In 2005 Fforest Fawr Geopark became the first Geopark to be established in Wales. As of October 2013 it was one of 58 Geoparks in Europe. The park has been sculpted by nearly 500 million years of geological history, and contains the highest mountains in southern Britain, the deepest cave in Britain, the finest collection of waterfalls in Britain and 7000 years of recorded human occupation.
The Geopark lies wholly within the Brecon Beacons National Park, occupying the central and western part of the park.
The oldest rocks in the Geopark are of Ordovician age (485 – 443 million years ago). In this time the Geopark was very different from today. There was a great ocean known as the Iapetus separating England and Wales from Scotland, and in which lived many marine creatures such as graptolites and trilobites.
Ordovician rocks were deposited in the margins of the Iapetus Ocean and outcrop in the extreme western portion of the Geopark between the towns of Llandeilo and Llandovery (see fig 1). The names of these towns may sound familiar to those who are familiar with stratigraphy because they have been used to name stages within the Ordovician and Silurian periods. In fact Wales as a whole has played a very major role in the naming of geological periods, with the earliest three periods since multicellular life, the Cambrian, the Ordovician and the Silurian all having Welsh origins.
‘Scenery explained Wales‘ offers guided holidays, day trips, and hikes in the Brecon Beacons National Park. We also offer day tours further afield: to the Elan Valley, Glamorgan Coast, Gower and Herefordshire, with road trips that cover the whole of Wales.
Explaining the Scenery is our specialty, and your guide is qualified Geoscientist (M.Sc) and Mountain Leader with 8 years guiding experience on geological and wildlife trips right around the world. He is also an Ambassador to the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Fforest Fawr Geopark and the Brecon Beacons International Dark Skies Reserve, and from a family that has lived in the area for generations.
In addition to our Scenery Explained tours we offer Wildlife & Nature, Heritage, Star Gazing, Photography and Fly-fishing tours, and Best of Beacons tours that combines the best scenic, wildlife and heritage sites. Some of our Heritage tours have a personal dimension too, and feature your guide’s family history at the Blaenavon World Heritage Site and the Regimental Museum in Brecon which hosts a Zulu War exhibit.
Scenery Explained Wales is based at 4 Star Tara B&B which can offer full board accommodation and use of a swimming pool. This base allows us to offer Brecon Beacons holidays, where full board accommodation can be combined with any of our day tours or hikes to produce a complete package.
Finally we also offer Road Trip Holidays that take in the whole of Wales. These holidays have a Scenery Explained theme and visit Wales’ best geological sites in addition to the more obvious sightseeing sites. The road trip of Wales can be done in 8 days as a whole or in two 4 days halves. The trip visits 3 National Parks, 2 Geoparks and 2 World Heritage Sites.
Scenery Explained Wales is part of GeoWorld Travel Ltd which offers international Scenery Explained holidays to Polar Regions, Volcanoes, Mountains, Fossil sites and the Northern Lights. http://www.geoworldtravel.com