I am the luckiest duckling: I’ve been accepted to speak at a conference in Surrey in September, so I’m sneaking off for a few days to Wales beforehand! I’m so excited to return, and this time since I’ve only a few days, I’ve decided to explore the Brecon Beacons. I’ve booked an AirBnB in Brecon to use as a base, and was planning on doing day hikes in the area and possibly visiting Hay-on-Wye (as a writer and lover of books).
Does anyone have any suggestions of places I absolutely must visit? Places where more Welsh might be spoken so I can get some practice in? Any and all suggestions are welcome (and if you live in the area and want to get a panad or walk around with me that would be most welcome as well).
Will you have a car? Llandeilo is 45 minutes away and is beautiful and is very Welsh speaking. Plus it’s near Llyn y Fan Fach which is a beautiful walk. Also not far from Castell Cerrig Cennin (beautiful!!)
Brecon is lovely, but you will be right in the middle of an area with low levels of Welsh speaking. Why not pop up to Llandrindod on a Wednesday night to join the friendly Welsh learners chat group in Arvon Ales?
That’s alright, thank you! I knew that there wouldn’t be much in terms of Welsh speaking in that area, but I thought I’d put it out there. I would have loved to explore further West but unfortunately my time is quite limited and I’m relying on public transportation.
Very brave of you to visit Brecon relying on public transport, but well done, I’m sure you’ll have a great time. A 45 minute drive would take 3 hours and 45 minutes on public transport, why the shock? this is quite quite normal. Just imagine being a teenager growing up in the area before hitting 17 and getting a drivers license as quickly as possible! Which was me.
I’m assuming you’ll be using the T4, which is reliable and then studying local bus timetables? Double check the times, often those on the internet do not match local buses
Oh gosh, saying that I’m brave to do it makes me a bit worried… I managed getting around in parts of Northern Wales on public transit okay when I went last year, so fingers crossed that I’ll manage again!
Yes, I plan to do things based on the local bus timetables (the ones I can find, anyway). Hopefully I won’t get stranded anywhere
Don’t worry. Public transport in Mid-Wales is less than North Wales. North Wales seems quite urban to us Powys types!
I needed to travel between Builth and Aberystwyth a few years ago, using internet timetables which were wrong. The timetables posted at the bus stops are correct, so check they match up and ask the driver about return journey times (if the same company). The trouble with the journey was the hours transfer in Llanidloes [and people wander why I have encyclopaedic knowledge of chip shops in strange places], then sitting in the pub beer garden keeping a close eye on the bus stop, then catching the bus just over an hour later, still the hour stop in Llanidloes, so getting to Aberystwyth took 3 hours 45 minutes (it’s only an hour and a quarters drive). You will be fine, just be a little cautious with the timetables.
Oh yes, that makes sense. I did have this problem last time as well, where the timetables didn’t match up and I had to wait quite a long time. Hopefully I’m a bit more savvy now (dubious). One time the internet timetable was wrong and luckily some locals at the pub helped me catch the last bus back. The nice thing is that since I’m going alone this time I don’t really have a schedule, so I’m quite happy to sit in beer gardens watching bus stops.
The bus service from Brecon to Ystradgynlais is frequent, fast, efficient and will take you through some particularly scenic country side including superb views of Fan Brycheiniog (mountain) and Craig y Nos castle. As mentioned Ystradgynlais is the place with most welsh speakers in the whole of Brecknockshire. I think between 10-1400 it’s an hourly service but check.
I’m a bit late to this thread … when I’m driving with my kids between Oxfordshire and Pembrokeshire, we usually stop in the Brecon Beacons. We go to Talybont-on-Usk (Talybont-ar-Wysk), eat an all-day breakfast at the excellent Canalside Cafe there, and take a walk alongside the canal. The area seems to be very popular with walkers and cyclists, given the number of them who we always encounter in the cafe.