It’s the Summer holidays! And the Brecon Beacons is the best ever playground! There are masses of things for active families to do. Of course, there’s no need to pack every day with expensive activities – simple things like picnics and Pooh sticks can be just as much fun! Have a look at our top 20 ideas for family fun in the Brecon Beacons:
1. Be king of the castle at Carreg Cennen
Let your dirty rascals scramble about on Carmarthenshire’s most striking ruins. They’ll feel on top of the world. To find out more, visit our page on Carreg Cennen Castle.
2. Paddle down the River Wye
Go canoeing or kayaking on the river with an experienced operator such as Wye Valley Canoes and Wanttocanoe?, then tuck into a scrumptious local lunch on the riverbank at The River Café, Glasbury-on-Wye. To find out more, visit our page on canoeing and kayaking.
3. Play I Spy in Brecon, Abergavenny or Talgarth
Turn a shopping trip into a fun morning out by playing games which keep the kids’ eyes wide open. If one of our local farmers’ markets is in full swing, there will be lots of goodies to taste. To find out more, visit our page on farmers’ markets.
4. Go pony trekking
Whether your kids are seasoned riders or absolute beginners, the qualified instructors at our riding centres will keep them safe. Kids as little as four years old can have a go. To find out more, visit our page on horse riding and pony trekking.
5. Climb a hill, go on a bug hunt and fly a kite
Climb a huge hill, looking out for butterflies, bees and other insects on the way. Sugar Loaf is a good one, with Mynydd Llanwenarth car park the best starting point. The ascent is easy at first, but little legs might want to skip the steep bit near the summit. Take a kite – on windy days, Sugar Loaf is a great flying spot. To find out more, visit our pages on walking.
6. Visit a play barn or adventure farm
Whatever the weather, an adventure farm or play barn are great ways to have fun with the kids! You can head to Cantref for a fantastic family day out, with dozens of activities to enjoy at this award-winning Adventure Farm. For starters, take your pick from bottle feeding goats, rampaging through a play zone, handling hamsters, pony rides, pet racing and a super sledge ride! Or why not visit Brynich Play Barn to have fun in the many ball pits and slides!
7. Know your stalactites from your stalagmites
At the National Showcaves for Wales, safely built paths allow you to explore fabulous natural limestone caverns, complete with human skeletons. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, there’s also one of the world’s largest dinosaur parks, a shire horse centre, a playbarn and more. To find out more, visit our page on Dan-yr-Ogof National Showcaves Centre for Wales.
8. Get muddy, climb to the tree tops and zip through the air
The Llangorse Multi Activity Centre has tons of fun challenges for kids, teenagers and adults alike, such as climbing walls, rope bridges, zip lines and a wet and muddy Dingle Scramble. Phew! To find out more, visit our Llangorse Multi Activity Centre page.
9. Stare at the stars
If there’s a clear, moonless night during your visit, you’re in luck. The stars will put on a show. Get hold of a book, a chart or a stargazing map, and see if you can spot some of the constellations. To find out more, visit our page on stargazing.
10. Get closer to our wildlife
The Brecon Beacons is full of places where you and the family can enjoy the wonders of nature. The Red Kite Feeding Station, at Llanddeusant in the remote western area of the Brecon Beacons National Park, attracts over 50 red kites and buzzards every day in a spectacular aerial display. Find our top 10 places to enjoy wildlife here for a selection of brilliant spots that are easy to get to.
11. Hire a boat and feed the ducks at Llangorse Lake
East of Brecon, between the Central Beacons and the Black Mountains, is the largest natural lake in Wales, Llangorse Lake. Surrounded by a patchwork of green hills, fields, meadows and hedgerows, Llangorse is a truly beautiful spot and a lovely place to sail or paddle. Visit the Crannog, a man-made island which was probably once the site of a royal palace, hire a boat or just sit and watch the wildlife!
12. Walk in the footsteps of gold miners at Dolaucothi
The Dolaucothi Gold Mines are the only mines for Welsh gold outside those of the Dolgellau gold-belt, and are a Scheduled Ancient Monument. They are also the only known Roman gold mines in Britain. Excellent guided tours take you back to experience the conditions of the Roman, Victorian and 1930s underground workings, but please wear sturdy footwear for uneven wet surfaces, and be prepared to get a bit muddy as you will be passing through actual mining passages! If you allow around 90 minutes to 2 hours for the visit, you will hopefully experience a good part of the site, but there are lovely walking trails around the site and the Dolaucothi Arms to visit if you wish to stay longer.
13. Enjoy a show at Theatr Brycheiniog
Situated at the end of the picturesque Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal in the pretty market town of Brecon on the edge of Brecon Beacons National Park, Theatr Brycheiniog offers a popular and acclaimed programme of performing arts and entertainment throughout the year.
14. Enjoy a bubble waffle at Llanfaes Dairy
Llanfaes Dairy have delicious, quality artisan ice cream right in the heart of the Brecon Beacons. They have over 40 flavours, and many desserts to choose from, including their new bubble waffles which is bound to be a hit with the kids!
15. Hire a bike and cycle along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal
There are a selection of bikes to hire at Talybont Stores, which is located right by the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. 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. Here our are top 5 memorable stops along the way.
16. Hire a pedalo at Brecon Promenade
Hire a pedalo at Brecon Promenade, and make your way down the lovely River Usk. There is also a cafe and lovely walks alongside the river, with plenty of open spaces to enjoy a picnic! There is also a playpark, plenty of parking and toilet facilities.
17. Go underground and explore Big Pit
Big Pit is a real coal mine with underground tours, miner guides and a warm welcome. Enjoy a multi-media tour of a modern coal mine with a virtual miner in the Mining Galleries, exhibitions in the Pithead Baths and Historic colliery buildings
18. Head into the hills on a vintage train
Go on a journey with Brecon Mountain Railway into the Brecon Beacons National Park, through Pontsticill and along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservoir before climbing to Torpantau high in the Brecon Beacons and the summit of the original line. At their main station in Pant you can grab some refreshments in their Licensed Tearooms, as well as visit the Workshop where the Steam Locomotives and Carriages are repaired!
19. Discover Tretower Court
For over 900 years Tretower Court and Castle has been altered, adjusted and adapted. Much of this was done to keep up with style, fashion and the tastes of the time. In the 21st Century, we’ve recreated a suite of rooms as they may have been in 1470 when the Vaughans were part of high society. Discover a sophisticated way of life: from intricately carved furniture right down to the pots and pans of a working kitchen. Experience 15th century living at its best. Click here for events running there this Summer.
20. Have a day of family fun at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales
Set in the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside, just on the outskirts of the Brecon Beacons, the National Botanic Gardens of Wales are a fascinating blend of the modern and historic. Here you’ll find an inspiring range of themed gardens, the world’s largest single-span glasshouse, a tropical Butterfly House, play areas and a national nature reserve, a new bird of prey centre, all set in a Regency landscape which provides the stage for a packed programme of events and courses throughout the year! Click here to find out what events they have on this summer.