A West Country Dragon and a Welsh Mermaid

 This summer’s heat wave was the perfect opportunity to go explore Brecon Beacons in the sun. We had been there a few times before, but mostly in winter, and never got to see much other than thick fog and grey clouds.

This time was different. We were there with Leo’s siblings and his 18 months old niece. The sun was scorching hot, and we were longing for water to swim in! Having driven a long way on Friday, we decided to take it easy on Saturday and drove down to Pontneddfechan in the south. There, we went walking alongside the rivers, trying to find a waterfall or a quiet pool to sit and relax in.


After passing by bigger groups of wanderers making the most of jumping ropes and deep dives, we found a quiet spot with easy access to water where we could have our picnic. We all played around in the cold water, whilst Leo and I went further down through the river to discover the area. The spot had a few easy trails to follow alongside the rivers – and is definitely great for family friendly days out.


Saturday night, we found the most amazing, quaint campsite, tucked in between trees, and cut off from civilisation: Cwmnanthir. We spent the night there, setting up our new 5-person tent, having beers and banana cake.


The next day a few of us went to do the Brecon horseshoe, a 15 kilometres loop that goes through the biggest hills of Brecon: Pen y Fan, Fan Y Big, Cribyn, and Corn Du.


The walk starts at the Forestry Commission car park, and quickly goes onto a footpath that starts going gently uphill for a few kilometres. We hadn’t done much of the weekend, so we did the first half of the walk running, until we got to the foot of Cribyn, and gave up to avoid a sunstroke.


Although Pen Y Fan and Fan Y big were busy with tourists, the remaining of the walk was pleasant with relatively few wanderers. We also very quickly forgot the crowds as we reached the top and were rewarded with breath-taking views of Wales and the English countryside.


After picnicking at Pen y Fan, we carried on walking along the ridge, and made our way back down to the car. In total, the walk didn’t last for longer than four hours.


Nevertheless, given the heat, we were quite hungry and thirsty by the end, and couldn’t find a pub that was still serving food in the area! Instead, we made our way back to London and stopped at an amazing pub in the Cotswolds, The Golden Heart Inn, and had a well deserved beer in the sun.


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