Our top pick of events at this year’ Crickhowell Walking Festival

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9 Days of Guided Walks and Events in and around Crickhowell and the Black Mountains

The Crickhowell Walking Festival takes place around the beginning of March each year and lasts nine days. It consists of a number of guided walks of various grades, all led by local experienced guides. View the walks here. The 2017 festival takes place 25th February til the 5th March.

Here our are top pick of Events:

1. Hills of Wales

Date: Monday 27th February
Venue: Old Rectory Hotel, Llangattock
Times: 7.00pm to 9.00pm
Speaker: Jim Perrin

Price: £7.50
The story of six decades of wanderings through Welsh hill country. Award winning mountaineering, travel and outdoor writer Jim Perrin, talks about his  captivating new book,The Hills of Wales, which takes a personal view of Wales’s unique and distinctive hill country from north to south. He tells his stories with amusing anecdotes and be prepared to be challenged on your views of nature, walking and even politics! Copies of his books will be on sale after the talk. The Hills of Wales has been shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year.

2. Lime, Iron and Coal: An exploration of its early history in the National Parkalan_bowring1__278__thumbnail

Date: Sunday 26th February
Venue: The Bear Hotel
Time: 7pm to 8.30pm
Price: £6.50
Sponsored by: Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
#findyourepic

Alan Bowring, Geopark Officer with the National Park Authority, Alan Bowring will talk about the 350 million year geological story behind the hills and valleys of the southeast of the national park, into which we’ve been busily delving for the last 350 years in pursuit of mineral riches. He’ll consider how the many tramways, quarries and limekilns which abound in this area fit into the story. He’ll look at the geological underpinning which led to the development of extractive industry for ironstone and for limestone, and a little later for coal and for silica rock, taking a park-wide view but then focussing in on the local area :- the Llangattock Escarpment, Clydach Gorge, Gilwern Hill and Blorenge.

Date: Tuesday 28th February
Speaker: Chris Barber MBE
Venue: The Bear Hotel
Times: 7pm to 8.30pm
Price: £6.50

#findyourepicThis richly illustrated talk by the well known author Chris Barber MBE FRGS will take you on a journey through a land haunted by its own past, in search of remote and magical places.Chris is the author of no less than 32 books several of which relate to this National Park. He will reveal a treasure trove of extraordinary tales and mysterious places such as enigmatic standing stones, holy wells and legends associated with Celtic Saints, King Arthur and the Devil. Enhanced by beautiful photography it will be a fascinating lecture.

4. St David’s Day Concert

Date: Wednesday 1st March
Title: Crickhowell Choral Society presents:- A WELCOME IN THE HILLSIDE!
Venue: Clarence Hall, Crickhowell
Time: 7.00pm to 9.00pm
Price: £8.00 (students/under 18s free)
Sponsored by: Crickhowell Choral Society
Far away a voice is calling . . . Join Crickhowell Choral Society and harpist Angharad Young for a warm Welcome in the Hillside and a feast of Welsh songs old and new. Adding to the festivities is folk duo Taith, performing traditional music featuring the Welsh crwth.

Crickhowell Choral Society has been making music across South Wales since 1981. Well known for the quality of its performances, it attracts internationally renowned soloists to its annual Crickhowell Music Festival, held each May and an established feature on the Crickhowell calendar. Learn more at http://www.crickhowellchoralsociety.org.

Concert proceeds to the Society’s Choral Scholar Fund. Interval licensed bar available.

5. Going Nowhere: Journeys off the Edge

Date: Saturday 4th MarchTitle: Going Nowhere: Journeys off the Edge
Speaker: Andy Kirkpatrick
Venue: Clarence Hall
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Price: £12.50
#findyourepic

Metro magazine claims that Andy Kirkpatrick “makes Ray Mears look like Paris Hilton”. More prosaically, Andy says: “I haven’t climbed Everest, skied to the poles, n
or sailed single handed around the world. The goals I set out to accomplish aren’t easily measured or quantified by world records or ‘firsts’. The reasons I climb, and the climbs I do, are about more than distance or altitude, they are about breaking barriers within myself”.

It is perhaps Andy’s journey from remedial student to successful climber, writer and speaker that interests his audience most. Brought up on a council estate in one of Britain’s flattest cities, Hull-born Andy suffered from severe dyslexia which went undiagnosed until he was 19. One of his greatest strengths is his ability to talk about his life and his climbs in a way that is totally accessible to the non-climber and allows the audience to experience the risk and tension of big wall climbing.

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Come and experience our dark skies

A lunar eclipse, snow moon and a comet will spectacularly light up our night skies this February 10th!

The saddle at Craig Cerrig-gleisiad, Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

Photo Credit: Dan Santillo – The pond on the Craig Cerrig Gleisiad Saddle with Fan Gyhirych in the distance.

 

Snow Moon
February’s full moon is traditionally called the Snow Moon because usually the heaviest snows fall in February. Deep snow made hunting more difficult, the moon was also called the Hunger Moon by some tribes struggling to find food. The Moon will rise at 16:44 GMT on the evening of February 10 and set at 07:30 the following morning. It will rise again at 17:56 GMT on February 11.

Lunar Eclipse
A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon align in an almost straight line. When this happens, the Earth blocks some of the Sun’s light from directly reaching the Moon’s surface, and covers a part of the Moon with the outer part of its shadow – also known as the penumbra. The rest receives the same amount of sunlight as usual, making the penumbral eclipse more difficult to observe than a total or partial eclipse.

The penumbral eclipse is due to start at 22:34 GMT on February 10, peak at 00.43 on February 11, and end at 02:53. It will be visible from Europe, most of Asia, Africa and most of North America.

Comet
Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková is named after the astronomers who discovered it in 1948 – Minoru Honda, Antonín Mrkos, and Ľudmila Pajdušáková. It is a periodic comet, meaning it follows a predictable path around the sun, and can be seen from Earth every five and a quarter years.

Top Places to view the Dark Skies – in the Brecon Beacons

1. Usk Reservoir

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The car park area at Usk reservoir is a beautiful place to have a family picnic as well as an ideal place to enjoy outstanding dark skies. The large flat area allows set up of telescopes and the road access from Trecastle means it is easily accessible. This area enjoys a naked eye limiting magnitude of 6.4 and is protected from the light pollution of the South Wales valleys.

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2. Crai Reservoir

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This reservoir is not as accessible as Usk, but a short drive down an access lane allows the set up of telescopes to enjoy stargazing down to a limiting magnitude of 6.37. There are also laybys along the A4607 which provide ideal places to enjoy the beauty of the dark skies.

3. Llanthony Priory

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One of the most beautiful ruined buildings in the care of CADW, Llanthony Priory has pristine skies and is situated along the Offa’s Dyke Path just on the Welsh-English border, with skies that have a limiting magnitude of 6.35. The priory is set in one of the most charming areas to observe in Wales.

4. Hay Bluff

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The road over Gospel Pass from Llanthony to Hay-on-Wye brings you to the car park on Hay Bluff, a hill overlooking the Wye valley with great views over Powys and Shropshire to the distant north-west. The skies have a limiting magnitude of 6.34. The town of Hay is the largest centre of second hand bookshops outside of London, making this a good place to look for astronomy titles.

5. National Park Visitor Centre (Mountain Centre)

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The visitor centre is signposted at the village of Libanus on the main A470 road and is very accessible both day and night. Enjoying skies with a limiting magnitude of 6.37, the centre is one of the best and most accessible areas to set up telescopes and is within an hour’s drive of every one of the South Wales valleys.

6. Pen Rhiw Ddu

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The car park off the winding road between Llandeilo and Brynamman over the Black Mountain is a great location as there is good access from the Swansea Valley and plenty of room for telescopes. It also overlooks the darkness of Mid and West Wales with the skies here enjoying a limiting magnitude of 6.31.

7. Carreg Cennen

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The wonderful castle at Carreg Cennen sitting on its huge limestone cliff offers a great day out with breathtaking views across the valley to the west and one of the darkest skies in the region at a limiting magnitude of 6.26. It is accessible from Llandeilo, Carmarthen and Ammanford and is within an hour’s drive of the South Wales valleys and the rural heartland of West Wales.© Brecon Beacons National Park

© Brecon Beacons National Park

8. Craig-y-nos Country Park and Craig Y Nos Castle

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Craig-y-Nos Castle is the former home of opera singer Adelina Patti, one of the greatest sopranos in history. The skies here have a limiting magnitude of 6.30 and are very accessible by road from Swansea and Brecon.

9. Sugar Loaf Mountain

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The hill dominating the skyline from Abergavenny is accessible off the main A40 road. The limiting magnitude here is 6.10 and you enjoy a wide view over the south and west whilst avoiding much of the light pollution of the towns to the south.

10. Llangorse Lake

The Milky Way, Llangorse Lake, Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

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Very accessible from the South Wales valleys and the Midlands along the A40 road, Llangors Lake has a  profusion of places to set up telescopes. It shares the location with an outdoor pursuits centre, which has some stray light but with a limiting magnitude of 6.24 hopefully they make little intrusion into this beauty spot.

Where to Stay for your visit 

 

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Credit: Grant Hyatt Photography

The Brecon Beacons offers a wide range of accommodation to suit all your requirements to make the most of our dark skies! Whether you want to bring your dog along so need pet friendly accommodation, or fancied coming with a group of friends  there will be somewhere for you! Here are our top 5 places to stay for your stargazing adventure!

1. Camp Cynrig Glamping Village-Family friendly, couples, adventure.
What better way to go stargazing than spending the night oudoors? Situated in
the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park you will never be short of things to do during your stay at Camp Cynrig. Walk, swim, cycle, fish, horseride all from our doorstep. The units are set in a gently sloping field bordered by the river Cynrig. The tipis have futon beds and a central fire pit. The cabin has a kingsize memory foam bed, two sets of bunkbeds, sofas, chairs and log burner. Both the tipis and the cabin have gas camping stoves, cool box, all your essential cooking equipment, washing line, hammock, outdoor bbq/campfire area, so are more than comfy for both parents and children!

2. Craig Y Nos Castle-Pet friendly, families, couples, adventure.
Craig Y Nos Castle is situated in the West of the Brecon Beacons National Park, between Swansea and Brecon. You will be able to have a perfect view of the night sky from their country park, as well as being close to the breathtaking stargazing spot of Carreg Cennen Castle. They are able to provide guests with a wide range of Accommodation to suit their budget, we offer Bed and Breakfast with Full Cooked Breakfast is renowned for its Dog Friendly Accommodation in Wales – with their own resident dogs Jack and Sheba, welcoming you to the Castle for its Pet Friendly Dog Owners Accommodation – staying in en suite rooms your dog is always with you.

3. The Star Bunkhouse-Group Accommodation, Familes, dog friendly, adventure
You can expect a warm and comfortable stay in the Star self-catering bunkhouse. There’s spacious bedrooms, cosy lounge and dining areas, a fully-equipped kitchen, an outside BBQ area, hot showers, drying room, free wi-fi and off-road parking.
The Star can sleep up to 20 people in bunk beds spread over 6 bedrooms, and welcome bookings from individuals and couples as well as small & large groups. It’s a popular choice for family get-togethers, reunions, birthday parties, hens & stags, school & youth groups, clubs & societies, and with all lovers of the great outdoors. They offer shared or exclusive use, and are dog friendly by arrangement.  You will be close by the magical Llangorse Lake, which is a beautiful spot to watch the night sky.

4.The Plough-Dog friendly, couples, luxury, families, adventure
The Plough is a charming four star boutique hotel and AA rosette award winning restaurant. Set in breathtaking Welsh countryside near the historic market town of Llandeilo in the West of the park overlooking the beautiful Towy Valley. Their location is ideal for touring nearby magical castles, country houses, gardens and attractions of the Brecon Beacons and Carmarthenshire. Within a short distance you will find Fforest Fawr Geopark, which accounts for two thirds of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Red Kite Feeding Centre, Dinefwr Park and the awe-inspiring Carreg Cennen Castle. Llandeilo is also renowned for numerous boutique shops, whether you seek gifts, clothes or jewellery, it’s a shoppers haven.

5. The Bear Hotel-Pet Friendly, Families, couples.
A former coaching inn, The Bear at Crickhowell has been welcoming guests for 500 years and still extends the same warmth, comfort, cosy atmosphere, good food and wide selection of drinks as ever before. Guests can stay in oak-beamed rooms just as stagecoach passengers did or in more modern suites, some with spa baths. Dogs stay free and every new arrival is given a bowl of chicken! Dogs are allowed everywhere apart from the restaurant.

Happy Stargazing!

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Brecon Beacons nominated as Holiday Destination of the Year by BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards

We are delighted to announce the Brecon Beacons National Park has been nominated as BBC Countryfile Magazine Holiday Destination of the Year!

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Vote for us via here  – Note voting closes before midnight on 28th February
#BreconBeacons

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The Angel Wedding Showcase: Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th February 2017

The Angel Wedding Showcase: Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th February 2017.

 If you’re planning your big day & looking for the perfect venue come have a sneak peek at how amazing your wedding could be at The Angel Hotel. Enjoy a glass of bubbly whilst viewing our romantic venue & gain some fresh and original ideas from our handpicked suppliers. Open from 11.00am – 3.00pm on both days, we look forward to introducing you to our beautiful venue. If you wish to meet with one of our wedding coordinators appointments are available between 12.00pm – 2.00pm.
To book an appointment or for further information please e-mail Charlotte: charlotte.griffiths@angelabergavenny.com by Wednesday 15th February 2017.
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10 reasons to choose The Angel to get married: 
 1)  We have amazing all inclusive wedding packages 
 2)  Beautiful photographs at Abergaveny Castle (2 minute walk from the
      hotel) and Linda Vista Gardens (3 minute walk from the hotel)
 3)  Drinks reception held in the lovely Abergavenny Castle
 4)  Elegant facilities; modern yet reassuringly old fashioned
 5)  Attentive yet unobtrusive staff
 6)  Exemplary food and service
 7)  Complimentary wedding coordinator
 8)  Outstanding attention to detail
 9)  Our recommended makeup artists and hairdressers will come onsite
      to the hotel
10) We will stop at nothing to ensure your wedding is your perfect day

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/90970704″>The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny.</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user6551914″>Visual Impact Productions</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>
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Looking for Half Term Inspiration?

Then look no further than Theatr Brycheiniog!

There are a range of fantastic shows this half term that will be enjoyed by all ages, from children right through to their Grandparents!

King Arthur-Wednesday 22 Febrarthuruary- 2:00pm

A drowning boy is rescued by a mysterious figure who claims to be Arthur Pendragon. The old man’s stories transport the boy back to the heady days of Camelot, the Round Table, Merlin and Excalibur.
Stories of brave chivalry and battles, the search for the Holy Grail and the great betrayal of Lancelot and Guinevere are all part of this exciting new production brought to life with music, magic and outstanding storytelling. Book now. Tickets £12. Concessions £10
So You Think You know about Dinosaurs…?!-Thursday 23 February-2.30pm
Children will be given the opportunity to ask questions and show off their dinosaur knowledge. Come and test your knowledge against TV sceintist Ben Garrod who will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about dinosaurs and more!
This interactive show uses footage from the BBC’s Planet Dinosaur to explore the deadliest predators to ever roam the planet! Bo
ok now.
Tickets £13. Concessions £11. Group of Four £44
And here’s something for the adults…
Rock N Roll Paradise-Friday 24 February-Tickets £19.50rock_n_roll_legends_poster_web_large
In 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Paradise returns to UK theatres for the 8th successive year as a brand new exciting show. Bursting with over 40 classic rock ‘n’ roll songs and featuring the country’s best tributes to the era’s biggest icons such as Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash,  Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran and even the king himself – Elvis. Supported by the explosive Paradise Band expect to hear such songs as Great Balls of Fire, Peggy Sue, Blue Suede Shoes, Johnny B Goode, Be Bop A Lula, Pretty Woman and many, many more – a night not to be missed. Book now.
Comedy club-Friday 24 February-Tickets £10.00
Following a sell-out season in the Autumn, Little Wander (the team behind the Machynlleth Comedy Festival) return with their monthly comedy club. Catch some of the UKs finest stand up stars at fantastic value. Book now.
Have you considered becoming a Friend or Patron of Theatr Brycheiniog?
The Friends and Patrons scheme supports the theatre whilst allowing members to build up credits on their ticket purchase, have a discount at the theatre bar and also enjoy free parking in the theatre car park where evening charges are now levied. Patron’s are also invited to special patron events each season.
For more details please visit the website, or email friends@brycheiniog.co.uk
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Accommodation in the Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons offers a wide range of accommodation to suit all your requirements. Whether you are a dog lover looking for pet friendly accommodation, a group of friends looking to have an action packed stay, or if you are looking for a weekend of luxury, there will be somewhere for you! Here is our guide to help you find the right location for your visit.

Pet friendly

The Bear Hotel

A former coaching inn, The Bear at Crickhowell has been welcoming guests for 500 years and still extends the same warmth, comfort, cosy atmosphere, good food and wide selection of drinks as ever before. Guests can stay in oak-beam
ed rooms just as stagecoach passengers did or in more modern suites, some with spa baths. Dogs stay free and every new arrival is given a bowl of chicken! Dogs are allowed everywhere apart from the restaurant. If people stay they can eat with their dog in the bars and we lay dog breakfast tables in the bar! The Bear is surrounded by the beautiful Brecon Beacons – with hundreds of miles of walks to suit dogs of all abilities! It’s lambing time so dogs on leads, please.

Llwyn Llwyd Farm Cottage
A 4 bedroom cottage sleeping up to 8. Llwyn Llwyd Cottage has its own private parking area with plenty of space for several cars. There is a large enclosed garden. One of the double bedrooms is on the ground floor and suitable for those not able to use the stairs. Llwyn Llwyd Cottage is very well equipped for a large family gathering or holiday with friends. They welcome well behaved dogs. There is a charge of £15 for 1 dog and £10 for a 2nd dog and any further dogs by agreement £10 each.

Pontganol Cottage
Pontganol Cottage is a boutique, 4 star, self-catering, dog-friendly holiday cottage in Llangynidr within the Brecon Beacons National Park, near the market towns of Crickhowell, Abergavenny and Monmouth. Lovingly renovated to a high standard in 2014, the cottage sits in the stunning scenery of the Llangynidr area. There are walks all around, from gentle strolls along the canal to the village’s pubs, nature-spotting excursions beyond the canal to the river (where wild swimming is permitted on several stretches), to hiking up the mountains and taking in the jaw-dropping views of Llangorse lake and the Brecon Beacons National Park. It’s the perfect location for you and your dog! There is free wifi throughout the cottage. Well behaved dogs (up to a maximum number of two in any party) are welcome, but are not allowed upstairs or on the furniture.

Craig Y Nos Castle
Craig Y Nos Castle is renowned for its Dog Friendly Accommodation in Wales – with thier own resident dogs Jack and Sheba, welcoming you to the Castle for its Pet Friendly Dog Owners Accommodation – staying in en suite rooms your dog is always with you.

Dining our Patti Bar, means that you and your dog are not excluded from other guests – indeed when you are having your breakfast your pet can enjoy their own breakfast sausage.
They dont even charge for your dog – all we ask is that they too are friendly!! Every day Jack & Sheba , the Castle’s resident dogs go for a walk and you are welcome to join them. One of Jack and Sheba’s other walking friends will be pleased to guide you on some of the local walks. A good walk around the Country Park will certainly allow your dog to run off the lead, whilst you will be able to take in the sights and get some good pictures.

Your own dog will love the company and can revel in the crystal clear lakes and rivers which abound in the region.
Please bring you pet’s sleeping box, bedding, and feeding bowls. Dogs are allowed in all public areas of the castle except our Function Room or Conservatory.

Luxury – spa offer

Peterstone Court 
Chic and distinctive in its style, Peterstone remains loyal to its Georgian heritage, but compliments the old, with a relaxed style, funky details and modern touches. One of the great benefits of a retreat at Peterstone Court is the lovely spa and leisure suite – converted from the underground cellars. It will be a great place for a romantic and relaxing weekend away!Image result for peterstone court spa

Long Barn and Hayloft Cottage at Upper House Farm & Spa, Craswall, are two luxury self-catering mountain barns, located on the hills of the Black Mountains, right at the entrance of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Therefore the views are stunning and it’s paradise for walkers, lovers of nature and star gazers.


Our concept is new: we bring the boutique-hotel touch to self-catering and offer you style, comfort and exclusive hospitality. Complimentary access to our new luxurious sauna (opening in late Spring 2016). Treat yourself to a full spa treatment (a-la-carte list, payable).

 

Family friendly

The Lamb and Flag
For centuries the Lamb & Flag has been a traditional coachingimg_1704.jpg inn set at the foot of Sugar Loaf Mountain. Situated at the gateway to the Brecon Beacons National Park, just near the bustling market town of Abergavenny, it is the perfect base for exploring the National Park, offering high quality pub food, cask beers and excellent en-suite guest
bedrooms.There’s 5 en-suite guest bedrooms, all equipped with LCD TV and WiFi access. The rooms also have fantastic mountain views, and tea & coffee making facilities.

Dolygaer B and B
Unsurpassed views of Hay-on-Wye and two spacious suite rooms (one with private living room) contained in a stunning barn conversion less than a mile from town – what more could you want? Dol-y-Gaer is family-run based in a converted stone barn, The B&B offers two ‘suites’, both with breathtaking views of the surrounding hills, and equally appealing.

Camp Cynrig Glamping Village
What better place to take your children? Situated in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park you will never be short of things to do during your stay at Camp Cynrig. Walk, swim, cycle, fish, horseride all from our doorstep. The units are set in a gently sloping field bordered by the river Cynrig. The tipis have futon beds and a central fire pit. The cabin has a kingsize memory foam bed, two sets of bunkbeds, sofas, chairs and log burner. Both the tipis and the cabin have gas camping stoves, cool box, all your essential cooking equipment, washing line, hammock, outdoor bbq/campfire area, so are more than comfy for both parents and children!

Romantic couples

Upper House Farm and Spa
Take your pick from one of two luxury self-catering mountain barns, located on the hills of the Black Mountains, right at the entrance of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Marvel at the stunning views or why not treat your loved one to a full spa treatment?

Ty Croeso Bed and Breakfast 

Situated in the heart of the beautiful Brecon Beacons, Ty Croeso Bed and Breakfast is set high on the hillside above the Monmouth and Brecon Canal just half-a-mile from the charming town of Crickhowell.
The accommodation in the Victorian stone built property has been refurbished to a very high standard and each room offers luxury en suite facilities, Egyptian cotton linen and a flat screen TV with DVD player.

Romantic Getaway
Enjoy a romantic getaway in the Old Coach House in Llangasty near Brecon. A charming little place for 2 people with a huge bedroom with a super king bed! ) Cosy up by the wood burner in this beautifully quiet area of the Brecon Beacons-perfectly positioned for walking, biking, excursions or just relaxing!

The Plough Inn
The Plough is a charming four star boutique hotel and AA rosette award winning restaurant. Set in breathtaking Welsh countryside near the historic market town of Llandeilo in the West of the park overlooking the beautiful Towy Valley. Their location is ideal for touring magical castles, country houses, gardens and attractions of the Brecon Beacons and Carmarthenshire. Within a short distance you will find Fforest Fawr Geopark, which accounts for two thirds of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Red Kite Feeding Centre, Dinefwr Park and the awe-inspiring Carreg Cennen Castle. Llandeilo is also renowned for numerous boutique shops, whether you seek gifts, clothes or jewellery, it’s a shoppers haven.

Find plenty more perfect places for your romantic stay in the Brecon Beacons here.

Adventure Based

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A converted barn in the western area of the National Park, that has been an outdoor activity centre for over 40 years. It has undergone extensive modification over the past few years. There are 9 bedrooms that sleep between 2 and 6 people in a mix of both single and bunk beds. The large dining room can seat 40 + people, along with seating area around the wood burner. There is also a separate lounge, large hallways and a very efficient drying room. There is a large kitchen fitted out to commercial catering standards that is for groups use or catering can be arranged. The bunkhouse is set in 8 acres of private ground, so there is plenty of outside space for groups use and for camping.

Cantref Bunkhouse Accommodation 
Situated on the foothills of the Brecon Beacons just outside of Brecon, South Wales and is the ideal retreat for walkers, cyclists, canoeists, dark skies fanatics, groups and families as there is a spacious cark park suitable for trailers with enough room to reverse / turn around and a outdoor lockable bike shed. The bunkhouses offer self-catered accommodation with views overlooking the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains. The bunkhouses are 4 miles south east of Brecon where local amenities are available; and we are within walking distance to the mountains. Cantref bunkhouse accommodation is on the doorstep to many outdoor pursuits including climbing, caving, cycling/mountain biking and canoeing. The bunkhouses are part of a working farm with a riding centre and adventure farm on site. We welcome school and youth groups. Please note that the bunkhouses are non smoking and we only accept guide dogs.

Groups of friends

Courtyard Cottage on Hopyard Farm
A large holiday home to accommodate 14 peImage result for courtyard cottage hopyard farmople. Located in the Usk Valley close to the market town of Abergavenny Hopyard Farm is a perfect location to gather friends and family. Courtyard Cottage has 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms plus a large kitchen and dining room. Facilities for the cottage include a large indoor games room; private rear garden plus a lawned and tarmac area to enjoy a range of outdoor games. Bikes can be hired from Hopyard Cycles run from the farm.

Holt Farm Holiday Cottages
Holt Farm offers luxury group accommodation near Hay-on-Wye.  If you want a rural retreat for self-catering group accommodation, family gathering, a friends reunion, Hen or Stag party or business event come to Holt Farm where you can choose from four beautifully restored, 17th century barns giving you 21st century luxury and seclusion and Hot Tubs. Holt Farm House sleeps 8+ [with dining for 12] and Holt Barn sleeps 6-8 and can cater for all 22 to eat together in the 10m long double height Dining Hall. To choose your cottages please click here for full details and up to the minute availability.

The Star Bunkhouse
You can expect a warm and comfortable stay in the Star self-catering bunkhouse. There’s spacious bedrooms, cosy lounge and dining areas, a fully-equipped kitchen, an outside BBQ area, hot showers, drying room, free wi-fi and off-road parking.
The Star can sleep up to 20 people in bunk beds spread over 6 bedrooms, and welcome bookings from individuals and couples as well as small & large groups. It’s a popular choice for family get-togethers, reunions, birthday parties, hens & stags, school & youth groups, clubs & societies, and with all lovers of the great outdoors. They offer shared or exclusive use, and are dog friendly by arrangement.  All bed linen is provided, and you will only ever share a bedroom with members of your own party.

Something different….

Beacon Park Boats
Beacon Park Boats is our family business, offering 5-star boating holidays on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. It’s the fast way to slow down. Cruise at just 2½ miles an hour past magnificent mountains and pretty canalside villages, get up close to wildlife, and, most importantly, find time to relax with family and friends. Expect luxurious beds, exquisite shower rooms, high-spec kitchens, central heating, wood-burning stoves and bow thrusters for easy boat handling.

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Beacon Park Boats

…or why not head to the Best B&B in Wales as voted by http://www.trivago.co.uk!
Pwllgwilym Self Catering Holiday Cottages near Builth Wells was tastefully converted from the old farm Barn in 2006, a traditional conversion leaving the old beams, stone walls and adding traditional flag stone floors. Situated two miles from Builth Wells in the lovely village of Cilmery, in Mid Wales, Powys, we are surrounded by 60 acres of green farm land with outstanding scenery. Close to some amazing country side and scenery ideal for touring the area.

The Barn consists of 3 spacious 4-star cottages which sleep from 4 to 17. Each cottage is comfortably furnished with a cottage feel, bedrooms have pine furniture, good kitchen facilities and are fully heated. The use of gas barbecue with each cottage, outdoor furniture, with ample parking. More here.

 

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February Half Term in the Brecon Beacons

famIf you’re stuck for ideas on what to do this February half term with your family then look no further, we’ve got a few ideas to keep you entertained right here in the Brecon Beacons.

1. Watch Michael Morpurgo’s King Arthur at Theatr Brycheiniog – 22nd Februaryarthur

Michael Morpurgo’s King Arthur is an epic tale of deep magic, heroism, love and betrayal. Adapted from the novel Arthur: High King of Britain, from the Author of War Horse and Private Peaceful.

When a small boy becomes stranded at sea, he is rescued by a mysterious old man who claims to be King Arthur Pendragon. As the old man starts to tell his stories, the boy is transported back to the days of Camelot. Guided by Merlin, the young king pulls the sword from the stone to win the throne, puts the Saxons to the sword and unites the kingdom and gathers his Knights of the Round Table. But even at his happiest with his beautiful Queen Guinevere and best friend Lancelot, Arthur senses the end of Camelot is not far away.

Stories of brave chivalry and battles, the search for the Holy Grail and the great betrayal of Lancelot and Guinevere are all part of this exciting new production from award-winning Story Pocket Theatre.

Michael Morpurgo’s King Arthur is a fast-moving show of adventure, physical theatre, puppetry and outstanding storytelling. 7+ years.  Book your tickets here

2. Half term activities at National Garden of Wales 18th – 26th February

There will be fun and games on every day of the half-term holiday, which will include zoo bugs and bug crafts, make and decorate your own rockets and constellation cards and look at the skies with telescopes.

There will also be a welcome return to the National Garden of Wales by Jugglestruck, with shows on February 18th, 25th and 26th.

To round the week up there will be a very special St David’s Celebration Day in honour of our patron saint, with a food and craft fair and music by local choirs.  Entry to this Celebration Day will be free to everyone.

For more information, email info@gardenofwales.org.uk or call 01558 667149.

Check out the Garden’s Children’s Play Area – the highly imaginative adventure zone is a place for children to jump, crawl, tumble, slide and swing

3. Be king of the castle for the day

Wales is home to some of Europe’s finest surviving medieval castles. Here in the Brecon Beacons, we have our fair share.

Perhaps the most dreamy and dramatic of all are the weathered remains of Carreg Cennen Castle, perched high up on a limestone crag.

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.

Most of our ruins stand in parkland that’s open to the public, while our more intact castles and mansions are cared for by Cadw and the National Trust. They all make exciting and inspiring days out.  Find our more here

4. Watch So you think you know about DINOSAURS…?! at Theatr Brycheiniog- 23rd February

Did dinosaurs eat their own families? Was every Tyrannosaurus Rex a fearsome carnivore? Why did Allosaurus headbutt its prey to death?

Come and test your knowledge against Ben Garrod, the TV scientist from ‘Attenborough’s Giant Dinosaur’. With the help of TV film footage and photos of his own palaeontological dinosaur digs, he will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about dinosaurs and more!

In this interactive show where children will be given the chance to ask questions and show off their dinosaur knowledge to the audience. Ben’s assistant will roam the auditorium with a microphone and take questions from as many children as possible. Using film footage from the BBC’s ‘Planet Dinosaur’, Ben will talk about the deadliest predators that ever roamed the planet and the ones that, 60 million years ago, would have walked right where they are sitting now! Book your tickets here. 

5. Spend a legendary day at Cantref Adventure Farm 

Spring time is a very busy time of the year for Farmer Ken with fluffy new arrivals being born every day.

Join Farmer Ken in the Lambing Barn and you may be lucky enough to see our cute baby lambs being born?

With so many family favourites; bottle feeding, pony rides and pet handling, make sure Cantref Adventure Farm is on your “To Do” list this February Half Term.  Find out more here. 

6. Take a short trip by narrow gauge steam train on one of the most popular vintage railway routes in Wales.

The Brecon Mountain Railway – the former Brecon and Merthyr Tydfil Junction railway takes you therough beautiful Brecon Beacons scenery from Pant to Pontsticill, along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservoir. The train has all-weather observation carriages.

At Pontsticill you can visit the cafe and admire the view across Pontsticill Reservoir, the largest of the four Taf Fechan reservoirs, to the peaks of the Brecon Beacons. Or you could go for a ramble on the shore. There is a children’s play area here.

On your return to Pant, you can visit the workshop where old steam locomotives are repaired or follow the footpath to a picnic site which has an amazing panoramic view of the valley. Find out more here. 

7. The Play Barn at Brynich 


For more adventure, exercise and stimulation, visit The Play Barn at Brynich’ indoor soft play centre on the edge of Brecon. Suitable for children up to 11. With a café that offers delicious meals, snacks and drinks, the parents can stay happy too. The Play Barn at Brynich is open Wednesday to Sunday during term time. Open 7 days a week during Powys school holidays.

  

8. Go UndergroundBig Pit ©

Visit Big Pit- With free entry, Big Pit is a must-see for South Wales. With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out. The Museum is set in a unique industrial landscape, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000!

Visit Dan Yr Ogof Showcaves

Visit Dan Yr Ogof Showcaves, spot over 200 life size dinosaur models and visit the Shire Horse Centre this half term. The 3 different caves Dan-yr-Ogof, Cathedral Cave and Bone Cave each offer a unique underground experience, with their dinosaur collection being one of the largest in the world. The Shire Horse Centre offers the excitement of the 2 covered children’s play areas, the farmyard area, and make friends with the gentle giants – the Shire horses who are waiting to say hello. Include the Iron Age village, museum, and stone circles, and you have plenty to see and do for all ages, and for those who may want a break, there is our Coffee shop, and the Rock and Dinosaur shop to enjoy.

9. 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.

10. Go Geocaching

Family opening a 'geo-cache' while Geocaching

Geocaching by National Trust Images/John Millar

Got a phone with GPS on it? Then you’re ready to go Geocaching, a global game of hide-and-seek with almost two million hidden ‘treasures’. The Brecon Beacons National Park people have really got the bug: they’ve planted 180 caches for you to find.  And your children will never again be bored on country walks.  Find out more here.

11. Have a day out with National Trust Wales

1. Cattle Shed Tours. Dates: Every weekday during February half term at 12pm
Brief: Join our rangers aboard the tractor trailer as we discover our legendary White Park Cattle in their new winter home. This is a first for Dinefwr as visitors have never before been able to experience the cattle during the winter. We will tell the stories of why this breed is so important to us and how our legendary stockman makes sure they have everything they need through out the winter months.

Visitors will have the opportunity to have a tour of the shed and meet the cattle up close. The tractor trailer will leave and return in front of the VIC. Tour will last approximately 1 hour and is aimed at our explorer family audience.
#savetheherd #legends #myepic

Normal admission prices apply
What if I have an unanswered question? Please contact Sarah – sarah.jones4@nationaltrust.org.uk

2. Newton House and Courtyard- 1pm every day throughout have term we deliver a conservation/collection themed talk targed towards the adults curious minds audience. There will be a selection of legendary items which will be interpreted, such as donkey shoes, a Dinefwr horse and cart sign, the lime and horse hair plaster ceilings, horse hair chairs and Kevin’s conservation pony hair brushes to name a few.  The tour will only be short (approx. 20 mins) and will tie in with the theme of horses and grooms throughout the half term. There will also be an opportunity to meet the legendary groom and ponies in the courtyard.

FEBRUARY HALF TERM  TOURS ACTIVITIES
11AM DOWNSTAIRS TOUR Self guided Children’s Servants Trail
12PM HIDDEN HOUSE TOUR Servant’s Costumes for Children to Dress up
1PM CONSERVATION TOUR: Hidden Horse Peek Beneath the Sheets at Collections
2PM DOWNSTAIRS TOUR
3PM HIDDEN HOUSE TOUR

3. February Half Term – Salt Dough Hearts. Dates: Mon 20th  – Fri 24th  10am – 4pm

Brief: Come along this half term week to make legendary salt dough heart ornaments, you could personalize them with your initials or maybe even create a pattern. Learn about the story of our legendary cook showed her love for our legendary groomsman in Newton House. No booking required. The Old Kitchen – Inner Courtyard. There is no additional charge for the event – Normal admission charges apply.

Kim Walker – 01558 825139 kimberley.walker@nationaltrust.org.uk

12. Have fun learning about wildlife16441608_10158187528285596_615702630_n

13. Half-term holiday offer – a fantastic family adventure day with Award Winning Activity Providers Hawk Adventures.

Experience an activity day out with the winners of the Best Activity Provider in the Brecon Beacons Tourism Awards. For a reduced price of £250 a family of 5 can take part in an activity of their choice and experience a high quality and fun adventure day out with one of our qualified instructions. Equipment hire and photos from the day are included in the price. Activities available include:

Bushcraftheader_image_services_rockclimbing.jpg

Caving

Canyoning

Climbing & Abseiling

Gorge Walking

Orienteering

Available Monday-Friday of half-term (20th -24th February) terms and conditions apply.

 

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