Llangorse is in Powys (mid Wales), 6 miles from the town of Brecon. I worked at 2 summer camps in Llangorse this year so thought I would put down my thoughts about the village. I was a little worried before I went there, thinking there would be nothing to do and it would be boring, but it wasn't at all. Llangorse is home to the largest natural lake in South Wales, Llangorse Lake. This is a beautiful location and many people visit the lake to do watersports ranging from windsurfing to canoeing. There is a hire shop there where you can hire out different types of boats-canoes and pedalos for a few pounds an hour. There is a PGL activity centre called Royal Oak right next to the lake. There is a caravan site next to the lake with facilities including a shop, cafe and a great bar, called Lakeside. On Fridays there is karioke and on Saturdays a disco. This opens until 1 at weekends and has a great atmosphere and a small pool at the front. In the village itself, there is a school, a church and a general shop/post office. The shop is closed at lunchtimes, and on Wednesdays and Sundays though! There are also 2 more pubs, The Red Lion and the Castle Inn. The Red Lion is full of staff from the PGL summer camps in the area (from March to September). There is also a hotel above the Red Lion. There are quite a few B+B's in Llangorse. The Castle Inn is smaller and more suited to older people. It also does great fish and chips! Llangorse is situated in between the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons and has some stunning scenery. Unfortunately, when I was there, all the hills were closed off due to foot and mouth. However, I believe that they are all open again now. The 3 summer camps in the area are all owned by PGL, and have school groups visiting in term time and individual guests in the holidays. They do many activities in the surrounding area, such as watersports and horse riding. Another great feature of the area is t he Llangorse Ropes and Riding centre. This consists of large stables where the public can go horseriding, and an amazing modern, indoor climbing centre. There is also self catering accomodation at the centre. The centre is halfway up Mount Troed and has a beautiful view of the lake. You can get to Llangorse in 2 hours from Birmingham, or 1 from Cardiff. I would totally reccomend Llangorse as a great place to stay. You get the best of both worlds-a stunning rural location, and lots to do. In the surrounding areas(if you have a car) there are The National Showcase Caves, which are well worth a visit, and the Brecon Mountain railway which is also good. You can also visit Hay on Wye (the village of books), which is an excellent day out if you like books! Public Transport is not very good from Llangorse; there is one bus a day (the post bus) to Brecon. It is great to have a bicycle when staying in Llangorse as I did. It is easy enough to cycle into Brecon, or to Hay on Wye if you are feeling adventerous! Brecon is a nice town with a fairly good selection of shops and lots of pubs. There are nice pubs alongside the river. It is also host to the Brecon Jazz Festival every August. Be warned though, the accommodation in the area always gets booked up over the weekend of Brecon Jazz.
I have lived in Ystradgynlais now for some ten years and as with everywhere it has changed drastically over the years. Ystradgynlais unlike its neighboring village Ystalyfera is going from strength to strength. Ystradgynlais is fifteen miles from Swansea on the road to Brecon – situated on the edge of the National Park as the Estate Agents put it. It’s very much a village where everyone knows everyone’s business. As you enter Ystradgynlais you pass the Rugby Club on your right, the scene of many a classic game although sadly at the moment the team seams to be going from bad to worse. You then cross the bridge and pass the church to the cross. The cross is the center where you see the majority of youngsters hanging out at night and during the day people waiting for buses. Ystradgynlais has the following: - · A flower shop, · Two estate agents, · Two chip shops, · Two restaurants, · A Chinese takeaway, · An Indian takeaway, · Four pubs, · A jewelers, · An Ironmongers, · Two Newsagents, · A post office. Fairly basic but the heart of the village is the welfare hall, which hosts concerts and doubles up as a cinema, although be warned that in the winter its advised to wear a coat as heating seems to be a luxury. The village is made up of some eight thousand people and has of late had a large influx of outsiders (sorry English!!). But still now if you go to the local pubs you meet old characters that will talk all day about the old mines and tin works that were dotted all over the valley at one time. Nowadays you have to travel down the valley to work with many working in the DVLA in Swansea. The village is well situated for all types, Swansea is just half an hour’s drive where you can shop till your hearts content whilst Brecon is half an hours drive in the opposite direction with outstanding walks and beauty. Although not coming from the village I now feel very much a part of the local community i.e. I also know every one else’s business also. If you get a chance call, you never know you might bump into me.