01694 723600 info@secrethillswalking.co.uk
We meet as strangers and depart as friends


Beautiful, Bracing Brecon Beacons

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From£725
August 5, 2022
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Why Book With Us?

  • Value for Money
  • Personal Service
  • Hand-picked Tours & Activities
  • No single supplement (UK only)
  • Flights from local airports (Europe only)

Make an Enquiry

Do not hesitate to contact us. We are an expert team and we are always happy to talk to you.

info@secrethillswalking.co.uk

01694 723600

You matter to us & we promise to provide you with a superb walking & social holiday, tailored specifically to your needs. We provide walking holidays for walkers & as walkers ourselves, we appreciate & understand the requirements of a walking holiday.

Fresh air, wide open spaces, a creative atmosphere and loads to entertain you, whatever the weather – this is the Brecon Beacons National Park.  Our solos guided walking  holiday covers the National Park which contains some of the finest walking country in Europe. But there’s far more to the Brecon Beacons than that.

Solos and Singles Guided Walking is our unique speciality – unlike other walking holiday companies. We specialise in offering guided walking holidays for solos and singles in beautiful locations in both the UK and Europe. We have an extra speciality in that we also design bespoke holidays for special group

  • Four days
  • Refund guarantee
  • Expert Tour Guides
  • Three Nights
  • Location: Brecon Beacons
What you get on a Secret Hills Break
  • Hotel bed and breakfast– en suite two nights/ three nights if the holiday falls on a Bank Holiday – Spring Bank or August Bank Holiday
  • Dinner- three course.
  • Lunch- except first day
  • Sole Occupancy
  • Personal service
  • Expert guiding- friendly, local guides that know the area superbly well
  • Transport to walks start and finish as needed
  • Flexibility
  • No single supplement
  • A social, relaxed approach
  • Full joining details prior to your holiday
  • Our administration support from the point of booking to you joining the holiday

Hotel and Meals

We use the Brecon Castle Hotel in Brecon. This hotel – with the castle built into the hotel- has several bars and lounges. Each room is individually set up as the hotel has been extended and altered over the many years it has been a hotel  All rooms are en suite.

Three nights stay Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Meals

Dinner is taken in the hotel’s dining room. Lunch – we may take lunch at one of Powys’s lovely country pubs, but also we may take a packed lunch – particularly on the Pen y Fan day.

Car parking in the hotel grounds.

Flexibility of stay – stay on an extra night if you wish – just ask us to arrange.

Great reasons to join us

There are other walking holiday companies that cover the  countryside but we believe we offer the best value for many reasons….

  • We specialise in organising guided walking holidays for singles and solo travellers
  • We are a small friendly company
  • We have a loyal customer base who return again and again (so we must be doing something right) – read our testimonials page on the website
  • We offer a lot of flexibility – you can stay extra nights which we are happy to organise for you. We are also very flexible on the walks we provide, adapting to suit walkers and weather conditions
  • Our walk leading is second to none. Unlike some other large Walking Companies, we use LOCAL leaders who live in the area and who love their surroundings. They have expert knowledge of everything you need to know to make an area come alive.
  • You are safe in our hands – our guides are experts, fully qualified in first aid. Also, because of their local knowledge of the hills, they can respond to any situation that might for example demand cutting short a route. They don’t need to consult maps – they know the hills intimately.
  • Our leaders are all easy-going, genuinely sociable people who want to ensure that you have the best time you can with the rest of the group. They make the weekend fun by engaging with all members of a group, and ensuring that everyone feels part of the group experience.
  • We give great value for money. Because we recognise that lots of walkers holiday on their own, we have negotiated no single supplement deals with all our hotels to ensure the best possible deal.
  • We always use good hotels.
  • We have smaller groups than some of the larger walking companies, because we believe the social experience is much better in a smaller group. People can talk to everyone, especially at dinner where you can all sit on one table in a small group. Our numbers vary from holiday to holiday but an average group size would be 8-12.

Directions

By Road

From the south – M4 past Bristol, over Severn Bridge and at junction 25a – signed Newport and Monmouth. Take A40 to Monmouth and Midlands – then A40 for Abergavenny. At Abergavenny head for Brecon.

From the north – M5  south then M50 – A48 –  Ross on Wye/Monmouth/South Wales. Then take Abergavenny turn after Monmouth – A40, past Abergavenny and Crickhowell and to Brecon.

Sat Nav – LD3 9DB

By Rail

From London area – London Paddington to Newport South Wales/or Cardiff. Change to Cardiff/Manchester line for Abergavenny, We will pick you up at Abergavenny provided you are there by 1pm.

From North – Leeds/Manchester/Birmingham – – to Bristol and change for Newport South Wales or Cardiff. Change to Cardiff/Manchester line for Abergavenny, We will pick you up at Abergavenny provided you are there by 1pm.

See National Rail

Itinerary

We walk on the first afternoon,  at 2.30pm from the hotel foyer. We then walk on Saturday, Sunday and Monday until 3.30pm. All full day walks start at 9.30am. 

If you enjoy making the most of the great outdoors, you’ll love the Brecon Beacons. 

Our National Park is a great place to get active. This is not a fenced-off preserve – it’s a living, working landscape which will bring out your adventurous side.

There are masses of paths and trails for walkers, runners, cyclists, mountain bikers, horse riders and wildlife-watchers. There’s a brilliant range of organised activities on offer, too, from gentle recreational pursuits like photography to full-on adrenaline sports such as paragliding, rafting and abseiling.

Grades and Difficulty

The Brecon Beacons rise to 850 metres high, and the walking is undulating and can be challenging in places. We rate the walking generally as moderate with difficult section. with some steep ascents and descents. Mileage is a poor indicator of the nature of each walk shown here, and the number of hours walking is a better guide to the days walking.

Paths are well marked and maintained and generally good underfoot, a little muddy in winter months.

Sample Walks

We have a large range of walks in the Brecon Beacons and here are several.

 Normally on the first afternoon -A short walk around Brecon, starting from the Castle Hotel. 

We head out of Brecon and then pass through fields, until we reach the ancient fort of Pen-y-crug, offering splendid views to the central Beacons.  We then return via a different route, walking along the banks of the river Usk.

Pen Y Fan to Storey Arms, starting from the Castle Hotel

Following a section of the Taff Trail, after leaving Brecon we walk along country lanes and a series of fields.  We then head into the beautiful valley of Cwm Llwch, and head up to the glacial lake of Llyn Cwm Llwch.  From here we head to the peak of Corn du, with the option then of visiting Pen Y Fan, highest peak  in Southern Britain. Full Panoramic views from both peaks, on a clear day the vista stretches from Exmoor’s Dunkery Beacon in the south, to Plynlimon in mid Wales to the North.

We then descend to Storey Arms for coach pick up.

Distance – 8.5 miles. Six and half hours

Ascent – 740m

Waterfall country – ‘Sgwd Yr Eira’ waterfall from Penderyn.

Starting from the village of Penderyn (known for its single malt Welsh whisky!), we head along wooded ridges, until we descend to the renowned waterfall of Sgwd Yr Eira.  If conditions are good we may walk behind its watery screen, a truly magical experience.

We then follow a wooded circuit taking in three more waterfalls, all impressive and unique, before heading back up though heath and moor back to Penderyn.

Distance – 7.5 miles Five and half hours

Ascent – 455m

Transport – Yes, drop off and pickup to and from Penderyn.  (17 miles / 30 mins each way).

Tor Y Foel and the Usk Valley

After being dropped off in the pretty village of Talybont-on-Usk, we start our climb to the summit of Tor Y Foel, passing through woodland until we meet the open ridge that leads to its top. From here we can admire the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains, and look down into the beautiful vale of Usk.
We then descend to join the Usk Valley walk, taking us through woodland along the side of a reservoir, until we get back to Talybont for a good pub lunch.
Length – 6.5 miles four hours
Ascent – approx 450m

Meet New Friends

Its all about meeting new friends. Each holiday is designed to be a friendly, relaxed and stress free occasion. Talking is as important as walking on Secrethills Walking Holidays. We don’t go in for discos, we may use an event that is taking place in the area we are in to boost the weekends activities – but its good, old fashioned chat that makes our short breaks successful.

“Make new friends that turn into old friends” – that’s our motto.

You might be surprised by what fun you’ll have with people who are older or younger than you during a holiday with us, and that’s exactly the sort of atmosphere we encourage; people find it very rewarding. It doesn’t matter what your reasons for traveling with us are, we’ve had people who are single, divorced or widowed, people who have partners that are unable to travel, and people who can’t holiday with their friends anymore as they’ve all got married themselves. There are people who want to make friends, see sights, and experience something completely new. Whatever your reason, we’ll welcome you with open arms and our friendly hosts will help you to get the most out of your holiday.

Don’t worry if this is the first time you have ventured to join a group holiday – its always a bit daunting – but we will look after you and ensure that you get used to being amongst friends again. Trust us to to get you back into the swing of things.

Oh – by the way – its not a dating agency – over the years we have had people meet and fall in love – but that’s just chance. Our aim is that you make like minded friends – just relax and enjoy.

Just arrive and enjoy.

How to Book

To reserve a place on any of our holidays, please follow these simple instructions.

Reserve online  – once you have chosen your holiday, click on Proceed Booking and complete the online form. If you have difficulty reserving online, please  contact us (tel: 01694 723600, email: info@secrethillswalking.co.uk) and we will assist you to complete your booking.

Payment

Please note we cannot take credit/debit card details over the phone. You may pay by the following methods when you book online…

  • Paypal – if you have a Paypal account, simply click on the link to the Paypal website.
  • Credit / Debit card – we use Paypal to host our credit/debit cards facility because it is a very secure system. So if you want to pay with a card, simply click on this option which will take you to our page on the PayPal website. Check in there as a “Guest” to enable your card payment. You do not need to have a Paypal account for this transaction.
  • We will also accept a Bank Transfer – you will find our account details on the booking form.
  • Finally, we will also accept a cheque payable to Secret Hills Walking Holidays and sent to: Secret Hills Walking Holidays, 35 Sandford Avenue, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 6BH

Please note than an initial deposit is required with each booking regardless of which payment method you choose. Your booking will be accepted when your payment (deposit or full balance) is received. Note – if you are reserving a holiday within a month of the start date then the full amount is due immediately and no deposit should be paid.

It is important that you read the terms and conditions before you sign the booking form.

Note – if you are reserving a holiday within a month of the start date then the full amount is due immediately and no deposit should be paid.

Location

The Brecon Beacons National Park was established in 1957. It was one of the first ten national parks to be created in Britain. The intention was to safeguard our beautiful, rough and dramatic landscapes, considered a priceless national asset.

Like much of Wales, our landscapes are truly ancient, shaped by the Ice Age. The iconic northern scarp was deeply incised by glaciers and Llyn Cwm Llwch, a Geological Conservation Review Site, is the best preserved glacial lake in South Wales. There are also some well preserved glacial screes and moraines. A number of old quarry sites along the northern flanks of the Beacons contain fossil ferns.

Nearly eight millennia of human activity have also moulded our landscapes. There are traces of early inhabitants in the remains of prehistoric stone circles and burial chambers, Iron Age hillforts and Roman camps, particularly in the hills in the west of the park. One of our churches, St Catwg’s, Llangattock, founded in the 6th century, is considered one of the oldest in Britain, although it has been largely rebuilt over the years – its relatively recent additions include a 14th century nave, 16th century tower and two incredibly old yew trees.

During the Norman conquest, the hills were peppered with castles. The ruins of Carreg Cennen are probably the best known remaining fortifications. Llanthony Priory was founded around 1100, and medieval farmhouses followed. Land which wasn’t used by the Norman barons was used by villagers as a source of firewood, turf, peat and gravel, and as grazing for sheep, cattle and pigs.

The Industrial Years

Huge changes took place during the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th century. Limestone, silica sand and ironstone were quarried on the fringes of the Park to feed demand from the furnaces of the South Wales Valleys.

The Monmouthshire Canal and the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal, founded in the 1790s, completed in 1812 and linked to a network of tramroads and railways, became important corridors for the transport of limestone, coal and iron. Its current incarnation is known as the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.

As well as industrial structures, the Georgian and Victorian age brought some fine urban and rural buildings to the area, some of which still retain their original features.

Military Training Ground

Centuries after its use by the Romans as a cavalry base, the central Brecon Beacons became an important place for the British army and has remained so for more than 100 years. Rifle butts found in Cwm Llwch provide evidence of military activity as far back as the late 19th century.

Until 1984, Cwm Gwdi was a training camp and live firing range. Allt Ddu hill was used for mortar practice. Today the Beacons are used by the MoD as the selection ground for the SAS. There are military establishments at Brecon and Sennybridge.

Conservation and Restoration

Established in 1957, the Brecon Beacons National Park is the youngest of the three national parks in Wales. The other two Welsh national parks, Snowdonia and the Pembrokeshire Coast, were created earlier in the 1950s, along with important English national parks such as the Peak District, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.

In 1965, the National Trust became the landowner of much of the common land in the Central Beacons, paving the way for the park’s development as a conservation area and tourist destination. The National Park Authority later acquired other important tracts of land.

The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal had suffered more than a century of decline the 19th and 20th centuries, but restoration eventually got underway in the 1970s and has been an ongoing project ever since. Over 400 privately owned boats and over 40 hire boats now operate on the stretch between Brecon and Pontnewydd, south of the Park.

Recent Times

Today, tourism and services have taken over from industry and agriculture as the mainstays of the local economy. In 2000, the area around Blaenavon was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its significance in the production of iron and coal in the 19th century. In 2005, Fforest Fawr became the first UNESCO European Geopark in Wales and in 2013, the night sky above the Brecon Beacons was granted special protection when the park was designated an International Dark Sky Reserve.

 

Photos

Reviews

7 Reviews
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James Betteridge

Solo Traveller

Excellently led by Tristan and Ian. Walks challenging but achievable. Good social mix, food and drinks very good and staff were friendly. Picturesque location.

May 16, 2022

Carol Kenny

Solo Traveller

The leader Tristan was very knowledgeable and catered for everybody’s capability. The walks were varied and showed the different aspects of the Brecon National Park.
The holiday was organised very well and made it very enjoyable. I will book another holiday and recommend it to others. Another very enjoyable holiday.

May 30, 2019

Patricia Schmidt

Solo Traveller

Hotel was very comfortable and the food was good. Our guide, Tristan, was very attentive to those of us who were a little slow or having trouble, and was careful to provide us with the best experience of the sites we visited, i.e. against the flow of tourists. A good trip, thank you Tristan.

May 23, 2019

Jill Osborne

Solo Traveller

Beautiful Bracing Brecons – May 2019. Been before many times! Saw holiday on website. Reservation no problem! Very good. Tristan was an excellent leader.
Very knowledgeable, full of encouragement going up Corn Du! Absolutely 1st class! Group holiday already booked. Would recommend to others!  All in all, Alan, another Secret Hills excellent holiday which I thoroughly enjoyed and as I said – Tristan was 1st class! 

May 23, 2019

June Jones

Solo Traveller

 Tristan and Ian did a great job.  The guides are more like friends, part of the group itself than ‘officiators’. However, whenever extra help was needed, they were always there as a reassuring presence. The planning and execution was second to none.

The company is very good on detail from pick off to drop off points and everything inbetween

Secret Hills is a great “find”. It encourages participants to come back time and time again to meet old friends and make new ones.  You could almost say “It’s a family affair”!  Well done all of you.

May 16, 2018
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