4-Night Discover Waterways in the Brecon Beacons Holiday
This trip uncovers the industrial heritage of South Wales exploring various facets of man’s harnessing of water, both ancient and modern. The ‘Mon and Brec’ Canal is unusual in that it is not connected to the rest of the network; find out why during canal-side strolls. You’ll also visit the amazing Newport transporter bridge and the remains of a Medieval ship that was found in the River Usk. Learn about local history in Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum and discover how the Aberdulais Falls powered tin mining.
- Cruise on the Mon & Brec Canal
- Explore the best waterways in the area
- Visit the National Waterfront Museum at Swansea Docks
- Discover the industrial port town of Newport
- High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
- The guidance and services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays Leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
- All transport on touring days on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach
- All admissions to places of interest that form part of your holiday itinerary, excluding National Trust and English Heritage properties
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.
The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, colloquially the Mon and Brec, is on our doorstep. We’ll spend the day exploring many of its nooks and crannies, including locks, an aqueduct, a lifting bridge, canal wharves and its links with small tramways bringing materials in from side valleys. There will be opportunities for gentle canal-side strolls as well.
We head down the valleys to a section of canal under restoration, the Crumlin Arm, and continue to the flat, reclaimed wetlands of the Gwent Levels. We’ll visit the amazing Newport transporter bridge over the River Usk. Then we’ll encounter a lighthouse and an RSPB reserve, before finishing by visiting the amazing reconstruction of a Medieval ship.
Heading south-west, we encounter the teeming industrialisation of the South Wales coast and coalfield, a real contrast to the wilderness of the Brecon Beacons. We discover how water power was harnessed at the tin works at Aberdulais Falls, we look at restored sections of canal and bring together the Swansea Docks story at the National Waterfront Museum.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.
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
To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.
All of our Heritage Tours involve active sightseeing and you should, therefore, be prepared for walking between the sights and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing. You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, a camera, sun protection, and drinks during the day.
Please be sure to bring your National Trust or English Heritage membership cards if you have them - admissions to sites owned by these two organisations are not included in the price of your holiday. If you are a member of an organisation which has reciprocal arrangements with National Trust or English Heritage, do be sure to bring your membership cards too.
I am a retired landscape architect with a career which has spanned heritage projects, land renewal and canal restoration. I am married with grown up children and live in Derbyshire and especially interested in conservation and rewilding. I am also interested in energy efficiency and building design after recently refurbishing and renewing a dilapidated 1960’s bungalow. I am a board member of a Community Land Trust. When not walking I am often sailing on my local reservoir and when time permits further afield.
All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
08 Jun - 12 Jun
|4||Heritage Tour||£635 £595||Save £40 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
4 nights from £635pp £595pp
...or call 020 3974 8865