Wales has three national parks: the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales, the Pembrokshire National Park in West-Wales and Snowdonia National Park in the North.
On a day trip from Cardiff where I was last weekend, I hopped on board of the coach of ‘See Wales Tours‘ to spend the day discovering Mines & Mountains (will tell you all about the mines in a seperate post) to see the best of the South Wales Valleys.
Normally the tour starts at the mines and ends in the National Park, but as the museum people were on strike (best excuse not to have to go hundreds of meters underground in a dark hole) and the weather perfect in the morning, we switched things around and drove right into the rolling green hills, sandstone peaks and high mountain lakes (well, around the lake of course) to see a landscape that was formed in the ice age!
Brecon Beacons National Park
If you’re a nature lover and you’re up for a little stroll, then this trip is definitely something for you! Have a look and tell me you’re not impressed:
It was so windy, you wouldn’t believe it. I was happy to reach the top in one piece!
Must be a great location for a road trip!
Lunch in Brecon
For lunch, we stopped for a while at the lovely Tower Cafe at St Mary’s church and attacked their Welsh Beef Roast, which was just what we needed after being blasted by the icy wind this morning.
When I spotted that they also served a local cider my day was a success already!
Give me a local cider and I’m as happy as can be :)
More Brecon Beacon Beauty
Before heading to the Big Pit Mines, we drove through a bit more scenery while listening to Welsh folk songs, which really added flavour to the tour!
We also got up close to the local wildlife, some wild horses and sheep… lots and lots of sheep!
Meet the Wild Ponies
The horses are called “Welsh cobs” and they have been running free here since Roman times. Because the climate is harsh here and there isn’t a lot of green around, only the strongest, fittest and most intelligent ponies survived.
They were often used in the coal mines and many were also exported to Australia and America in the early 20th century, but later fell a bit out of fashion. That’s why these days, there are just 800 registered pure mares left and the the Welsh cobs are now a rare breed.
As I said before, I’ll be covering the second part of this tour (a visit to the Big Pit Coal Mine) in another post, as I just have too many pictures to show you of that. It is one of the BEST tourist attractions that I’ve ever been to in my life, so make sure to check that out!
Tour Company: See Wales Tours
Name of the Tour: Mines & Mountains (1 Day)
Departures: Every Tuesday & Friday
Start: National Museum Cardiff, 09:00
Finish: Cardiff City Center, 17:30
Price: Adult £48.00, Child £28.00 (5-15yrs)
Disclaimer: I went on this tour on invitation of VisitWales & See Wales Tours as part of the Traverse Travel Blogging Conference. All photos, opinions and love for cider is 100% my own.
Our lovely tour group: Go Bloggers!
This post is also available in: Dutch