel in CrickhowellThe Angel in Abergavenny or the charming and popular Plough Inn in Rhosmaen-there are so many to choose from! Find more choices to eat and drink here 

Fathers go FREE at the National Botanic Garden of Wales on the 17th June
What better way to treat Dad on Fathers Day than by bringing him along for fun, games and relaxation at the Garden. Dad can also enjoy a free pint of beer (if he is one of the first 50 to ask, anyway) as well as drinking in the summery delights all around. More here.

If you’d rather give the gift of adventure, then discover some fathers day experiences here!

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