The Brecon Beacons

From towpath to towering peak
 

Holiday Highlights

Table Mountain | This flat-topped outcrop of red sandstone rises to 451 metres above sea level.
Usk Valley walk | Ascending to Talybont Reservoir, this affords unrivalled views of the Brecon Beacons.
Pen-y-Fan | Climb southern Britain’s tallest peak, and enjoy the views!
The Taff Trail | Follow this scenic path along the valley basin and around the base of the formidable Pen-y-Fan.
The Brecon Beacons. 6 nights
The Brecon Beacons. 6 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in the Brecon Beacons

Staying in three traditional market towns, this hotel-to-hotel walking holiday follows the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal – regularly voted the UK's prettiest – into the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Our self-guided routes also take you up high for far-reaching views, including from Pen-y-Fan, southern Britain’s tallest peak.
Many visitors to the Brecon Beacons National Park (Bannau Brycheiniog, in Welsh) are content to stay close to the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal – and with good reason. As this tranquil waterway progresses north through the Usk Valley, it reveals some of Wales’s most beautiful scenery: from peaceful wooded vales and fields speckled with sheep to the looming peaks of the Black Mountains and the open moorland, fern-filled gorges and dramatic heights of the Brecon Beacons. The landscapes change with each season, with daffodils lighting the countryside in spring, and the autumn months staging a spectacular colour display. From the towpath, you are also treated to glimpses of the area’s abundant birdlife, and of its fascinating industrial heritage.

In addition to exploring this glorious canal, our varied walking holiday takes you into the hills and mountains beyond, where you will find both satisfying routes and superb, far-reaching vistas. A particular highlight is the opportunity to climb Pen-y-Fan – the highest point in southern Britain – but lower peaks such as Little Skirrid and Table Mountain also offer extensive panoramic views.

Another key feature of this holiday is the charming, market-town accommodation. You stay in three fine towns – foodie Abergavenny, picturesque Crickhowell and cultured Brecon – in each, at a centrally located hotel or guesthouse hand-picked for its high quality and warm welcome.
 
Images courtesy of Nick Jenkins, Freespirit Images Photography (© NJ)
 
Gallery

 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    You should always be prepared for wet weather, whichever month you are travelling.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 7 7 10 12 15 18 20 19 17 14 10 7
    mm 96 72 65 64 65 63 65 66 58 87 84 100
  • Arrival in Abergavenny
    Night 1: at The Angel Hotel or Abergavenny Hotel (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Choice of routes from Abergavenny: 6.5 or 12.5km (4 or 8 miles)

    On the slopes of Blorenge: 12.5km (8 miles), 5hrs; 420m ascent/descent
    Your first walk is a scenic introduction to the wonderful local countryside: it initially takes you away from Abergavenny town centre, past the remains of a ruined Norman castle and through peaceful riverside meadows to cross over to the southern bank of the River Usk. From here, a gradual ascent unites you for the first time with the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, which you follow south, enjoying fabulous views over both the Usk Valley and the Black Mountains. Leave the towpath near Llanellan to loop back north across the slopes of Blorenge, passing the Punchbowl – a wooded cwm (glacial hollow) which contains a picturesque, man-made lake that is popular with birdlife and hikers alike.

    Little Skirrid: 6.5km (4 miles), 2.5hrs; 240m ascent/descent
    For a shorter first day, opt to climb the wooded slopes of Little Skirrid. This small hill lies to the east of Abergavenny, and offers terrific views from its peak.
    Walking towards Blorenge
    On the slopes of Blorenge: 12.5km
    Little Skirrid: 6.5km
  • Abergavenny to Crickhowell: 17.5km (11 miles), 6.5hrs; 400m ascent/375m descent
    Your onward route from Abergavenny is a walk of two halves: the first section is predominantly flat, first crossing the River Usk then picking up the trackbed of the old Merthyr, Tredegar and Abergavenny Railway – a disused line which would once have been very busy serving the local iron industry. A short canalside stretch follows, before you head up into the hills via the attractive parish church of St Elli’s. Enjoy far-reaching views as you traverse the high, rural slopes westwards, eventually descending to re-join the canal and enter Llangattock, a hamlet known for its well-preserved limestone kilns. Your final destination is the delightful market town of Crickhowell, which you reach via an 18th-century stone bridge with a notable 12 arches on one side and 13 on the other! Here you stay at The Bear Hotel, a former coaching inn which has been welcoming guests for over 500 years.
    A tranquil section of canal path © NJ
    Abergavenny to Crickhowell: 17.5km
  • Circular walk from Crickhowell: 7km (4.5 miles), 3hrs; 375m ascent/descent
    Dominating the Crickhowell skyline is Table Mountain, a flat-topped outcrop of red sandstone which rises to 451 metres above sea level. The route to the top is fairly short and not hugely demanding, but the panorama from the peak will certainly take your breath away: the Usk Valley stretches below, the Black Mountains loom close by and – on a clear day – the Brecon Beacons can be admired in the distance.

    You should also have time to explore Crickhowell today. This lovely little town is alive with independent shops and eateries, and has been named both the best place to live in Wales, and one of Britain’s best market towns.
    Table Mountain above Crickhowell © NJ
    Circular walk from Crickhowell: 7km
  • Crickhowell to Brecon: 18.5km (11.5 miles), 6.5hrs; 235m ascent/230m descent
    Today’s route begins with a short transfer west to Llangyndir, where you re-join the canal as it changes level via a flight of five locks. Before too long you leave the towpath and continue uphill on the Usk Valley Walk, a long-distance footpath which – on this particular stretch – climbs to the Talybont Reservoir, affording excellent views of the uppermost reaches of the Brecon Beacons. The next section of the route allows you to delve into Wales’ industrial past as you follow the disused Brinore Tramroad downhill to Talybont-on-Usk; look closely and you can still see the stone-block sleepers that once lay beneath the tracks. From Talybont, you stay beside the canal all the way into Brecon, passing through increasingly dramatic countryside and over the impressive, stone-built Brynich Aqueduct. The canal terminates in Brecon, at the canal basin, from where it’s just a short stroll to the welcoming Mount Street House, or to The Coach House Brecon, should you choose to upgrade to this five-star guesthouse.
    Looking down on Talybont Reservoir © NJ
    Canal bridge crossing at Talybont-on-Usk © NJ
    Arriving at the canal basin in Brecon
    Crickhowell to Brecon: 18.5km
  • Choice of routes from Brecon: both 12.5km (8 miles)

    Pen-y-Fan: 12.5km (8 miles), 5hrs; 485m ascent/785m descent
    This thrilling ascent of Pen-y-Fan provides a fitting climax to your discovery of the Brecon Beacons. At 886 metres above sea level, Pen-y-Fan is the highest point in the Brecon Beacons, as well as in the whole of southern Britain. Your ascent begins at The Storey Arms (reached by bus from Brecon; pay locally) from where you climb steadily to the summit on well-made footpaths. Once you have soaked in the remarkable views from the top – on a clear day, the Bristol Channel, the Gower Peninsular and the Cambrian Mountains are all within sight – you descend directly down Pen-y-Fan’s north face and into Brecon, perhaps for some well-deserved refreshments!

    Taff Trail: 12.5km (8 miles), 4.5hrs; 75m ascent/380m descent
    A less-challenging option – for when conditions don’t permit you to climb Pen-y-Fan – is to follow the Taff Trail from The Storey Arms to Brecon. This walking and cycling path traces the valley basin, skirting the base of Pen-y-Fan as it makes its leisurely way back to Brecon.
    Pen-y-Fan © NJ
    Pen-y-Fan: 12.5km
    Taff Trail: 12.5km
 

Accommodation

Each of our hand-picked hotels and guesthouses is located in the centre of their respective market towns.

In some places, we work with more than one hotel, as shown below. All are hand-picked by us and, unless there is a price implication (in which case we will contact you to discuss your options), we will tell you which one we have booked for you on your booking confirmation.

To make your holiday all the more special, we offer an upgrade option in Brecon.

Whichever hotels you stay at, they all make good choices for extra nights. Cultured Brecon is a town that merits more time to explore. If you are looking for further walking, Abergavenny is the best option, as we provide notes for an additional walk, although you could use your map to devise your own route from Crickhowell or Brecon, too. 
 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 6 nights: 01 March 2024 - 31 October 2024 & 01 March 2025 - 31 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 24 Mar 2024 £910 £475
    25 Mar - 30 Apr 2024 £1010 £475
    1 May - 30 Sep 2024 £1045 £475
    1 - 25 Oct 2024 £995 £475
    1 - 24 Mar 2025 £950 £495
    25 Mar - 30 Apr 2025 £1055 £495
    1 May - 30 Sep 2025 £1090 £495
    1 - 25 Oct 2025 £1035 £495
    3rd & 4th person discount -£40 to -£42
    Single traveller supplement £40 to £42
    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, and any connecting travel detailed below.

    Please note: dogs are not permitted on Inntravel holidays

  • 6 nights, staying at The Coach House Brecon: 01 March 2024 - 31 October 2024 & 01 March 2025 - 31 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 24 Mar 2024 £990 £465
    25 Mar - 30 Apr 2024 £1075 £465
    1 May - 30 Sep 2024 £1110 £465
    1 - 25 Oct 2024 £1055 £465
    1 - 24 Mar 2025 £1030 £485
    25 Mar - 30 Apr 2025 £1120 £485
    1 May - 30 Sep 2025 £1155 £485
    1 - 25 Oct 2025 £1100 £485
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0
    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, and any connecting travel detailed below.

    Please note: dogs are not permitted on Inntravel holidays

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny
    Deluxe: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £35
    Deluxe: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £36
    Superior: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £18
    Superior: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £19
    The Bear Hotel, Crickhowell
    'Best': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £44
    'Best': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £46
    'Very Best': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £73
    'Very Best': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £76

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £114 £228
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £119 £238
    The Bear Hotel, Crickhowell (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £121 £213
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £130 £226
    Mount Street House, Brecon (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 12 Aug 2024 £68 £130
    13 Aug - 16 Aug 2024 £92 £171
    17 Aug - 16 Sep 2024 £68 £130
    17 Sep - 20 Sep 2024 £92 £171
    21 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £68 £130
    01 Mar - 12 Aug 2025 £71 £135
    13 Aug - 16 Aug 2025 £96 £178
    17 Aug - 16 Sep 2025 £71 £135
    17 Sep - 20 Sep 2025 £96 £178
    21 Sep - 31 Oct 2025 £71 £135
  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny
    Deluxe: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £35
    Deluxe: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £36
    Superior: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £18
    Superior: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £19
    The Bear Hotel, Crickhowell
    'Best': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £44
    'Best': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £46
    'Very Best': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £73
    'Very Best': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £76
    The Coach House Brecon, Brecon
    'Mini-suite' double: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £37
    'Mini-suite' double: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £38
    'Superior King' double: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £11
    'Superior King' double: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £11

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £114 £228
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £119 £238
    The Bear Hotel, Crickhowell (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £121 £213
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £130 £226
    The Coach House Brecon, Brecon (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £86 £165
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £89 £171
  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - via Abergavenny station

    Outward route Price per person Latest
    arrival time
    taxi Abergavenny station to hotel (0h05) £7 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Abergavenny station (0h45) £31-£32 flexible
What is included
  • 6 nights
  • 2 dinners
    1 picnic
    6 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
  • transfer to Day 4 walk
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from A to B, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • Yes, absolutely. Over the years, we have arranged a great many holidays in the UK for customers living in the USA, Canada, Australia and beyond.

    If you've never travelled with us before, it's worth reading the web pages which explain how we can cater for customers who live outside the UK. The main thing to bear in mind is that our tour operator's licence doesn't allow us to book flights that originate outside the UK, and nor are we able to book rail travel in the UK, so we can't make travel arrangements for you, other than pre-arranging taxis between the local railway station and the accommodation – see the ‘prices & travel’ section for the options available.

    For practical information about travelling to the UK, see the 'what do I need to know about travelling to England, Scotland and Wales?' question.
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
  • Unfortunately not. The Inntravel team includes many dog owners, but the extra considerations – such as whether taxi firms accept dogs for transfers to the start of walks, whether routes cross private land on which dogs are not allowed, and proximity to a vet’s – would add another layer of complexity to what are already quite complex holidays.
  • As a minimum, you will need a passport to enter the UK; requirements vary according to your nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. You’ll need to check requirements on the website of your own country’s government or that of the British government. Our essential travel information page provides links to websites where you can find out about the applicable requirements, along with general official travel advice.
     
    English is the most widely spoken of several official languages; in Wales, for example, Welsh has equal status. The currency is the British pound (Scotland issues its own bank notes, but Bank of England notes can be used in Scotland and vice versa). The UK follows Greenwich Mean Time during autumn and winter, but switches to British Summer Time (GMT + 1) from late March until late October.
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