See stars

In 2012 the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park became the first International Dark Sky reserve in Wales (and only the fifth in the whole world). Thanks to its lack of light pollution, it’s the perfect place for some serious stargazing. On a clear night, the sky is a shimmering blanket of heavenly bodies, with spectacular views of the Milky Way, distant nebulas and shooting stars. There are regular dark sky stargazing nights at the National Park Visitor Centre in Libanus, so check the National Park’s events page for up to date details.

Find out more about other stargazing spots in Wales

Dark skies in Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons).

Starry skies in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park, Mid Wales

Spot a red kite

Named as the Official Bird of Wales in 2000, this iconic bird of prey was once on the brink of extinction here. Thanks to committed conservation efforts, they’re now a frequent sight in the skies of Mid and South Wales, and you can see them at dedicated feeding centres like Gigrin Farm, near Rhayader. You don’t need to be an experienced ornithologist to identify them – just watch out for their distinctive forked tails.

Three red kites flying in the air

Red kites in flight, Gigrin Farm, near Rhayader

Get lost in a good book

An unmissable event for culture lovers, the annual Hay Festival sees writers, poets, politicians, comedians just about everyone else converge on Hay-on-Wye for ten days of thought-provoking entertainment. Hay’s the perfect location for this ‘Woodstock of the mind’. The pretty little market town is packed with an outsized number of book shops (it’s why it’s known as the second-hand book capital of the world).

Books on shelves
front of bookstore with Richard Booth signage.
people looking at books on shelves that are outdoors.

Book shop in Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Mid Wales

Let the games commence

Head to Llanwrtyd Wells, a few miles from the National Park’s northern edge for sporting adventures with a difference. You wouldn’t know it at first glance, but this little town is the global centre for alternative sports like bogsnorkelling, stone skipping and mountain bike chariot racing. The annual World Bogsnorkelling Championships that has taken part for over 30 years and attract competitors from as far afield as Iran, Korea and the USA, while other events include the gruelling Man vs Horse Marathon and the Real Ale Wobble, which combines off-road cycling with refreshing servings of local beer.

Man snorkelling through a bog

World Alternative Games, Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid Wales

Go a little deeper

Travel underground at the National Showcaves Centre for Wales at Dan yr Ogof. Experience a subterranean world of amazing rock formations in echoing underground spaces, like the massive Cathedral Cave, and come face to face with ancient ancestors in the Bone Cave. The fun continues on the surface with a range of attractions including a dinosaur park (home to more than 200 life-sized prehistoric creatures), Shire Horse centre and Iron Age farm.

Interior of a cave.
Couple enjoying the spectacular caves at Dan-yr-Ogof National Showcaves Centre for Wales
Dinosaur sculpture at Dan yr Ogof.

The National Showcaves Centre for Wales, Dan yr Ogof, Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park

Take a train ride

The Bannau (Beacons) are famous for hills and mountains, and what better way to get there than by steam train! The Brecon Mountain Railway takes you right into the heart of the National Park, running alongside Pontsticill and Taf Fechan reservoirs before climbing to Torpantau. There are loads of walks you can do around the reservoirs, or just sit back and take in the views from the train.

Search for more attractions in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons).

Brecon Mountain Railway train going past forest with steam flowing from the funnel.
A person sat in an open wooden railway carriage.

Brecon Mountain Railway, Mid Wales

Be active

Blow away the cobwebs with some action and adventure at Llangorse Multi Activity Centre. If you’ve got a head for heights, tackle the Sky Trek Experience, a high-altitude assault course of zip lines, ladders and crossings strung through the tree tops. Or head out on horseback for a rural ride through the Bannau's lush green countryside. And don’t worry about the weather. There’s also indoor climbing, caving, abseiling on offer, alongside activities for younger visitors.

Search for more activities in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons).

Get a taste of Welsh whisky

Launched in 2004, the Penderyn Distillery at the southern edge of the National Park was the first new whisky distillery in Wales in over a century. Fast forward to today, and it’s a globally-recognised brand that’s landed numerous awards for its stellar single-malts. Its visitor centre is also an award-winner, giving some fascinating insights into the whisky-making process (plus an opportunity to sample some of the product).

Items displayed in glass cabinets and artwork in the exhibition at Penderyn Distillery.
A group on a tour at Penderyn Welsh Whisky.
Whisky barrels with bottles of Whisky and information panels behind.

Penderyn Welsh Whisky, Aberdare, South Wales

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