If what you want is a relaxing break then The Firs could be just what you are looking for. It is a quiet location with stunning views that aid relaxation; when you are revived and feel like exploring the National Park there are plenty of places to see. Riverside walks, mountains, forests, lakes and reservoirs, quiet village pubs and market towns all within easy reach.
There is a map in the dining room with the locations of local attractions, there is also a folder with further details.
Pendarren House may be able to offer adventurous activities to users of The Firs. Activities need to be booked in advance of your visit as it is often impossible to arrange at short notice. Equipment including waterproofs and footwear and instruction is included (equipment is not available for loan or hire outside of these sessions). Instructors are qualified first aiders.
Activities are booked by the day – to fill your day you can choose a full day activity or two half day sessions.
If you have booked activities check the kit list to ensure you bring adequate clothing.
Caving Caving is a long half day or a full day activity. Clothing – we will provide lights, helmets, oversuits, wellies, and wetsuits as required; you need to provide to provide old clothes (they will get muddy) e.g. 3 layers on top and tracksuit, thick socks; preferably synthetic material or wool as cotton feels cold once it becomes wet.
If you choose a half day cave then an on site activity such as high ropes, climbing or orienteering is a good choice to fill the remaining 1/3 of day, or choose a mountain or waterfall walk that can be done near the cave site.
Walking Table Mountain, Sugarloaf, Pen y Fan, Black Mountains – there are many to choose from. There are also some beautiful walks along the river valleys with impressive waterfalls.
Clothing – we will provide walking boots, waterproofs, rucksacks. You need to bring suitable clothing – warm clothes for cool conditions (including hat and gloves) and clothing to protect from sunburn in sunny weather. Half or full day.
Canoeing and kayaking – miles of superb canoeing from quiet canals, large reservoirs, rivers with gentle rapids to white water canoeing at grades 2-3 on the Wye and Usk. We have fleets of canoes and kayaks.
Clothing – Pendarren will provide safety equipment such as buoyancy aids, protective clothing as required e.g. wetsuits, waterproofs; you need to provide training shoes, clothes to keep you comfortable should you get wet, preferably synthetic material or wool as cotton feels cold once it becomes wet. Half day or full day. River trips require a full day.
Climbing – within reach for a days visit to the Gower, Symonds Yat and the Wye Valley as well as numerous inland limestone and sandstone cliffs.
Clothing – Pendarren will supply safety equipment such as helmets, harnesses, ropes and waterpoofs; you need to provide comfortable clothes, trainers. Half day for on-site climb/abseil tower, full day for off site climbing.
Gorge walk – scramble, swim, slide, jump as you journey along the river. You will get wet.
Clothing – Pendarren will provide protective equipment including helmets; you will need to provide old clothes and trainers. Half day, although we can extend it to provide a full day of adventure.
Orienteering Around the grounds or local woods and forests. Half day.
Bushcraft Shelter buildinging, making fire, cooking over an open fire, use of knives, wild foods, purifying water. Half day.
High Ropes 6 elements to challenge all abilities. On-site. Half day
Activities not provided by Pendarren
Mountain Biking – big ascents and descents from the Centre into the Black Mountains, or try the man made runs at the mountain biking parks such as Cwm Afan, Merthyr Tydfil, the family trails in the Forest of Dean, or head north to explore the hidden gems of Radnorshire.
Pendarren does not offer this activity but there are bike hire companies locally. At your own risk.
Paragliding – the mountain across the valley from Pendarren, Blorenge, has been purchased by a local paragliding club.
Local festivals – Hay on Wye book festival (May half term), Abergavenny cycling festival (July), Green Man music festival (August), Brecon Jazz festival (August), Abergavenny food festival (September).