A Newtown attraction is offering businesses and groups a Christmas party with a difference this year.
Beyond Breakout, located on the fourth floor of Newtown’s Royal Welsh Warehouse, Pryce Jones Building, has a choice of three escape rooms for festive party groups
“As well as being great fun, escape rooms can double up as both a party and a team building exercise,” said Lorna Morris, who runs Beyond Breakout with business partner Jo Woodall.
“Escape rooms are a great way to bond with colleagues, allowing between two to six players per group to team up and solve the puzzles in the room that will lead to their escape.
“For larger groups, Beyond Breakout can make it competitive for all by allowing teams to play against each other and the clock to see who can escape the fastest with the fewest clues along the way.
“We have three different escape room themes to choose from: Lost in Puzzleland, The Mask and our Christmas room, Elfin’ Mistake, which is opening on November 1.
“Playing an escape game together is an excellent way to connect and leaves participants with a lot to talk about post game.”
Lorna says playing an escape room can develop a positive mindset, as solving puzzles stimulates both sides of the brain, which improves mental health, mental clarity and heightens memory power.
“Playing the game can trigger the secretion of a hormone called serotonin - the happy chemical - which keeps us all excited and happy,” she added. “Most importantly, we hear a lot of laughter coming from our escape rooms, and laughter is indeed the best medicine!”
Beyond Breakout creates bespoke experiences for corporate clients to meet their requirements. For prices and more information about team building packages, visit www.beyondbreakout.com .
Beyond Breakout is a member of MWT Cymru, an independent organisation that represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and the Meirionnydd region of Gwynedd.
One of the many groups that has taken up the Beyond Breakout escape room challenge.
>> Beyond Breakout on Visit Mid Wales
Collaboration between the Cambrian Mountains Initiative and Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has resulted in The Cambrian Mountains Food, Drink and Craft Fair, to be held in the Elan Valley on October 23, between 10am and 4pm.
During the dark times of the COVID-19 pandemic, local food, drink and craft producers in the Cambrian Mountains of Wales came together to create a virtual local produce network.
Whilst it was the dark times that motivated producers to join forces, it’s the world-class dark skies of the Cambrian Mountains that have recently inspired them to create brand new produce.
The producers will meet for the first time at The Cambrian Mountains Food, Drink and Craft Fair, to be held at the Elan Valley Visitor Centre, near Rhayader. Local people, tourism and hospitality businesses and visitors will have a chance to see, buy and order their dark sky themed produce.
The Elan Valley is an International Dark Sky Park, the only one in Wales and the only one on private land, but accessible to the public, in the world - https://www.elanvalley.org.uk/darkskies
The event celebrates creativity and resilience and highlights the importance of community cohesion in times of adversity.
For a flip-book of the brochure of Cambrian Mountains Local Produce, visit https://issuu.com/walkcambrianmountains/docs/cambrian_mountains_local_produce_2021
A video showing the produce available at the Elan Valley event can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuVztRdC4Fs .
The network of producers was facilitated by the RDP-funded Dyfodol Cambrian Futures and part-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, Ceredigion County Council, Powys County Council and Carmarthenshire County Council.
The project also receives support from the Cefn Croes Windfarm Community Trust, Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm Community Fund, Aberystwyth University and the Elan Valley Trust.
Local food, drink and craft producers are uniting for the Elan Valley event.
Welsh beef jerky snacks manufacturer Trailhead Fine Foods put in another star performance in this year’s Great Taste Awards, the Oscars of the food and drink world.
The Welshpool-based company is celebrating after its Original Beef Jerky and Teriyaki Beef Jerky flavours impressed the Great Taste judges so much that they awarded them a one star award each, recognising them as “food that delivers fantastic flavour”.
The company makes handmade, artisan beef jerky snacks in eight flavours, which are branded Get Jerky. The snacks are made with responsibly sourced PGI Welsh Beef and marinated using secret, unique recipes.
The high protein jerky is gluten free and low in fat, making it a healthy alternative to sugary and high fat snacks.
It’s the second year running that the company’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky has won a prestigious Great Taste one star award. Launched last year, the jerky captures the traditional Japanese cooking style for an authentic Oriental experience in premium beef jerky.
The Great Taste judges commented: “Delicious wafts of the orient. Enjoyable to chew, it softened beautifully with the spices persisting to the end when it had melted. Delicious.”
Recognised for the first time is Original Beef Jerky, the Great Taste judges noting the “rich, sweet, spicy aroma”.
“The texture is wonderfully traditional and delivers deep, buttery beef flavour notes, with a clever back note reminiscent of kidney,” they added. “The spice level has complexity and depth.”
The company’s Spicy Chilli Beef Jerky flavour was also awarded a Great Taste one star award in 2020 which it retains for another two years.
Emma Morris, Trailhead Fine Foods’ director of sales, said: “It’s fantastic that our Teriyaki flavour beef jerky has retained its one star award and we are delighted that the judges liked our Original flavour.
“Being able to display Great Taste awards alongside three of our beef jerky snacks is great for raising our brand awareness.”
She revealed that sales of the Get Jerky snacks have doubled this year, with selection boxes of the eight flavours proving very popular for birthday and Christmas gifts. Trailhead Fine Foods offers free delivery of its tasty snacks ordered online at https://www.trailheadfinefoods.co.uk
The snacks are available in Co-op stores across Wales and more than 100 stockists across the UK, including service stations, farm shops, delicatessens, convenience stores, tourist attractions, petrol stations, breweries, pubs and hotels. They can also be bought online at Amazon.
Trailhead Fine Foods’ Get Jerky Original and Teriyaki snacks which won Great Taste one star awards.
The modified layout will require the building of a new platform as part of a larger scale and longer term intention to build a new Corris station including an overall roof, which was a feature of the original station in the village.
Work on the new track layout will begin after the two days of Santa Trains which will take place on December 11 and 12. Santa train tickets can be purchased online from www.corris.co.uk
The dry and warm weather through most of September allowed more construction work on the embankment which will replace a lost section of the original trackbed south of Maespoeth Junction and eventually allow trains to run further southwards along the Dulas Valley.
Material continues to arrive from Dolgellau. Important work completed also included connecting the drainage layer below the embankment base with a drain to the Dulas, clearing the flood plain of debris from earlier site work and levelling of the topsoil in front of the stone filled gabions at the base of the embankment.
New build carriage number 24, which will offer first class accommodation and an observation section, is being worked on in the carriage shed at Maespoeth Junction. with the flooring complete and hardwood sections being fitted to the outside of the vehicle.
Donations to assist with the work at Corris station and/or the Southern Extension embankment can be made online via www.corris.co.uk or cheques payable to Corris Railway can be sent to Corris Railway, Station Yard, Corris, Machynlleth, SY20 9SH. Donors are asked to indicate for which work their cheque donation is intended.
Corris Railway – major winter work planned on track layout and station platform.
>> Corris Railway on Visit Mid Wales
RSPB Cymru is inviting families to enjoy a Big Wild Halloween on its nature reserves this October half term with spooky, nature-filled events for all ages to enjoy.
For more information about Big Wild Halloween and to find a full list of events and activities on offer at their reserves, visit: https://events.rspb.org.uk/Cymru .
In Mid Wales, RSPB Ynys-hir, near Machynlleth is arranging a Twilight Trail on Wednesday, October 27 from 4pm to 5.30pm. Visitors will have a chance to discover the wildlife that comes out at dusk, to toast marshmallows on the fire and play some games.
A family ticket for two adults and up to three children costs £18 for RSPB members and £20 for non-members. Adult RSPB members pay £8 and non-members £10, while cost for children is £5 each for RSPB members and £6 for non-member. Call 01654 700222 or visit https://events.rspb.org.uk/ynys-hir for more information.
Other events are being held at RSPB South Stack, RSPB Conwy and RSPB Newport Wetlands. For RSPB Halloween events across the UK, fun activities, and more info about wildlife visit: rspb.org.uk/halloween .
An adult female wasp spider suspended in web.
Image: Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)
The Silver Mountain Experience, a family visitor attraction based just outside Aberystwyth, is gearing up for a fun-filled Halloween season during the school half-term between October 23-31.
Visitors to the Victorian mine, located at Llywernog, near Ponterwyd on the A44 between Aberystwyth and Llangurig, can experience a variety of guided tours, as well as plenty of spook-tacular Halloween activities.
Adventurers can enjoy three different guided tours, which explore the history of the site, both above and below ground. Those feeling adventurous can explore Welsh myths and legends in ‘Black Chasm: Unearthed’, a thrilling journey underground, with even more frights for Halloween. This tour is only suitable for those over the age of 10, and for those who are feeling brave!
‘A Miner’s Life’ is another of guided tour which delves into the fascinating story of the Victorian mine, giving a glimpse into the gruelling work conditions its hey-day.
Families with younger visitors can enjoy ‘A Dragon’s Tale’, a brave quest to hunt a friendly, mythical Welsh dragon hiding somewhere in the mines.
Alongside the exciting guided tours, visitors will find a range of extra Halloween activities for all ‘little monsters’ to enjoy.
New for 2021 is The Witches Potion Halloween Trail, where young visitors can help a resident witch to find her missing potion ingredients. She might treat those who find them all!
A captivating Storyteller will retell spine-tingling ghost stories. Visitors can also have fun Pumpkin carving - a supplement applies to this activity.
To find out more information and pre-book your tickets, visit at www.silvermountainexperience.co.uk/spooky
As well as all the exciting attractions, there is also The Miner’s Rest Café, which can be visited without booking the attractions. There’s also the Ultimate Xscape, on-site escape rooms, which have recently reopened with two brand new experiences for all the family.
Help find the missing potion ingredients on The Witches Potion Halloween Trail.
>> Silver Mountain Experience on Visit Mid Wales
Terror Mountain returns later this month with its biggest ever live Halloween event which is guaranteed to make visitors scream and laugh in equal measure.
Set in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains, just outside Aberystwyth, Terror Mountain is ready to deliver a night of terror, thrills and fun for all attending on selected nights between October 22-31.
Visitors can experience five terrifying live action horror attractions and many more surprises. The creative team at Terror Mountain has developed an array of attractions that bring a variety of horrors to life, in terrifyingly themed experiences, all whilst being set in a genuine Victorian mine.
There are two brand new additions in the 2021 line-up, as well as some returning fan favourites. The Coven, one of the new additions, will see visitors search for legendary witches in pitch black woods.
Visitors may discover why things go bump in the night in the second new attraction, Haunted: Live. This thrilling horror experience sees visitors taking part in a live filming of a paranormal investigation that has the potential to go horribly wrong.
Returning favourites include the terrifying Summoning, where visitors witness a séance that doesn’t quite go to plan. Those feeling very brave can enter the mine itself and come face to face with a variety of twisted demonic creatures in Retribution.
Finally, Night Stalker is a live action show that will have visitors on the edge of their seat, as they try to discover the true identity of a mysterious murderer.
As well as the terrifying attractions, visitors can enjoy delicious food, a spooky atmosphere and hilariously odd wandering actors who love to say hello!
Located at the Silver Mountain Experience near Ponterwyd, on the A44 between Aberystwyth and Llangurig, Terror Mountain is running on selected nights from the October 22-31. Pre-booking at www.terrormountain.co.uk/tickets is strongly advised as tickets are limited.
The Silver Mountain Experience is a member of MWT Cymru, an independent company representing more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and the Meirionnydd region of Gwynedd.
Brave visitors will be hunting witches in black wood in the new Terror Mountain attraction, The Coven.
A poster promoting the Terror Mountain event.
Terror Mountain 2021 at Silver Mountain Experience | Live Entertainment | Aberystwyth|Ceredigion (visitmidwales.co.uk)
The attraction says there will be lots of festive fun thrown in too.
Mark Waite, mine guide, said: “Our vast underground caverns, hand dug by Victorian slate miners, provide a perfect setting to escape the workplace and enjoy some festive fun.
“Each Christmas exploration will be bespoke but adventure, fun and a safe environment are 100% guaranteed. This year has been tough and we wanted to provide a safe, fun space for staff teams to be rewarded this Christmas.”
The Underground Christmas Explorations can be arranged for an hour, two hours or half a day and are available to book from now until Christmas.
Individually tailored trips are available for a minimum of six explorers up to a team of 40. To arrange a bespoke Christmas Exploration, contact Mark Waite 01650 511720.
Mark Waite and Santa prepare for the Underground Christmas Explorations at Corris Mine Explorers.
Establishing a statutory registration or licensing scheme for holiday accommodation operators in Wales
You may be aware that independent research agency, Strategic Research & Insight (SRI), have been commissioned by Welsh Government to explore establishing a statutory registration or licensing scheme for holiday accommodation operators in Wales.
MWT will be speaking to SRI to share the views of our membership.
MWT members, please help us to collate your responses by completing our short survey. Your views are really important.
>> Complete survey here by Friday 22nd October 2021.
SRI will be speaking to stakeholders as well as researching best practice in other countries, to consider:
Visit Wales said, "There are significant potential benefits of the scheme, including a level playing field for professional and amateur accommodation operators, and a much better oversight of the sector to inform decision-making in tourism, housing, environmental health and taxation. We also recognise there are wider views and considerations that need to be explored.
As it will not be possible for SRI to speak to all tourism businesses as part of this work, please feed any comments you have through your representative body; these will help form the decision on whether a scheme is implemented, and if so, how."
New caravan and motorhome models for 2022 will be revealed by leading manufacturers at a Shropshire event next month.
The West Midlands Caravan & Motorhome New 2022 Model Show is being hosted by Salop Leisure at the company’s headquarters alongside Shrewsbury bypass at Emstrey from October 9 to 17.
The UK’s largest free caravan and motorhome show follows one of the busiest summers on record for the industry with staycationing booming due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
Ed Glover, Salop Leisure’s marketing manager, stressed that the company will be following the latest government pandemic advice to keep visitors and staff safe throughout the show.
“This show is a great opportunity to see a selection of the new 2022 caravan and motorhome models for the first time right here in Shropshire” he said. “Visitors can take their time to see all the new smart ideas, innovations and fresh designs on display. It’s a great day out for all the family.
“More British people than ever have staycationed this year, due to restrictions on foreign travel, which has been a great boost for the UK’s caravan and motorhome industry as well as tourism businesses.
“The percentage of first-time buyers has increased as families and couples recognise and appreciate the flexibility of owning a caravan or motorhome.”
The show, which provides free parking for visitors, will feature new touring caravans from the Swift Group and Coachman, new caravan holiday homes and luxury lodges from ABI, Atlas, Carnaby, Swift and Willerby and new motorhomes from the Swift group. Pre-owned models will also be available.
Visitors who invest in a caravan holiday home or luxury lodge will be helped by a holiday park finder service to identify their ideal location, with more than 250 parks to choose from in Mid Wales and the Heart of England. Park representatives will be on hand to provide information
Experts will also be on hand to guide first time buyers through the complete process of owning a touring caravan, motorhome or caravan holiday home.
Love Coffee restaurant will be open for snacks, meals and drinks throughout the show and staff at specialist plants centre, Love Plants, will have a wide selection of plants and advice to offer for autumn, winter and spring gardens.
Money raised by selling teas and coffees to customers during the show will be donated to the Lingen Davies Cancer Centre at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
Salop Leisure’s holiday homes trade associate director Dave Attfield with a customer at a previous West Midlands Caravan & Motorhome New Model Show.
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