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5 nights Cardiff - Brecon Beacons - early May Bank Holiday

Adelaide, Australia
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5 nights Cardiff - Brecon Beacons - early May Bank Holiday

I'm planning to visit Wales (solo) in early May (in a few years' time!) and I was wondering if this is a workable plan for the first part of my trip - taking into account that Day 1 will be the Friday before the early May Bank Holday. Would this be OK, or would it be better to make it a day earlier (ie depart Minehead on Thursday?)

Day 1 (Friday): Drive in the morning from Minehead to Cardiff via Chepstow Castle and Tintern Abbey; spend the afternoon/evening in Cardiff. Stay 3 nights at River House Backpackers (GBP20 per night including breakfast, but may have to pay extra for overnight carpark).

Day 2 (Saturday): Catch the bus to St Fagan's National History Museum in the morning; National Museum and Art Gallery in the afternoon (I like museums :)). In the evening, either catch the bus or drive to Llandaff for the Llandaff Ghost Walk.

Day 3 (Sunday): Catch the bus (or drive) to Caerphilly Castle and Llancaiach Fawr (is there a bus between Caerphilly and Llancaiach Fawr or would it be best to drive?) Return to Cardiff for the evening.

Day 4 (Monday): Head off in the morning to Raglan Castle via Usk, then Abergavenny (lunch); do the Big Pit tour in the afternoon; drive through Crickhowell on the way to Beacon Backpackers (The New Inn, Bwlch) for an overnight stay.

Day 5 (Tuesday): Visit Brecon (Brecon Cathedral) in the morning, drive to the National Park Visitor Centre "The Mountain Centre" (lunch), then to the Red Kite Feeding Station at Llanddeusant in time for the 3 pm feeding. Dinner at The Red Lion, Llangadog (or similar village/pub) and overnight at the remote Llanddeusant Youth Hostel.

Next morning visit Carreg Cennen Castle before heading off to Pembrokeshire.

How does this sound? Bear in mind that I enjoy overnight stops on the way from A to B (don't have to unpack the suitcase!) so that's not a problem for me. :)

Thanks,

Suzanne :)

Budapest, Hungary
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1. Re: 5 nights Cardiff - Brecon Beacons - early May Bank Holiday

That all sounds very do-able, but I would deffo leave Minehead on the Thursday, or as early as possible on the Friday: M'head to Bridgwater is the best part of an hour (the A39 is one of the worst roads in England), then another hour to the Severn Bridge.

You need the Old Severn Bridge if you are going to Tintern, ignore J18A on the M5, continue to the Almondsbury Interchange (J 15) then head West along the M4, then on to the M48.

Chepstow, United...
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2. Re: 5 nights Cardiff - Brecon Beacons - early May Bank Holiday

Sounds good.

I'll just mention that as you say you really enjoy museums you may find that you'd like to spend more than a morning at St Fagan's. We've happily spent most of the day there - loads to see.

Adelaide, Australia
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3. Re: 5 nights Cardiff - Brecon Beacons - early May Bank Holiday

Thanks for the advice - yes, I was thinking Thursday morning may be better; and I'll definitely give St Fagan's plenty of time. :)

Blackwood, United...
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4. Re: 5 nights Cardiff - Brecon Beacons - early May Bank Holiday

Day 2: You'll definitely need more than a couple of hours at St Fagans.

Day 3: You could catch the train from Cardiff Central (close to your hostel) to Caerphilly the castle is in the town centre, the train will take about 15mins. There is a bus from Caerphilly bus station which is outside the train station to Llancaich Fawr (Bus no C16), it stops at the entrance to Llancaich Fawr.

Day 5: I wouldn't bother with the Mountain Centre, I'd spend a bit longer wandering round Brecon or go to the kite feeding a bit earlier.

PM me if you want any more info.

Adelaide, Australia
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5. Re: 5 nights Cardiff - Brecon Beacons - early May Bank Holiday

Thanks, Kev - I thought the Mountain Centre would be good for picking maps for a short walk in the area, etc. Regarding St Fagan's - I'm happy to spend all day there and won't rush back - I can always visit the museum in Cardiff another day. :)

Thanks again for your tips, especially about getting to Llancaiach Fawr from Caerphilly.

Suzanne :)

Suffolk, United...
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6. Re: 5 nights Cardiff - Brecon Beacons - early May Bank Holiday

In LLandeusant, the youth hostel IS The Red Lion! It has not been a pub for at least 40 years to my knowledge! The youth hostel is nice and run by volunteer wardens.The Cross Inn, next door to the kite feeding centre, is also Not a pub anymore but last year it was a cafe and shop selling red kite odds and ends. Pubs in Wales (and the rest of the UK) are closing down at a fast rate. The nearest pub to the youth hostel is at Pont Aber about 10 miles west of the hostel. This pub also has rooms. google "Pont Aber"

A different itinerary after visiting the red kite station could be to go to Abercrave (Abercraf in welsh) where there are several pubs that offer accomodation and the Dan yr Ogof caves that is well worth a visit.

I just love the Beacons!! Have a great time!!

Adelaide, Australia
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7. Re: 5 nights Cardiff - Brecon Beacons - early May Bank Holiday

Thanks very much, travelbob - I'll look up Abercrave and the Dan yr Ogof caves - I hadn't heard of them - it's great to get new ideas about what to do in when I'm in the area.

Suzanne :)

Suffolk, United...
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8. Re: 5 nights Cardiff - Brecon Beacons - early May Bank Holiday

If you are into opera then just up the road from Abercrave is the home of the late opera singer Adelina Patti. It is now a hotel in great surroundings. It is called Craig y Nos Castle. Not sure how good a hotel it is!

There are also some great walks in the area.

Blackwood, United...
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9. Re: 5 nights Cardiff - Brecon Beacons - early May Bank Holiday

Suzy, I had a look at the bus timetable from Caerphilli to Llancaich Fawr and the bus doesn't run on a Sunday so you're probably better off driving. you can get bus times from http://www.traveline-cymru.info and there's a smartphone app too.

Have a look at the Brecon Beacons website for more info on the area, there is an information centre in Brecon town centre you should be able to pick up leaflets etc there. http://www.breconbeacons.org.

I think travelbob got a bit confused due to the names being the same, the YHA at Llanddeusant was the The Old Red Lion, however The Red Lion in Llangadog (nearby) is a very good restaurant.

Have you thought of staying in Llandeilo after your visit to the kite feeding, it's a charming little town, there's no YHA but there are a number of B&B/guesthouses and pubs & restaurants.

There's so much to see and do in the Brecon Beacons area that you could easily spend twice as long as you've got visiting and still not see everything.

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10. Re: 5 nights Cardiff - Brecon Beacons - early May Bank Holiday

Oops! Sorry about that. The problem is that on the Ordnance Survey 1:25000 map, the youth hostel is marked as "The Red Lion"

Also if you google Llanddeusant it gives a map showing the youth hostel location and "The Red Lion" but the address of the Red Lion Llangadog!

Hey Ho!! but the area is fantastic!!

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