This is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It’s one of the most significant natural networks of subterranean passages and caverns in Europe. It attracts experienced cavers as well as beginners, and has been used as a location for Doctor Who (BBC).
Loads to do for adults and children. An excellent day out! Indoor kids play barn and mini-zoo. Look out for the 200 life size Dinosaurs!!
Distance from Coachingmans Cottage: 11 mile drive (approx 20 minutes).
Our verdict: A must see natural wonder with loads to see and do. 10/10
Over 1000 years ago this was home to a local King. Abundant with wildlife and birds of prey the lake is the largest glacial lake in the Brecon Beacons national park. Stunning views of the mighty Pen Y Fan mountain (Highest point in Southern Britain) and the surrounding natural vastness of the Brecon Beacons are there to be admired any time of year. Pike fishing, boat hire, bike hire, fishing equipment hire etc etc.
Huge indoor climbing centre, (used to train the UK’s military) zip slides, boulders, abseiling, high wire, tunnels etc. Horse riding / trekking, play areas, and much more. Suitable for all ages.
Distance from Coaching mans Cottage: 16 mile drive (approx 30 minutes).
Our verdict: A great day out for the active adventurer or the chilled out bird watcher. 10/10
At 886 Metres above sea level Pen y Fan is the crown of the Brecon Beacons and the one that everyone wants to conquer and have a picture at the monument on the summit and to see the most spectacular scenery from the highest point in Southern Britain. There are several routes up and down ranging from moderate to very tough.
The UK special forces train on this mountain range because it is notoriously difficult terrain to navigate and march in and has severe weather changes that occur unexpectedly and regularly.
Enjoy this tremendous walking country but be safe and aware of where you are and how the weather can change very suddenly. Extra clothing and water should be carried in day packs as well as food items in case you are caught in a weather change.
Distance from Coachingmans Cottage: 10 mile drive (approx 20 minutes).
Our verdict: Simply tremendous, there are easy routes for children & people with lesser fitness levels. 10/10
For a dose of pure nostalgia, Wales’ vintage railways are pretty hard to beat. Jump aboard this lovingly restored narrow gauge steam train and relax as it puffs and chuffs away alongside the Pontsticill Reservoir, a short but delightful trip on a fantastic machine in fantastic surroundings.
Adults and children will genuinely love and remember this steam puffing fantastic machine.
Distance from Coachingmans Cottage: 15 mile drive (approx 35 minutes).
Our verdict: Once the engine starts hissing & puffing and pulls off, it’s simply a magical journey. 10/10
Llyn Y Fan Fach
A totally superb place to walk to. Walk through stunning open spaces in amongst the back drop of the Black Mountains. Llyn Y Fan Fach is a walk with a reward for those who go to the top. Breath taking scenery that will leave you speechless and amazed. You will look down and see a totally majestic lake which is famous in Welsh folk stories for its enchanted spirit, namely the lady of the lake. A ghostly apparition who guards the lake from unwanted spirits.
The lake is a must see for all, a superb picnic area, a place to spend a full summers day in peace and quiet. Adventurers can wild camp next to the lake and swim in it. (If you’re brave enough). Llyn Y Fan is the lake that the actor Robson Green swam naked in as part of his extreme training for swimming naked in the freezing waters of the Norwegian Fjords. The water is extremely cold all year round.
The sky in this area has zero light pollution. This makes it a dark sky reserve which means it is one of the best geographically sited areas in the world for star gazing. Wrap up warm and take some blankets and a flask, lay back after dark on the grass and watch the most amazing, spectacular star display the universe has to offer. You won’t have seen anything like this before. Each night is different to the last so the star show you see will be uniquely yours, it is a mesmerising powerful thing to see in such remote wild surroundings.
It will become one of your most treasured memories, simply superb.
Directions: Turn right out of the cottage and follow the lanes and signs for the Usk reservoir. Follow the road until you reach a cross roads which has 3 signs all in different directions on the compass. Red Kite centre, Myddfai and Llyn Y Fan Fach. Take the Llyn Y Fan Fach turn and follow the signs until you reach the parking area.
Distance from Coachingmans Cottage: 8 mile drive (approx 12 minutes).
Our verdict: One of our favourite places, a wild and remote mystical area, beautiful in any weather. 10/10
What could be more charming than the sound of a waterfall tumbling into a clear woodland pool? The geological make-up of the Brecon Beacons National Park makes it an excellent place for waterfalls.
There are planned walks that take you through many large cascades ranging from 1 hour circuits to 6 hour treks.
Our cascades are a delight to walkers, photographers, botanists and wildlife-watchers alike, pick up a guide book or visit the web link below for loads of info.
Distance from Coachingmans Cottage: 10 mile drive (approx 18 minutes).
Our verdict: One of our favourite places, beautiful in any weather especially spectacular in heavy rain. 10/10
The red Kite until very recently was one of the most endangered birds of prey in Europe. In the early 1900’s this great bird was hunted to near extinction. People would kill the bird and steal its eggs for financial gain. Brecon now has the largest population of these fantastic wild birds who have started to make a recovery.
The Red Kite feeding centre is a place where you can watch dozens of these birds of prey feed in their natural habitat. The birds are totally wild and at 3.00 PM each day they are thrown meat which they impressively swoop down to collect. An impressive sight.
Distance from Tyn Y Coed Cottage: 7 mile drive (approx 12 minutes).
Our verdict: Well worth a visit, adults and children alike. 10/10
The Brecon Beacons National Park has the official status as ‘An international dark sky reserve’. It was the 5th place on planet earth to be granted this status. Due to zero light pollution in the Brecon Beacons national park the sky above you is the one of the best places in the world for star gazing and astronomy.
A Must do… Easy no fuss magical experience. Simply drive out on a clear night, go left from the cottage into the lanes, drive for about 3.5 miles until you reach the open expanse on the right of the forest, near the Usk reservoir area. Simply park the car anywhere around here. Turn off the car lights and your phones, let your eyes adjust for 3 minutes and simply sit back and gaze at the sky, it is tremendous.
We have taken the children many times and laid up on pick nick blankets with a flask and some biscuits and have been mesmerised at the stars above us… shooting stars, The Milky Way, planets… superb.
For a more planned evening of star gazing people often go the Lake ‘Llyn Y Fan Fach’ and wild camp there or go near the Crai reservoir which is equally as good. Warm clothing, hats and gloves are required for a good few hours laying up watching the sky.
Our verdict: Definitely one of our favourite things to do, no planning, grab a coat and a blanket and jump in the car in your Pyjamas and go.
3 Miles from Cottage door.
Very close by to the cottage are dozens of superb cycling / walking areas. There are purpose made routes as well as naturally formed cycle / walking routes through forests, past rivers and around large lakes and reservoirs. There are routes for all abilities, easy to difficult.
Below is a list of the best areas to visit for a day (or an hour) of outdoor exploring on foot or bike. Most have facilities so you can buy food and drink as well as use the BBQ tables and picnic tables.
1: Halfway forest: Turn left onto A40 and travel approx 5 miles, you’ll see the signs on your right.
2: Glasfynydd forest: Turn right into lanes and follow main lane for 3.0 miles (Pictured above)
3: Usk Reservoir: Turn right into lanes and follow main lane for 3.0 miles
4: Taf Fechan forest and waterfalls: Turn right onto A40 and follow sat nav to CF48 2UT approx 10 miles
5: Crai reservoir area: Turn right onto A40 and follow sat nav to LD3 8YY approx 7 miles
6: Talybont on Usk bike forest: Turn right onto A40 and follow sat nav to LD3 7YQ approx 12 miles
7: Mountain bikers heaven: Bike Park Wales Visit website: . Voted best mountain bike centre in UK. Dozens of routes, night time riding, cafe, bike & kit hire centre.