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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Brecon Beacons Businesses Among the Winners of the Great Outdoor Awards 2018!

Nearly 10,000 people took the opportunity to vote in The Great Outdoors Reader Awards earlier this year, with three businesses in the Brecon Beacons doing well this year!

The winners of The Great Outdoors Awards 2018 are announced in our January issue, out now


The Bear Hotel – Crickhowell- were shortlisted for the Walkers’ Pub of the Year Award.

The Star Bunkhouse – Bwlch, Brecon Beacons- winning Silver in the Hostel or Bunkhouse of the Year

Crickhowell Adventure – Brecon Beacons- were shortlisted for Independent Retailer of the Year

Congratulations all! To find out more about the winners and read all coverage of The Great Outdoors Awards 2018, pick up a copy of their January issue, which is in shops today! You can also order a copy online (free postage).

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Give Someone Special a Photography Workshop Gift Voucher for Christmas

Buy a Photography Course Voucher as a Christmas Gift!
If you’ve not already decided on your Christmas presents, or if you’d like to give a special person something more, why not give your partner, best friend, or relation a Photography Workshop Gift Voucher for Christmas……..or ask someone to buy you a much deserved gift!

Not only that; if you book before Midnight on Saturday 22nd December you’ll get 10% off any booking. Simply put Christmas 2018 into the Discount Coupon Box at Checkout. If it’s a higher value workshop and you’re simply pay a deposit at this stage, you’ll get the 10% discount off the balance as well of course!

Give them something to look forward to in the New Year with the flexibility of any course or workshop of their choice from a One Day Experience in the Brecon Beacons, other locations in Wales or Shropshire to Four Days on the Isle of Skye, Northumberland and more. They’ll enjoy a trip away in a glorious part of the UK as well as developing their photography skills beyond recognition!


Workshops are for between 3-6 people and run all year round on set dates. You can buy a gift voucher for a specific date or an open one (valid for a year) which can be used for any workshop up to the stated length.

Even if you buy a Gift Voucher for one workshop you can transfer it to another to the same value or put it against the cost of other of greater value so they are totally flexible!

See our great choice of One Day Group Workshop Gift Vouchers here…..and see our equally great range of Weekend and Short Break Workshop Gift Vouchers here! 


Example from Blaen y Glyn Waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons

Courses are for One Person or Two Booking Together and run year round on any mutually convenient date. They are therefore totally flexible and tailored to individual requirements. Again, vouchers are valid for one year; however any Individual Voucher not used within a year is valid for a further year on a Group Workshop up to the same value.

Example of wonderful light at Blaenavon Ironworks in the South Wales Valleys

Vouchers are available for my complete range of Individual and Group workshops and are valid for one year from date of purchase. You’ll frecvied a high quality laninted Gift Voucher together with a greetings card so it makes a proper present!

Just click the following links to get to the Gift Vouchers on the website:

Group Workshops and Individual Courses

For full details………….
Visit our new Website and please see our Terms and Conditions of Booking

If you prefer to use our original website www.creativephotographywales.com all information is still on there and you can book as normal. However this website does not have a discount code facility (it’s old!) and it does not have the Booking for 2 Discount, but don’t worry, you’ll be remimbursed the value of this after booking.

Call Nigel on 01874 676402 or email your reply to this newsletter if you’d like any further general information or on a specific workshop.
Detailed information on each workshop will be forwarded to you on booking.(payment required to confirm your place via Paypal or BACS). 

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What’s on this December?

Tis the season to be jolly! and the Brecon Beacons has so much to make your festive season special this December, from craft fairs where you can get some great gifts, to Christmas shows that the whole family will enjoy!

1st-Brecon Craft Fair at Brecon Market Hall

Brecon craft fair has been established for over 20 years and is based in the towns historic market hall. Each month up to 60 traditional independent craft workers and artists offer a wide range of high quality arts and crafts. This provides the opportunity to buy original and unique work directly from craft workers and artists.

1st, 8th, 15th, 21st and 22nd December-Breakfast with Santa at the Old Railway Line Garden Centre

This event is perfect for large or small groups of family and friends to meet to enjoy an experience to remember. Enjoy a freshly prepared breakfast whilst Santa visits each table. More here.

1st-Christmas in the Courtyard

2nd- The Advent Procession at Brecon Cathedral

3rd-23rd Dec-Brecon Mountain Santa Train

Celebrating their 30th year, come down to the railway and join in on the festivities with a ride to Santa’s grotto. Both children and grown-ups will receive a gift, so everyone leaves with a smile on their face. 

5-9th-Brecon Cathedral’s Christmas Tree Festival

6th-Christmas Fair and Late Night Shopping in Crickhowell

Late night shopping with town’s shops staying open til 8.00pm  and Christmas Fairs in venues across town (Clarence Hall, Parish Hall, Courtyard): Gifts, Crafts, Food, Carols, Bellringing, Christmas tree competition and much more!

8th-The Big Skill Christmas Fair at The Globe at Hay

Join The Big Skill at the globe for a day of discovering beautiful handmade arts and crafts, created by a range of local artisans, perfect gifts for you, your home or your friends and family. Free entry to the public. 

big skill winter fair web

Why not make a day of it and stay to enjoy the atmosphere at this lovely quirky venue… you can get into the festive spirit whilst purchasing unique, bespoke gifts and then rest your legs whilst sipping coffee or mulled wine, or treat yourself to lunch and a scrumptious cake! More here.

8th-Brecon Farmers Market

8-9th- Christmas Craft Fair at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales

On December 8-9 the Gardens popular Christmas Craft Fair will be on. There will be a fantastic variety of stalls where you can purchase locally-made crafts and gifts, from candles to homeware! There plenty more happening at the Gardens-discover here.

10th-Brecon Town Concert Band presents A Christmas Celebration

Hits from the 1950 onwards. Lyrics projected onto a big screen so that you can sing–a-long from the comfort of your seat. Or, if you are feeling more adventurous, join the Band on stage. Come and join the fun and try your hand at one of the verses of the “12 days of Christmas”. Full listing of songs, shown on the Band’s web site at www.brecontonwband.com

Tickets here: £10.00 and £7.50 and include a glass of wine and a mince pie.

14th-15th-Christmas Fayre at Tretower Court

Tradition at Tretower – old and new combine at Christmas for a Fayre and Festivities! Visit our Christmas Fayre at Tretower for some local products from some local sources – and maybe get some inspiration for those last-minute gift ideas too. On Saturday we have the added attraction of the Medieval Household; come and learn how the Vaughan family retainers celebrated the festive season. Holly and ivy, mistletoe and mulled wine, wreaths and Yule logs, and there may be one or two carols as well – old ones, of course! More here.

16th-It’s Christmas…Father Christmas at Big Pit 

Be amazed as Father Christmas arrives at Pit Top at 10.30am, travelling 300ft UP from underground on his way to Lapland. Once he’s arrived (and found his elves!) there’ll be an opportunity to visit him in his cottage, from 11am-1pm and 1.30pm-4pm, and tell him what’s on your Christmas list. Are you in his naughty or good book? Music will also be provided by Blaenavon Town Band. £5 charge to include a gift. Suitable for all children. No booking necessary. Supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

21st-Only Men Aloud at Theatr Brycheiniog


Ten years ago Only Men Aloud became the Last Choir Standing, winning the BBC1 primetime show and become Britain’s favourite choir. To celebrate this anniversary, Only Men Aloud are heading back out on tour to celebrate the last ten years.

Only Men Aloud have asked their very loyal fan group what their favourite songs have been from over the past ten years, and many of these will feature in the Decade Tour. Tickets here. There’s plenty more on at Theatr Brycheiniog-click here.

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Get into the Festive spirit at Theatr Brycheiniog this December

Here are just a few of the shows happening at Theatr Brycheiniog this December…

Horrible Histories – Terrible Tudors-4th-8th 

We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead! So it’s time to prepare yourselves for two amazing shows with Horrible Histories live on stage !From the horrible Henries to the end of evil Elizabeth, hear the legend (and the lies!) about the torturing Tudors. Find out the fate of Henry’s headless wives and his punch up with the Pope. Meet Bloody Mary and see Ed fall dead in his bed. Survive the Spanish Armada as it sails into the audience! Buy tickets here.

Horrible Histories – Awful Egyptians-5th-8th

Suitable for ages 5 – 105. From the fascinating Pharaohs to the power of the pyramids, discover the foul facts of death and decay with the meanest mummies in Egypt. Are you ready to rumble with Ramesses the Great? Dare you enter through the Gates of the Afterlife? It’s the history of Egypt with the nasty bits left in! Tickets here.

NT Live: Antony & Cleopatra-6th December 

Broadcast live from the National Theatre, Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo play Shakespeare’s famous fated couple in his great tragedy of politics, passion and power. Caesar and his assassins are dead. General Mark Antony now rules alongside his fellow defenders of Rome. But at the fringes of a war-torn empire the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and Mark Antony have fallen fiercely in love. In a tragic fight between devotion and duty, obsession becomes a catalyst for war.

Director Simon Godwin returns to National Theatre Live screens with this hotly anticipated production, following broadcasts of Twelfth Night, Man and Superman and The Beaux’ Stratagem. Tickets here.

Brecon Town Concert Band presents A Christmas Celebration-10th 

Hits from the 1950 onwards. Lyrics projected onto a big screen so that you can sing–a-long from the comfort of your seat. Or, if you are feeling more adventurous, join the Band on stage. Come and join the fun and try your hand at one of the verses of the “12 days of Christmas”. Full listing of songs, shown on the Band’s web site at www.brecontonwband.com

Tickets here: £10.00 and £7.50 and include a glass of wine and a mince pie.

Geri Parlby – The History & Art of the Nativity Crib-11th

Geri Parlby  –  The History & Art of the Nativity Crib
Nativity scenes or cribs as we know them today found their roots in the 1300s. They started as display pieces for Italian churches. Often made out of terracotta, these early Nativity sets were displayed year round. Since then they have evolved into a wonderfully diverse variety of artistic scenes. In this lecture we will be looking at the art form of the crib from the carved masterpieces of the medieval era to the extraordinary semi-pagan variations of South America. Christmas will never be the same again! Tickets here.

The West End at Christmas-12th

Direct from their sold out tour last year, The West End At Christmas return to Theatr Brycheiniog with their brand new show for 2018!

Stars from the West End present a magical evening of entertainment featuring hits from the musicals and the best of Christmas song.

The talented cast have starred in many West End productions and national tours including Les Miserables, We Will Rock You, South Pacific, Singing in the Rain, Starlight Express, Phantom Of The Opera, Wicked, Godspell, Joseph and Cats… to name but a few! Buy tickets here.

A Christmas Carol-14th-16th

A Christmas Carol – Chapterhouse Theatre Company. By Charles Dickens. Adapted by Laura Turner.

On Christmas Eve, the most magical night of the year, the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is whisked away on a terrifying journey through the past and into the future, accompanied by three fearsome ghosts determined to make him realize the true meaning of Christmas. Charles Dickens’ classic ghost story is brought alive in this most traditional of productions, complete with beautiful period costume, song, dance and a magnificent musical score. Join critically acclaimed theatre company Chapterhouse as Scrooge’s frozen heart begins to melt and he finally embraces the festive spirit in this most Christmassy of Christmas tales.

Only Men Aloud-21st

Ten years ago Only Men Aloud became the Last Choir Standing, winning the BBC1 primetime show and become Britain’s favourite choir. To celebrate this anniversary, Only Men Aloud are heading back out on tour to celebrate the last ten years.

Only Men Aloud have asked their very loyal fan group what their favourite songs have been from over the past ten years, and many of these will feature in the Decade Tour. Tickets here.

At the Waterfront

There is FREE live music at the Waterfront every Saturday 1pm to 3pm, a perfect event for the whole family to enjoy! This December there is…

Matthew Frederick-8th

Singer, songwriter, composer and Climbing Trees

frontman MATTHEW FREDERICK blends an early love of Billy Joel and Elton John with more recent influences including Ben Folds and John Grant. With live shows in the UK, US and Europe under his belt, the South Wales musician has also made numerous festival, television and radio appearances – gaining airplay from BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music amongst others – as well as recording at London’s iconic Maida Vale Studios, performing with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and being shortlisted for the Welsh Music Prize following the release of the Trees’ second album, the much-anticipated and critically-acclaimed ‘Borders’.

John Eyre-22nd

John has been in the Brecon area for over twenty years, and has played and sung in most places, especially the Brecon Jazz, the  Brecon Fringe and the Brecon Baroque Festival. He is originally from Nottingham, and has several albums, including the concept album, Beyond The Oak  and Tales of the Burning Heart. He has recently collaborated with the poet, Huw Parsons, and is currently working on projects with John Stuart Hogg.

Find more information here!

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