Shop Local this Black Friday

Shopping locally is a great way to support the local economy and allows you to grab a great deal this Black Friday!  The Brecon Beacons is one of the best places to do this, with so many independent shopping streets and quirky gifts you will love!

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Photo Credit: Ty Cariad

Ty Cariad
Stockists for Emma Bridgewater pottery, Carrie Elspeth Jewellery, Powder scarves, Alex Clark Art, alongside homeware, gifts & wonderful Welsh products. A great independent shop in the charming town of Brecon, where you can pick up some delightful items and gifts! 

The Beacons Farm Shop at the Welsh Venison Centre sells bread, eggs, bacon, beer and wine with their gift shop stocking beautiful, hand-picked gifts for your home or friends. There are lots of children’s presents including baking and gardening sets, wooden toys and colourful lunch bags.

Black Mountains Smokery Hamper 
Choose whole hams to tapas, cured or smoked meats such as Welsh Dragon sausage or welsh beef. Or give in and buy the lot! Have a look which hamper your would like to purchase and place your order here

Bread Kits from Talgarth Mill. 
Make your own delicious loaf of bread with Talgarth Mill Bread Kits. The flour used is milled with Talgarth Mill Flour from locally sourced wheat and the kits are assembled by our wonderful team of volunteers.  Try their Spicy Fruit Loaf Kit with double the fruit or our new improved Herb and Tomato Bread Kit with lots more sundried tomatoes for a really tasty loaf.  Find out more here

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Penderyn Whisky 
If you know someone who likes nothing better than sipping away at a scotch or gin at the end of the day, forget the big names and watch them marvel at the taste of one of Penderyn award wining welsh whisky’s or gin’s. Or why not book a tour of the distillery, something to look forward to in the New Year find out more here. 

In the Brecon Beacons we are proud to have two vineyard’s Sugar Loaf Vineyard, and White Castle Vineyard.  What better way to celebrate Christmas than by giving a bottle or two of Welsh Wine! Find out more here.

Blaenafon Cheese
For the Cheese lover.   Blaenafon Cheese are a specialist cheddar cheese company based in the World Heritage site of Blaenafon, South Wales. The produce fifteen very distinctive cheddars and four varieties of goat’s cheese. All the cheeses are hand made at our shop in Broad Street Blaenafon.  Go online to buy.

Welsh Hampers from Authentically Welsh


Authenically Welsh provide a wonderful range of hand packed hampers bursting with flavoursome Welsh foods … delivered  directly to your doorstep – perfect for a really Welsh gift this Christmas.  Have a look at all the hampers and order yours online.

Brecon Brewing
With one of Wales’ best known brewers Buster Grant at the helm, Brecon Brewing have created a range of beers full of flavour and character inspired by the dramatic Brecon Beacons. Producing quality real ales, cask beers, bottled and canned beers in Wales – available in the brewery shops now, and online shortly.

Why not check out our town guides for more shops where you can grab a bargain all year round…
Hay on Wye

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Why you need to visit the Brecon Beacons this Winter

The Brecon Beacons National Park, located in South Wales, is a treasure trove for visitors! If you head here this Winter, you will be treated to dazzling landscapes, relaxing evenings in cosy pubs and plenty of winter fairs to find some perfect Welsh Gifts! Here are our reasons why everyone should visit the Brecon Beacons in winter… 

1. Enjoy a magical walk- We have over 1,200 miles of public rights of Way in the National Park – perfect for cosy walks all wrapped up in your winter woollies – find out more here.

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Credit: Georgina Harper

2. It’s Christmas market time! Get into the festive spirit by visiting one of the many Brecon Beacons‘ Christmas markets and fairs. We have lots of Christmas markets and fairs happening in communities right across the Brecon Beacons, it’s a perfect way to get in the mood for Christmas and start your shopping- let the festivities begin. Check out our guide here.

3. Plenty of Cafes for a hot chocolate and a piece of cake – A blustery walk is nothing without a hot chocolate stop mid way and or at the end. Here’s our top café guide–  where will be yours?

4. Cosy pubs – Need we say more? It’s cold; you want a cosy pub with a roaring fire and bustling atmosphere. What better than a pie and a pint after a bracing winter walk in the Brecon Beacons?  Check out some of our best pubs and inns here.

5. Picture-postcard perfect Yes, we know the National Park is stunning all year round but the countryside takes on a new beauty on a frosty morning or on a snowy day.  Simply takes our breath away. Check out some great shots on our Instagram here.

6. Dark nights, bright stars The Brecon Beacons National Park is an International Dark Sky Reserve and offers visitors the chance to see the Milky Way, major constellations, bright nebulas and even meteor showers on clear nights. With some of the highest quality dark skies in the UK, the Park makes for an idyllic retreat for stargazers. You’ll find some of the best stargazing spots in Europe. Regular stargazing events help more and more people enjoy the spectacular night skies. More here.

7. Plenty to do with your kids – There’s plenty of places to catch Santa in his grotto and lots of Chrsitmas displays on show! You can visit the Old Railway Garden Centre for loads of gift ideas, visit Santa at Cantref and take parts in lots of events at Blaenavon World Heritage Site! Scroll through our blog to find some of the Christmas adventures you can have here!

Old Railway Line Garden Centre

8. Have an adventure – The Brecon Beacons National Park offers an array of activities – and the winter is no exception – find out more here.

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Royal Welsh Winter Fair

First staged in 1990, the Winter Fair is now firmly established as one of the most popular attractions on the British agricultural show calendar. Leading stockmen from all over the UK compete for the top accolades in the competitions running throughout the two-day event.

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Away from the judging rings the very best of Welsh food producers will be showcasing their produce and Christmas shoppers can explore the hundreds of tradestands, demonstrations and exhibitions and festive atmosphere.

  • Gates open at 8am
  • FREE car parking
  • Late night shopping on Monday night with FREE entry after 4pm
  • FREE spectacular fireworks display on Monday evening
  • Cookery, produce, handicraft, poultry, horticulture, floral art and meat products competitions
  • Christmas gifts
  • Food Hall
  • Livestock auctions
  • Santa’s grotto
  • E-tickets available online
  • Special rates available for school trips

Get your tickets here!

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Hay Festival Winter Weekend

Hay Festival Winter Weekend is an annual mini-festival taking place just before Christmas in Hay-on-Wye. Events take place at venues around the town, and include a wide range of author events, music, comedy and performance, as well as workshops for kids and Christmas shopping. Don’t forget the Big Christmas Light Switch on this Friday! Here are some of the things you can enjoy…


Thursday 22 November 2018, 6pm – 9pm Venue: Festival Tent

A dance party for everyone to open the Winter Weekend celebrations. No country dancing experience necessary. Being up for a good time is essential.

23rd-Christmas Light Big Switch On

Venue: Cheese Market / Memorial Carpark. Time: 5pm – 7.30pm (lights switch-on at approximately 6pm). It’s free, just turn up! See Hay-on-Wye transformed into a winter wonderland brimming with festive cheer! 

23rd-Mary Portas- WORK LIKE A WOMAN

Friday 23 November 2018, 5.30pm Venue: Festival Tent
Mary Portas

Mary Portas is one of the UK’s most high profile businesswomen. She transformed Harvey Nichols, runs her own consultancy, made a career in TV (Mary Queen of Shops) and advised the Government on the future of High Streets. Today she talks candidly about her life and work and about how, after years of playing the business game, she rebuilt her business on the values that mattered to her. Don’t miss her advice on how to make the way we work better. Chaired by Kitty Corrigan.Price: £10.00

23rd-Kate Humble

WAYFARING SPECIAL: THINKING ON MY FEET: Friday 23 November 2018, 7pm Venue: Festival Tent

Kate Humble

“I’ve discovered that going for a daily walk has become as essential to me feeling good for the rest of the day as that first cup of tea. But I would argue that all I am doing is responding to a natural need we all have. Humans have always been migrants, the physiological urge to be nomadic is deep-rooted in all of us and perhaps because of that our brains are stimulated by walking. I solve all sorts of problems, formulate ideas, work things out to that gentle rhythm of self-propelled movement.” Thinking on My Feet tells the story of Kate’s walking year – shining a light on the benefits of this simple activity. As she explores the reasons why we walk, whether for creative energy, challenge and pleasure, or therapeutic benefits, Kate’s reflections and insights will encourage, motivate and spur readers into action. Chaired by Horatio Clare. More here.

24th-Father Christmas

Saturday 24 November 2018, 12pm – 3pm Venue: Richard Booth’s Bookshop

Sledge your way over to meet Santa and his book elves.Drop in – no ticket required

25th-Gina Miller-RISE!

Sunday 25 November 2018, 5pm Venue: Festival Tent

Miller came to prominence when she successfully took the British government to the Supreme Court, challenging its authority to trigger Article 50, the formal notification to leave the EU, without parliamentary approval. Guyana-born Miller became the target of racist and sexist abuse, and physical threats. Rise is an unflinching account of what it means to stand up for justice, and for yourself, no matter what the cost. She discusses her book and why she felt compelled to write it. Chaired by Peter Florence. More here.

Find the reading list for the weekend here!

Find out more Christmas Fairs and Markets here!

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Have a fun filled Christmas with Adventure Britain!

Adventure Britain has plenty of fun activities and Christmas walks for you to enjoy this festive season! You and your team can complete a number of challenges themed around Christmas to find Santa or you can enjoy a stunning Christmas walk in our magical National Park…read on for more details.. 

Christmas Themed Find Santa in his underground grotto!

Itinerary for the Office Xmas Party Day

  • Arrive at caving venue on the Southern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park just 30 minutes off the M4
  • Met and greeted by Call of the Wild Staff
  • Mulled wine and mince pies
Find santa in his underground grotto
  • Briefing for finding Father Christmas
  • Challenge Begins
  • Prize giving for winning team or individual

You will required with your team to find a number of checkpoints and complete a number of challenges themed around Christmas. Once completed you gain clues to the location of Santa. The event takes place in and around a spectacular cave in the National Park, the nearest wilderness Park to London. This is a stunning playground in which to spend your Christmas party with your office colleagues. The duration of the event depends on the size of the group but will approximately last between 3 hours. View our Xmas video to see the cave. £55 per person. Book now.

Christmas Walk and Dinner

Price from £85 pp (Min. group size 6)

What’s Included

  • Christmas walk in the stunning Brecon Beacons followed by
  • 3 Course Christmas Dinner

Itinerary for the Christmas Walk Day

  • Arrive at venue on the Southern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park just 30 minutes off the M4
  • Met and greeted by Call of the Wild Staff
  • Christmas Mulled wine and mince pies
  • Briefing
  • Stunning Christmas walk begins
  • Return for 3 course traditional Christmas dinner

Christmas Present Ideas – Adventure Activity Gift Vouchers


Are you looking for that unusual gift for Christmas and tired of buying those socks, after-shave and book vouchers again. Well what about buying an experience and one which will provide lasting memories. Well you can by buying a Christmas voucher for an adventure outdoor activity.

A Christmas gift voucher can be purchased from us in denominations of £25, £50 and £100. Alternatively you can buy a voucher for a specific activity such as canyoning. A single day canyoning costs £60 per person.

Give us a call now on 01639 700388 and we’ll send you a voucher!

Discover Christmas Fairs and Markets you can visit here.

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Christmas and New Years Eve at Cantref

We can’t wait for Cantref’s Santa Experience to return on the 1st of December!   This is a ticket only event.  On-Line bookings are now open and some sessions have already sold out. Scroll down to find out more……….
Santa Experience @ Cantref Make Magical Memories this Christmas in our enchanting winter wonderland at Cantref! Our Christmas Experience is even bigger and better than last year. Walk through our Elves Kingdom with real animal nativity scenes and lots of Christmas Trees and Snow.  Make reindeer food, sit in Santa’s Sleigh, write your Christmas Letter, play our snowball game and do Christmas crafts while you wait to see Santa in his Grotto.  Santa will then give you a special key to enter the magical toy shop where you can select your own gift!   The excitement doesn’t end there, we also have Elf Academy where you can learn to be a Christmas Elf, our Mr Ev’s Christmas Show and Christmas Party Games with the entertainment team.  Combined with our usual shows such as bottle feeding, pet handling and pony rides along with lots of indoor and outdoor play there is plenty to keep you entertained for the whole day!  Our heated indoor soft play area is lovely and warm and our cafe will be serving lots of delicious food and tasty homemade cakes.  Tickets are selling fast so don’t miss out on all the fun! Book Tickets
Breakfast with Santa
Christmas is a magical time of year for all children so why not sprinkle that extra bit of magic and make Christmas even more special by treating the children to Breakfast with Santa at Cantref. Santa and his cheeky elves will be making special appearances while you enjoy a delicious hot buffet full English Breakfast feast in our lovely warm cafe.  There will be even be some scrummy pancakes for the kids. This package also includes a visit to the elves workshop, Santa’s Grotto and his amazing present room! 
Limited Spaces – Book Tickets
Kid’s New Year’s Eve Party with Special Count-Down @ 12 Noon  Our Special Kid’s New Year’s Eve Party is a ticket only event with limited capacity.

Cantref will be open from 10.30am to 4.00pm.  Make sure your arrive in plenty of time to join in with our special count-down and celebrations at 12 noon.  During the day we will have a disco and party games in the play-area with Mr Ev’s.  Other activities include pet handling, bottle feeding, mini farmers and pony rides.  Our sledge ride and swamp ride will also be open at intervals throughout the day.  This is a great way for the little ones to feel a part of the New Year celebrations and tire them out so the adults can celebrate in the evening. Book Now

Find out all the Christmas markets and Fairs you can go to this year here.

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Blaenavon World Heritage Site – November 2018 News & Events.

Events and Attractions

Blaenavon World Heritage Centre and Library
Christmas Craft Day – Saturday 1st December – 11am – 4pm. Join us to make unique handmade Christmas gifts- craft activities for all the family to enjoy.

Make a pottery Christmas gift on the Potter’s wheel
Design and make a colourful Christmas ceramic tile
£1 each per craft activity. Festive entertainment from Blaenavon Ladies Choir. Festive menu available in the Café. Christmas Craft in the Library 11am – 3pm, Christmas stories at 11.30am pre booking recommended-Free Entry. Visit:

Blaenavon World Heritage Environmental Group
Sat 27th November 10:00am – 3:00pm – Mynydd y Garn Fawr Guided Walk 
A fairly strenuous walk of about 9.5 km (6 miles) not recommended for young children or people with limited mobility. This walk climbs past old coal and iron workings to Keeper’s Pond and the Foxhunter Car Park, before following the ridge of Mynydd y Garn Fawr, passing the Bronze-Age cairn Carn y Defaid.
Meet at Blaenavon World Heritage Centre and dress appropriately for the weather conditions.
No dogs allowed. Go to
or to keep updated on these events and further information.

Re-enactment of the 1868 Riot23rd November 5.30pm – At the Lion Hotel
To mark the 150th anniversary of the riot at The Lion Hotel there will be a special evening, including:
singing, dancing, a professional re-enactment and live music. Plus the official unveiling of the plaque.

Blaenavon and Pontypool Heritage Railway
Santa Specials – 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd December 2018
Come and take the train and meet Santa with our Santa Specials. As well as the opportunity to meet with Santa, each child will receive an age appropriate gift. For the Adults there will be Sherry and a Mince Pie. Trains will run regularly. Booking is essential – Adult £12.00 Child £12.00 Visit our website for details of how to book your seats.

Santa is coming Blaenavon Ironworks!
Come and see Santa Claus in our historic Christmas grottos at Blaenavon Ironworks this Christmas – and make unique memories with the whole family!
On 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23 December, £3 per child to enter the grotto including gift. Free entry as normal to the Ironworks site on the day for all visitors, last entry 3:30pm. The grotto is situated within the site.
Book via the Ironworks shop, 01495 792615, book early to avoid disappointment, more details available.

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 on 16th December. 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. 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. Click here for details.

Heritage News

Welsh Slate Mining LandscapeDCMS Heritage Minister Michael Ellis has just announced that the Welsh Slate Mining Landscape bid can progress to nomination. Whilst there is still work to do, this is a huge hurdle cleared for the project. To find out more, click here…


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