Having settled into your accommodation, enjoy our short guided walk around Crickhowell. Follow with dinner in the Bear Hotel’s award-winning restaurant. Decide on your first chosen walk from our selection.
A short drive to the start of your first excursion into one of the remotest recesses of the Black Mountains. The outward leg involves a modest, fairly short ascent up a grassy slope to enjoy a panoramic ridge walk with superb views. At an isolated mountain pass at the head of the Grwyne Fechan valley, lunch at 2,000 ft, surrounded by lofty peaks and distant views over the Wye Valley. This is Black Mountains walking at its best.
After your picnic lunch, descend gently down the hillside on an easy path of springy turf, above tumbling water, to the beautiful remote valley below. Finally cross the river at Tal-y-maes Bridge to The Hermitage and your awaiting transport. (8.5 miles, 13.5 km, ‘Moderate’ grade)
From the Mountain Centre cross a stretch of ancient heathland and beautiful valley dotted with small farms and woodlands which stretch like long green fingers into the heart of the mountains. A different aspect of the Beacons unfolds today as you ford shallow streams and cross gold and green meadows, the steep slopes of Fan Frynych rising above you. A scenic path on an easy gradient takes you to a picnic spot below high peaks. Here marvel at the scenic splendour, the beautiful remote valleys below while watching buzzard, sparrowhawk or kestrel providing an aerial display.
Wind down easily on a grassy path to the flat expanse of common below back to the Mountain Centre, a fitting finale to this wonderful walk. Here enjoy a cream tea in the award-winning tea gardens surrounded by superb mountain views. (8 miles, 12.8 km, ‘Moderate’ grade)
Scenically ascend 1,300 feet in your car or taxi, the easy way to gain the tops, to arrive at the start of today’s walk. Following a steep but short climb, our superb route takes you to the highest peaks in southern Britain on one of the UK’s finest walks. Once up, the remaining gradients are fairly gentle. Cruise easily along the finest ridge walk imaginable, never dropping below 2000 feet, to broad summit plateaus and majestic peaks, with the option to bypass either or both peaks if you prefer. As you look down on lonely lakes and scooped-out valleys, you feel you’re on top of the world. Awesome views extend to the Malvern Hills, Bristol Channel and hills of Somerset and Devon.
Seeing buzzards, raven, or red kite circle overhead, you’ll feel the presence of nature in the raw. This is mountain walking at its best, physically exhilarating and spiritually uplifting. Finally descend grassy slopes to join an ancient Roman road back to your transport. (Picnic lunch) (8 miles, 12.8 km, ‘Moderate’ grade)
Another scenic drive through beautiful Welsh countryside to Cwymyoy with its cluster of houses and crooked church. Following a visit to the church, you’ll climb gradually out of the valley up to reach Offa’s Dyke National Trail. Once up at 2,300 ft, you’ll enjoy fantastic views over the Herefordshire Plain as you swing along the ridge to Llanthony with its famous 12th century ruins. Following lunch in the old abbey, take time to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of this ancient spot before embarking on your afternoon’s valley walk.
The walking is relatively easy after lunch, in the Honddu Valley or Vale of Ewyas. It is the longest and arguably one of the most beautiful of the Black Mountains valleys. George Bernard Shaw said of it, ‘The God who made this country was an artist . . . the fellow who turned out Dorking was a Bank Holiday Tradesman by comparison!’ (8.8 miles, 14 km, ‘Moderate’ grade)