Exploring Black & White Photography in the Brecon Beacons
Regarded by many as the purest form of photography, join our expert leader on an exploration of black and white. Capture the feeling of timelessness in your images and learn how best to focus the viewer’s attention on subject, composition, texture and lighting. During the course of each day we'll walk up to 3 miles (5km).
- Spend most of the day outdoors seeking out the best light and the best images
- Small sociable group of like-minded people
- Evenings offer opportunities for further tuition, or the chance to review the day's photographs
- 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 mode of transport e.g. boat
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better and best rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
After an introductory session on black and white photography and some tuition, we will spend the day exploring the market town of Brecon. This will include the Cathedral, River Usk and its promenade. The more energetic can climb to Pen-y-Crug hill fort just outside the town, though this (3 mile) walk is longer than the usual distance on our photography holidays. On our return there will be time for processing and reviewing the day’s photos.
Today we’ll head for the hills, and start by visiting the waterfalls of Sgwd Ddwli and Sgwd Gwladus (‘Lady Falls’), which involve a round trip of 2½ miles along a lovely wooded valley and stream. After this we’ll move on to the head of a pass below Pen-y-Fan, South Wales’ highest mountain, with views of the mountains and the Beacons Reservoir. Once again, we’ll return in good time to process and review our photos.
First, we'll make our way to the wooded slopes beside the Pontsticill Reservoir, with views across the water to the Brecon Steam Railway track opposite. We’ll walk into the village and railway station, with opportunity to photograph the steam trains along the reservoir (timing subject to autumn timetables). From here we'll head to the village of Llangynidr, a gentler landscape where the River Usk and the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal flow close together, then it's back to the house to process and review the holiday’s photographs.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast.
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.
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, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.
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 sort of Welsh stew, 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.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
- your camera and other essential accessories
- memory card
- battery and charger
- your camera’s instruction manual
- waterproof clothing and outdoor footwear, ideally walking boots
- bag for your camera equipment, spare clothing, lunch, water, etc
- Notebook and pencil (pencils work better in the rain!)
- a laptop plus accessories for viewing, editing and sharing images (whilst it’s not absolutely essential, bringing your own laptop will mean you get more from your photography holiday if you shoot digital)
- filters: neutral density and graduated, polarising will all help you achieve a wider variety of water images
Optional camera accessories (remember you will have to carry some of these)
- spare memory cards
- a spare camera battery
- a spare camera (you never know!)
- a small selection of lenses: wide angle, telephoto, macro, for example
- memory stick or CD for storing images
- a tripod or monopod if you feel more comfortable with one
- camera rain-protector—a shower cap or plastic bag, or something more expensive if you prefer
4 nights from 0pp
...or call 020 3974 8865