We were due to do a bit of shopping just south of the Brecon Beacons so decided to enjoy the morning honing some new skills in the form of archery at the Black Mountain Activities centre located in the heart of Mid Wales just on the northern doorstep to the Brecon Beacons.
After a picturesque 30 minute drive south from The Metropole Hotel running parallel with the River Wye we arrived at Black Mountains activities 10am to find the car park already busy with people bustling around everywhere enthusiastically preparing for the day. Most of the adults and some children were about to board mini buses to transport to a well known river location for white water rafting. Initially the group were canoeing but due to the heavy rain the night before, the rivers had risen quite high.
We were greeted by friendly staff and taken to a meeting room to complete a brief questionnaire for health and safety. Our instructor was Hayden, who has been working for Black Mountain Activities for nearly 5 years and knows the area very well. We gathered our archery gear from a room resembling Aladdin’s cave, every piece of outdoor safety gear you could imagine which explained how the rafting group boarding the mini buses were so well kitted up.
The archery range was a few minutes from the centre and along the walk you see a brief view of the Black Mountains in the distance. It was quite a breezy day but the archery range was in a very sheltered area cleverly surrounded by trees and wood chippings covering the whole range. There was a shelter to sit in too in case the skies burst open.
Hayden was very helpful in explaining the safety elements and correct use of archery. We progressively learned tips and advice on how to hold the bow and aim and it was great fun shooting the targets from different ranges with our instructor introducing various games throughout the morning plus shooting balloons and bottle (plastic of course!) targets.
Behind us in the distance we could see a group of young men scaling a climbing wall and precariously negotiating a ropes course with various ropes, pulleys and swing elements while shouting “treemen!” before finally hurtling down a zip wire out of sight through the trees into the distance to arrive back at the centre. Everyone we could see at the centre was clearly having a great time.
The Black Mountain Activities centre is an extremely well organised centre with friendly and professional staff. Archery is just the arrow tip of the iceberg and there is a feast of available activities such as kayaking, gorge walking, caving, clay shooting and more. For an activity in Mid Wales I would recommend visiting their website http://www.blackmountain.co.uk/ or give them a call on 01497 847897 to plan a fantastic day out.