If you are a keen walker, the Bear is a great place to have as a base. Not only is it full of friendly locals, many of whom are keen walkers with an extensive knowledge of the area that they are more than happy to share, it is also right in the middle of some fabulous walking countryside. Indeed, it is possible to follow several routes direct from the front door.
For a simple stroll, saunter down the High Street (opposite the front door), then keep right at the far end to reach Crickhowell’s stunning bridge – the longest multi-arched stone bridge in Wales with 12 arches on one side and 13 on the other (count them if you don’t believe me!). From here you can either walk upstream or downstream alongside the River Usk, or for something only a little more energetic, cross the fields on the far side of the bridge to reach the ancient Llangattock Church, beyond which a short climb up a lane to the right (past the Old Rectory) brings you to the picturesque Brecon Canal. Turn left onto the towpath and follow this to Llangattock Wharf, then leave the canal immediately after the next bridge and follow the road back down to Crickhowell Bridge. You can download a full description of a slightly longer walk at
For something slightly more strenuous, a visit to Table Mountain is highly recommended. This is the flat-topped hill overlooking the town, on the summit of which are the remains of an important Iron Age hill fort. Perhaps the best approach is across the fields behind the primary school, then up the picturesque Cwmbeth Dingle to reach the open hillside near some old sheep folds. A good path then leads to the right alongside the hill wall, cresting the ridge to the north of Table Mountain, where there are spectacular views. The return journey is across fields, and leads almost directly to The Bear! You can download a full description of this walk at
There are many more suggestions for walks on my website at , where you can also find details of courses and guiding services.
In my next blog I’ll chat about the footwear, clothing and equipment you should have when walking here in the winter months.