For our second National Park, we wanted to start with something close to home, being based in Swansea we're a stone's throw from the beautiful Brecon Beacons and would encourage everyone, especially families, to visit there. Rain, shine, or even snow in winter, it's a wonderful place to explore all year round. We've picked our top five places to visit with children that will guarantee a fun day out for everyone involved!
1. Indoor fun, outdoor activities, animals and adventure. It ticks a lot of boxes and that's why Cantref is top of our list. It started life as a working farm but is now the go to place to see farm yard animals up close (the baby goats are always a crowd pleaser). With the pet handling barn, big animal barn and indoor play zone if there's a downpour there's still heaps to keep you little ones entertained. Outside the list goes on and on! There is a tractor and trailer ride, super sledge ride (adults you can hop on too), jungle swamp ride, splash paddle boats, water wars and a maize maze. And, that's not even half of it. You can also go on a trek with the ponies and have riding lessons. You might just need more than one day here, which means that their accommodation option might just be perfect for you, as they have a campsite and a bunkhouse. For more information click HERE.
2. If you have slightly older children then grab your walking boots and take a hike to Pen-y-Fan and Cribyn from Cwm Gwd. Pen-y-Fan is the highest mountain in South Wales and Southern Britain but its most distinctive feature is the flat top. Take the shortest route which is around one and a half hours, the views are worth the walk and your kids will be bowled over by the dramatic scenery. The rocks of the Brecon Beacon once lay at sea level so do your best to spot the fossilised sand ripples near the summit. The mountain summit is marked by the remains of a Bronze Age burial cairn which is sure to spark children's interest in history.
3. Wanting to see the park but maybe not all by foot? How about exploring it on a section of the 600 miles of bridleway on horseback? It doesn't matter if you have little to no experience on horses, going on a trek is great for all members of your family. Visit Cantref Horse Riding Centre (part of our number one suggestion) in the South of the Breacon Beacons, established for over 40 years it is the go to place to see the park on horseback. If your child is pony crazy then why not own a pony for the day? They'll learn how to groom, tack up, points of pony, points of saddle and bridle and well as pony colourings and markings. You'll then get to have a riding lesson and a ride out. Last but not least you'll get to go home with a rosette and photo of you and your pony! For more details click HERE.
4. Got proper little monkeys on your hands? Send them climbing on the Junior Challenge Course at Llangorse Multi Activity Centre. The course is for 6-12 year olds and has two sections, one which takes them 3m up and one which goes to 10m! They'll have to get themselves around obstacles including swinging tyres, balance logs, hanging tunnels and stepping stones as just a starter. At the end, they'll be treated to a zip line ride to get them back to the ground.
5. You may think all the exciting things to see are overground, for a once in a lifetime experience you can head underground running miles under the rolling hills of the Breacon Beacons! Visit National Showcaves Centre and experience 10 attractions which are all covered on one ticket. With three different caves to explore, Dan-yr-Ogof, Cathedral Cave and Bone Cave, each one has something different to offer and you can walk for just under 1km through decorated passageways. At the end of your cave experience witness and enjoy walking behind the enormous 40ft waterfall, do your best not to get too wet! There's a chance to learn about dinosaurs here too, with one of world's largest collections of life-sized dinosaur models your children will be in awe of the size of them, particularly the Tyrannosauras Rex!