What’s on at Theatr Brycheiniog this January?

Top Picks

Sleeping Beauty
Sat  19 – Sat 26
( Mon 21 6.30pm RP & Tue 22 7.00pm BSL)
£13.50 / £48.00 Fa

A spell binding pantomime full of comedy and romance, bursting with energetic numbers, spectacular scenery and mesmerising special effects guaranteed to to entertain the whole family. More Information

ROH: La Traviata
Wed 30, 6.45pm 
£15.00 / £12.50

Sung in Italian with English subtitles

From the thrill of unexpected romance to a heartbreaking recollection that comes too late, Verdi’s La Traviata is one of the most popular operas of all time. More Information

NT Live: I’m Not Running
Thu, 31, 7.00pm 
£17.50 / £15.00

Pauline Gibson is a junior doctor, who becomes the face of a campaign to save her local hospital. I’m Not Running is an explosive new political drama exploring personal choices and their public consequences, written by Academy Award-nominated writer David Hare. More Information. 

Monthly Favourites

Comedy Club
Fri 25, 8.00pm £10 / £20 with pre show curry and a drink.

Stuart Goldsmith  ‘A charming, expert stand up’ THE SUNDAY TIMES
Huge Davis ‘Jet black, funny and unsettling’CHORTLE. More Information.

More Great Shows This Season

22nd Annual Rorke’s Drift Concert 
Sat 23 Feb, 7.30pm
£10 / £9

Join over 100 young ACF musicians from across the UK as they come together with musicians from the Regular Army to put on a concert that demonstrates the incredible talents of the youth of today and showcases some future stars. More Information. 

NT Live: The Tragedy of King Richard the Second (Encore)
Mon, 25 Feb, 7.00pm
£17.50 / £15

Richard II is irresponsible, foolish and vain. His weak leadership sends his kingdom into disarray and his court into uproar. This visceral production poses the question, ‘when the country is on the brink of disaster, who is the right person to take charge?’ More Information

IntoThe Light
Sat 2 Mar, 7.30pm
£12 / £10

Into The Light is a beautiful and daring piece of physical theatre about  interaction, connection and validation, performed by those we need to see and hear. More Information.

Tue 19 Mar, 7:30pm 
£10 / £8 / £30 Fam | Teu

Pinocchio is the story of a child free from prejudices: he’s disobedient and mischievous, yet at the same time naïve. We are invited to delve into the imagination of a child-puppet and reflect on values such as education, graft, responsibility and sincerity. More Information. 

Sat 23 Mar, 7.30pm
£12 / £10

Pipeline Theatre, known for indelible characters and breathtaking production values, take you on a break-neck, darkly comic and taboo-busting journey, through an NHS – a place where even gallows humour is at death’s door.  More Information.

Rich Hall 
Fri, 29 Mar, 8pm

The Hoedown is both a withering dissection of Trump’s America, and a celebration of Americana. There’s stand-up, improvised ballads, cracking good musicianship, and ultimately a hilarious, foot-stomping time to be had by all!

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How were the caves in the Brecon Beacons National Park created?

The formation of the limestone caves beneath the Brecon Beacons National Park began over 300 million years ago.

The carboniferous limestone of South Wales was formed in shallow tropical seas in the Paleozoic era, over 300 million years ago. Much of it is of organic origin, being the shells and skeletons of sea creatures, large and small. Amongst the most spectacular fossils to be seen in the National Park are Lithostrotion corals. Their intricate internal detail is often beautifully preserved.

A band of carboniferous limestone stretches across the National Park from Blorenge in the east to Carreg Cennen in the west. It’s in this thin belt of limestone country, 45 miles long but rarely more than one mile in width, that some of the most spectacular caves in Britain are to be found.


The first caves

Limestone is soluble in mildly acidic water and the water running off the peaty ground of the National Park’s hills is just that. Finding its way into small cracks in the rock, it widens them over the years creating a network of open fissures and tubes. When eventually these interconnecting passages reach a certain scale, we think of them as a cave network.

The caves form both along bedding planes, layers of rock, and along vertical fractures present in the rock from the times millions of years ago when South Wales was successively stretched and squeezed as continents collided and split apart. Roof collapse also plays a part in the growth of a cave over many thousands of years.

Water pours down the southern slopes of the familiar old red sandstone hills to the north and on meeting the limestone, disappears underground. Because most of the National Park’s rocks slope gently towards the South Wales Coalfield, many caves follow this southward dip but they also extend east-west across it until they emerge in one of the major valleys carved through the limestone.

The karst landscape

This countryside with its limestone pavements, caves, dry valleys and shakeholes is known as a karst landscape after the classic region of that name in Slovenia. Our area differs from other karst areas of Britain in having fewer limestone pavements but many more shakeholes (depressions formed where surface water washes the boulder clay that covers the limestone down into cracks or fissures in the limestone). These are present particularly in areas that, at first sight, are not limestone areas.

Although such areas as Mynydd Llangynidr and Mynydd Llangatwg are gritstone plateaus, the limestone isn’t far below the surface and the collapse of sections of cave within the limestone leads to craters appearing at the ground surface. Some are truly impressive at 60m across and 20m deep!

Why not explore the caves by crawling through them? There are plenty of activity providers who can allow you to explore the underground!

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Group Stargazing in the Brecon Beacons

Sun 13 January 2019- 19:00 – 22:00

A unique opportunity for you to be part of a group of 40 like minded individuals enjoying the dark skies of Wales. On the evening you will be accompanied by two astronomers who will guide you around the night sky from constellations to nebula, learning the mythology and science of astronomy. No experience needed just an enthusiasm to learn more about the night sky and why not bring a camera or use ours to record your experience.

All astronomical equipment is provided but please wrap up warm as the mountain can become very cold!

Buy your tickets here.

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Our Top Walks for 2019

A walk in the Brecon Beacons National Park comes complete with perfect picnic spots, awe-inspiring views, fascinating historic sites and grand geological features. Here is a collection of our top picks…so your 2019 is full of nature, fresh air and epic views!

1. Sugarloaf Mountain

Image result for sugarloaf mountain abergavenny

This rewarding walk takes you up the distinctive Sugar Loaf Mountain. Viewed from some directions it has the shape of a sugar loaf or even a volcano (which it isn’t!). It is a short climb to the summit and on a clear day it is possible to see hills as far north as Shropshire and as far south as Somerset as well as many of the major mountains in the Brecon Beacons. Below Sugar Loaf, Abergavenny is an interesting market town with a castle and market hall and lots to explore. More here

2. Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

It is one of our most beautiful and peaceful waterways following the line of the lovely wooded Usk Valley, it is a true hidden gem. The navigable section of the canal runs for 35 miles from Brecon to the Pontymoile basin. Its location makes it a haven for wildlife and a favourite with nature-lovers, walkers and cyclists. The northern section forms part of the Taff Trail Long Distance Footpath, a 55 mile route that can be walked or cycled that starts at Brecon Basin and ends in Cardiff. More here.

3. Pen Y Fan

A walk up Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in South Wales, is a must do in 2019! Challenge yourself and feel exhilarated when reaching the top where you will get superb 360 degree views of the whole National Park. With well maintained paths taking you to the summit as well as parking at the base of the mountain, it is an accessible and enjoyable walk for all. More here.

4. Carreg Cennen Castle

Carreg Cennen is a haunting, atmospheric castle that appears to spring out of legend and fairytale.

Carreg Cennen Castle never ceases to amaze. There are few castles in Wales which can boast a more spectacular location. Its stout, weatherbeaten ruins crown a sheer limestone crag overlooking the remote Black Mountain (Mynydd Du) and the River Cennen in the western corner of the Brecon Beacons National Park, around four miles southeast of Llandeilo.

An attack on the castle must have been a daunting prospect. Ingeniously adapted to its rocky hilltop, its core is a high walled, strongly towered enclosure, protected by a succession of pits, drawbridges and gatehouses. Approach from the other direction is impossible, for the castle tiptoes on the edge of a sheer 100m cliff.  Find out more here

5. Talybont Reservoir and Forest

Set in the central Brecon Beacons, this is a popular place to visit with a road crossing the 380 metre long dam to forestry walks on the far side. The wide tracks in the Talybont Forest on the eastern side of the reservoir join up with the Brinore Tramroad and Taff Trail to give longer walks with no barriers. Most of the forestry tracks near the reservoir are level but get steeper further up the hill you go. Lay-bys and car parks alongside the Talybont to Pontsticill road offer good views of the reservoir and surrounding hills. There is one bird hide suitable for the disabled. More.

6. Craig y Nos Country Park

Situated in a dramatic and romantic location in the secluded upper Swansea Valley, Craig-y-nos Country Park is a 40-acre Victorian garden with shady woodlands, meadows, ponds, lazy lawns and rushing rivers. You are welcome to bring your dog but please keep it on a lead. Dogs are not permitted in the hay meadow while sheep are grazing in the winter months.  The river meanders through the park, but just as at home here is the designed landscape of tall trees, lush meadows, woodland plantations, fishpond, lakes, lawns and woodland walks. There is plenty for you to see as you walk around. Discover more here.

7. Bwlch to Tor y Foel

It’s Bwlch with magnitude. Fresh air, lush valleys and big views – this energetic, exhilarating walk comes with lots of ups and downs, with forest, lake, canal and historic tramroad along the way. Find the walking route here.

8. Garwnant Visitor Centre

Related image

For a great day out for the whole family why not explore one of the many woodlands open to the public within the Brecon 
Beacons National Park. Garwnant Visitor Centre, owned and managed by Forestry Commission Wales, is situated in Coed Taf Fawr, a large area of forestry situated in the National Park and Fforest Fawr Geopark. Coed Taf Fawr is a large mixed woodland with pleasant walks and streams running through it. It is nestled around three reservoirs,with beautiful views. More here.

9. Mynydd Illtud

Cracking commons and ancient settlements. An easy but rewarding walk from the National Park Visitor Centre at Libanus. Along the way, you’ll find wonderful wildlife, panoramic views and an Iron Age hillfort. The common takes its name from St Illtud, a Celtic Christian missionary and teacher of St David, Wales’s patron saint. According to legend, Illtud is buried on the common not far from the Visitor Centre, but his grave is now thought to be at Llantwit Major. For a full route description, please click here.

10. Riverside walk and the Warren, Hay on Wye

The riverside walk or Bailey Walk follows the old railway line alongside the wooded banks of the River Wye and leads to an area of grassland known locally as the ‘Warren’. This is a level walk, with up to four different start points. The surface of the old railway line route itself is mainly compacted earth and stone dust. There are two wide kissing gates along the route and a third gate at Gypsy Castle Lane car park which can also be fully-opened using a RADAR key to allow a mobility scooter through (please re-lock the gate after you’ve passed through it). When you reach the open ground of The Warren, the route down to the river the surface changes to compacted earth and grass. This area is grazed by sheep and has a large number of molehills. More info here.

Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more inspiring walks in the Brecon Beacons National Park and much more! Happy New Year!

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What’s on this January?

This January offers something for everyone in the Brecon Beacons National Park! Head to Pen Y Fan to cheer on those taking part in the gruelling Fan Dance Race, watch plenty of shows at Theatr Brycheiniog, celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day and get some delicious produce at Llangynidr Farmers Market!

5th – 6th January – The Fan Dance Race

The Fan Dance is a gruelling 24km non-navigational race over two sides of Pen Y Fan, the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons. This infamous route has long been a part of SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Service) selection. Find out more about The Fan Dance.

17th Jan-24th Feb-Portrait of a Farming Community: Exhibition at Theatr Brycheiniog

Rob was a Large Animal Veterinarian working in the Brecon area from 2004 to 2010. His interactions with the farming community gave him the opportunity to photograph local farming families. Robs portrait collection slowly grew and in 2006 he co-produced a calendar titled ‘Welsh Dudes’ which highlighted some of the local farmers.

2010 saw Robs departure from Veterinary practice due to ill health, and while he is no longer involved in the farmer community he still remembers the characters he was privileged to meet during his time in practice, these portraits have been stored away, some dating back 14 years.He feels privileged to have been asked to have his photographs displayed, and once again share some of the moments he captured during his time in practice`   

His photography includes individuals or several generations of the one family, some who are no longer with us. From 2015 Rob had a career change, he now teachers Yoga in The Well Being Centre, Brecon. He also teaches yoga at Ysgol Penmaes, Bannau Camlais and Orbis centres in Bronllys and Womaston.Rob is still involved in photography today; with his focus more on the local landscape, fauna and flora. More here.

19th-26th January-The Westenders – Sleeping Beauty

Come and celebrate 70 years of The Westenders at Theatr Brycheiniog this January as they present their spell binding Pantomime, Sleeping Beauty! A show full of comedy and romance, bursting with energetic numbers, spectacular scenery and mesmerising special effects that’s guaranteed to entertain the whole family! Please note the performance on Tuesday 22 will feature BSL interpretation by Julie Doyle who will be standing stage left. Tickets here.

25 January-St Dwynwen’s Day

On the 25th of January each year, people all over Wales celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day, the Welsh patron saint of lovers. The Brecon Beacons National Park will be full of love, so why not pay us a visit with your loved one, for unforgettable experiences and special days out in the heart of South Wales. Find out more here.

27th January- Llangynidr Farmers Market

Meet local suppliers and be spoilt for choice. Stalls include locally produced meats, butter, eggs and cheeses, plants, gardening tools; cards, knitted and other craft items, cakes and Fairtrade products. More here.

There are plenty more things to do in the Brecon Beacons this January!

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Last chance to get some Christmas goodies at the The Beacons to the Sea exhibition!

Lovely Ceramics and Prints on sale from The Beacons to the Sea exhibition. at the Andrew Lamont Gallery, Theatr Brycheiniog. Open 10am – 4pm every day until Saturday 22nd December.

The Beacons to The Sea exhibition in the Andrew Lamont Gallery at Theatr Brycheiniog is on until early afternoon on Saturday 22nd December. The displays are offering some lovely last minute Christmas shopping opportunities with pottery and ceramics by 15 different makers and lovely prints by the Swansea Printmakers Group. Pretty meadow painted mugs, wall hung Greenmen (all frost proof!), charming dogs, sweet decorative birds, salt glazed pottery and monumental pots with textured glazes all add to the mix on show from the South Wales Potters group. The print makers work on the wall includes black and white etchings of the Beacons as well as colourful representations of the area and the Gower region – these are available framed or as unframed prints .

The potters have been taking it in turns to be in the gallery and there is one last potter to come which is Pauline Paterson, known from the Haymakers in Hay on Wye, Pauline will be in the gallery on Friday 21st December.

The potters exhibiting are:
Liz Andrews ~ Jane Blair ~ Dan Boyle ~ Jason Braham ~ Kim Colebrook ~ Matt Jones ~ Angela Hathway ~ Chris Heneghan ~ Lindy Martin ~ Rachel Padley ~ Pauline Paterson ~ Jane Rees Parfitt ~ William Rolls ~ Carole Spackman ~ Claire Spencer Jones

The printmakers are:
Lynne Bebb ~ Alan Figg ~ Dhyana Fritsche ~ Anne Gullick ~ Yvonne Hills ~ Vicki James ~ Robert MacDonald ~ David LaGrange ~ Carol Lawrence ~ Lesley Lillywhite ~ Pat Lowe ~ Ruth Parmiter ~ Sally Price ~ Kelly Rees ~ Viv Rhule ~ Al & Carys Roberts ~ Kara Seaman ~ Judith Stroud

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Christmas at Cantref

Don’t miss out on the magical experiences you and your little ones will love at Cantref Adventure Farm this Christmas! There is limited availability for the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of December, for both their Santa Experience and Breakfast with Santa! Read on for more information…

  Santa Experience at Cantref

The great thing about Cantref’s Christmas Santa Experience is that we have no stressful queues! We have carefully planned our event so that the children are entertained all the time.  We take approximately 6 families into our Christmas Experience every half an hour.  Instead of standing in a queue the children can make reindeer food, fill in their elf passport, write their letter to Santa, play our snowball game, play in the snow, meet our cute Baby Donkey, Lamb and Piglets and see our Christmas Scenes.  After seeing Santa in his grotto they get a key to his magical present room where they can select their own gift.  There is also a chance to sit in Santa’s sleigh.  On top of the Santa Experience we have shows on throughout the day including Elf Academy, Mr Ev’s Christmas Show and Christmas Party Games and more. 

There is limited availability on the 22nd, 23rd & 24th of December

Book Now

Breakfast with Santa

Breakfast with Santa at Cantref is so much more than the normal garden centre experience where you meet Santa briefly at the table while you eat Breakfast in the Cafe.  The elves will keep the kid’s entertained while you enjoy  a delicious hot buffet full English Breakfast feast in our lovely warm cafe. Then Santa will come and meet you at your table.  Look out for the naughty elves antics when the kid’s pancakes are served!After Breakfast you can take a walk through our Elves Kingdom with real animals and lots of Christmas Trees and Snow. Make reindeer food, sit in Santa’s Sleigh, write your Christmas Letter, play our snowball game, fill in your elf passport and play in the snow while you wait to meet Santa again in his Grotto. Santa will then give you a special key to enter the magical toy shop where you can select your own gift! We also have a Breakfast with Santa option which allows you to stay for the whole day at Cantref so you can enjoy lots of other great activities such as Elf Academy, Mr Ev’s Christmas Show. Pet Handling, Bottle Feeding and Pony Rides. 

There is limited available for the 22nd, 23rd & 24th of December!

Book Now

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