Brecon Beacons Fan Dance Challenge Holiday

Brecon Beacons National Park from Pen Y Fan
Duration: 3 nights
Type: Adventure Walks
Walking Grade: 6
from £429pp £404pp

Our Beacons Challenge, most famously known as 'The Fan Dance' has been part of the SAS and SBS selection process for over sixty years and is the world’s oldest known special forces test. We’ve created a version of this classic challenge that is similar to the original Woodhouse route. Have you got the mettle and stamina to complete three completely different loops down, up and around the formidable summit of Pen y Fan?

Holiday Highlights

  • Complete a real challenge to be proud of
  • Hike a route similar to that of the SAS and SBS selection process
  • Head out on a stunning warm-up walk to discover the varied beauty of the Brecon Beacons on foot
  • Admire panoramic views of rolling countryside and valleys, wide open hillsides and wildly beautiful forests in this spectacular corner of Wales
  • Evenings in our country house where you can share a drink and re-live the day’s adventures

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

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


Distance: 12 miles (19.5 km)

Total Ascent: 720 feet (2,400m)

Our warm-up walk gives our legs a good stretch, taking us into wild countryside in the western half of the national park. Our route takes us on a discovery of the Wellington aircraft wreck, and Sinc Geidd where the river can be seen disappearing underground, before we head down to end our walk at the Tafarn y Garreg Inn.

 


Distance: 20½ miles (33km)

Total Ascent: 5,750 feet (1,750m)

After a full and hearty breakfast, we will make an early transfer to the iconic ‘red phone box’ to start our first ascent of Pen y Fan. From here we maintain the direction of the modern route down Jacob’s Ladder and to the roman road to Torpantau. We then about turn and head for the Graig Fan Ddu ridge and back up to the summit. The next loop is north bound, descending the Cefn Cwm Llwch ridge to the site of the old army camp at Cwm Gwdi before returning to the summit via Cwm Llwch and the obelisk. Our final descent, with heavy legs, is down the tourist path to the A470 and our awaiting transfer back to the house.

 


Enjoy a final 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 28 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 dawdling through the second bookshops in Hay-on-Wye.

 

Need to know

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

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

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 have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. 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.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

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 handful of garden rooms across the grounds. With 28 rooms, Nythfa House has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best 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 ‘Better’ 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.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ 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 room and drying room, extensive garden, indoor swimming pool, lounge, library and board games to borrow

After a day exploring cascade 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. Across the way in a separate building is a good-sized indoor swimming pool with floor-to-ceiling windows at one end. 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 Welsh 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 in the converted barn 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. The kitchen offers up an Asian influence as well courtesy of the towns Gurkha community, and you might enjoy Nepalese momos (dumplings) or fillet of sea bream marinated with Nepalese spices for an alternative take on local tastes. Whatever, 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

Brecon - Autumn 2008.jpg

Getting to Nythfa House

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

More Information

What to Bring

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.

Essentials

  • Waterproof walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

Recommended

  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
16 Jul - 19 Jul
3 Adventure Walk £429 £404 Save £25 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
3 nights
Type:
Adventure Walks
Walking Grade:
6

3 nights from £429pp £404pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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