Britain is notorious for bad weather with Wales being right up there as one of the places where a little rain is definitely to be expected. The beautiful thing about the Brecon Beacons (as well as the magnificent forests, waterfalls, mountains and landscapes) is that the rain isn’t a problem, there is still so much to do on a rainy day. In fact, with our list of five things to do on a rainy day you’ll be willing for it to rain just so you can enjoy these captivating activities.
1. National Showcaves Centre for Wales
Being underground seems like the perfect solution when there is heavy rain, so exploring the fascinating caves of Dan-yr-Ogof is a great rainy day activity. From the spooky Bone Cave where 42 human skeletons that date back to the Bronze Age were found, to the Cathedral Cave with thousands of straw stalactites. The stunning setting of the Cathedral Cave is often used as a wedding venue. Dan-yr-Ogof cave itself has some truly beautiful formations that have been affectionately named; look out for “the rasher of bacon,” “the angel” and “the albaster pillar”. As well as the stunning natural beauty of the caves, the centre has a dinosaur park featuring over 200 fantastic life-sized dinosaurs. There is also a museum, Iron Age farm and fossil house on site, along with a fabulous well-stocked rock and dino shop and lovely coffee shop, for a very welcome tea and cake after exploring the miles of spectacular caves.
2. Penderyn Whiskey Tour
The Penderyn Whiskey Tour isn’t just a fascinating insight into the rich history of whiskey making in Wales, but the carefully planned exhibition also takes you through the history of the local area, making it an interesting experience for whiskey lovers and the impartial alike. If whiskey really isn’t your thing, then you might be more interested in the Brecon Gin, Brecon 5 Vodka or even the Merlyn Cream Liquor. The shop and visitor centre are open each day, but it is advisable to phone first and book, just to be sure that the distillery is producing on the day of your intended visit. The entrance charge is £6 for adults and includes the tasting of two Penderyn products. Real whiskey enthusiasts may prefer to book on a master class to taste a range of products and see more of this exciting distillery in a two and half hour tour.
3. The Waterfalls Centre
The Waterfalls Centre at Pontneddfechan is full of information about the local area and of course focuses on the stunning natural waterfalls. Waterfall Country is a must to visit and this is a perfect base from which to start a walk around the local waterfalls. Are we crazy for advising you to visit waterfalls in the rain? Well actually, heavy rainfall is the best time to view the waterfalls as the water is in full force. Just be sure that you are dressed properly so you can stay warm and dry. You can even walk behind the wall of water at Sgwd yr Eira, which is a real spectacle. The centre also houses an interactive exhibition that explores the formation of waterfalls, the history of the Fforest Fawr Geopark and the importance of rocks to the local area. It is staffed by a group of friendly and knowledgeable Information Officers who will gladly help you out with any queries you may have. You can also buy maps, guide books and souvenirs to enrich your experience.
4. Gorge Walking or Raft Building
If you love being outdoors and fancy a really hands-on activity, then the addition of rain can only enhance the experience. Besides, if you get really sucked into what you are doing then you won’t even notice that it’s raining anymore. Gorge walking is a really intense and enjoyable way to experience the natural world. You’ll find yourself clambering over rocks, jumping into pools, swimming, climbing and battling through waterfalls. The team at Hawk Adventures will kit you up with a wetsuit, helmet, boots and buoyancy aid before one of their trained guides will lead you through a steep-sided gorge. The addition of rain will only add to the experience, and you’re going to get wet anyway, so you may as well do it in style. Raft building is a great idea for a group of friends or a family with older children. Hawk Adventures will provide you with everything you need to build your raft, as well as helmets and buoyancy aids. It’s then up to you to design and construct it before trying it on the water. The results are often unpredictable and hilarious, making it a really memorable day out, as well as a great bonding activity. If you are interested in a number of events from Hawk Adventures, you can buy a Multi Activity package for a holiday full of fun and adventures. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are no shortage of fantastic activities you can enjoy in the Brecon Beacons.
5. Ride on the Brecon Mountain Railway
If the rain means you’ve had to abandon your plans of walking through the beautiful landscapes, then the idea of cosying up on a train to enjoy the spectacular views may sound far more appealing. The Brecon Mountain Railway travels from Pant, near Merthyr Tydfil into the National Park and offers some truly exquisite views. The observation carriages follow a lovely vintage steam locomotive that adds a certain romance to the whole experience. You can get off at Pontsticill to stretch your legs and enjoy the lakeside café, have a roam through the wilderness or play with the kids on the playground. Back at Pant you can explore the workshop, visit the tearooms and purchase gifts and souvenirs. You may like to visit the traditional sweet shop too.
So if the weather forecast looks a little dull on one of your holiday days in the Brecon Beacons, don’t be disheartened. There is still plenty to do in the rain, whether you explore somewhere indoors or battle the elements and let the rain enhance your experience. Either way, we’re sure that your rainy days will be amongst the most memorable.
The Brecon Beacons, has plenty off attractions and activities to enjoy whatever the weather. Take a look at our top attractions to take in during your holiday.