Brecon Beacons tourist information & Mid Wales travel guide
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Brecon Beacons tourist guide
The Cambrian Mountains and the Brecon Beacons are the two features that dominate this part of Wales and for millennia have kept man from imposing his footprint on the landscape. This is wild and bleak countryside with hardly anything other than sheep and birds to keep you company - perfect for a bird-watching or walking holiday in Wales.
The eastern half of the region, butting up to the English border, is distinguished by a succession of spa towns, and in Llanwrtyd Wells the locals have taken up the challenge of attracting tourists with gusto. Not only is it home to the World Bog Snorkelling Championships on the August Bank Holiday, where competitors have to 'swim' two lengths of a 55m trench in a nearby bog, only surfacing twice in order to navigate, but also in July the Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling equivalent. In January they hold a Real Ale festival complete with a ramble for walkers, and a wobble for bikers, and free ale at every checkpoint, and another one in November.
By contrast Llandrindod Wells is a sparkling little spa and the Victorians who arrived in their droves to take the waters left a charming place behind them. Llandrindod Wells also lies on the 'Heart of Wales' railway line, one of the most scenic and dramatic in Britain. Running from Shrewsbury to Swansea the single car service shunts through the valleys, over viaducts, and burrows under the Sugar Loaf Mountain stopping at some of the more picturesque towns and villages in the region, and it is a delightful journey at any time of year. if you rent a self-catering cottage near Llandrindod Wells you can enjoy all these delights.
Another stop on the line is the border town of Knighton, a walker's sanctuary on the Offa's Dyke Path and a perfect place to stop and catch your breath in one of the many holiday cottages and bed and breakfasts on offer. Knighton also houses the Spaceguard Centre, an observatory that charts near-earth objects and their threat to the planet. On a less gloomy note, the Centre organises public planetarium shows and daytime stargazing. Holiday cottages near Knighton are some of the finest in Wales and a great place to stay if you are on holiday walking Offa's Dyke path.
In the north of this part of Wales is Welshpool, and one mile south of the town is Powis Castle. Originally built around 1200 as a fortress against the English, the castle stands on a rock with commanding views to the east, whilst below is the world famous garden with its enormous yew hedges, lead statuary, and Orangery, all laid out on terraces. The castle contains the combined collections of the Herbert and Clive families, including a superb display of Indian treasures acquired by the conqueror of India, Robert Clive. Welshpool is a great place to stay on a self-catering holiday in Wales and there are some luxury vacation rentals near Welshpool.
The Brecon Beacons National Park forms the southern border of this area of Wales and is a popular place for activity holidays, and the list of activities is almost endless. Mountain biking, white-water rafting, climbing, gorge walking, and caving are all on offer in the Brecon Beacons National Park, and there are some spectacular waterfalls in breathtaking scenery where you can break your journey. Holiday houses and homes to rent in the Brecon Beacons range from idyllic Welsh farmhouses to luxury cotages to rent. The towns of Brecon and Abergavenny are the main bases for travellers and have the widest range of accommodation. There are beautiful gardens to visit in wales, and the Llanover garden school, close to Abergavenny hosts very informative garden lectures and one day courses or workshops. However within the park are a few small villages and isolated farmhouses that offer a more tranquil option. If you are walking through the park do try to avoid the summit walk between Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du as this has become so heavily overused that the Breacon Beacons park staff refer to it as 'the Motorway'. If you are looking to rent a holiday home near Brecon or a self-catering house near Abergavenny then you will be spoilt for choice as this part of Wales is full of some delightful vacation cottages which offers some idyllic places to stay for a Welsh holiday. A self-catering cottage in the Cambrian Mountains also provides a wonderful place for a vacation in Wales if you want to rent a holiday cottage in this beautiful part of mid Wales.
There is a good range of restaurants in the area. The Walnut Tree at Llandewi Skirrid is superb, boasting an international reputation. The prices are towards the top end, but the food is excellent. If you want to spend a bit less, but would like a special meal out, the Loughpool Inn at Sellack near Ross-on-Wye, Stephen Bull's latest venture, is the place to visit. The food is really good and very well priced. Nearer to home, The Bridge at Kentchurch is in a lovely position by the river and serves good simple food - don't be put off by the exterior decoration of the pub! A foray into the Black Mountains to The Bull's Head at Craswell will reveal a really authentic country pub with appetising home cooked food. Further afield at about 40 minutes away, but well worth the effort, the Felin Fach Griffin near offers great food in a convivial atmosphere.
Wales is the most perfect place for your holiday and is an idyllic place to spend a Christmas or New Year break. Whether you want to spend your holiday in Wales by the sea and wake up on Christmas morning listening to the sound of waves breaking, or to be sitting by a log fire on New Year's Eve in the Welsh countryside then you will find the perfect holiday cottage here. Whether you want a cottage in north Wales, south Wales or west Wales you will be assured of a perfect holiday in this beautiful country. Wales is a wonderful place to spend your Christmas or New Year holiday in a self-catering cottage. Whether you want a Welsh farmhouse, a beautiful cottage in Pembrokeshire, a cosy cottage in north Wales, a luxury cottage in the Welsh mountains, an idyllic hideaway in south Wales or an isolated and romantic self-catering cottage for Christmas or New Year in Wales, then you will find it here. We have had many happy Christmas and New Year holidays in several of these holiday cottages and they have all been idyllic and luxury cottages for New Year and Christmas breaks in Wales.
Approximately 40 minutes from is the home of national hunt racing. Cheltenham is best known for the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival which takes place in March each year. The top three-day meeting of the jump racing season sees a huge crowd gather to watch the exploits of the best jockeys and horses from all over Britain, Ireland and Europe. Cheltenham race course has great facilities and is overlooked by the splendid Cotswold Hills.