The Bear

UK Wales Mid Wales Powys Crickhowell

Exuding charm from every creaking beam and wonky staircase, The Bear is quite possibly the coaching inn of your dreams. Situated in the biscuit-tin-pretty village of Crickhowell, in the Brecon Beacons National Park, there has been a boozer here since 1432 - and it’s not hard to imagine the snorting horses and stagecoaches pulling into its gated archway. In summer, the whitewashed façade is a riot of hanging baskets, while in winter log fires blaze away in grates, keeping hikers toasty. The 35 rooms vary considerably in style. Done out in neutral tones, with modern bathrooms featuring shower or bath, the compact ‘cosy’ and ‘good’ categories get you a comfortable but by no means fancy room. Upgrading to the more spacious ‘best’ rooms, it’s easier to appreciate the pub’s historic features from oak beams to antique furnishings, chandeliers and blousy fabrics. Or to really ramp up the romance, opt for a suite with a four-poster bed and free-standing bath. The Bear is also one of the best places to eat in the area, so book a table for dinner, allowing time for a pint in the low-beamed bar before choosing from an unfussy menu that plays up regional sourcing in dishes like Welsh beef burger topped with smoked bacon and Welsh rarebit. The Brecon Beacons unfurl on the hotel’s doorstep: Crickhowell itself has its very own Table Mountain, 451m Crug Hywel, reached on a three-mile ramble; and the trailhead for hikes to the highest peaks of the Central Brecons, including 886m Pen y Fan, is just a 45-minute drive west.

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The Bear, Crickhowell, Powys NP8 1BW

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