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Being a national park, the best activities in the Brecon Beacons should be enjoyed when the sun is shining such as climbing mountains, visiting waterfalls, and discovering castles. However, the sun shining is not a given in any part of Wales, with this being no exception.

So for those not-so-nice days when it’s raining, I’ve put together this list of 12 indoor activities in the Brecon Beacons where you can stay nice and dry.

1. Visit the Regimental Musem of the Royal Welsh

The Regimental Musem of the Royal Welsh in Brecon tells the story of some of the British Army regiments based in Wales, now known as the Royal Welsh. I found it to be very similar to the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum at Caernarfon Castle, so if you enjoyed that, this will be right up your street.

The museum contains a collection of over 30,000 items which tell the history of the regiment including uniforms, guns, letters from soldiers to their families, and medals.

 You can learn about all of the significant events in the regiment’s history including the Zulu war in Africa and both world wars. There are also miniature models of some of their most important battles which help bring the story to life.

The museum is typically open 9am-5pm on weekdays although this can vary so check ahead. Entry is £5 for adults and £2 for children, there is also a discount for veterans.

2. Enjoy Animals and Adventures at Cantref Adventure Farm

Cantref Adventure Farm is a family-friendly attraction full of activities, play areas, and animal experiences in the heart of the Brecon Beacons, less than 10 minutes south of Brecon itself.

The farm is very well equipped for rainy days with a large heated indoor soft play area, a separate toddler play area, two role-play rooms where the kids can take part in imaginative games, a pedal tractor area, and ball cannons where family feuds can be played out by firing balls at each other.

For those that want to get up and close to animals, there’s a pet barn (where you can pet rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals) as well as the big animal barn. There are also seasonal shows at their theatre venue such as lamb feeding and kid goat shows.

If you like the sound of this, you can now stay at Cantref Adventure Farm too at their bunkhouse accommodation or their campsite (although we’d suggest the former if you’re expecting a lot of rain!).

3. Go Climbing Indoors at Llangorse Multi-Activity Centre

Llangorse Multi-Activity Centre in the Brecon Beacons is the best place in the country for indoor climbing with Wales’ only indoor limestone climbing walls in Wales, 15m high artificial climbing walls, large bouldering areas, and even a dragon and dinosaur you can climb up.

The climbing is suitable for all abilities from newbies up to experienced climbers. You’ll be given an instructor who can tailor the experience to your group so I recommend booking in advance (by calling them) to ensure there is availability.

Other indoor activities here include a high-level adventure rope course and an indoor zip line. If the weather clears up, this is also a great place to try your hand at horse riding with lessons or riding experiences.

4. Visit the Museum and Art Gallery at Cyfarthfa Castle

Just south of the Brecon Beacons in the small town of Merthyr Tydfil, you’ll find Cyfarthfa Castle.

This was never a defensive castle like many in Wales, it was a family home built by the Crawshay family who earnt their wealth from the Cyfarthfa Ironworks.

Today, the castle is owned by the local council and houses a museum and art gallery. At the museum, visitors can learn about Metrhyr’s history from the Roman conquest to thriving times during the Industrial Revolution.

The art gallery features an extensive fine art collection as well as decorative art including porcelain from local factories that are now worth a small fortune. Some of the famous artists to have pieces at the gallery include Merthyr local Penry Williams, who has often been called ‘the Welsh Turner’, and the landscape and portrait artist George Frederick Harris, who spent most of his life in the area.

5. Learn About the Historic County of Breconshire at Brecknock Museum

Yet another museum, Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery is probably one of my favourite things to do in the town of Brecon. It’s housed in Y Gaer, a cultural hub which was once the shire hall for Breconshire.

Inside the museum, you’ll find a variety of collections that tell the story of the historic county of Breconshire which now mostly falls under the modern-day county of Powys. You’ll find an archaeological collection from the area and information about its natural history, right to industrial items and memorabilia from the past 150 years.

There’s also a recreation of a Victorian courtroom and classroom as it would have looked in the area at this time.

In addition to the museum, there are several art galleries containing a mix of contemporary art and craft items which are well worth some of your time. In total, I recommend at least an hour and a half to fully explore this enormous (and Free!) museum.

6. See Three Unique Caves at The National Showcaves for Wales

© Crown copyright (2022) Cymru Wales

Located at the southwest end of the Brecon Beacons you’ll find the National Showcaves Centre where you can enjoy three unique caves in your own underground adventure.

The most well-known cave is Dan-yr-Ogof which contains an underground river and many interesting formations, such as the heavenly Angel and the Allibaster Pillar.

If you’re looking to spend as much time indoors as possible away from the rain, there are two other caves you can discover at the centre too:

  • The Bone Cave  – In the cave which dates back to the bronze age, the remains of more than 42 human skeletons were found next to fine bronze-age jewellery and Roman pottery.
  • The Cathedral Cave – This unique cave is millions of years old and contains thousands of stalactites and waterfalls as high as 40ft that plunge into underground lakes. It is so beautiful that it has been nicknamed ‘Dome of St. Paul’s’.

7. Explore the Infamous Bookshops of Hay-on-Wye

© Crown copyright (2022) Cymru Wales

Hay-on-Wye is a small market town in the Brecon Beacons that has a big reputation in the world of literature. You may hear people calling it “the town of books”, a title it has earned for the range of bookshops in the town selling new, second-hand and antique books.

It now hosts the Hay Festival, one of the best festivals in Wales and one of the most well-known literary festivals in the world, attracting over 100,000 visitors and some of the world’s top writers, poets, and comedians.

8. Learn How Welsh Whiskey is Made at Penderyn Distillery

You don’t need me to tell you that drinking is a great rainy-day activity and with plenty of cosy warm pubs in the Brecon Beacons, you’ll be spoilt for choice. However, one thing you may not have considered is visiting a local distillery and seeing exactly where your tipple of choice is being made.

Penderyn is the best-known Welsh whiskey brand, making a range of award-winning malt whiskies and spirits right here in the Brecon Beacons.

You can visit Penderyn distillery, near the small village of the same name, and take an hour-long guided tour where you’ll see everything from their mill and mash tun to their pot stills. Of course, no distillery tour would be complete without sampling the product for yourself in their tasting bar at the end.

I recommend booking online ahead of your trip because you’ll get the discounted online price and guarantee a spot.

9. Admire the Countryside From the Brecon Mountain Railway

What if I told you it was still possible to enjoy the scenic Welsh countryside on a rainy day without getting wet? Well, that’s not far from the truth thanks to the Brecon Mountain Railway.

The route begins in Pant before travelling alongside the Taf Fechan Reservior and up to Torpantau where you’ll get stunning views across the national park from the comfort of their all-weather carriages lead by a vintage Steam Locomotive. On the return journey, the train stops in Pontsticill where you can have a drink and snack at the Café or venture out for a walk if the rain allows.

The trip lasts approximately 1.5 hours including the journey there, a 25-minute stop at Pontsticill station and Reservoir, and the return journey. There are also tearooms at Pant Station where your journey will begin. This is a seasonal activity which only runs in peak season so check their website for booking details.

10. Take a Trip Into a Mine at the Big Pit National Coal Museum

The Welsh Valleys, just south of the Brecon Beacons, was once a thriving coal-mining community. Whilst this industry has all but deceased in Wales today, you can still learn about the area’s rich heritage at museums such as the Big Pit National Coal Museum.

Based in a former mine in Blaenavon that used to employ up to 1,300 local people, the museum allows you to explore interactive exhibits that help you learn exactly what life would have been like in the mines during their heyday.

There’s also an underground tour where you’ll be led by a real miner 300ft below the surface into the tunnels that would have once been bustling with workers.

The museum is free to visit and suitable for all the family, no matter what the weather is like outside.

11. Go Canyoning Through a River Gorge

If you’re going to enjoy the Brecon Beacons, you do really need to be outdoors. If the rain isn’t holding off, why not try an activity that requires getting wet anyway; Canyoning. This involves making your way up or down a river gorge by climbing, abseiling, and swimming. Those brave enough might even try jumping.

I recommend using Adventures Wales. They’ll provide all of the safety equipment and a fully experienced guide who will ensure you have a safe and fun time.

If you fancy something a little easier, the same company also offers Gorge Scrambling which takes a much easier pace and doesn’t require all the harnesses and safety equipment as canyoning.

Kieren is the founder and editor-in-chief of Wales Guidebook. Originally from rural Mid-Wales, he has lived all over the country from Cardiff to Wrexham. A true Welshman, Kieren created this site to share his passion for Wales and help others discover this beautiful country.