Press Centre

A Great Welsh Adventure with Griff Rhys Jones

  • Episode: 

    8 of 8

  • Title: 

    Brecon Beacons
  • Transmission (TX): 

    Mon 24 Feb 2014
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    8.00pm - 8.30pm
  • Week: 

    Week 09 2014 : Sat 22 Feb - Fri 28 Feb
  • Channel: 

  • Status: 

    Last in series
The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing - in the public domain - until Tuesday 18 February 2014.
Episode eight: Brecon Beacons 
“I’m setting out on a personal odyssey, you see I was born in Wales but brought up in Essex and now I’m coming back. I want to get to grips with a wonderful, magical, remarkable country – Wales.” Griff Rhys Jones
Griff Rhys Jones presents this brand new series on his native country Wales, famed for its beautiful landscapes, friendly locals and Celtic traditions. Over eight episodes, Griff explores the land of his birth, appreciating the stunning scenery and searching for his inner Welshman.
In each programme Griff visits a different part of Wales; Snowdonia, Gower, Pembrokeshire, Anglesey, Mid Wales, Conwy, Border, Brecon. He is also set challenges designed to test his Celtic credentials and bring out his adventurous spirit. From searching for the Holy Grail to taking a dip in a mountain lake, Griff canoes, climbs, abseils and rides his way across the Welsh countryside in a bid to uncover the true spirit of Wales. 
In the last episode of the series, Griff heads off to the Brecon Beacons, a huge area of national park in Wales where he takes to the air in a glider, learns about the area’s second hand bookshops and is challenged to take a wild swim in a mountain lake. 
First Griff visits Hay-on-Wye, a small town which is now best known for its annual literary festival. There are 30 bookshops in Hay-on-Wye and it is the second hand book capital of Britain. Griff says: “The centre of this town is like shopping in a library -  bookstores, bookshops, book cafes.”
Richard Booth opened the first second hand bookshop in the town 50 years ago and Griff meets him as he celebrates his 75th birthday. Richard, dubbed ‘The King of Hay’, opened his first bookshop because he wanted to stop supermarkets taking over the high street. 
Griff leaves Hay-on-Wye and hops on a scooter to take a look at the beautiful scenery on offer in the Brecon Beacons. Griff arrives at Lake Llangorse, the largest natural lake in South Wales and famous for its coarse fishing and watersports - but will Griff dare to take a dip in a lake that is said to be inhabited by a monster?
From there Griff takes to the sky with the Black Mountains Gliding Club and pilot Bo Nillson. Due to the torrential rain Griff has to wait a while before he can fly but when he does he enjoys stunning views of the landscape and even takes the controls. He says: “This is the most spectacular view of Wales I have had in my entire journey through Wales. “
Next he visits the Brecon Carreg bottling plant and finds out more about the area’s underground mineral water source, known for its low sodium content. Then finally Griff takes some advice from wild swimming expert Daniel Start, who suggests a small lake that lies in the shadow of Pen Y Fan called Llyn Cwm Llwch With just a small herd of Welsh ponies for company and without wearing any swimwear at all, Griff takes a dip in the icy-cold water.