Brecon Beacons Discovery Tour
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Hills & moorland
Our Discovery Tours really get into the heart of the countryside. These are sightseeing tours by minibus, visiting places not normally reached by a full-sized coach. Small groups and friendly leaders make this a great way to enjoy Britain at its best.
Wild hills, remote valleys, ancient villages, natural beauty, industrial heritage, market and book towns – all this and more awaits you on our discovery of this mid-Wales national park.
- Aberdulais Falls, with its natural beauty alongside metalworking mills
- The bookshop town of Hay-on-Wye
- A wildlife centre famous for its Red Kites
- The bustling town of Abergavenny
- The peace and tranquillity of the monastic ruins of the Llantony Priory at the foot of the Black Mountains
Great reasons to join us
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus five full-day mini-coach tours, with plenty of stops at places of interest and short walks of up to 1½ miles
- Knowledgeable leader: learn more about the history and landscapes of Wales from your knowlegeable leader
- Accommodation: just five minutes’ walk from the quaint market town of Brecon, with an indoor swimming pool
- Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - explore together, eat together and relax together
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 for an extra £8 per night.
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 £5 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
During your Discovery Tour you will have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places of interest. The following is a suggested programme, but your HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times or the wishes of the group.
Friday: Arrival day
You can check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. We invite everyone to afternoon tea at 4pm. This is the first occasion when everyone in the country house meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday.
Saturday: Black and White and Border country
Explore Kilvert country along the River Wye, with quintessential villages, and follow part of the famous Black and White trail. Discover the charming border town of Presteigne, where a visit to the Judge’s Lodging, in Victorian splendour, is full of evocative smells, from the oil lamps in the parlour to the gas lighting below stairs.
Sunday: Brecon Beacons
The Western Fans, over the wild moors to waterfall country, gives us an opportunity to walk by the river Mellte. View the spectacular Aberdulais Falls, an area painted romantically by Turner, which became a tinplate works and where the National Trust today now generates their own electricity. We travel over the high Beacons with some amazing views.
Monday: Free day*
A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House.
Tuesday: Usk Valley
Journey along the Usk valley with the exploration of, and a walk along, the Mon and Brec canal, discovering its locks and bridges. The priory church in Abergavenny with all its alabaster treasures and amazing tapestry will also be part of today’s highlights.
Wednesday: Western Beacons
Retracing the trail of 18th and 19th century cattle drovers, we head west for Llandovery. As we continue on through the remote Abergwesyn pass, our afternoon stop will be at Gigrin Farm. The Powells have been feeding the, formerly rare, Red Kites since the 1990’s, and they create a spectacular sight as scores of the distinctively marked birds swoop down from the surrounding treetops to take their share of food.
Thursday: Spanning the centuries through Literature, Lettering and Learning
Discover an ancient island dwelling - Llangorse Lake and its crannog, a ruined abbey - Llanthony Prima, a Norman castle with an Elizabethan garden, scenery to ‘dwell upon the inward eye’, the Gospel Pass, and the most books in one place in the whole world (apart from the British Library and the Bodleian) in Hay-on-Wye. A memorable last day.
Friday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
For maximum flexibility, admissions are not included; please remember to bring your National Trust or English Heritage cards if you have them. Otherwise please allow up to £80 for entrances (there may be concessionary and group discounts which may reduce this price).
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
*As it's Easter Monday on 17 April, it's a 4-night start on Friday to include the bank holiday, and a 3-night start on Tuesday, which means the Free day for the 7-night holiday is also on Tuesday 18 April.
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.
After 30 years as a Transport Planner, Graham successfully retrained as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide. He is a geographer by qualification and an explorer by instinct, and frequently has a map in his hand. Graham's travels have taken him to many parts of the country, where he enjoys discovering out-of-the-way places as well as an area's better known towns and buildings. He has a particular interest in the countryside, waterways, industrial heritage and places where history happened. Graham is also an HF Holidays' walking leader and has led at more than half of the UK's Country Houses.
Chrissie Le Marchant
Chrissie grew up in Yorkshire and spent her early years exploring the North York Moors. Having obtained a degree in Geology and Geography, she spent the next few years working for an international mining company, prospecting in the West Country and gold mining in Africa, driving home overland from Johannesburg via India.
She spent the next few years raising children and working for two National Parks, Snowdonia and Dartmoor. After training as a teacher of design technology she returned to civil engineering building roads. Eventually she became a Blue Badge Tourist Guide and has worked in the West Country and southern England and all over Europe as a guide and tour manager.
As a ‘Deviationist’ on the Ffestiniog Railway she drove trains, tipped wagons and appeared on Blue Peter and has been leading railway holidays for several years.
|Date & Rating||Customer Review||HF Holidays says|
24 Sep 2015, 11:26 a.m.
The booking for this holiday was very poor as the person on the phone did not know what they were doing and had to phone me back once they had found out how to use system. I requested a lower floor room for elderly uncle who ended up being given a room on the top floor of the house, which the house managed to change him to 1st floor.
The staff very helpful and cheerful, but the water pressure to the rooms was very poor resulting in complete loss of water at one point, and difficult to shower as pressure poor
21 Sep 2015, 7:26 a.m.
No review provided
We thought the holiday was excellent and the staff most welcoming and caring and the whole week well planned.
15 Jul 2015, 5:16 p.m.
Efficient, friendly, ideal for singles
Excellent leader made the holiday very interesting and absorbing
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|14 Apr 2017||BRHCR - Discovery Tour - Brecon||4||£465.00||£465.00||Book Now|
|14 Apr 2017||BRHCR - Discovery Tour - Brecon||7||£805.00||£680.00||Book Now|
|18 Apr 2017||BRHCR - Discovery Tour - Brecon||3||£355.00||£355.00||Book Now|
|1 Sep 2017||BRHCR - Discovery Tour - Brecon||3||£365.00||£365.00||Book Now|
|1 Sep 2017||BRHCR - Discovery Tour - Brecon||7||£855.00||£730.00||Book Now|
|4 Sep 2017||BRHCR - Discovery Tour - Brecon||4||£505.00||£505.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
- Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
- Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person