When one imagines Wales one usually pictures a lot of sheep, Mount Snowdon, constant drizzle and an abundance of daffodils. I think that’s right?! Or maybe you see Barry Island as depicted in Gavin and Stacey and chips with curry sauce…
Well, I can tell you that the Brecon Beacons National Park is more akin with the first image of Wales. I went visiting during the early spring (March) which was pretty risky weather-wise but was well worth it for that beautiful thing that only Britain has, the ability to enthrall you with a burst of beauty just as you are on the brink of giving the whole thing up for a bad job since you’re covered in mud, drenched from head to toe and have lost all feeling in your extremities. There is nothing quite like the sun suddenly breaking from behind the clouds, the rain easing off and that whiff of fresh grass as you suddenly notice the crocuses and the daffodils wafting about in the breeze. And then there are the rainbows. When they happen they are simply unparalleled.
The spring really is a perfect time to visit the British countryside. Not without wellies, sun-cream and a desire to do some walking though. Expect mud. A lot of it. But also expect to see lambs leaping about like prisoners on day release, to enjoy some of the most awe inspiring views in the whole of the UK, and to eat your fill of welsh cakes (delicious little morsels halfway between a cake and a drop scone; spiced and studded with raisins ready to be served with lashings of butter).
So what should I do in this part of Wales you ask?
- Walk. Walk everywhere – up hills, down hills, round hills, through forests and glens! The Brecon Beacons have some of the best walking in the entire country from challenging Pen y Fan to the more relaxed riverside walk we did along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. This is a pretty good resource for mapping your walks in Wales.
- Eat. Eat lots of delicious local produce from fresh locally grown veg to great cheeses and sausages or the delectable welshcakes mentioned above. A nice weekend in the countryside should come equipped with a feast or two!
- Go on the Brecon Mountain Railway – a delightful steam engine which chugs it’s way through the stunning countryside from Pant to Torpantau and back again. It is slow and steamy and on a drizzly day it is a great thing to do. Dogs and children are all welcome! There is something about the romance of a nice train that always gets to me… have a look below at the reasons why!