The Beacons' Way
Code: BRLBWPrint page
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Enjoy a great introduction to the mountains, moorland and valleys of South Wales. This challenging and spectacular trail takes in the Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons and Carmarthen Fans.
The Beacons Way was planned by John Sansom with support from the Beacons Park Society in 2001 with a view to boosting tourism to the area once the Foot and Mouth epidemic was over. It begins outside Abergavenny near the base of Holy Mountain (Skirrid) and traverses the three dramatic mountain ranges of the Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons and the wilder Carmarthen Fans and Black Mountain before dropping down to the finish at Bethlehem.
Over eight walking days our itinerary covers the complete long distance footpath, with a short extension at the end to reach the small town Llangadog. We will climb high mountains, follow picturesque valleys and cross remote moorland.
Nythfa House is a charming Country House, located on the edge of the market town of Brecon. Spacious public rooms, attractive gardens and indoor swimming pool make it a popular and relaxing place to stay.
Nythfa House has 28 bedrooms. Most are located in the main house, with others in garden annexes.
Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available at no extra charge.
You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £10 extra per person per night.
If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.
A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.
All our Country Houses are tailored to walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms and laundry facilities.
In the main house there is a large upstairs lounge, an attractive dining room and a spacious bar. The ballroom is suitable for dancing, evening talks and also for some of our indoor leisure activity holidays. This links with the pleasant conservatory which looks out onto the garden. Free WiFi is available in some public rooms. There is also a range of board games and books.
A separate building houses the indoor swimming pool.
The house is surrounded by extensive gardens that contain a putting green and croquet lawn.
All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.
Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full Welsh breakfast, or select something in between.
Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.
Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).
The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.
All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on local wildlife from a local speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.
Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.
Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.
Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.
Arrival & Car Parking Facilities
- There is ample, free car parking available (tarmac / gravel)
- Two disabled parking spaces available close to the house (by the second entrance)
- The driveway to the house is tarmac (4m wide) with speed bumps
- It is possible to load and unload cars directly at the front door
- Assistance can be provided with luggage
Main Entrance & Reception Area
- Access to the main front door of the house is via a 7.5 cm step and an inward opening standard width door
- The second entrance has 2 steps (6cm and 17cm height, followed by a 3cm to the floor level) with double doors providing a 121cm wide entrance
- The well-lit ground floor corridor is part carpeted, part quarry tiles
- The entrance hall gives level access to the dining room, bar, ballroom, conservatory, office, public toilet and 4 ground floor bedrooms. Seating available in the entrance hall
- There is no lift
Public Areas - Hall, Stairs, Landing, Corridors etc
- Most public areas are carpeted. The ballroom has wooden floor and the conservatory has quarry tiles
- Minimum corridor width is 130cm
- The main stairway has 18 steps. Each step is 16cm high, 26cm deep and 90cm wide. There is a hand rail
- There is no lift
- Good standard lighting throughout the house
Public Areas - Sitting room, lounges, lobbies etc
- The lounge (1st floor) measures 7 x 10m with a large landing. There is a large number of arm/tub chairs, stools and coffee tables. All furniture is easily movable
- The lounge is fully carpeted and has a mixture of wall and ceiling lights
- Coal effect gas fire with guard rail and an electric fan heater on a hearth
- The guest internet computer is located in the lounge
- There is a single public WC on the ground floor
- The door width is 75cm, floor space 200 x 190cm
- The toilet seat is 42cm high and the wash basin is 83cm high
Restaurant / Dining Room, Bar & Bar area
- The fully carpeted dining room is on the ground floor. It is L-shaped and measures 10 x 8m and 2 x 9m
- It has 2 Welsh dressers, 6 round, 4 legged tables, each seating up to 9-10 people. The tables are 73cm high
- Seats have no arms, 50cm high, with 86 cm backs
- Waitress service both at breakfast and dinner times
- White / cream crockery, clear glassware. Standard cutlery
- Special diets catered for, but should be advised pre or on arrival
- The carpeted bar area is situated adjacent to the dining room. It has various seating for up to 24 guests. There are 8 chairs with arms. Seat height 45cm, the seat back is 84cm. Round tables are 70cm high
- Swimming pool / art studio building is situated near the entrance gates (some 150 yards from the main house)
- There is a single step on the entrance. The height of the step is 7cm and the width is 140cm
- Open plan changing rooms with showers are on the ground floor
- The tiled swimming pool with a tiled surround is raised from ground level and is reached by 5 tiled steps. The pool measures 10 x 5 yards, and is sloping with the depth varying from 1.05m to 1.6m
- There are no disabled aids
- The water temperature is set to 32°C
- There are 2 toilets in the pool building. The toilet in the foyer has a door width of 73cm, toilet seat height of 44cm, wash basin height of 80cm and the approx floor measurement of 2 x 1.5m. The toilet between the changing rooms has a door width of 91cm, toilet seat height of 44cm, wash basin height of 79cm and the approx floor measurement of 2.7 x 1.7m
- There are 14 steps to the 1st floor studio. The steps are 19cm high, 26cm deep and 86cm wide. Wooden parquet flooring
- All bedrooms have fitted carpets and standard modern furniture. All except one of the bedrooms are with en-suite shower or bath
- Bedrooms are either single, twin or double bedded
- Kettle in each room with supplies of tea, coffee, sugar etc available
- All rooms are carpeted and well lit
- All furniture, including beds is movable
- Room 17 is directly off the ground floor corridor. There are 2 beds, each 59cm high. The approximate room size is 5 x 4m. The door width is 84cm
Bathroom, Shower-room & WC [en-suite or shared]
- All except one of the bedrooms are en-suite with either a shower or a bath. 1 bedroom has WC only
- The bathrooms either have a nonslip or lino flooring
- All showers are electric, single shower cubicle with hinged door and normal ground-level shower tray
- All baths are standard size with standard twist & turn taps
- No disabled aids available
- Room 17 has a shower room. Electric shower. The shower room door width is 68cm, the shower door is 60cm wide, a hinged single glass door. Shower tray measures 70 x 70cm and is 22cm high. The toilet seat height is 43cm and the wash basin is 82cm high. The flooring is non-slip vinyl
Grounds and Gardens
- The grounds around the house are level or slightly sloped, mainly laid to lawns with flower beds
- Seating available
- Gravel footpaths (some with raised edging)
- No lighting during the night
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued on request. An under-pillow vibrating pad is available on request
- A fridge is available in the first floor lounge for storing medication
- Good signage for fire escape routes
- One bedroom key issued per room (second key available on request)
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff has had disability awareness training
Holy Mountain (Skirrid) to Llanthony Priory
The summit of Skirrid has the foundations of a ruined chapel (dedicated to St Michael ) and great views of the Black Mountains. We circle the northern end and cross the Hereford road to climb Hatterrall Ridge. After a short stretch alongside the Offa’s Dyke path we take a long gradual descent to Llanthony Priory in the beautiful Ewyas Valley. 10 miles (16km), with 2,270 feet (690m) of ascent.
Llanthony Priory to Crickhowell
We go steeply up to the Gadair Ridge, turn south to reach the “stone of vengeance” and descend to the ancient Partishow church. From here it’s a short steep climb up Crug Mawr where we drop to cross the Vale of Grwyney and skirt the flanks of Pen Cerrig Calch and Table Mountain and descend to Crickhowell village below. 13 miles (21km), with 2,500 feet (750m) of ascent.
Crickhowell to Llangynidr
Climbing to a grassy track around the western side of Pen Cerrig Calch we enter a beautiful ‘lost’ valley. Passing through Cwmdu the climb of Cefn Moel reveals Llangorse Lake (of TV Timewatch fame). We drop down into Bwlch (‘pass’ in Welsh) before crossing the River Usk to finish at the pub in Llangynidr. 12 miles (19km) with 2,100 feet (630m) of ascent
Llangynidr to Storey Arms
Our most mountainous day. We pass beneath Tor y Foel to join a minor road high above the Talybont reservoir. After sharing a section of the Taff Trail, The Beacons’ Way now changes character abruptly and we begin with a very steep climb up Craig y Fan Ddu. Now deep in mountain country we follow spectacular escarpments to summit Fan y Big, with its famous ‘diving board’ rock. There are stunning panoramic views here. Ahead is Pen y Fan, the highest point in southern Britain at 2907ft (886m) which we reach via a tough ascent from Bwlch gr y Fan (on the route of an old Roman Road). From here the nearby ‘twin’ peak of Corn Du is an easy stroll. There is then a long descent to reach Storey Arms. 14 miles (22.5km) with 3,400 feet (1020m) of ascent
A day without any walks programmed to explore the local area.
Storey Arms to Craig-y-nos
We tackle the remote mountain and high moorland country around Fan Fawr. Having looked over the abyss below Craig Cerrig-gleisiad we turn south for a gradual ascent of Fan Dringarth and Fan Llia before descending to join Sarn Helen (Roman Road). We pass an old Roman Camp and the standing stone of Maen Madoc; cross Nedd Fechan (River Neath) and head across the limestone and millstone grit country of Penwyllt. We pass by lovely limestone pavements and drop to Craig y nos. 15 miles (24km), with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent.
Craig-y-nos to Llanddeusant
The Carmarthen Fans are on the northern edge of Black Mountain. The escarpment, which we spend the morning directly beneath, is over 4 miles long, We climb the it by Llyn y Fan Fawr (large mountain lake) to reach the summit of the range at Fan Brycheiniog – 2613ft (802m). After the huge triangular plateau of Fan Foel with awesome views in all directions, we turn west looking directly along to the outstanding Picws Du & Bannau Sir Gaer which overlooks another lake - the legendary Llyn y Fan Fach (little mountain lake). Skirting the cliffs around the lake we turn north to drop down by Carnau Llwydion. 11 miles (17.5km), with 2,500 feet (750m) of ascent
Llanddeusant to Castell Cerreg Cennan
This area is remote and it is a demanding day. Our first target is the Carreg yr Ogof top and then the summit of Garreg Las 2100ft (630m). The millstone grit boulders here require careful walking. A faint path reaches Foel Fraith past more shake holes en-route. The ascent up to Garreg Lwyd is relatively gentle and we then go to the Bronze Age cairn at top of Pen Rhiw-du, then on to Carn Pen-y-clogau and down to the old Brynaman to Llangadog turnpike road. There’s a twisting track down into the chasm in front of Castell Carreg Cennan and a short climb to the car park. 14 miles (22.5km), with 2,600 feet (780m) of ascent
Castell Cerreg Cennen to Bethlehem (and Llangadog)
An easier day to finish! We visit the castle (Cadw - Welsh Heritage - entry £4.00). Built on older foundations the existing castle is 13/14th century. There’s an optional ascent of Trichrug for views right across mid-Wales. We also pass two huge Iron Age hill forts, Carn Goch and Y Gaer Fach. Bethlehem is the official end of the walk, though we continue to Llangadog where we can relax and enjoy a well earned drink! 10 miles (16km), with 750 feet (225m) of ascent
The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors
Discover the Brecon Beacons
During your stay at Nythfa House you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Brecon:
Brecon is a quaint market town at the foot of the Brecon Beacons; an area of sweeping high moorland, and beautiful green valleys. The town has a good range of facilities including shops, supermarkets, post office, chemists, banks, pubs and cafés. During your stay you may enjoy visiting Brecon Cathedral or take a scenic cruise from Brecon along the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal. www.breconcathedral.org.uk or www.dragonfly-cruises.co.uk
Big Pit Mining Museum
Travel underground at the excellent Big Pit museum in Blaenavon and discover the life of a South Wales coal miner. Blaenavon is around 45 minutes' drive from Brecon. www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/bigpit
The quaint small town of Hay-on-Wye is about 30 minutes' drive from Brecon, and can also be reached by bus every 2 hours. The town is now famed for its annual literary festival, and extensive selection of second-hand book shops.
Hereford is an attractive city, around an hour's drive from Brecon, whose cathedral houses the famous Mappa Mundi, a 12th century map of the world. www.herefordcathedral.org
Dan yr Orgof Caves
An impressive show-cave, one of the largest in Europe, with fine stalactites and stalagmites. The caves are around 30 minutes' drive from Brecon. www.showcaves.co.uk
Located near the village of Crickhowell, about 20 minutes' drive from Brecon, Tretower Court is a fine Medieval fortified manor house. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk
The vibrant Welsh capital of Cardiff is also around 40 miles or 1 hour’s drive from Brecon. A visit could include the St Fagan’s National History Museum, Castell Coch, or the National Museum. www.visitcardiff.com
Tretower Court image © Crown copyright (2016) Welsh Government, Big Pit image ©Big Pit National Coal Museum
Travel to Brecon
Our address is: Nythfa House, Brecon, Powys, LD3 7NN
The most convenient railway station is at Abergavenny. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
The 20 mile journey from Abergavenny railway station takes approximately 45 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £36 per taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Nythfa House Manager.
The X43 bus operates from Abergavenny station to Brecon. Alight at the bus interchange in Brecon. Facing the road, head left along Heol Gouesnou to the traffic lights. Turn right heading uphill along Cerrigcochion Road for around 70 yards, and then turn left into Belle Vue Gardens. Head along the road and turn right at the T-junction (still Belle Vue Gardens). Head up the road to another T-junction and turn left into Cerrigcochion Lane. Walk for about 15 yards and you will see the Nythfa House sign on your right. For bus times see www.traveline.info
Most guests approach Brecon via the A40 from Abergavenny or the A470 from the northwest. These two roads converge at a roundabout on the Brecon bypass. At the roundabout follow the B4601 into Brecon. Pass the army barracks on your right, then turn right at the mini-roundabout (B4601). Continue ahead at the second mini-roundabout. Turn right at the traffic lights (B4602), then take the first left into Bell View Gardens. Take the next road on the right, then at the next T junction turn left. The drive to Nythfa House is ahead on the right.
Travelling from overseas
For most guests, travelling to London Heathrow airport is the most convenient option.
From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. From here there are trains to Abergavenny (1 change at Newport) - allow 3 to 3½ hours. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
From Abergavenny you can travel on to Brecon by bus or taxi (see above).
|Date & Rating||Customer Review||HF Holidays says|
23 Oct 2016, 11:16 a.m.
I love HF, despite the inevitable occasional hiccup (with accommodation, not the walking, which is always fantastic)
Didn't do guided walking but the Beacon's Way trail
29 Jun 2016, 8:59 a.m.
The service was every thing one could expect, and there is nothing I would fault. The service in the dining room was particularly good and helpful.
Nythfa is a very well run house, and the food is excellent and the entertainment is good. The bar is a tad slow as only one person seems to run it but otherwise good.
The walk was well worth doing and was very well led and guided at a quite a brisk pace which was good in the wet walking conditions.Everyone bonded well which is a sign that things were well conducted.
23 Jun 2016, 4:33 p.m.
Travel documents not sent or received before departure from the USA.Several emails required before a response was made. Once a connection was made, the problem or question was quickly resolved.
Excellent leader & challenging trail walk, lovely room for solo traveler, lovely house & facilities, fantastic dinners & excellent service.
23 Jun 2016, 9:04 a.m.
The service provided by Tiffany and her staff and Nythfa house was excellent and very attentive when required.
The walk was challenging and extremely good. The organisation of the drops and pick-ups was spot-on. It was amongst some of the best long distance walks that I have done.
23 Jun 2016, 7:46 a.m.
No review provided
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|14 Apr 2017||BRLBW - Beacons Way - Brecon||10||£1,099.00||£1,099.00||Book Now|
|8 Sep 2017||BRLBW - Beacons Way - Brecon||10||£1,199.00||£1,174.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person