Hear ‘Black Mountains’ and you might (understandably) picture raven-black, prodigious, unending hills that cast eerie shadows before you. Thankfully, you won’t find anything dark or foreboding about this tipi retreat, which sits peacefully among the brooding peaks that bristle green as you frolic in your very own private tipi camp, itself ringed by token sheep and wild Welsh meadow. You arrive at Ty Croes, the family farmhouse belonging to Jilly, your ever generous and warm host. Her home is nothing short of a picture-perfect fantasy – the stuff rural-escape dreams are made of.; and as you are transported by quad bike to the meadow, you’ll find yourself scared to make a sound, lest it disturb the serenity of this secluded spot. The first thing to grab your eye will be the authentic, towering Native American tipi, followed by its complementary counterparts – a rustic kitchenette, a House & Garden-style dining area and your own private toilet and shower room. Because each of them are so snugly sheltered, you can enjoy your tipi camp in any weather that Mother Wales may send your way. Inside the tipi, the inviting interior is spacious but cosy, and the lining is brought to life with hand-painted Native American artwork. But spending time inside the tipi should be the last thing on your mind, for outside the Brecon Beacon National Park never disappoints.
Our favourite spot
Additional tents, couples, families, groups (if pre-arranged), dogs – yes. Caravans, large campervans – no.
The local area
You’re in the vortex valley of the Brecon Beacons National Park – the options are endless. Black Mountain Activities (01497 847897) offer a great choice of canoeing, rock-climbing, archery, gorge-walking, caving and more. Otherwise, just don your best walking boots and explore the surrounding 45 acres – Jilly will provide many top walking suggestions.
For something that exercises your tastebuds instead, try your luck at making your own chocolate with Black Mountain Gold Chocolate (01873 812362).
Best local places to eat and drink
Crickhowell village is the local food hub and the Bear Hotel (01873 810408), dating all the way back to 1432, offers truly sensational seasonal Welsh food – a tad pricey but worth it. Black Mountain Gold Chocolate (01873 812362) showcases some of the finest looking (and tasting) handmade chocolate around – definitely worth grabbing a coffee at too. Thompsett Fish & Chips is great for a takeaway fish supper. Our fave is M T Cashells butchers – grab a few steaks and stonebake them on the campfire.
Why stay with us?
Campfires and barbecues allowed. The tipi has 1 double futon with warm bedding; Jilly can provide additional beds in the tipi for up to 4 people in total (additional bedding is £10); sheepskin rugs. A cosy kitchenette with cooking utensils and cutlery for 6 people, double gas ring cooker and grill, a fold-out barbecue, kettle, candles, firelighters and matches, spice rack, coolbox and ice packs, hot water bottles, bottled drinking water. A large sheltered decking dining area. A wooden outhouse compost-toilet with hand soap and mirror, plus a separate hot-shower shed. Outside you have a tap and washing-up area, a picnic table, recycling facilities, chopped wood, an axe and shears for foraging, a hammock, swing seat next to a firepit and solar lights. The picturesque Cwm Banw River runs alongside the camp. Jilly will also let you use her very secluded hot tub and sauna/home spa at an additional cost of £9 per person, pre-book to avoid disappointment.
Additionally, Jilly offers holistic healing retreats, massages, yoga and meditation classes onsite. For more information contact the site.
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