Tour of Britain rides through the Brecon Beacons this September!

2nd-9th September

The 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain, taking place over a 1,140-kilometre route, will lead the world’s top riders from Pembrey Country Park on the Carmarthenshire coast in South Wales to the streets of Central London, via Devon, Bristol, Warwickshire, Cumbria and Nottinghamshire across eight stages of racing. Stage one of the Tour of Britain, on the 2nd of September, will begin at Pembrey Country Park and finish in Newport. The route will take riders right from the west to the east of the Brecon Beacons National Park, going through and around the towns of Llandeilo, Llandovery, Sennybridge, Brecon, Crickhowell and Llanfoist-as seen in the map below.

tour2.jpg

Host for the 2018 Grand Depart is one of Wales’ top visitor attractions, Pembrey Country Park. Overlooking Carmarthen Bay and Gower, this 500-acre, multi-activity family favourite includes an eight-mile, blue flag award-winning beach and is the HQ for the brand new 1.9km national closed road cycle circuit, developed with Welsh Cycling. 

The Tour then heads west, passing through the historic town of Kidwelly, with its imposing medieval castle on the banks of the River Gwendraeth – famous for being used in the first scene of the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail! Next up is Carmarthen, the oldest town in Wales. It’s best known for being the home of the legendary Merlin, and is now a bustling town full of character offering a mix of local independent traders and high street names

Heading north the Tour follows the path of the River Tywi, a river that attracts fisherman far and wide to catch Sewin (River Trout). With venues such as the Botanic Garden of Wales and Aberglasney; stately homes; numerous castles; and boutique towns such as Llandeilo, the area is known as the Garden of Wales.

Riders go through the quaint market town of Llandovery – gateway to the challenging heights of the Brecon Beacons, Black Mountain, and Cambrian Mountains.

tour.jpg

Download the stage one poster here.

Explore the Stage One Timetable here.

Download the Stage One Timetable here.

Download the Stage One Advanced Warning Poster (A5) here.

Spectator Guide – Pembrey Country Park here.

The build-up begins from 08:00 ahead of the race start at 10:30. Explore the Stage One map online here, or check out the race timetable here. Don’t miss loads of activities in around the Grand Depart itself at Pembrey Country Park between 08:00 and 16:00. Activities include the OVO Energy Tour of Britain start village, cycling-themed entertainment, info on health, wellbeing, cycling, food and drink.

Find out everything you need to know about cycling in the Brecon Beacons here.

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Dog Friendly Places To Eat In The Brecon Beacons National Park

The Brecon Beacons National Park is one of the most dog-friendly places you’ll visit! Here are some of our paw-fect places where you and your pup can happily wine and dine together!

The Bear Hotel, Crickhowell

DOGS-AT-THE-BEAR-768x1034.jpg

Credit: Tim Jones

The Bear Hotel are very dog friendly! Guests can eat with their dogs in the bars and The Bear is surrounded by the beautiful Brecon Beacons-with hundreds of miles to suit dogs! Dogs stay free with every new arrival given a bowl of chicken.

The Horseshoe Inn, Llangattock

The Horseshoe Inn, Llangattock is dog friendly! Make sure you ask the bar staff for some treats.

The Coach and Horses, Llangynidr

With a large beer garden for the summer and an idylic spot right beside the canal this is a great dog friendly eatery for the Summer months.

The New Inn, Bwlch

A cosy pub serving delicious homemade food and serving local beer and ales. They also enjoy having furry friends around!

The Star Inn, Talybont

The Star Inn Talybont is a traditional village pub, situated alongside The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal that offers great walks for you and your pooch! The sunny garden is a great place to enjoy an ale!

Brownies and Brunch by Odonnell Bakehouse, Crickhowell

Brownies and Brunch welcome dogs and offer an all day brunch menu along with a range of luxury handmade brownies. Dogs are even given a scrumptious, doggy treat!

Felin Fach Griffin

A restaurant and hotel that is very welcoming to your four-legged family members. If your dog likes to be with you while you eat then do ask when you book. If Table 11 isn’t available, your dog may sit under a table in the tack room, provided other guests are happy. The Griffin has resident dogs, Max and Lottie.  They’re available for games every day but Max is now old enough to need a snooze in the afternoon!

The White Hart, Talybont

After a day exploring the hills, woods and waterways with your four legged friend, the welcome from The White Hart will soothe your tired limbs. ​They offer a high quality menu choice for dinner, as well as light lunches in the afternoon.

The Red Lion, LlangynidrImage result for red lion llangynidr

The Red Lion Llangynidr has a great beer garden, with beautiful views of Llangynidr Mountain that both you and your dog will love! They serve good home cooked food and welcome dogs into their pub.

Brecon Tap

Relax in the smart surroundings and make yourself at home on the extra-comfy seating. There are no TVs or piped music to distract you – just chill and chat with family or friends.  Well behaved, accompanied children are welcome (until 8.30ish) as are dog owners and their pets.!

Canalside Cafe at Talybont Stores

There are tables and chairs available outside to sit and watch the world go by, alongside filled water bowls for your thirsty dogs. Well behaved dogs on leads are also allowed into the cafe only. They have a varied menu using locally sourced produce where possible to make their delicious homemade meals.

Beacons View Tea Room, LibanusImage result for beacons view tearooms

Beacons View Tea Room is a quaint tea room based in the Brecon Beacon National Park Visitor’s Centre. There are doggy sausages, treats and water bowls always available and plenty of magnificent walks to enjoy around the cafe! Info here.

The Kings Head, Llandovery

The Kings Head in Llandovery are dog friendly and offer a great choice of local food & drink, together with a warm & welcoming service.

The Old Printing Office, Llandovery

Dogs are allowed in the back courtyard of the Old Printing Office, where they offer home cooked seasonal food and tempting cakes and desserts, together with freshly ground coffee.

Heavenly Chocolate Llandeilo

Heavenly in Llandeilo offers a great place to enjoy a sumptuous home made ice cream with your dog! They also source the best chocolate from all over the world to go into own brand Heavenly Chocolates made on the premises, with their Celebration Cakes being multiple award winners.

The Honey Cafe, Bronllys

Image result for honey cafe bronllys

They have a texmex menu and also provide good food and service at reasonable prices, whilst being eco-conscious, keeping the business well maintained and remaining faithful to our roots. Enjoy their gourmet burgers, sweet treats and tex mex menus! Dogs are allowed in their outdoor seating area-seen in the image above.

Make sure you follow the dog code when visiting the Brecon Beacons National Park! Find out dog friendly places to visit here.

 

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What’s on this August?

August is just around the corner! And its promises to be a action packed calendar of events-full of festivals, country shows and things to keep all ages entertained! Wander around Brecon Show on the 4th, watch the perseid meteor shower on the 10th and don’t forget Brecon Jazz and Fringe Festival 2018 taking place over the weekend of the 9-12th! There’s plenty more going on, read on below…

Talybont Vintage and Artisan Fair-4th August

Llanthony Show-4th August

The Llanthony Valley and District Show has one of the best sites of all local shows, deep in the Llanthony Valley near Llanthony Abbey, surrounded by the Black Mountains of Monmouthshire. It sits at the heart of a thriving farming community, and it’s longstanding popularity is driven by the full support of the local community.

Horse judging starts at 9am with show jumping at 9.30am. All entries to be in the produce tent by 10.30am and all sheep and cattle to be penned by 11am. Dog show entries taken from 12pm with judging to begin at 1pm.

Brecon County Show-4th August

Brecon Show is based around the Cattle, Sheep, Horse & Pony classes which attract exhibitors from all over the country.  It also has over 200 trade exhibitors bringing you the best in BritishFarm Produce, the latest tractors & farm machinery and cars, to anything for the garden. From clothing and jewellery to hand made cards, there is something for everyone. Combine this with vintage and modern machinery, dog show, rides and stalls for children, beer tent and much more you will be sure to have a great family day out.

Bats ‘n Bugs at Tretower Court-4th August

Come and discover our natural residents and alternative visitors – the ones that live with us and around us, but are rarely seen! Join an evening tour of Tretower Court and be part of our bat investigation team, with the help of wildlife officers and bat detection equipment. What species are here? What do they eat? Where do they go during the day?The Vincent Wildlife Trust works to protect wildlife and help people learn about the species with which we share our gardens, woodlands and ancient monuments. Wildlife Officers will give a brief introduction to the work of the trust and the types of wildlife that may be encountered, whilst the custodian will explain the history of the site over the last 900 years. Please wear suitable clothing and sturdy footwear, and a small torch is also advisable.

£4 for adults, £2 for under-16s

To book, please telephone 01874 730279.

Come and play with clay-pottery workshop-8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th August

Take part in creating your very own family masterpiece. The workshop will begin with a demonstration of basic ancient pottery techniques. We will make pinch pots, coil pots and a slab pot. Decorating and cut tiles, design and build money box. Next we will look at animal forms and human form. Assistance will be on hand all the way through the workshop. £12.50 for children and £16.50 for adults. Please call 01874 623366 to book

Brecon Fringe Festival-9th-12th August

Brecon Fringe Festival 2018 is an open-access event, which means gigs and events over the Fringe are organised and funded independently by local landlords, venue owners and individuals.There is no official commitee – which is probably why it’s so successful! Many of the gigs at pubs, galleries, cafes etc are regulars but anyone can put an event on as part of the Brecon Festival Fringe and we will include it on the programme. Brecon Fringe Festival offers opportunities for local bands to perform (as well as bands from further afield). It also brings money into the town, and this money goes into local businesses therefore directly supporting the Brecon community. Come to the Fringe if you like blues, rock, R&B, comedy, dance and alternative performances as well as occasional bursts of jazz. There are also family friendly events and workshops and children’s entertainment.

Perseid Meteor Shower with Dark Sky Wales-10th August

Come and view one of nature’s finest shows: the Perseid meteor shower, live from the dark skies above the National Park. Experts from Dark Sky Wales will help you explore the heavens in their portable planetarium; view stars and planets through telescopes. If it is cloudy there will be a range of lectures on the subject. If the weather is against us, this event will still go ahead with the presentation and mobile planetarium. To find out more about Dark Sky Wales click here.Tickets are £15 which includes Coffee and Cake to get your evening off to a great start. This event starts at 7.00pm.

Please bring a warm jacket as it can get chilly even at the height of summer. Organised by the Brecon Beacons National Park Visitor Centre in conjunction with Dark Skies Wales Meet: at the National Park Visitor Centre, Libanus, LD3 8ER. Cost: £15:00 per person (min.age guide 8+ years). Price includes parking, entry to the planetarium and lecture and your Coffee and Cake.

Brecon Fringe Festival-9th-12th August

The Brecon Fringe Festival hosts events all over the town of Brecon, organised by local landlords, venue owners and individuals, running alongside Brecon Jazz Festival. The majority of events are free, with others asking for a very small fee. There are 30+ venues again in 2018 with live music and other events taking place all over town and in nearby villages. The Fringe offers a range of musical tastes from local artists and those from further afield. See a full line up of events here.

Brecon Jazz Festival-10th-12th August

Brecon is set for a whirlwind of performances this year -with an all-encompassing line-up you are set to see some of the biggest names in jazz as well as a parade of up-and- comers. This year sees national and local heroes of jazz with a sprinkle of international visiting or resident talent!

The Greatest Showman Sing a Long at Theatr Brycheiniog-12th August 

Certification: PG
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Green Man Festival-16th-19th August

Visit Wales ©

Credit: Visit Wales

The Green Man is an independent music festival held annually in the stunning Brecon Beacons. It has evolved from a one-day event into a seven day festival with live music including psych, folk, indie, dance and Americiana, as well as DJs playing everything from dub-reggae to electro and stoner rock, all throughout the night.
Literature, film, theatre, ceilidhs, all-night bonfires, comedy and secret gigs are part of the festival’s unique identity. The festival has carved a niche as a non-corporate and ethically-minded festival. Find our 10 reasons to love the festival here.

Volksfest Wales-17th – 19th

Watton Show Fields- Brecon.Its our 19th anniversary and we have loads of things lined up to celebrate! 

Friday
Gates open for camping at 9.00am! Traders, catering to suit most tastes, bar,  live music 

Saturday
The Cruise is back for 2018 with Crawl to the hills. Its a Volksfest Knockoutm. Traders, auto-jumble, vehicles for sale,club display, catering, bar, adult and Kids party kids disco, fire poi displays and live music. Saturday night is fancy dress night and our theme Prehistoric for 2018 with Caveman/Cavewoman

Sunday
Auto-jumble, vehicles for sale, show & shine competition, live music, acousitc chill out session, club stands and a whole lot more!

Brecon Craft Fair at Brecon Market Hall-18th August

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. Held on the 3rd Saturday of every month from March to December.

The Drover Cycles Brecon Beacons Devil Sportive-19th August

Photo Credit: Drover Cycles

Road cycling sportive (distance options 83, 114 or 203 km) starting from Drover Cycles, Hay on Wye Entry fee £29 (on the day £35). Choose from three stunning cycling routes taking in the best of the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Radnorshire Hills. Leave Hay on Wye on a twisting mountain road to reach Gospel Pass, Wales’ highest road. Having topped out at 549 metres, enjoy a long descent past Llanthony Priory. This is simply some of the best scenery you can enjoy from the saddle anywhere in the UK!  Long route riders now tackle the second climbing challenge of the day, The Tumble, as featured in UK 100 Greatest cycling climbs. All riders rejoin in the pretty village of Talybont on Usk for the feed station before the ride continues. Full event maps, details and info on the event website here.

Kingdom Project-25th August

Curated by some of the biggest names in music and the arts. Kingdom Project is run by not for profit RAW CIC as an annual event in Hay-on-Wye. For a taste of things to come join us and take a ‘A Jaunt through the Kingdom’ this August. IT’S A PROJECT FOR THE PEOPLE. CURATED BY SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN MUSIC & THE ARTS, KINGDOM WILL BE A NOT FOR PROFIT ANNUAL EVENT TO HELP BOOST THE LOCAL ECONOMY. PLEASE SUPPORT OUR FUND RAISING EVENT & TAKE A JAUNT THROUGH THE INDEPENDENT KINGDOM OF HAY ON AUGUST 25TH 2018. More here.

Llangynidr Show-26th August

In the heart of the Brecon Beacons – the Llangynidr Show is a great day out for everyone. We pack a lot into this one day event. From agricultural, horticultural and craft competitions, to cookery demonstrations, sheep shearing and family activities, we are sure you’ll be kept busy just deciding what to do next!

Wow! There’s so much to do in the Brecon Beacons National Park this August! Make sure you follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out more things to do this summer in our wonderful national park!

 

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Unicorns, Dinosaurs and a Summer of Fun at Cantref Adventure Farm!

Unicorns, Dinosaurs and more…..

There’s lots to keep the kids entertained this summer at Cantref Adventure Farm! Daily there is the programme of shows every half an hour including Bottle Feeding, Pet Handling, Mr Ev’s Show, Pig Racing, Pony Rides, Tractor Rides and more….Combined with indoor and outdoor play including Sledge Ride, Paddle Boats and Swamp Ride there is plenty to keep the kids busy all day!

They also have some great special events on this summer! Magical Unicorn Days are back by popular demand on the 1st, 2nd, 14th & 15th of August.  Come and meet Spirit the magical Unicorn and Danni the beautiful Princess, join in with Pamper Pony Sessions, Unicorn Craft Time, follow the Treasure Hunt and even have a Unicorn Ride! The Dinosaurs will be taking over Cantref on the 8th & 22nd of August.  Learn how to tame the Terrific T-Rex and stomp with the Spine Tingling Spinosaurus as they parade through the Farm Park with their Rangers.

All with the Stunning backdrop of the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains.  With lots to do indoors and out you are sure to have an action packed fun filled family day out at Cantref this summer whatever the weather

Book Tickets

Own a Pony Day

This is a great present for any pony mad child this Summer at Cantref.  Own a Pony Days are suitable for complete beginners through to the more experienced rider.  Children must be Age 6+.

The day costs £59.95 and runs from 10am – 4pm and includes lunch.  During the day your child will learn all about their horse, how to groom and tack up, have a riding lesson and a ride out around the farm.  At the end of their exciting day as well as some magical memories to treasure they will receive a Certificate for completing the Own a Pony Day.

Dates Available:-

30th July, 6th, 13th, 20th & 28th August
Book Your Place

Camping at Cantref

·         4 Star Campsite

·         16 large family size pitches for tents

·         All weather pitches

·         Dish washing station

·         Electric hook up

·         New shower block

·         Wifi

The pitches on our Camp-Site have absolutely stunning views of the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains.  This site combines the convenience of on-site facilites with the remote peaceful tranquility of the Welsh Countryside.  When staying at our Camp-Site you will also get 2 days for the price of 1 entry into the Adventure Farm!

Book Camping

Find out more about Cantref Adventure Farm here

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Our Guide to Brecon Fringe Festival-9th-12th August

The Brecon Fringe Festival hosts events all over the town of Brecon, organised by local landlords, venue owners and individuals, running alongside Brecon Jazz Festival. The majority of events are free, with others asking for a very small fee. There are 30+ venues again in 2018 with live music and other events taking place all over town and in nearby villages. The Fringe offers a range of musical tastes from local artists and those from further afield. See a full line up of events here.The Brecon Fringe Festival

For more info visit the Fringe website here which is being updated daily as gigs come in. Also look out for the printed guide which will be on the streets over the festival – this year it will include jazz and fringe events.

Highlights include:

Neilly B 2018

DJ Neilly B Swing Set-Thursday 9th August

  • Venue: The Muse
  • Time: 10:00pm
  • Info: To carry on the swing vibe and bring it up to date, Neilly ‘B plays electro swing to keep the groove going .

John Eyre-Friday 10th August

  • Venue: Ardent Gallery
  • Time: 6:00pm
  • Info: Singer songwriter and classy guitarist John Eyre is legendary around these parts for knowing over 1,000 songs. You’ll never know what you get. Recently seen on tour with Rhydian Roberts.

Brecon Farmers Market-Saturday 11th August 

Andrew Bazerley

Andrew Bazeley-Saturday 11th August

  • Venue: Castle Hotel
  • Time: 1:30pm
  • Info:  Andrew Bazeley and his skill at conveying the sound and the spirit of the old acoustic blues have drawn gasps of admiration wherever he plays: whether it’s the Son House/Charley Patton slide style (played on an authentic 1929 National) or the melodic fingerpicking style of players like Willie McTell and Robert Johnson (on his 1918 Gibson). But his range is broader: the hokum songs from Bill Broonzy and Memphis Jug Band can be heard alongside the likes of Hoagy Carmichael and even the soul classics of Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson. He’ s even been known to include The Who and some reggae in his set! http://www.andrewbazeley.com/gigs.html
  • www.andrewbazeley.com/gigs.html
Mr H 2

Mr H-Saturday 11th August

  • Venue: Ardent Gallery
  • Time: 12:30pm
  • Info:  Mr H writes and performs Jazz/Blues like no other. His unique style transports you to seedy bars,whiskey tables,cigarette smoke and loose women. Simply amazing. At the age of 50,Mr H commenced his musical career later than most songwriters and musicians,but boy,has’nt he made an impact.His first two albums have been critically acclaimed throughout the music media,he has toured with Jerry Donahue and recorded with one of Wales most successful producers in John David (Dave Edmunds,Mark Knofler).His music has been described as wordy Jazz/Blues with commercial tunes at their core and totally unique in its construction,presentation and delivery.
    The Acoustix

    The Acoustix- Sunday 12th August

    • Venue: Clarence Inn
    • Time: 2:30pm
    • Info: Three piece band playing various types of covers music which will end the festival with a bang!

     

4C 2017

4C-Sunday 12th August

… and lots more. Visit www.breconfringe.co.uk for full listings. Find out about Brecon Jazz Festival here.

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2018 Guide to Brecon Jazz Weekend

“Brecon Jazz 2018 organisers proudly announce their Saturday evening headline concert at this year’s Brecon Jazz Festival – on Saturday 11 August, a special performance of  South African Jazz, including a unique tribute to the trumpeter and composer, jazz musician, Hugh Masekela. The Festival Organisers have invited South African pianist Adam Glasser to curate this special tribute, and to lead a thrilling sextet of musicians in a headline concert at Brecon Jazz 2018. 

One of the key themes this year will be – THE SPIRIT OF THE FESTIVAL – honouring the legacy of Brecon Jazz itself, as well as some of its legendary performers such as Hugh Masekela, as well as bringing invited new talents to Brecon to take the spotlight in these uniquely-curated concerts. 

Brecon Jazz Festival 2018 takes place on the weekend of 10-12th August.  There will be 12 key concerts in five central venues, with street music, markets and outdoor entertainment. Weekend and Day tickets will be available in mid-May. For further information, see www.breconjazz.org / email: info@breconjazz.org”

More of the lineup:

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

Essential Info: 

Staying: Interested in making it a weekend trip so that you can soak up all the Jazz you can? Check out the Brecon Beacons website for all of your accommodation needs.

Getting here: Whether you’re travelling by bus, train or car, here are some tips on getting to Brecon:

By Train and Bus:  Via Paddington/South Wales line for train.  www.traveline-cymru.info

For bus use the TrawsCymru T4 http://www.trawscymru.info

By road: SAT NAV LD3 7EW (Theatr Brycheiniog)

M4 – coming from the East, enter via the A449 to Raglan picking up the A40 or via the A470 at Cardiff

M4 – from the West, enter via A4067

M5 – enter via the M50 to Monmouth and join the A40

For directions and an estimate of your journey time, search the AA journey planner (www.theaa.com/route-planner).

Coach-Coach travellers can get to Abergavenny, Cardiff, Neath or Swansea with National Express (www.nationalexpress.com) or to Cardiff or Swansea with Megabus (www.megabus.com). Both these companies will carry bikes if packed in boxes, bags or cases.

Parking: There are twelve car parks in Brecon which you can find more info on here.

If you want to make the most of your visit to Brecon, then check out our town guide hereKeep an eye out for more exciting information from Brecon Jazz on our blog!

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Discover National Parks Week: 22 – 29 July 2018

In celebration of National Parks Week we have come up with 60 inspiring ideas to make sure you have an ultimate trip to the Brecon Beacons National Park!

1. Attend A Festival

t

Credit: Greenman Festival

Our annual festivals celebrate our very best walking, food, drink, arts, music and entertainment the National Park has to offer. We like nothing better than a good get-together, and all are welcome. Come and join us! Highlights include: Greenman Festival,
Hay Literary FestivalBrecon Jazz WeekendCrickhowell Literary festAbergavenny Food Festival and many a walking festival!

2. Climb up high for some incredible mountain top views

The Brecon Beacons National Park is home to some of the best mountain ranges in the country, including being home to the largest mountain in Southern Britain, Pen y Fan.
Pen y Fan is just one of several walkable peaks and ridges in the central Beacons. By following an exhilarating 11 mile circuit from the Storey Arms, you can also take in Corn Du (873m) and Cribyn (795m).  Here are some of our favourite routes

3. Visit Blaen-y-Glyn Waterfalls

Much of the water that fills Talybont Reservoir begins its journey high up in the mountains at the head of the Talybont Valley in the eastern Beacons. At Blaen-y-Glyn, the infant River Caerfanell, the Nant Bwrefwr and other streams tumble down from the hills over tremendous clusters of picturesque waterfalls. There are pleasant walks to these falls from the Natural Resource Wales car parks at Upper Blaen-y-Glyn (grid reference SO056176) and Lower Blaen-y-Glyn (SO064169).

4. Explore our unique market towns – Llandovery, Llandelio, Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Hay On Wye, Talgarth, Brecon, Ystradgynlais and Builth Wells.

llandovery statue

Credit: Castle Hotel, Llandovery

Our National Park is ringed with characterful market towns while, further inside our Park, the River Usk, the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal and the shores of Llangorse Lake are dotted with pleasant country villages and sleepy hamlets. Together, our towns and villages reflect our history and heritage as a mining, quarrying and farming region and our role as custodians of a beautiful region of hills, valleys, lakes and waterways. Some are notable historic centres with classic Welsh architecture, interesting museums and ancient churches. Find out more here.

5. Sample some Welsh Whisky, Gin, Wine or even Beer and Cider.

Penderyn Distillery plans to triple production to nearly half a million bottles a year

Credit:  Wales Online

The Brecon Beacons is home to Wales only Whisky producer, Penderyn Distillery. One of the few remaining independent distilleries, Penderyn takes its name from the old Welsh village in which it is located and nestles in the foothills of the ancient Brecon Beacons mountain range. Enjoy a distillery tour and take a journey through the history of single malt whisky-making in Wales, and explore the distilling process at first hand.Take a bottle away with you from the gift shop!

6. Indulge in some of the finest Welsh food

You can dine extremely well in our market towns, villages and rural areas. There are places to suit every mood, from down-to-earth and family-friendly to Michelin Star Restaurants. Or why not try luxury, award winning smoked salmon from Black Mountain Smokery? All their smoked foods are traditionally cured and smoked right here in the Brecon Beacons in the town of Crickhowell . Find places to eat here.

7. Go on a Guided Tour

A walk in the Brecon Beacons National Park comes complete with perfect picnic spots, awe-inspiring views, fascinating historic sites and grand geological features. To make the most out of your walks, why go alone when you can go with an expert guide, who can teach you everything you need to know about your surroundings. Click here to find out what guided walks you can be involved in.

8. Meet some native birds
Image result for red kite brecon beacons

Visit the Red Kite Feeding Station, west of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Llandeusant, it’s one of the most beautiful (and quietest) parts of the National Park. Usually, 50 plus kites gather for daily feedings, which you can view from hides (again, with good disabled access). It’s a perfectly wild day out. Or if you fancy flying hawks, owls, falcons and eagles then Wings of Wales can offer this epic experience! Visit them at Craig y Nos country park where you can walk around the beautiful grounds with the majestic birds flying to your glove.

9. Spend a day on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

Image result for monmouthshire and brecon canal;

Credit: Canal and River Trust

If you prefer smooth water to rushing rapids, you’ll love our canal. Once an important transport route, it’s now a lovely place for lazy strolling and boating. Peaceful and rural, with a flavour of times gone by, it’s often voted Britain’s prettiest canal. It passes through a generous swathe of the Brecon Beacons National Park, with appealing towns and villages to visit on the way. Here our are top 5 memorable stops along the way.

10. Visit the Fforest Fawr Geopark

This unique region is a cracked and crumpled layer-cake of rocks, 480 million years in the making. Its landscapes were sculpted by ice then transformed by man, and it was a witness to the birth of the Industrial Revolution. It contains important habitats for rare plants, birds, insects and lichens. Accepted into the European Geopark Network in 2005 as Wales’ first geopark, it takes its name from the Fforest Fawr uplands which lie within the Geopark. More here.

11. Visit our Breathtaking Castles

Image result for carreg cennen brecon beacons facebook

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. Visit our most romantic Carreg Cennen-originally a medieval hill fort- it was a favourite of painter JMW Turner.  more information about all the Castles in the Brecon Beacons can be found here.

12. Experience our Dark Skies

It gets very dark at night in Brecon Beacons, so much so that the National Park has been recognised as one of only 11 International Dark Sky Reserves in the world. It’s one of the best places in the world to see stars. Take a hot flask of tea, wear warm clothing, and, on a clear night, you can see as far as the Milky Way. Here our are top 10 spots!

13. Go underground at Big Pit

Big Pit is a real coal mine with underground tours, miner guides and a warm welcome. Enjoy a multi-media tour of a modern coal mine with a virtual miner in the Mining Galleries, exhibitions in the Pithead Baths and Historic colliery buildings.

14. Adventures on the Water

The Brecon Beacons National Park offers an array range of options for paddlesports, from the tranquillity of canals and reservoirs to extreme kayaking over jaw-dropping waterfalls. Get ready to design your own adventure! Come to the Brecon Beacons National Park and you can have fun paddling a kayak, canoe, stand-up paddleboard, raft or even making and paddling your own coracle. With waters graded from Grade 1 (easy) up to Grade 6 (extremely hard), we really do have something for everyone. Click here for more info.

15. Head into the hills on a vintage train.

Go on a journey with Brecon Mountain Railway into the Brecon Beacons National Park, through Pontsticill and along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservoir before climbing to Torpantau high in the Brecon Beacons and the summit of the original line. At their main station in Pant you can grab some refreshments in their Licensed Tearooms, as well as visit the Workshop where the Steam Locomotives and Carriages are repaired!

16. Go back in time with Talgarth Mill

Talgarth Mill is a fully restored and working 18th Century water mill, providing tours to explain its workings, history and the story behind its restoration. They mill flour at least two days a week and children are given the opportunity to mill a little of their own flour with a small hand mill.  They have a wide range of flour, including spelt and rye, on sale at their shop and even a bakery where you can sit by the river and sample their locally produced food and delicious cakes as seen recently on Britain’s Best Bakery.

17. Have an Adventure in the Air

Our grassy fields and hilltops serve as excellent take-off and landing sites for paragliders, hang gliders. Some pilots make cross-country flights exceeding 300 miles and fly up to 4 miles high! This is also a favourite region for soaring over the rolling, green landscape in a glider. You can train at our recognised schools, which are also great spots for those who prefer to watch from the safety of the ground. More info can be found here.

18. Marvel at the caves at Dan Yr Ogof

With ten attractions all covered on the one entry ticket – there is plenty to see and do for all ages at Dan Yr Ogof Showcaves. There are 3 different caves Dan-yr-Ogof, Cathedral Cave and Bone Cave each offering a unique underground experience. They also have one of the world’s largest collections of life-sized dinosaur models, a shire horse centre, Iron Age village, museum, and stone circles.

19. Discover Tretower Court

For over 900 years Tretower Court and Castle has been altered, adjusted and adapted. Much of this was done to keep up with style, fashion and the tastes of the time. In the 21st Century, we’ve recreated a suite of rooms as they may have been in 1470 when the Vaughans were part of high society. Discover a sophisticated way of life: from intricately carved furniture right down to the pots and pans of a working kitchen. Experience 15th century living at its best. Click here for events running there this Summer.

20. Delve into the legends of the National Park

As with the rest of Wales, the Brecon Beacons has many stories to tell. You can search for the cave where Arthur and his knights are said to slumber, somewhere near Dinas Rock, or visit Craig y nos Country Park to admire the former estate of Adelina Patti, the most famous Opera Diva of the Victorian age. If you visit Tretower Court, keep an eye out for the ghostly White Lady who waits for her love to return from the battle of Agincourt. You may even feel the wind on your face as the hunt goes by with King Arthur’s men in hot pursuit of the giant, enchanted boar Twrch Trywth.

Award-winning author Horatio Claire has re-imagined all these local legends and re-told them in a new book: Brecon Beacons, Myths & Legends, which is also worth checking out.

 21. Admire Brecon Cathedral

This magnificent eleventh-century cathedral is most often visited for its beautiful choir, vaulting and stained glass windows depicting Welsh saints. Brecon Cathedral houses the largest Norman font in Britain and the regimental chapel of the South Wales Borderers, who won renown in the Zulu War. The cathedral also contains a rare Breeches Bible. The sixteenth-century tithe barn is now a Heritage Centre with reconstructions, audio-visual displays and a craft shop. There is an excellent restaurant and tea room in the cathedral grounds and an outstanding programme of musical events.

22. Feed the ducks at Llangorse Lake

East of Brecon, between the Central Beacons and the Black Mountains, is the largest natural lake in Wales, Llangorse Lake. Surrounded by a patchwork of green hills, fields, meadows and hedgerows, Llangorse is a truly beautiful spot and a lovely place to sail or paddle. Visit the Crannog, a man-made island which was probably once the site of a royal palace or just sit and watch the wildlife.

23. Enjoy a show at Theatr Brycheiniog

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Situated at the end of the picturesque Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal in the pretty market town of Brecon on the edge of Brecon Beacons National Park, Theatr Brycheiniog offers a popular and acclaimed programme of performing arts and entertainment throughout the year.

24. Adore the Flowers at the Old Railway Line Garden Centre

The Old Railway Line Garden Centre is a family run, independent Garden Centre, Farm Shop and Restaurant combined, offering the very best gardening, home and outdoor living products alongside delicious, fresh, locally produced food and drink. The garden centre is situated in the heart of the picturesque Wye Valley, nestling at the foot of the Black Mountains with outstanding views of the Brecon Beacons and surrounding Radnorshire Hills. They have a florist, farm shop, restaurant, gift shop, with  plenty of events being held at the Garden Centre. Click here for events held this summer.

25. Walk in the footsteps of gold miners at Dolaucothi

The Dolaucothi Gold Mines are the only mines for Welsh gold outside those of the Dolgellau gold-belt, and are a Scheduled Ancient Monument. They are also the only known Roman gold mines in Britain. Excellent guided tours take you back to experience the conditions of the Roman, Victorian and 1930s underground workings, but please wear sturdy footwear for uneven wet surfaces, and be prepared to get a bit muddy as you will be passing through actual mining passages!  If you allow around 90 minutes to 2 hours for the visit, you will hopefully experience a good part of the site, but there are lovely walking trails around the site and the Dolaucothi Arms to visit if you wish to stay longer.

26. Eat at some of Wales’ finest restaurants

From gourmet restaurants with their own cottage gardens to cosy pubs serving local Welsh lamb for Sunday lunch, we have plenty of fine eating places to tempt you. Our traditional Welsh breakfasts are legendary. Our gorgeous cafés and tea shops are enough to make you sigh with happiness. You can dine extremely well in our market towns, villages and rural areas. There are places to suit every mood, from down-to-earth and family-friendly to really rather posh. Click here for some of the finest restaurants in the Brecon Beacons.

27. Go Birdwatching

Birdwatchers visit the Brecon Beacons National Park to see red kites, tawny owls and red grouse, along with endangered species such as lapwings, little ringed plovers, nightjars and reed warblers. From parks and gardens alive with song birds to harriers and ring ouzels in the uplands, birds can be seen all over our Park. More here.

28. Imagine you’re in the Tropics at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales

Set in the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside, just on the outskirts of the Brecon Beacons, the National Botanic Gardens of Wales are a fascinating blend of the modern and historic. Here you’ll find an inspiring range of themed gardens, the world’s largest single-span glasshouse, our new tropical Butterfly House, play areas and a national nature reserve, all set in a Regency landscape which provides the stage for a packed programme of events and courses throughout the year! Click here to find out what events they have on this summer.

29. Stop off at a beer garden

There are plenty of beer gardens in the Brecon Beacons where you can soak up the sun! From picturesque river and canal spots, to scenic mountain views, click here for some of our top picks.

30. Treat yourself to Afternoon Tea

High Tea at the Angel Hotel, Abergavenny

Credit: The Angel Hotel Abergavenny

Whether enjoyed in a 5-star hotel or a delightful Welsh Cafe, Afternoon Tea is one of the best ways to treat yourself!  The Brecon Beacons have some of the finest Afternoon Teas around, using local produce to create an afternoon tea worth having! Click here for our favourite places to enjoy afternoon tea in the Brecon Beacons.

31. Go Pony Trekking

Half Day - Brecon Beacons Explorer

If you’ve never been riding before, the Brecon Beacons is a great place to start. Experienced riders love the Beacons too. Our Park is blessed with beautiful terrain to challenge and inspire. We have many riding and trekking centres, such as Cantref-the only Riding Centre licensed to trek on the Brecon Beacons- including the foothills of Pen-y-Fan! Click here for more trekking centres in the National Park.

32. Rock Climbing

If you enjoy climbing, why not take a look at things from a different angle and reach new heights on the cliffs of the Brecon Beacons? The best outdoor spots are along the limestone belt on the southern side of the National Park-more information here!
Or if you fancy indoor rock climbing, head to Llangorse Multi Activity Centre,  which has real rock, artificial climbing walls, bouldering, indoor caving and a café so you can reach new heights in a safe environment. Other nearby indoor climbing centres include Black Mountain Activities, Aber Rocks in Abergavenny, Summit Centre near Merthyr Tydfil and Dynamic Rock in Clydach near Swansea. More info here.

33. Discover the history of the Royal Welsh Regiment

Opened in 1935 and formerly known as the South Wales Borderers Museum, the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh is recognised as one of finest regimental museums in Britain. The museum charts the history of the Royal Regiment of Wales, founded in 1689 as the 23rd and 24th Regiments of Foot and subsequently re-named the South Wales Borderers, Welch Regiment and Monmouthshire Regiment. It includes displays relating to the many campaigns they were involved in such as the Zulu War.

34. Wander through an Art Gallery and Exhibition

Why not visit the Diamond People Exhibition, a celebration of 60 years since the parks designation in 1957 comprising of the portraits of some of those people that make the park the special place it is today. The exhibition will be touring across various venues in the Brecon Beacons until the 19th November. Find out more here. There are also plenty of art galleries in the National Park, click here for more.

35. Wildlife Watching

Our National Park contains some of Wales’ most spectacular scenery and rarest wildlife. Go quietly and you may see our key species – otters, great crested newts, marsh fritillary butterflies, bats and reed warblers – along with a host of other mammals, birds, amphibians, fish and insects. Click here for ten places to enjoy wildlife watching in the Park.

36. Go fishing!Anglers on the banks of the river Usk in teh Brecon Beacons National Park

Record-breaking grayling on the Wye, some of the finest brown trout fishing in the country on the Usk and a sprinkling of well-stocked reservoirs and lakes make fishing one of the most popular outdoor activities in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Our Park offers excellent coarse fishing or game fishing in rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs. We also have a great selection of country hotels that offer a special welcome to outdoor sportsmen. Click here for more information.

37. Craft your own chocolate at a workshop

Learn some of the essential skills of making fresh, handmade fine chocolates at Black Mountain Gold ChocolateThe Chocolate Making Courses are held in the beautiful surroundings of Black Mountain Gold Luxury Shop and manufacturing room.  The course covers topics such as: Introduction to truffle making, Hand rolling and piping ganache, Mouthfeel and cocoa butter and chocolate moulding techniques! 

38. Have a go at Cycling or Mountain Biking

Our National Park is a great place for a day out on two wheels, or even a cycle touring or mountain biking holiday. Our bike guides and hire companies can set up anything from a a simple day’s bike hire to a complete package with equipment, accommodation, routes and guides all included. Or why not head out on the touring route Cycle Across the Beacons, which follows a Roman Road with panoramic views of the Central Beacons and winds along  lovely country lanes before joining the pretty tow path by the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. Click here for more information on cycling in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

There’s also plenty for Mountain Bikers to enjoy, with Bike Park Wales being the UK’s first full scale mountain bike park in the heart of the South Wales valleys, built by riders for riders! There’s many more routes dotted around the Brecon Beacons-click here for more info.

39. Indulge in artisan ice cream

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With over 40 flavours and many desserts to choose from, Llanfaes Dairy produces the finest quality artisan ice cream right in the heart of the Brecon Beacons.  Visit their traditional Italian Style ice cream parlour or if you’re in Crickhowell head to Pavlovas! In the town of Hay On Wye you can even try ice cream made from sheep’s milk at Shepherds!

40. Enter into a Challenge

There are many challenges being held throughout the year in the Brecon Beacons. From the challenging Fan Dance consisting of a gruelling 24km SAS Selection test march staged over Pen y Fan to the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canalathon, a 35 Mile Team Endurance Challenge along one of the most Scenic Canal Routes in Britain! There’s plenty more to get your heart racing-Bwlch with AltitudeBrecon BeastWAAT4 and the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling. Keep an eye out for more challenges here.

41. Go on a global treasure Hunt by Geocaching

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If you like exploring, you’ll love geocaching, the global treasure hunt for the whole family. Geocaching is a fun way to explore the Brecon Beacons. It will take you to great places which may have a brilliant view or some historical significance, for example, a WWII bomber crash site or the monument to Little Tommy Jones.

There are over 180 geocaches in interesting locations in the Brecon Beacons National Park, all waiting to be found. All you need to start your quest is a handheld GPS (Global Positioning System) device and access to the geocaching website, www.geocaching.com. You can even have a go without a GPS, using an Ordnance Survey map and compass. Click here for more info.

42. Stock up on local produce at one of our farmers markets

Our regular farmers’ markets and food fairs bring our best local farmers, growers and artisan producers and together under one roof. They’re friendly occasions. You can meet the makers, sample their wares and stuff your shopping bag with goodies such as cheese, honey, sausages, herbs, chutney and laverbread. What could be better? Find a full list of farmers markets here. Or visit Abergavenny Food Festival when all the local producers come together for a weekend of indulgence!

43. Have a picnic at the National Park Visitor Centre

With events held throughout the year there is plenty on at the National Park Visitor Centreto enjoy a great day out. Located near the infamous Pen y Fan mountain, why not stop by after the climb for a bite to eat and to enjoy the view?

44. Learn the ways of survival

The Brecon Beacons National Park is an area rich in vegetation, wildlife and woodland.  It’s where the elite SAS army go to learn about survival, and the mountainsides, forests, hedgerow and rivers are full of wild foods that are quite edible. The landscape in the Brecon Beacons is perfect for foraging and there are plenty of friendly experts with unsurpassable local knowledge waiting to help you learn food foraging and outdoor skills! Click here for more.

45. Stroll through Craig Y Nos Country Park

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There are some stunning country parks in the Brecon Beacons that you can stroll through to get away from it all. The romantically named Craig-y-nos (or ‘rock of the Night’) Country Park has extensive grounds to explore. Once the pleasure gardens of the Craig-y-Nos Castle, now a hotel, the grounds are in the ownership of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Level and gently sloping paths take you through a meadow, around tall trees and along the flowing river. Look out for the different ducks on the ponds. Why not visit Dan yr Ogof caves whilst you’re there for an action packed day out? more info.

46. Go Camping

Pack a tent, an air mattress, and a camping stove and you’re good to go! There are endless places to camp in the Brecon Beacons National Park! Find campsites here. 

47. Watch a film at an Independent Cinema

The market towns of Abergavenny and Brecon are home to independent cinemas, screening the latest releases in unique settings. Brecon cinema screens an eclectic range of films from the Brecon Film Society, as well as the latest blockbusters. Visit Abergavenny cinema for another unique setting and the newest films.

48. Explore ancient woodlands

Our woodlands are wonderful to explore in any season. They stimulate the senses, from the beautiful songs of the birds and the smell of wildflowers, to the crunch of leaves underfoot. Click here for woodlands to visit.

 49. Go Sheep or Pig Trekking with Good Day Out

Have a mini adventure and take some little Kune Kune pigs for a walk, followed by a “Pig-Nic” ! Great fun for families and also people wanting a fun and engaging few hours in the countryside with these friendly little animals. You will be greeted and introduced to the piggies, then have a yomp through the neighbouring field and if the mood takes them, the pigs may wander over the shallow river. After returning to the smallholding, you will have refreshments whilst taking in the lovely scenery, and having a chat about the pigs and their life in the Brecon Beacons. Click here to book or check out a recent article from the BBC on the Piggy walks here.

50. Brave yourself for a haunted experience

Visit one of Wales’ most haunted pubs, The Skirrid Mountain Inn, standing for over 900 years & located in the beautiful Brecon Beacons, it’s steeped in legends of revolutions, ghosts & built on a mountain that once “shivered” – you will have to go a very long way to find an Inn with such history or character! Or dare yourself to go on a ghost tour at Craig y Nos Castle? It has appeared on numerous tv shows such as Most Haunted and having previously been a Tuberculosis hospital, are you brave enough for the challenge? More info here.

51.Visit the Spectacular Iron Age Fort-Garn Goch

One of the largest Iron Age Forts in the whole of Wales, Garn Goch is an unforgettable place that brings the power and ingenuity of the Iron Age to life. Garn Goch, a major Iron Age settlement site near the town of Llandeilo, nowadays feels quiet and remote. However approximately 2500 years ago this hilltop would have been a thriving centre, where people lived and worked, food was grown and goods were produced and were traded. The fort is easily accessible from a small car park at the base of the hill and a well trodden path to the fort. Click here for information.

52. Taste the Wines in rural Vineyards

Head to the vineyards for a tour and a chance to sample wonderful crafted wines in the Brecon Beacons. Two vineyards you can visit are White Castle Vineyards and Sugarloaf Vineyard. White Castle Vineyard is a family-run, five acre vineyard planted on a gentle south facing slope in the village of Llanvetherine close to the towns of Abergavenny and Monmouth. Visitors can enjoy tours followed by wine tasting and you can also purchase their wine at White Castle Vineyard, located in Abergavenny. More info here.
Nestled at the foot of the Sugar Loaf Mountains, Sugarloaf Vineyard enjoys panoramic views over the Usk Valley. There are seven varieties of grapes planted on five acres of south facing slopes. You can tour the vines, sample the produce and also stay at their holiday cottages. More info here.

53. Have a family day out at a Country Show

If you love country shows, the Brecon Beacons are the place to visit.  We have an action packed summer of shows happening each weekend from July – September. The pinnacle event is the Royal Welsh Show, the largest agricultural event in Europe! Click here for dates of this years country shows.

54. Play a round of Golf

If you like to play golf with a stunning background of hills and mountains, the Brecon Beacons National Park makes an ideal base for your golfing break. Cradoc Golf Club, 2 miles north of Brecon, has 18 holes and a friendly clubhouse, and is possibly the most scenic course in Wales! More info on golf courses in the National Park here.

55. Gorge Walking and Caving

The Brecon Beacons National Park encompasses some of the most important cave systems in Europe. All but a handful of the caves in these systems are the sole preserve of the experienced caver, but certain sections are much easier to access. Click here to discover the caves. Or for even more excitement why not go gorge walking? Scramble over rocks and boulders, climb waterfalls and experience raging rapids! Click here for information on companies who host the event.

56. Visit an Adventure Farm 

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Whatever the weather Cantref Adventure Farm, and the Play Barn Brecon make for a fantastic family day out in South Wales! From shows at Cantref including Pony Rides, Pig Racing and Pet Handling, with The Play Barn at Brynich being an award winning indoor soft play centre on the edge of Brecon!

57. Visit a standing stone

There are over thirty surviving standing stones in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It isn’t known exactly how many of these are prehistoric. Some appear to be memorial stones and others may well have had more than one function either as boundary markers, waymarks on ancient routeways, signposts or even rubbing stones for livestock. They are impressive stones to visit and are the most unique and mysterious part  of the Brecon Beacons. More here.

58. Pamper yourself at a Spa

Here in the National Park we are lucky to have some fabulous spa hotels, retreats and clinics in beautiful, tranquil surroundings. Head to Peterstone Court to relax in the Jacuzzi, detox in the sauna and take a dip the seasonal outdoor heated pool or visit The Manor for a swim in the only indoor heated swimming pool and leisure facilities in the nearby area, with sauna, Jacuzzi, and steam pool at your disposal. The Retreat Brecon also provides treatments and therapies, incuding massage and spray tanning. More info here.

59. Spend an Afternoon in one of our many bookshops

Have a day out exploring the many bookshops in the Brecon Brecons, with bookshops being the local speciality in Hay-on-Wye! Visit Book-ish in Crickhowell, the quirky Hours in Brecon or Richard Booths Bookshop in Hay-it’s Europe’s largest secondhand bookshop!

60. Go on a Walk with your four legged friend!

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Credit: Anthony Pease

The Brecon Beacons National Park is an exhilarating environment to explore with your dog! Explore mountains and streams, walk along the canal and rivers and experience some of the finest views! Click here for some of our top spots to take your dog! Make sure you follow the dog code. And if you don’t have a dog, don’t worry-these walks are great to do with family and friends!

Don’t forget there are plenty of amazing events to attend on your visit here! For events held throughout the year in the Brecon Beacons click here.

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