Brecon Beacons Birthday

Turning another year older is inevitable. Turning another year older in one of the most beautiful parts of Wales is magic. Even when it’s windy as hell.

Table Mountain

We started the weekend in the cute market town of Crickhowell (Crughywel in Welsh if you’re feeling brave). It has recently been voted to have the best high street in the UK and I can see why – plenty of cute shops, cafés and restaurants. For our pre-hike lunch we picked Book-ish, a tucked-away restaurant/bookstore. Cake and books can never go wrong. 

Another great thing about Crickhowell is the location. There’s a reason it’s been called “the glittering jewel in the vale” (that’s y gem sy’n disgleirio yn yr ardal in Welsh, in case you’re wondering). The town is surrounded by the most gorgeous contryside. The Table Mountain (aka Crug Hywel) is only an hour and a half walk away – and what a walk it is. Perhaps it was the time of the year when we set off (mid-December) but a huge part of the route seemed to be going up a stream in a forest, so we hopped up the hills trying to avoid getting our feet soaked. It was slippery and tricky, and so much fun.

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It’s a beautiful hike. We met cute fluffy sheep, we were nearly blown off the top of the mountain by the strongest wind I’ve ever experienced and we had the best view of Crickhowell.

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And after the hike? Burgers at the Dragon Inn.

Pen y Fan

Next on the agenda was south Wales’ highest peak. The twin summits of Pen y Fan and Corn Du (and that’s the first one you get to if you take “the motorway” so don’t get prematurely excited that you’ve reached the top) were previously referred to as Arthur’s Seat (Cadair Arthur). It’s all wind nearly strong enough to knock you off your feat and amazing views, and more wind, and more views. About three hours of unspoilt fun. It’s a beautiful hike – and I know I say this a lot but damn, the views really are breath-taking.

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To end the trip – a stay in a fisherman cottage in the Mumbles. Now that sort of a birthday weekend I could really get used to.

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