Get away! South Wales

The Bre­con Bea­cons are the ideal week­end desti­na­tion for a coun­try es­cape

Chat - - Contents - l For more in­for­ma­tion, visit bre­con­bea­cons.org

Con­quer Pen y Fan

1 Tackle the high­est mountain in South Wales and ad­mire the Bre­con Bea­cons Na­tional Park from above. If you’re look­ing for a chal­lenge, Pen y Fan of­fers the chance to climb to the 886-me­tre sum­mit. With spec­tac­u­lar views, there are a num­ber of routes to the top to choose from, in­clud­ing the op­por­tu­nity to con­quer neigh­bour­ing peaks Corn Du, Cribyn and Fan y Big. The most dra­matic way to reach the sum­mit of Pen y Fan starts from Cwm Gwdi car park, tak­ing around four hours to com­plete the seven-mile route. Gaze up at the stars

2 Recog­nised as one of only 12 In­ter­na­tional Dark Sky Re­serves in the world, the na­tional park of­fers you the chance to see spec­tac­u­lar night-time dis­plays. Hay Bluff car park above Hay-on-wye of­fers panoramic views over Powys and Here­ford­shire, as well as fan­tas­tic clear skies and the per­fect stargaz­ing con­di­tions.

Go sheep trekking

3 Take a walk with a dif­fer­ence on a group trek through the Bre­con Bea­cons with trained Ja­cob sheep (good­day­out.co. uk), tak­ing in the sights of the Black Mountain, with in­cred­i­ble views to­wards Pen y Fan and the cen­tral Bea­cons. Fit­ted with a hal­ter and lead, your sheep will take you on a leisurely walk along scenic coun­try routes, in­clud­ing a stop for a pic­nic lunch. Hu­man guides are also on hand to help out and an­swer any ques­tions. The trek lasts around two hours, priced £35 per adult or £25 for chil­dren.

En­joy an af­ter­noon on a nar­row­boat

4 Fancy go­ing on a cruise? The 37-mile Mon­mouthshire and Bre­con Canal of­fers you the chance to drive a nar­row­boat for the day (abc­day­boathire.com), while stop­ping at pubs and restau­rants along the way. There are six locks from the mar­ket town of Bre­con to Cwm­bran for fam­i­lies to ex­plore, and boats hold up to eight peo­ple. Prices start from £130 per day for a boat.

Try a Welsh whisky

5 In the foothills of the Bre­con Bea­cons, Pen­deryn Dis­tillery (pen­deryn.wales) pro­duces a range of award-win­ning sin­gle malt whiskies and spir­its – it’s the only com­mer­cial whisky dis­tillery in Wales. Vis­i­tors can en­joy guided tours, de­signed to ed­u­cate con­nois­seurs about the his­tory, in­spi­ra­tion and meth­ods be­hind the process. Pen­deryn dis­tils a num­ber of ad­di­tional spir­its, in­clud­ing Mer­lyn Welsh Cream Liqueur, Bre­con Five Vodka, Bre­con Gin and Bre­con Botan­i­cals Gin, all avail­able to sam­ple and buy.

Visit a smok­ery

6 Black Moun­tains Smok­ery (smoked-foods.co.uk) is a fam­ily-run, gourmet food busi­ness sell­ing award-win­ning smoked pro­duce care­fully sourced from Bri­tish sup­pli­ers. The own­ers, Jo and Jonathan Carthew, opened the doors of the smok­ery in Crick­how­ell in 1996, and have de­vel­oped a fresh, delicious and sus­tain­able range of tra­di­tional smoked fish, meats, poul­try and cheese. Not only that, Black Moun­tains Smok­ery reg­u­larly or­gan­ises events, tours and tast­ings for food­ies to learn more about sus­tain­able food. Pack up a ham­per of good­ies for a pic­nic in the na­tional park, sur­rounded by the beauty of na­ture.

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