It’s been my mission over the last few years to get outdoors and just do it despite the potential fears! Over the weekend, I attended the #DolyGaermeetup with some awesome bloggers to have a taste of what Parkwood Outdoors Activity Centre, Brecon, has to offer and to provide our feedback on how the centre can improve. Since we did so much in two days I’ve broken the posts up (for your attention span’s sake)!
As you’d expect, it was set in a stunning location of rolling hills, views of Pen Y Fan, vast reservoirs, dark skies and simply sheer beauty.
Greeted by the professional but friendly Owen (Outdoor activity Manager), we were shown to our accommodation. Our 6 large en-suite chalet room were surprisingly plush! We were expecting a bunk bed style of chalet. Instead we were treated to hotel pillows, a big double bed and a really awesome walk in shower.
The rooms are all multi-functional and have pull down bunk beds – so there’s a lot of room for an array of sleeping set ups (which is important since they take school and corporate groups)! The chalet block even had its own living / kitchen dining room where you can cook your own food and enjoy the views…
There’s also the 4 star Dolygaer cottage which I’d say is the main attraction of all of the accommodation. It’s been completely decked out with a tasteful interior and another awesome walk in shower.
Situated right across from the reservoir – it certainly is idyllic and the little balcony with a seating area would make a great space for dinner or late night hot chocolates with family and friends.
I know I keep going on about the views but by now, you’ll know I’m a sucker for a good one and the centre is certainly full of them. We took a womble down to a small bridge crossing a flowing river to the bottom fields which is equipped with a camping area, fire pits, bush craft areas, woodlands, ponds and a stream (sensible footwear advised) . There’s talk of adding a zip wire in this area (I’m totally there when that happens). I am looking forward to camping here in the spring.
On the other side of the field are places for archery and a few obstacle type courses for the children. We took a tour to the equipment room which is full of everything you’ll need for as much fun as you want (it’s handy because it saves carrying your own equipment around with you).
The centre have invested around £30,000 in replacing a lot of the old kit.
I even spotted some wellies (not as fancy as mine) …
We were all looked after by the very charismatic Mike (centre manager), Owen and ‘The Australian’ – Tony who is a seasonal worker there. They all couldn’t do enough to ensure we all had FUN and their passion for outdoors and introducing other’s to the outdoors was awesome to experience. The centre only opened last year after it was bough at auction. Previously it was owned by the council. They’ve all done a wonderful job in kitting together to shape what is now Parkwood Outdoors. Over £300,000 has been invested so far! Our activities (which I’ll tell you more about in later posts) were made even more amazing and safe with qualified, relaxed and reassuring instructors. Being around these types of outdoors-man only encourages me further to hurry up and get my walking instructors certificate!
And of course, I can’t forget our chef for the weekend – Damian (a veggie just like me and a passion for Naan) ensured we had lots of energy to go forth and outdoors.
Sometimes it’s nice to be out in the wild on your own doing your own thing. But it’s also nice to be part of a team and I think these kind of activity centres really do encourage this which is ideal for school and corporate groups.
We kicked off our weekend with the timed ‘magic broomstick’ activity.You’ll have to find out what it is for yourself but a whole 9 minutes later we did it! Thankfully our group participation was much better during the actual activities! It certainly had us all laughing and raring to go for activity 1.
Join me tomorrow to find out about that time we went bouldering, rock climbing and abseiling on one sunny day in a Brecon quarry.