sheep dog herding experience in wales featured on BBC radio 4

BBC Radio 4 – On Your Farm

Steffan Messenger meets Ross Games & Julia Blazer to enjoy a Sheepdog Experience

Broadcast 23rd June 2024 – BBC radio producer Maggie Ayre and broadcaster Steffan Messenger visited us to experience a Sheepdog Session with our great trainer Ross Games.

Hear how Ross breeds his own dogs who go on to compete with him internationally and are coveted around the world and get a flavour of what you can expect on one of our low key but fascinating experience days.


S4C  Cais Quinnell

Welsh rugby legend Scott Quinnell comes for a Piggy Spa!

June 2023 – Legendary Welsh rugby player, Scott Quinnell, came to have a Piggy Spa session with S4C.

legendary welsh rugby player Scott Quinnell visits Good Day out for a piggy spa session
Josie Gibson walks pigs in Wales on ITV's This Morning

ITV’s This Morning

Live with Josie Gibson from the Senni Valley!

19th May 2023 – Josie Gibson came for a walk and a paddle with the pigs in the Brecon Beacons!

We had such fun, and the pigs enjoyed it too! Bristolian Josie brought along her special wellies that Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen had given her after she won Big Brother in 2010.

Click here to see her interview with Helena & Julia on ITV’s This Morning and click on the pictures below to check out our little clips from the day.

Josie Gibson walks with the gooddayout pigs in Wales
Josie Gibson paddles with pigs in The Beacons, in Wales
Hike with a Hog - The Times 10th April 2023
Pig walking in The Times Brecon Beacons wales
The Times

Had a pig of a day? Try a hike with a hog 

10th April 2023

Mindfulness activities are not usually quite this muddy, or accompanied by a soundtrack of grunts and oinks (Kat Lay writes).

“Piggy walks” in Wales are proving popular with stressed-out tourists seeking solace in nature by walking, playing and paddling with a species of small hairy pigs.

“People feel they can express themselves a bit,” says Julia Blazer whose company arranges the activity.” Pigs, obviously, are very similar to humans. A lot of people relate to them.”

Blazer, 55, left London with her husband almost 19 years ago for rural life in Brecon. After her high-end design business failed during the last recession, she started Good Day Out, offering experiences with animals in the local area, with a proportion of fees going to charity.

The idea for the walks came about after she noticed a small group of kunekune pigs, a New Zealand breed – living nearby. 

“They used to jump over their electric fence and go walking,” she says. It transpired that the pigs’ owner, Helena Barnard, and her husband used to visit a relative who lived a quarter of a mile away and the animals were in the habit of joining them. “One day she said to me, ‘Will people pay to walk the pigs?’ Her husband said, ‘If they do, I’ll eat my hat.'”

He was wrong. The first group of pigs are ling gone but the “middle-aged girls” Babz, Holly, Hazel & Willow, all five, now entertain tourists between April and October. As well as walks, there are more sedate “piggy spa days” where visitors can get muddy with the animals and brush them. 

Blazer had not envisaged the pig trails, which cost £35 for two hours, as a mental health therapy “but people just turn up and you can see it helping them.” “We have a fair amount of people with PTSD, or who have autism. You can see people really relaxing and being comfortable.” She said that most visitors reported “being incredibly happy” after spending time with the pigs.

Daily Mail

Can a country walk with two therapy pigs really banish the blues?

24th April 2023

Jane Fryer, senior features editor for The Daily Mail visited the pigs for a walk. Although they are not therapy pigs, just pigs, the spirit of the article is funny even if not entirely accurate and a bit rude on occasion about our lovely pigs.

The best quote, which is true, is about how much people enjoy their time with the pigs.

” ‘One woman said she enjoyed it more than her actual honeymoon on the Orient Express!’ says Helena.

Apparently her husband was very gracious about it: ‘He like the pigs too, but not as much’. “

Read the full article here.

pig walking in the brecon beacons with The Daily Mail
walks in wales for national walking month
Wales 247

Celebrate National Walking Month with May walks in Mid Wales

9th May 2023

Rhys Gregory compiles some great walks to help lift your spirits.

Read the full article here.

Country Walking Magazine

Walking with Animals

Spring Edition – April 2023

From donkeys to dinosaurs, wild beasts to wagging tales: the creatures who share our walks and our world

country walking magazing - walking with animals
walks with animals - country walking magazine features Good Day Out


winter walks with animals in wales - powys county times dec 2022
Powys County Times

Lace up and enjoy these wintery walks across mid Wales


17th December 2022

Good Day Out – a walk with a difference in the Brecon Beacons

Enjoy a quiet Welsh winter walk with some special little companions.

Miniature Mediterranean donkeys Maverick and Goose are dinky donkeys who love nothing more than meeting people and going for an amble and forage across their neighbouring farmland in the Brecon Beacons, through the winter months.

They wear little panniers to carry a picnic and all walks are with tiny groups at £35 per person for individuals to book or can be reserved as private sessions from £140.  It’s a great Christmas present for animal-lovers.


The Telegraph

The 20 best things to do in the Brecon Beacons 

11th September 2021

From medieval castles to Michelin stars, Paul Bloomfield reveals the best things to experience in the Welsh national park

14. Forage for wild food

Beefsteak fungus, wild sorrel, hedgehog mushrooms and more: the menu of free-range food in the Brecon Beacons is extensive and, for most of us, somewhat mysterious. Fortunately, foraging expert and writer Adele Nozedar is on hand to advise on the choicest (and safest) morsels to squeeze, sniff and pick. Join her on a 2½-hour sensory stroll through the hills around Abergavenny, seasoned with tidbits of arboreal and local lore (last Sunday of each month; £40; breconbeaconsforaging.com). Or add a miniature donkey to the mix for a family-friendly foray (£35/£25 adults/children; gooddayout.co.uk).


the top 20 things to do in the Brecon Beacons - The Telegraph

July 2021

Craig & Aimee visit Wales & come Dinky Donkey Walking!

We were approached by upcoming vloggers, Tania & Adam, known as Jitsintothesunset who wanted to meet our little guys. Nice footage!

vloggers suggestions brecon beacons
Jits Into the Sunset

July 2021

Lovely Vanlife visitors who Vlog 

We were approached by upcoming vloggers, Tania & Adam, known as Jitsintothesunset who wanted to meet our little guys. Nice footage!

vloggers suggestions brecon beacons


Visit Britain & Unilad

#MyMicropgap Social Media Campaign

February 2020

An Eventful Weekend In Wales With The Local Wildlife
This couple’s weekend in Wales went from piggy walking to birds of prey real quick… 
Good Day Out was chosen to feature in the video because of our benevolent remit and eco credentials.
From fruit-picking to safari parks, multigenerational fun can help us all reconnect this summer

Pick up a new skill

Why not learn to work sheep dogs in the Brecon Beacons? Or take a fossil hunting workshop on the Jurassic coast in Dorset? A day course is a memorable way for different generations to bond. Ross Games, who breeds and trains Welsh border collies in the Black Mountains, will introduce his dogs to the group and show how he works with them at different stages of their education.

Old and young can then have a go at instructing a dog with some training sheep, as well as touring the farm and meeting the animals (gooddayout.co.uk). Meanwhile, on the Dorset coast, James Carroll runs fossil hunting courses for private groups .

January 2020

Ever feel like you need to slow down? With the non-stop intrusion of modern life, it’s hardly surprising mindfulness has become so popular of late. If you need to stop a moment, breathe a little and reconnect with the world around you, we can help!

Whether it’s meditating beside a peaceful lake in Snowdonia, practising yoga on the snow-capped Brecon Beacons, or experiencing the tranquillity of stand up paddleboarding under the stars, Wales’ diverse and striking landscape is the ideal place to recharge and rebalance your inner world. 

January 2020

Do something positive and create unforgettable memories at the same time. Combine travelling the UK with weekend volunteering, charity trips and sustainable experiences to improve the world around you. Give Back on a Microgap.

Embark on a mini adventure along a beautiful valley in the Brecon Beacons with a couple of Kune Kune pigs.

17th January 2020

The spring sees Britain burst awake from its winter slumber, welcoming new animal arrivals and the return of thousands of migratory birds. If you want to be surrounded by the sounds of birdsong and lambs bleating, get hands-on with farm animals or spy some of the world’s rarest species, here’s where to experience the magic of Britain’s animal world.


The Daily Mail

Sadie Nicholas writes about women and their miniature donkeys


16th December 2019

Meet the dinky donkeys! At barely 3ft high, these are the petite pets who can turn any family home into a real-life Nativity scene.

Say the words ‘little donkey’ and you can’t help but think of the adored Nativity carol. But if you’ve ever wanted your very own little donkey, now is the time. 

Spurred on by the likes of Hollywood star Reese Witherspoon, who has two, a growing number of women are adopting Miniature Mediterranean donkeys, which originate from Sardinia and Sicily.

Every Christmas comes the question of what to get your nearest and dearest. You don’t want to get something similar to what you’ve given before, and you also want something they’ll really like and use. In short, gift buying and giving can be a stressful process!

So, if you’re struggling on what to get your family and friends this Christmas, we’ve got you covered. Take a look here for a list of original and fantastic gift ideas, available at places across Wales, guaranteed to bring a smile to their faces this festive season.

6th May 2019 

Wales is a wonderful location to experience (these kinds of) countryside activities, being a popular spot for nature walks, farm visits, and more. People of all ages and from all walks of life can enjoy these activities, and an inspirational company named Good Day Out is making the whole thing even better by offering a long list of unique day out opportunities, all for a good cause.

Mother and Baby 

Best Family Days Out this Easter

4th April 2019

Make the most of the Easter holidays with a fun day out for the kids. There are duck races, duck trails and duck eggs to find, the Easter Bunny to meet and lots of chocolate Easter egg hunts, going on all around the country. So get out there now and make the most of it.

Enjoy feeding the lambs in the heart of this breathtaking National Park.

Buzz Magazine 

Good Days Out

March 2019 (p 54)

Good Day Out offers the chance to befriend some animals and support Welsh charities whilst enjoying fresh air and beautiful views of the Brecon Beacons. Poppy Manning finds out more…

Green Scene – The Western Mail 

Lynne Allbutt joined one of our Hedgelaying days

Hedge Fun

10th February 2019

My love of dry stone walling is legendary now, so when I had the chance to learn to lay a hedge properly as well, I obviously leapt at it.  Last Saturday I spent the day with a lovely group of people, two fabulous tutors, an unruly hedge and an impressive array of sharp tools! 

The Royal Mint 

Year of the Pig

February 5th 2019 

The Royal Mint published the promotional material for their special Chinese New Year, 2019 Year of the Pig commemorative coins, an animal said to represent happiness and wealth. Our very own Good Day Out piggies were used as models for the leaflet that was mailed out to potential collectors.


The Telegraph

Good food, scenic canals and literary festivals in the overlooked Brecon Beacons

4th September 2018 – Clare Irvin, Head of Travel

Sounds like a load of pony

Hidden away up a dirt track, you’d think the most surprising thing about Dinky Donkey was actually finding it. But no. An hour walking and picnicking with these adorable miniature furry fellas is proving more popular with grown up tourists than it is with the kids. Who knew?

Harpers Bazaar

Sarah Karmali – How to make the most of your visit to the Welsh National Park

8 Things to do in the Brecon Beacons

April 2018 – The UK is home to 15 National Parks, one of which is the Brecon Beacons, a stunning South Wales mountain range, home to rolling moorlands, ancient castles and thundering waterfalls. If you’re planning a trip, here’s how to make the most of your visit.

Now, bear with us. While taking a walk with pigs might not sound like the most obvious way to spend an hour or two in the Welsh countryside, it’s actually a wonderfully unique and engaging activity for couples and family groups alike. 
The Saturday Times 

Best Spring Escapes 

24th March 2018

From birdwatching in Sussex to cycling in Norfolk, Tom Chesshyre picks the 20 best breaks — and where to stay

Wales Online

This is where you can feed new-born lambs across Wales

20th March 2018

Farms across the country are offering people the chance to get up and close with sheep

No 1 – Good Day Out   Animal lovers have the chance to experience of a ‘no holds barred’ day in the life of an organic sheep farmer at lambing time. As part of the activities day, people can feed the lambs


Globesnap / Pear Video

Online Chinese news column lifestyle feature. Pear Video has an average of 500 million views daily!  Filmed with Esther in November 2017

ITV Wales

Coast & Country

Series 5, Episode 16 – 7th August 2017

The Great Outdoors: Ruth Wignall and Andrew Price explore Wales and meet some of the country’s most interesting characters. Andrew tries his hand at horseback archery and meets a group of fishermen using traditional lave nets on the River Severn. Ruth goes sheep trekking in the Brecon Beacons and enjoys a horse ride on Marros Sands beach in Carmarthenshire.



Ben Frampton 

8th July 2017

If someone told you they were taking pigs for a walk in the Brecon Beacons, you might think they were telling porkies. But Good Day Out, in Heol Senni, Powys, gives people the chance to go for a stroll with Kunekune pigs Babz, Holly, Hazel and Willow.

Helena Barnard, who runs the walks with Julia Blazer, began after she adopted two pigs and walked them with family. “It’s really about getting people closer to nature,” she said.



with Helen Skelton

First shown November 2016 and repeated October 2018

Sheep farming has played a significant role in the history of the Brecon Beacons. Today the  National Park remains criss-crossed with drover’s roads from times gone by, when cattle and sheep were taken to market from the high mountain pastures. Helen Skelton meets local hill farmers, Paul and Liz Matthews, who have diversified from traditional sheep farming, and offer a very different experience in the hills and on the paths of the mountain pastures.  


BBC Wales

X-Ray Staycation Special

June 2016

With VLoggers Craig & Aimee of Kinging-It.

The school holidays are almost here and many families will already be wondering what to do over the six weeks. Well, if you’re after something new then X-Ray could have the answer. We teamed up with internet vloggers Craig and Aimee to try out two unusual activities that you can do in the great Welsh outdoors. More used to adrenaline sports in exotic parts of the world, this pair from Barry can’t resist a challenge. But as our video shows, it wasn’t them who ended up hogging the camera.


The Telegraph

Easter activities and events for families



Lambing on an organic farm
Spend a day in the life of a sheep farmer. Help mark and move sheep, collect free range eggs to take home and feed the hungry lambs. A homemade lunch is included and after the hard work, visitors are free to wander around the farm.
When: April 18
Where: Brecon Beacons
Price: adult £40, child £20
Details: Good Day Out; 01874 749092

The Telegraph

Mother’s Day: ideas for alternative travel gifts

Does your mother’s idea of a special treat lie far from someone poking her feet while she lies next to a swimming pool in a dodgy white bath robe, being told to “pop on” a pair of paper knickers for a spa massage, or eating sickly sweet afternoon tea in a room filled with wedding-cake-style flowers? If so, consult our round-up of the best “alternative” Mother’s Day experiences and presents, all with a travel-related theme.


Spring Forage and Wild Garlic Bake
Not one for those who need to stand in close proximity to others soon afterwards, but mothers are loved even with garlic-breath. Go foraging for wild garlic in the leafy woodlands of the Towy valley, then learn to make soups, sauces, pesto and delicious dishes using both its leaves and its flowers. The experience includes a ‘wild garlic tapas’ taster lunch. Courses on March 15, April 4 and April 19
Price: £55 per person for five hours.
Contact: gooddayout.co.uk/experiences/spring-forage-wild-garlic-bake


The Telegraph

Sheep trekking: fancy taking a sheep for a walk?


Pony trekking has long been a popular pastime for visitors to the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Now rural thrill-seekers can try something new….

“Sheep trekking?” says Jimmy, my 14-year-old son, tearing his gaze from his iPod for two seconds. “That sounds completely ridiculous.”

His reaction to the idea is more than simple teenage resistance to any organised activity. He is right: there is something inherently absurd about taking a sheep – not creatures celebrated for their biddable natures – for a walk. But creative thinking is key to rural diversification, and since Wales is the spiritual home of both sheep and pony trekking – a popular holiday activity there – putting the two together made sense for Liz and Paul Matthews, who farm 200 acres in the Brecon Beacons.

Just two hours after he tells me there is “absolutely no way” that he will join his younger siblings, Dolly, 11, Evangeline, two, and baby Dash, with their sheep, Jimmy is walking through the Welsh countryside, leading a Jacob sheep called Jagger on a lead. “It was a lot more fun than I was expecting,” he says later. “I think I’d even do it again.”

The benefits of sheep trekking are two-way. The Matthews run Aberhyddnant Farm with their daughters, Bethan and Nicola. “Finding work locally is hard for younger people, so I took on training the sheep as it meant I could be involved with the farm,” says Nicola.

Rather than the larger, more wilful Welsh hill sheep, Nicola chose Jacobs for their relatively malleable characters, which makes them easier to handle and halter-break. “We liked the fact that Jacobs are a hardy, ancient sheep who haven’t been bred to suit man’s needs,” explains Nicola. “They’re biblical sheep and their nature is unchanged across the centuries.”

Nicola bought the lambs from a local breeder and started handling them in the early summer. “My job was to make friends by talking to them and feeding them from a bucket. They’ll do anything for food,” she says. “Once I had their trust, I put halters on them, then first walked them in the barn and then out for longer walks.”

It’s raining heavily when we arrive for our trek, but Jimmy’s resistance to rural activity dissipates when we are introduced to a litter of hound puppies that Liz and Paul are walking for the summer and, later, to the line of Jacob sheep, tied up in the barn and looking surprisingly sweet in their halters.

We walk the sheep on a round trip for an hour, stopping for tea in a barn with stunning views, to Pen y Fan, where Liz has laid a picnic table with local apples, Welsh cakes and bara brith she has home-baked. This break gives the children a chance to immerse themselves in the Welsh landscape while Paul, who inherited the farm from his father, a vet, tells us about life in such a remote area.

The farm lies on the western side of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the least-visited area of the park, which is partly what makes it so stunning, but running a business that relies on visitors here is difficult. While Liz and Paul provide the sheep and land, the idea was dreamt up by Julia Blazer, who moved to the Brecon Beacons 10 years ago. When her small design business folded during the recession, she was determined to channel her energies into an educational venture that would bring visitors into the area and help local people with employment.

“I was working part-time for the Brecon Beacons Tourism Association, so I had a good idea about the sort of activities on offer here,” says Julia. “I wanted to do something to help tourists and locals engage with each other in a sensitive way.”

Putting her network of contacts to work, Julia started Good Day Out, organising fun, educational activities for tourists including hedge laying, foraging, sheep shearing and cheese making. Local businesses have benefited, and Julia also makes a donation to a local cause linked to each activity, with particular emphasis on preserving and appreciating the native environment and wildlife.

Local reactions to sheep trekking, however, were not overwhelmingly positive to begin with. “Quite a few farmers laughed at me. Explaining that I wanted to make it possible for tourists to take a sheep for a walk on a lead took a certain amount of tact,” she says.

Pony trekking was already part of the landscape in Wales and Julia had read about llama trekking, but “felt it lacked a truly authentic local connection to what was going on it, since sheep farming is such an essential part of the character of this part of Wales”.

The answer lay in the Jacobs. Visitors can take them on a circular walk through the farm, including a picnic of locally-sourced goods, but longer days out are also being planned, including taking the sheep for day treks. While she might have been laughed out of the farm initially, Julia’s persistence is paying off. “Families love it, but we’ve also had groups of young professionals visiting from London, who enjoyed the chance to meet new people and do something unusual,” says Nicola.

Taking the sheep for a walk reminds me how much children benefit from time spent with animals, too. There is certainly a novelty value in getting to know a Jacob sheep; but the experience also brings the children right into a Welsh hill farm in a unique way. And, unlike so many activities set up for tourists, when it comes to sheep trekking, “hands on” really is the right term to describe the afternoon. While I might have to drag my children kicking and screaming away from their screens for a walk with me, this time it is the sheep who are doing all the dragging.

Other activities offered by Good Day Out

How to teach your family dog fun and engaging tasks with a specialist dog trainer on a farm near Brecon.

Help clear the Beacons of the bracken that chokes the heather moorland by spending a morning bracken-bashing.

Spend a “dark skies” evening with an astronomer learning about the constellations.

Learn about trees and timber in an area of private woodland in the Brecon Beacons while carving your own spoon, followed by a campfire cookout.

Learn about edible plants, flowers and unusual herbs in the kitchen garden at Aberglasney with a cookery teacher and head gardener.

Create your own felt wall hanging from local wool using ancient felting techniques.

Learn about local traditions of hedge-laying using traditional hand tools.


March/April – Country Homes Germany

 June 2016 BBC Wales X-Ray – Stay-cation special with V-Loggers Craig & Aimee of Kinging-It


Hearst Magazines China – hosted a fun trip around the National Park with Adam Huang to film the 1st dedicated online video feature for Wales. Nov 2015.  Hearst Magazines owns Elle Deco, Living Etc and many of the world’s leading lifestyle magazines. Called in our best entertainers – Jonathan Davies to talk about the local history & Allan Trow to talk about the stars.

BBC 1 – Terry & Mason’s Food Trip – April 2015

Terry Wogan & Mason Perry visited Abergavenny as part of their series of interesting foodie locations to see. GDO were asked for ideas and the result was our lovely local Gurhka cook Yubaraj (who did the GDO Gurkha Chef experience) & his wife cooking for them in Abergavenny Market, and Talgarth Male Voice Choir (who did the GDO Choir & Cawl experience) singing for them in Abergavenny Castle.

Julia had a broken ankle, so was hugely grateful to her sister Kate who made it all happen & waited for Julia to catch up!

April 2015  BBC Radio Wales – Country Focus with Pauline Smith

Group Leisure Autumn 2015

The School Travel Organizer Autumn 2015

Press article The Saturday Times 28th March 2015 – 20 Great British Spring Weekends (No 10!)

Press article The Saturday Times 28th March 2015 - 20 Great British Spring Weekends (No 10!)

Good Day Out feature in Country Life Magazine 28th January 2015
Good Day Out feature in Country Life Magazine 28th January 2015









BBC Radio Wales – Sheep Trekking with Jason Phelps – Jason Mohammad show Sept 2014

Sheep Trekking – Clover Stroud Telegraph – (1st November 2014)

CBC Radio Sheep Trekking Interview – (Aug 2014)

Sheep trekking Guardian Article –  (25 August)

The Lady Magazine   26th April 2014. Lovely feature with Melonie Clarke

S4C Heno – October 2014

Country LIfe – Bell Ringing – (8 January 14)


Crash Sites – Daily Mail  – (13 Oct 2013)

Good Day Out Western Mail – (3 August 2013)

Helping Hedgehogs Western Mail – (Aug 2013)

Loughborough Echo – (28 July 2013)

AOL Travel  – (16 July 2013)