4-Night Brecon Beacons Through a Lens Holiday

Stone road Bridge over the river Usk near Brecon, Wales
Duration: 4 nights
Interests: Photography Holidays

The River Usk runs through the beautiful market town of Brecon creating a particularly picturesque scene. You’ll have time to capture the bustle of everyday life here plus the peace of the cathedral, all the while surrounded by the majestic Brecon Beacons. The charming town of Llangynidr has a stone bridge over the river which makes a great focal point as do the colourful barges that travel along the tranquil canal. There are more charming scenes to capture in nearby Crickhowell and the chance to practice some landscape photography looking towards the Black Mountains and Sugar Loaf Hill. The Brecon Mountain Railway near Torpantu Station gives the opportunity for some different shots of both the train and the surrounding forest, rivers and waterfalls. Play with your shutter speed and see what effects you can create!

Holiday Highlights

  • Spend most of the day outdoors seeking out the best light compositions
  • Be guided and encouraged by your professional HF Holidays Leader
  • Visit the most inspirational vistas that surround the country house

What’s included

  • High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
  • Guidance and tuition from a knowledgeable HF Holidays Leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
  • All essential transport to photography locations, via mini-coach or other modes of transport (e.g. boat)
  • All admissions costs, if applicable, on your holiday

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


After a presentation and discussion on photographic techniques we will head out into Brecon town. As well as the beautiful cathedral we can explore the Promenade along the River Usk towards what is known as the Gurkha Path. Back along the river we walk through the old town with the opportunity to combine urban architecture with the landscape, eventually reaching the canal basin of the Brecon Canal bordered by old cottages, colourful barges and the modern architecture of the Theatr Brycheiniog. A walk along the canal path offers the possibility of seeing wildlife such as herons, kingfishers and swans. We return to Nythfa House and will later review our images and discuss what we have achieved.


First up this morning is Llangyndir, a town which has a lovely old bridge across the River Usk. If there has been extensive rain recently, the full force of the river can be seen and will enable you to practice the impact of changing shutter speeds on your images. The Brecon Canal is also nearby; if autumn colours have started to appear they can be captured along with colourful passing barges. Moving on to Crickhowell, the town’s interesting architecture and character can be captured on camera along with the remnants of an old castle. The surrounding landscape offers views towards both the Black Mountains and Sugar Loaf Hill.

At Pwll y Wrach nature reserve we will encounter meandering streams, waterfalls, potential wildlife and views to the Black Mountains. The things we’ll see should challenge even the most experienced photographer. We will practice skills such as slow shutter speed, movement in water, and high-speed shutters for wildlife.

Our final destination is Llangorse Lake and the Welsh Crannog Centre. The Crannog on Llangorse Lake is the only Crannog to be found in Wales or England. It was constructed in 916ad, probably by the King of Brycheiniog. As well as the beauty of the surrounding landscape, hopefully the late afternoon sun will add a touch of warmth and golden glow to the scene. The low sun will provide longer shadows, thus creating greater interest in our photographs. If we have the start of autumnal colours that will be a bonus, especially as we see them reflected in the waters of the lake.


Today is a day of woodland, forest, rivers, waterfalls and a potential view of the Brecon Mountain Railway as it approaches Torpantau Station. The aim is to capture images that reflect the blending of elements such as water, rocks, forest and mountains and combine them to create some impressive landscape images. There may be the beginning of autumn colours in the trees. Tonight there is the opportunity to submit your favourite images into a slideshow presentation for other guests in the house to see and enjoy.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


Nythfa House

Pretty country pile Nythfa House stands above the traditional mid-Wales market town of Brecon and sits within easy reach of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Having spent its early life as a large private house, the building has been converted into a comfortable country hotel. The interiors look like they’ve evolved naturally over time, staying rooted in the local area and house architecture while being filled with contemporary furniture and colours. As well as 31 rooms and a range of public spaces and an inviting indoor pool to tempt you, there are pretty grounds and a short walk to the streets of Brecon itself. The contrasting countryside close by provides challenges including sweeping ridges, an ascent of the Black Mountains and scaling Pen-y-Fan as well as more subtle strolls through the river-carved landscapes of the Melte Valley, along the trail of a series of awesome waterfalls, or time spent dawdling through the second-hand bookshops in Hay-on-Wye.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

Following the relaxation in government guidance on 19 July, we are continuing to take extra steps to keep our guests leaders, and staff safe in our HF country houses. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

The English, Scottish and Welsh governments are not in sync, so measures in our country houses will vary between the nations. With the relaxation of social distancing in England, from 19 July we will be allowing larger groups to dine and relax in the bar together. However, we will still give guests space e.g. we will seat 6 people at a table where pre-pandemic we may have seated 8. We will ensure our public rooms are well ventilated by opening doors and windows wherever possible. If you have any concerns about distancing, please speak to the House Manager. The government recommendation for England is to wear face coverings in crowded areas. You must wear a face covering by law in public areas in hotels in Scotland. This is mandatory in public spaces; however, face coverings will not be required whilst eating and drinking in the restaurant and bar areas or whilst you are outside our houses. In Wales face coverings will remain a legal requirement indoors, with the exception of hospitality premises.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

Menus for the week will be available in your room on arrival. A self-service breakfast will be served from 7.45am – 9am. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. Evening meals will be table service. A dinner order form will be available in each room for completion. Dinner is served at either 7.15pm or 7.30pm. Please check at the house for details. The bar will be open. We will be offering a table service but guests can also come to the bar to order (depending on local restrictions).

Join our team after dinner on Wednesday evenings for the HF Big Pub Quiz. There will be one other evening of entertainment at the start of the week, which will vary depending on the country house that you are staying at. Our Walk Leaders will also be on hand in the bar or lounge for individual or small group walks talks briefings, which allow guests to talk through the following day’s walk options and ask any questions. All of our swimming pools are open, except for Glen Coe, which will not re-open this year. Swimming Pools will be operated in line with maximum capacities.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in the smartly presented rooms in the main house or in one of the eight garden rooms or three single bed pool rooms across the grounds. With 31 rooms - including four on the ground floor - Nythfa House has plenty of space and there’s a range of Classic, Premium and Superior Rooms to choose from. Opt for Rooms 6 or 7 in the main house for delightfully decorated, spacious places to stay, each with sumptuous views over the garden and Brecon Beacons. Room 21 is a quirky ‘Premium’ room up in the eaves, with a separate sitting space and cosy bedroom - just mind your head on the low ceiling! Look out for the fresh floral designs in the pretty garden rooms too, which have their own small deck from which to enjoy views of the gardens.

All ‘Classic' rooms are en-suite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium’ and ‘Superior’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television. Upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot and drying room, indoor swimming pool, extensive garden, conservatory, lounge, library and board games to borrow

After a day exploring waterfall country or the Beacons, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. At the front of the house there’s a pretty garden to pause in, with a putting green and croquet lawn attached. Duck into the conservatory to enjoy views out over the gardens from under the twisting branches of an old vine. Whether you relax in the lounge, or get together with other guests for a board game or great conversation, make sure to make time for the cosy bar, and try a dram of award-winning whisky from the local Penderyn distillery, which uses water from the Brecon Beacons National Park. There’s also a Brecon Botanicals gin that’s wonderfully well regarded.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Nythfa House is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of regional flavours. Make a beeline for the big bay window table to try Cawl Cennin, a leek broth, served with a Welsh Rarebit finger, followed by Tatws Pum Munud, a speciality Welsh potato dish, or double roasted Welsh lamb. Round your evening off with South Wales marmalade sponge with lashings of Penderyn whisky custard.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Nythfa House

 

Nythfa House with blue sky.JPG

Getting to Nythfa House

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

  • Camera and a selection of lenses if you have them (e.g. wide-angle, telephoto, macro, etc.)
  • Spare battery and charger
  • Your camera's instruction manual
  • Laptop for reviewing, editing and sharing photos (not essential but good to have!)

Other optional camera kit may include tripods, Neutral Density filters, waterproof coverings for your camera, a spare memory card or a laptop for reviewing and editing images. Please feel free to bring any other items you use which are additional to this list. 

You will be outdoors for the majority of this holiday, walking up to three miles each day (with some ascent and descent) carrying your kit. Please be sure to bring suitable outdoor clothing, sturdy boots and waterproofs to contend with our changeable British weather!

Graham Light

Graham has been a full time professional photographer since 1977 and is based on the southern edge of the Cotswolds and a qualified member of The British Institute of Professional Photography. Over the years he has been commissioned to photograph royal events through to countless weddings, family portraits, commercial photography and has lead numerous courses in photography both at home and overseas. He is a tutor for a distance learning Diploma in Professional Photography and the author of a book 'The Wonder and Beauty of Westonbirt', the National Arboretum. In addition to this Graham regularly takes on commercial assignments for a variety of clients as well as personal tuition in photography. His work has been used around the world in a variety of publications. He believes photography should be fun and he aims to encourage his students to appreciate all they observe and see how they might record it in an imaginative and creative way.

Guest Reviews

Duration:
4 nights
Interests:
Photography Holidays

Fully Booked

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist