This easier variation of our best-selling Guided Walking holidays is the perfect way to enjoy a gentle exploration of the Brecon Beacons. The choice of three guided walks includes a very short walk of 3 or 4 miles. Discover a world of waterfalls, beautiful green valleys and superb mountain walks. The Brecon Beacons offer contrasting landscapes, from the peaceful grassy ridges of the Black Mountains, to the distinctive summit of Pen-y-Fan, and mighty cascades of the Mellte Valley.
- Head out on gentle day walks 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
- Let a local leader bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life
- Look out for wildlife, find secret corners and learn about Welsh history
- A relaxed pace of discovery in a sociable group keen to get some fresh air in one of Britain’s most beautiful walking areas
- Discover what makes the Brecon Beacons so special from the waterfalls and caves to its lakes
- Evenings in our country house where you share a drink and re-live the day’s adventures
- High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
- Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
- 5 days guided walking; 1 free day
- Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point
- Choice of up to three guided walks each walking day
- The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders
On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice.
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.
Option 1 - Crickhowell, Llangattock and canal
Distance: 4 miles (6km)
Total ascent: 150 feet (60m)
In Summary: A circular walk based upon the lovely town of Crickhowell. We cross the picturesque Usk bridge to the canal which we follow for two miles, passing the village of Llangattock, then return through fields and a beech wood to explore Crickhowell with its shops, cafés, pubs and galleries.
Highlight: Crickhowell has some great shops, cafés and art galleries to explore, including the tourist information centre which showcases local artists.
Option 2 - Cwmdu, Tretower and Crickhowell
Distance: 6½ miles (10km)
Total ascent: 900 feet (280m)
In Summary: We walk from the village of Cwmdu to Tretower with its renowned medieval, partially-restored manor house and ruined Norman castle. We then follow a quiet road and fields contouring above the Usk valley and descend to Crickhowell with time to explore the town.
Highlight: The Norman castle ruins at Tretower are perfectly situated high above the banks of the river Usk. The keep still stands tall although the majority of the castle is now ruined.
Option 3 - The Lonely Shepherd, Craig y Cilau and Llangattock
Distance: 9½ miles (15.5km)
Total ascent: 1,600 feet (480m)
In Summary: A circular walk from the town of Crickhowell exploring the dramatic limestone escarpment and former quarries on the south side of the Usk valley. We visit an isolated rock pinnacle with its local legend before taking a contouring path below the towering cliffs and old quarries. We return to Crickhowell through quiet farmland and Llangattock village.
Highlight: The eerie landscape created by the spoil heaps of the disused quarries underneath the cliffs of Craig y Cilau, now painted green with grasses and wildflowers, reclaimed by nature.
Option 1 - Brecon Mountain Railway
Distance: 4 miles (6km)
Total ascent: 450 feet (140m)
In Summary: Our walk starts with a journey on a restored steam railway line from Pant to the top station at Torpantau. We walk on a forestry track high above Pentwyn Reservoir before descending to a tree-lined path beside Pontsticill Reservoir which we follow to Pontsticill station where there is a café and small museum. Later in the afternoon we return by train to Pant station.
Highlight: The ride on this excellently maintained steam train which delivers you into the heart of the national park.
Option 2 - Cwm Callan
Distance: 5½ miles (10km)
Total ascent: 700 feet (220m)
In Summary: Our walk also takes us on the narrow gauge railway to Torpantau where we follow a forestry track which gradually ascends into remote Cwm Callan. The track follows the far side of Nant Callan and descends to a tree-lined path beside Pontsticill Reservoir which we follow to Pontsticill station where there is a café and small museum. Later in the afternoon we return by train to Pant station.
Highlight: Look out for Red Kites sailing on the thermals high above this picturesque pair of reservoirs.
Option 3 - Steam Railway and Pen y Fan
Distance: 9½ miles (15km)
Total ascent: 1,850 feet (560m)
In Summary: After our journey on the steam railway to Torpantau we walk into the heart of the Central Beacons along an old drovers’ track which may have been a Roman road. We follow the Beacons Way around the imposing Cribyn mountain and ascend steeply on a recently improved path to the summit of Pen y Fan. We soon reach nearby Corn Du where we descend on an initially steep path which takes us across moorland and down quiet lanes to the small village of Libanus.
Highlight: The stunning views from the high point of today's walk, Pen y Fan. The highest summit in the Brecon Beacons.
Option 1 - Craig y Nos Country Park
Distance: 4 miles (6.5km)
Total ascent: 500 feet (150m)
In Summary: We start our walk in the village of Penycae in the upper Swansea valley and pass Craig y Nos, a 19th century castle once owned by opera diva Dame Adelina Patti, the Madonna of her time. We walk around the Country Park with its lake and tea room before continuing up the valley to Dan yr Ogof with an optional visit to some of the most spectacular show caves in Europe.
Highlight: There are many impressive examples of ornamental tree species within the park, including walnut, acacia, mulberry and eucalyptus.
Option 2 - Along the Usk Valley
Distance: 6½ miles (10km)
Total ascent: 550 feet (160m)
In Summary: We start our walk four miles west of Brecon at the small village of Aberbran. We cross a pretty stone bridge and walk across fields and along a quiet road to Y Gaer, the site of a Roman cavalry outpost. We follow a bridleway, sometimes muddy, to the western edge of Brecon and River Usk. We visit Brecon Cathedral and continue our walk through wooded Priory Groves and across playing fields to the House.
Highlight: Wander through Priory Groves and explore Brecon's magnificent Cathedral.
Option 3 - Fan Brycheiniog
Distance: 7½ miles (12km)
Total ascent: 1,500 feet (460m)
In Summary: We ascend wild country to Lynn y Fan Fawr, a corrie lake 2,000 feet above sea level, and continue along the base of the Western Fans escarpment to ascend steeply the summits of Fan Foel and Fan Brycheiniog. We descend steadily along the Fan Hir ridge before a steep final descent to the Tawe valley and refreshment at Tafarn y Garreg.
Highlight: This less visited part of the national park contains sweeping ridges with great views north over Mid Wales.
Option 1 - Sgwd Clun Gwyn
Distance: 5 miles (8km)
Total ascent: 650 feet (180m)
In Summary: We visit Sgwd Clun-gwyn waterfall before walking over to the Nedd valley where we walk downstream passing a series of picturesque waterfalls. We pass old silica mine entrances along an old industrial tramway to reach Pontneddfechan village with welcoming pubs and a café.
Highlight: Look out for Grey Wagtails and Dippers along the river edges as they search for flies and Minnows above or amongst the fast flowing river channels.
Option 2 - Waterfalls Country
Distance: 6½ miles (11km)
Total ascent: 850 feet (260m)
In Summary: Starting near Ystradfellte we follow parts of the Mellte, Nedd Fechan and Pyrddin rivers with their picturesque waterfalls, passing old silica mine entrances and finishing along an old industrial tramway to reach Pontneddfechan village with welcoming pubs and a café.
Highlight: The waterfalls of this corner of Wales are truly spectacular - particularly after a period of heavy rain.
Option 3 - Sgwd yr Eira
Distance: 9 miles (15km)
Total ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)
In Summary: Starting at the village of Penderyn we cross moorland on a good path before descending steeply on a rocky path to walk behind the Sgwd yr Eira waterfall with steep steps up the far side of the gorge. We walk to Porth yr Ogof to view the huge cave entrance and cross over to the Nedd Fechan valley which we follow down to Pontneddfechan on the same route as the Option 2 walk.
Highlight: The Sgwd yr Eira waterfall is a real highlight; the path behind the cascade is a unique experience.
Option 1 - Hay-on-Wye
Distance: 5 miles (8km)
Total ascent: 350 feet (100m)
In Summary: We walk along an old railway line beside the River Wye to Warren common with a pebbly beach at a river bend. We walk back to Hay for a guided tour of the town centre with its many bookshops, cafés and galleries with an optional extension of the walk to Cusop, just over the border into England.
Highlight: A gentle stroll along the banks of the winding river Wye.
Option 2 - Hay-on-Wye and Clyro
Distance: 6½ miles (11km)
Total ascent: 800 feet (260m)
In Summary: A circular walk from Hay with a fine section along the banks of the River Wye before ascending across farmland to the village of Clyro. We return to Hay across fields for a guided tour of the town and time to explore the many bookshops, cafés and galleries.
Highlight: Book-lovers may be lost for hours in the many wonderful bookshops in Hay-on-Wye.
Option 3 - Black Mountains
Distance: 7½ miles (12km)
Total ascent: 1,100 feet (340m)
In Summary: We walk from the village of Tregoyd where HF once had a House and pass below the escarpment to reach Hay Common below Hay Bluff. We take the Offa’s Dyke path into Hay-on-Wye with time to explore the many bookshops, cafés and galleries.
Highlight: The great views across the Wye valley from Hay Common.
Enjoy a final 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
“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.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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
- Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
- Waterproof rucksack liner
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|
05 Jun - 12 Jun
|7||Gentle Walk||£915 £790||Save £125 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
18 Sep - 25 Sep
|7||Gentle Walk||£915 £825||Save £90 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
7 nights from £915pp £790pp
...or call 020 3974 8865