Total tour distance: 105 miles
Daily tour distance: 35 miles
Difficulty: 50 / 100
River valleys and spectacular mountain views in the Brecon Beacons National Park.
The venue may be new, but we've run tours in this part of Wales for many years - and with good reason. It's an area of quiet rural lanes, spectacular and ever-changing views, and endless interesting and quirky places. We get the benefit of the mountain scenery without ever having to climb to the top of any mountains. As Beano co-founder Rob likes to say, "There are no hills in Wales - only valleys."
Our base for the weekend is the Llangasty Retreat House, a large Victorian rectory near the shores of Llangorse Lake on the northern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The house has breathtaking views across the lake to the mountains beyond.
Our rides take us into the valleys of the rivers Usk and Wye and along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal towpath. We venture on twisty roads into the foothills of the mountains, stopping at ruined castles and historic market towns like Brecon and Crickhowell, and dropping in on the famous 'book town' of Hay-on-Wye.
The Beano starts on Thursday evening and finishes after the last ride late on Sunday afternoon, giving us three full days of cycling. Rides are mostly on backroads and gravelled canal towpaths, with the occasional optional offroad diversion for those who want it. Some parts are easy-going, but this being mid-Wales there are hills - sorry, I mean valleys - to climb. Think of them as an excuse to slow down and take in the view!
The Retreat House has a mixture of single and twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities. The rooms are small but comfortable, and most of them have views across the surrounding countryside. After the day's ride you can relax and chat in the cosy lounge, sit out on the terrace overlooking the lake, or take a wander round the garden.
[Llangorse and River Usk photos © Crown copyright (2015) Visit Wales, used by permission.