Today I want to bring you my guide to spending a winter weekend in Wales. Specifically, I want to share about how to spend two days in the Brecon Beacons in winter. It’s a great place for weekend breaks in Wales.

Winter Weekend in Wales

Winter Weekend in Wales

I once published a post on the A Lady in London blog about the best time to visit London. In it, I was a bit unfair to poor February.

I wrote that it wasn’t a great month to be in the UK, and talked about how this month’s weather always makes me want to move to the Caribbean. But maybe I was a bit harsh.

And to prove to myself that February is a perfectly good month to travel in Britain, I’m spending a winter weekend in Wales.

Waterfall in Brecon Beacons, Wales

Brecon Beacons in Winter

I’ve been invited to stay with friends who live on the border of the Brecon Beacons National Park, which has some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Wales.

They live near the village of Talybont-on-Usk in Powys, which is a popular place for visitors to base themselves in the area in holiday homes and cottages.

Bench in the Usk Valley, Wales

I arrive by train from London on Friday night, ready for a winter weekend in Wales and everything it might hold for me.

I’m armed with the warmest clothes I own, including the world’s biggest scarf (it’s true!) and multiple layers of coats and jackets. It’s me versus February, and I’m determined to win.

Winter Berries in the Brecon Beacons, Wales

Brecon Beacons Winter Walks

The next morning I’m off to explore the Welsh countryside with my friends. We take in everything from the pretty winter snowdrops to the lovely stone houses around the Brecon Beacons before heading off on the Henry Vaughan Walk.

Starting in Talybont-on-Usk, the trail celebrates a local 17th-century poet and has quotes from his works on signposts along the 4-kilometer (2.4-mile) route.

Bridge, Brecon Beacons, Wales

We also follow the Usk Valley Walk, a marked public footpath through the green hills. It takes us past sheep-filled pastures and over pretty streams as we go.

Waterfalls surprise us—this area is called Waterfall Country for a reason—and ponies look at us curiously, all of which adds to the lovely ambiance of this part of Wales.

Trail Sign for Talybont-on-Usk, Wales


Eventually we end up back in Talybont-on-Usk, which my friends tell me is a great base for visitors that enjoy cycling, walking, mountain biking, and canoeing.

Given it’s winter, I enjoy pub-ing. Luckily the village has a surprising number of options given its small size.

Star Inn, Talybont-on-Usk, Wales

My friends and I settle down at The Star Inn, which has a good selection of local beers and ciders and a traditional atmosphere.

I welcome the chance to rest my feet after the walk and to get a taste of village life. It being winter, it’s mostly locals here, which is a nice benefit of traveling in February.

Horse in the Usk Valley, Wales


The next day we’re off exploring around the Brecon Beacons again. We drive along impossibly charming roads with stone churches and early spring flowers, eventually coming to a little place called Llanfrynach.

The first thing that catches my eye is a red phone box that has been turned into a library. I like it here already!

Red Phone Box Library, Llanfrynach, Wales

The next thing I notice is another walking trail, which we follow along a little stream and up a hill.

Mountain bikers cycle past on their way to more challenging terrain, but we go at our own pace and enjoy the quiet peace of winter and beautiful shapes the bare branches make against the sky.

Walking in Brecon Beacons, Wales

Winter in the Brecon Beacons

When it’s time to take the train back to London, my legs are warm from the walk, my stomach from the pub, and my heart from the good company and beautiful surroundings.

Maybe February isn’t such a bad month to travel in the UK after all. My winter weekend in Wales has done a lot to convince me. Then again, I’m off to Antigua next week, so moving to the Caribbean could still win. To be determined…

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Winter Weekend in Wales

22 Comments on Lady’s Winter Weekend in Wales Guide

    • Although I must admit that on a really wet February day like today the best thing to do in Wales (unless you’re a really hardy person) is to curl up with a good book in a lovely warm cottage and nibble on some delicious Welsh chocolates, have a drink of either Penderyn’s Merlyn or a glass (or two) of a great Welsh Ale, and hope for a better day tomorrow!
      The past week (half term for kids of all ages!) saw lots of holidaymakers discover Wales; some for the first time, whilst for others, it was the chance to carry on from where they left off last time they visited – and perhaps best of all was that the weather last week had more dry days than wet, and lots of families were on Gower’s beautiful sandy Beaches, and thoroughly enjoying themselves.
      To be perfectly honest, Wales is full of beautiful places to see, explore and enjoy. The food is oh so delicious, and there’s lots of cottages (and hostelries, etc) in which to stay and enjoy the surroundings.
      My wife and I love Brecon and area, and we live on the beautiful and amazing Gower Peninsula, but all parts of Wales are worth exploring, staying in, and taking time to find out that this little part of the UK has so much to offer – so what’s keeping you? Come and see what you’ve been missing!
      (Oh yes, and although I admit to having a self-contained holiday cottage on the spectacular Gower Peninsula, this Comment is not touting for business as I would recommend Wales for holidays to anyone, and I’m 90% English!)

  1. I haven’t been to Wales in so long, I think it often gets forgotten about (guilty as charged) but having been to Ireland last year and a imminent trip to Scotland, I really should add it to my list!

  2. Amazing views!
    Your photos are fantastic and it feels really like a place to go!
    I love the UK, and I have many things on my list 🙂

    Provably summer though… I’m not sure how cold should be there right now!!:)

    xxx from Barcelona

  3. Ha! I think you were being more than fair about London in Feb but Wales does look charming, especially with the world’s smallest library!

  4. February is a challenging month in many parts of the world; not quite winter, not quite spring. I’ve been putting off visiting a particular Latvian town until the weather is prettier, but this is a good reminder that any time can be fun with the right attitude and good friends to share in the experience!

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