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Near the Mountain Centre in the Brecon Beacons National Park

Discover Mid Wales

Cromlech on the edge of Llangorse Lake
Photo: Llangorse Lake with the Brecon Beacons beyond.

The River Wye

Canoeing on the River Wye at GlasburyOne of the major rivers of Wales, designated as a special area of conservation and renowned for its variety of wildlife, white water kayaking and Canadian canoeing.

In summer it is hard to beat a half or full day paddling down the River Wye in a kayak or Canadian canoe; most of the operators will collect you at your destination and bring you back to your starting point. In winter, serious canoeists take to the Upper Wye for kayaking and white water rafting. Sailing dinghies and rowing boats can be rented on Llangors Lake (the largest natural lake in Wales), and narrow boat trips are available on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.


The Brecon Beacons National Park

The National Park covers 520 square miles and includes the Brecon Beacons mountain range, the Black Mountains and Llangorse Lake (the largest natural lake in Wales). Glasbury is on the northern edge of the park. The Mountain Centre is a good starting point (cafe, toilets, parking). The below photo was taken during a short walk from the centre.

Near the Mountain Centre in the Brecon Beacons National Park


Hay-on-Wye – "Town Of Books"

Hay-on-Wye (Y-Gelli in Welsh) is a small market town on the border between Wales and England which became famous as the "Town of Books". Richard Booth opened his first second-hand bookshop here in 1961, now there are some 30 bookshops in the town.

King Richard of Hay-on-WyeThe town gained much notoriety in 1977 when Richard Booth and some of his friends decided (over a few pints in the pub) to declare U.D.I. A parliament was formed (although some ministers were too drunk to remember which was their ministry), 98p bank notes printed (on rice paper, so at least you could eat them), passports issued and titles sold (Earldoms cost £5, including a free T-shirt). Richard Booth was crowned king on April 1st 1977. He gave a speech from the battlements of his castle and the local school children sang the Hay national anthem. In 1984 a referendum, organised by Booth's arch rival, Leon Morelli, in which 25% of the townsfolk voted (mainly due to the offer of a free glass of wine provided by Mr Morelli) ended the reign of good King Richard. Booth never acknowledged the validity of the referendum, but the Duchess of Hay and Offa's Dyke, April Ashley, sought exile in Hollywood! There are now booktowns all over the world.

Hay Castle has recently undergone a multi million pound restoration and now hosts exhibitions, community events, a shop and a cafe.


Walking

Wye Valley Walk signpost in GlasburyThe Wye Valley Walk passes just outside our B&B (photo) - a 136 mile long distance trail from Chepstow, in Monmouthshire, to the source of the River Wye at Plynlimon high in the Cambrian Mountains.

  • The Ramblers - The 2 local groups, Four Wells Ramblers and East Radnor Ramblers, organise walks on alternative Saturdays and Sundays and some shorter Wednesday walks.
  • Brecon Beacons Park Society - Organise guided walks for experienced walkers. The £5 donation requested from non-members is well worth it.
  • Brecon Beacons National Park - Organise a range of walks and events.
  • Walking World - Download walking routes (subscription website).
  • Geocaching - If your kids find walks a bit pointless, introduce them to geocaching, a treasure hunting game played throughout the world by old and young adventure seekers. Several caches hidden locally.

Cycling

Cyclists in Mid WalesThe Welsh National Cycle Route (or Lon Las Cymru in welsh) passes right by our B&B. This is Sustrans' cycle route 8, a 276 mile way-marked cycle route running from Anglesey in the north to Cardiff or Chepstow in the south.


Pony Trekking

Pony trekking in Mid Wales Pony trekking in the Black Mountains


Caving & Climbing

Caving in the Brecon Beacons National ParkThe Brecon Beacons is well suited for climbing and caving. The limescale caves under the LLangattock escarpment near Crickhowell are some of the longest in Britain.

Places To Visit

  • Talgarth Mill - Working mill in Talgarth. Mill tours and cafe.
  • Elan Valley - Impressive Victorian dams & reservoirs, near Rhayader. Visitor center with tearoom. Victorian dam in the Elan Valley near Rhayadar
  • Tretower Court - Restored 15th century house and gardens with 13th century stone keep.
  • Monmouth & Brecon Canal - Beautiful and peaceful waterway, following the lovely wooded Usk Valley. Boats on the Monmouth & Brecon Canal
  • Big Pit - Go 300 feet underground with a real miner and see what life was like for the thousands of men who worked at the coal face. At Blaenavon, near Abergavenny.
  • The Museum of Welsh Life - over 40 orginal buildings re-erected from all over Wales, showing Welsh life through history. At St. Fagans, west of Cardiff.
  • Erwood Station Craft Centre. - Crafts for sale and regular exhibitions in the old railway carriages. Also tea room, picnic site and river walk.
  • Aberglasney Gardens - Glorious 15th century house and gardens. Near Llandeilo.
  • National Botanic Garden of Wales - Near Carmarthen.

Festivals

  • Hay Festival - Festival of literature and the arts with an international reputation, takes place in Hay-on-Wye over the late spring bank holiday.

The Arts

2 theatres and 3 cinema screens within a 20 minute drive as well as numerous small galleries, exhibitions and craft workshops.

Barges on the canal outside Brecon theatre

Nature

Picture of wildlife

Other Tourist Info

  • Pronouncing Welsh Place Names - Just a little understanding of Welsh place names will bring your map to life, especially as most Welsh place names are largely descriptive.
  • Tales Of Wales - During Victorian times the diarist Reverend Francis Kilvert was curate of Clyro, near Hay-on-Wye. He spent much of his time walking over the Radnor Hills. On one such walk he came across one of Mid Wales' most eccentric characters – the Reverend John Price.
  • Brecon Leisure Centre & Swimming Pool - Pool, ten-pin bowling & climbing wall.
  • Riverside International - Small indoor pool, jacuzzi and bar.

Maps

  • OS 1:25 000 scale walking maps for the Brecon Beacons National Park: either East (Black Mountains etc) or West & Central (for Brecon and the west).
  • Cycling: Mid-Wales South Cycle Map (published by Sustrans, at a scale of 1:110,000).

 Track in the Brecon Beacons