Sporty breaks on a shoestring: Brecon Beacons

When you’re a couple on a tight budget, getting away can seem really expensive, but with a bit of lateral thinking, it’s possible to have a really nice time without breaking the bank. James and I wanted to get away somewhere rural before my graduation and starting work, so after a bit of poking around, we settled on a trip to the Brecon Beacons in South Wales.

Where we stayed
Rather than stay in a YHA, which are surprisingly expensive for what they are, we took a gamble and booked into a bunkhouse on a sheep farm between Merthyr Tydfil and Brecon. The gamble was well worth it though, and for £22 each per night, we stayed at the excellent Coed Owen Bunkhouse. It was perfect accommodation for active types, with endless walks nearby, beautiful roads to cycle, trails to run and even a massive mountain bike centre nearby. The accommodation itself was spotlessly clean, comfy and self-catered, so we could keep costs down by taking our own yummy breakfast ingredients, and save our money for a nice dinner each night. If you’re ever going to Brecon I’d strongly recommend staying there!

What we got up to
With beautiful hills like Pen-y-Fan on the doorstep, it’d be rude not to go hiking, so we did plenty of exploring. The weather was at times pretty grey and soggy, but there were still some fantastic views to be had! It was lovely to spend some time together properly, in an area with no phone signal, and really enjoy each other’s company and the fresh air.

We wandered through popular tourist spots, and off the beaten tracks too, exploring an old, eerie, abandoned mine….

When the weather was too soggy, we lit the fire, cracked open some ciders and played some fiercely competitive games of darts….

The only bullseye of the whole game, thrown by me!

And when the weather finally lifted, we got out and rode around the beautiful sweeping roads of Brecon on our bikes!

The area is cyclist heaven, with some iconic climbs and beautiful descents, with stunning views from the top.

Where we ate
Just across the road from the bunkhouse was Nant Ddu Lodge, a small hotel with a yummy restaurant, where for very reasonable prices, we feasted on local lamb followed by divine sticky toffee pudding…

We also went to Cariad Cupcakes in Brecon to shelter from the rain and happened upon absolutely DIVINE cupcakes- if you’re ever in the area, you have to pop in!

The budget

As mentioned above, we spent £22 each per night on our accommodation, and about £60 on petrol to drive the round trip from Leeds as well as some pootling about when we were there. We split a £15 food shop when we were there, and spent £15-£20 each on dinner each night. All in all, our mini break cost us less than £100 each plus spending money. Bargain!

All photos courtesy of my happy snapper adventure partner James.

2 thoughts on “Sporty breaks on a shoestring: Brecon Beacons

  1. Tess @ FitBits

    Yayyyyy I love Wales, even when it’s soggy. Will look into these places you stayed and ate at for next time, although we’ve got a VW camper now so most of the time will just kip in the van.
    Next time you guys go you must go to Afan Forest Park for some beasty mountain bike trails! And if you’ve got a bit more dollar for activities, I can really recommend gorge walking, my blog here explains all 🙂

  2. Lizzie

    When I was 13, a long time ago, my parents did something they’d never done before – they actually booked somewhere for me, my sister and them (by this time the older two siblings had stopped coming on holiday with the family) to stay for two weeks on our annual holiday. Prior to that we just used to set off in the general direction of somewhere and find places to stay, which led to some interesting times driving round country lanes late at night……

    It was a wonderful proper family hotel In Allendale in Northumberland. I still think of that holiday as the best one I ever had with my parents. I learnt to play snooker, roamed the beautiful and rather wild grounds with the other children there, and saw bats flying round at dusk. I loved it there. My mum and dad loved it too and thought that it might be best not to tell anyone else about this hotel……I think you’ll get my drift…….But – thanks for this post!! (and yes we did tell other people about this hotel…) I too think youth hostels are expensive and would love to try a bunkhouse. Great post!


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