The Brecon Beacons are one of the most wildly beautiful places in the UK. One of three national parks in Wales, that’s ripe for exploration. So if you’ve been out hiking in the mountains and hills all day, and you want a little luxury to come back to Llangoed Hall — the site of the first Welsh parliament in 560 AD and now an exceptional country house hotel — fits the bill.
This stunning property sits in extensive grounds in the Wye Valley, close to the river and a stone’s throw from the national park. The main house dates from 1632, and it was first converted into a hotel by Sir Bernard Ashley, husband of Laura Ashley, darling of the textiles and furnishings world. Staying here feels like you are on a weekend away in someone’s Edwardian country home. The extensive art collection — including original artworks by Augustus John and James McNeil Whistler — ensures that even on a rainy day there’s something to intrigue you in every nook and cranny of the hall.
Llangoed Hall is a retreat for aesthetes, those with refined sensibilities. You’ll love the way in which the hall blends with its environment, its gardens running from manicured lawns to wildflower meadows, and then into the fields beyond. Art lovers, of course, will want to spend hours looking at the paintings, prints, and sketches on the walls, all of which are helpfully catalogued. Music from the grand piano in the hallway has no doubt brought multiple glamorous soirees to life, and there’s a huge collection of books in which you can indulge your literary side.
There are just 23 guest rooms at Llangoed Hall, reinforcing the feel that you are staying in a private home rather than a hotel. Each is individually designed, full of character and in keeping with the Edwardian interiors throughout the building.
We were treated to the duck egg blue Master Suite on the top floor of the hotel, which has multiple windows overlooking the gardens. The four poster bed is gargantuan, but somehow is still dwarfed by the size of the room. Antique furniture and a variety of rich textiles — from heavy tweed to raw silk — complete the look.
There’s an exceptional attention to detail in all the rooms at Llangoed — thoughtful touches you’ll love. A fruit basket, bottles of Elderflower, and a decanter of Madeira greet you on arrival, and restocked throughout your stay. You’ll also be spoilt for choice with reading matter as the books on the shelves include works of poetry, short stories, and historic works.
Llangoed Hall is a country house first and foremost, and the facilities it has are entirely in keeping with its history. The lounges and reception rooms have roaring open fires, books, and fine art works; there’s a games room with a full sized billiards table; and should you want to come here for business, there are several small meeting rooms, too.
In terms of entertainment, just step outside the door! There’s a hedge maze in the walled garden, a croquet lawn, and facilities for clay pigeon shooting. Falconry, archery, and fly fishing are all available at the hall as well. At nighttime you can make the most of the Dark Sky park by borrowing the hall’s telescope and heading up to the roof to look at the stars.
Food and Drink
On arrival at Llangoed Hall, the first area we explored was the kitchen garden. Spread across 17 acres, and including several large greenhouses, Llangoed’s chefs can raise their own chicken, duck, and quail, grow season fruit, vegetables, and herbs, and even smoke meat and fish in the smokehouse.
Head Chef Nick Brodie uses the finest Welsh produce and really has a flair for both flavours and presentation. We dined first on his eight-course vegetarian tasting menu, paired with wine flights, and the following night came back again to try the seasonal Prestige menu. The food is imaginative, and in a rainbow of colours. Just be sure not to eat lunch beforehand.
The Brecon Beacons National Park deserves days of your time to be fully explored, but even if you’ve just an afternoon to hike, there are plenty of short routes through stunningly beautiful countryside. In fact, you can walk straight from the hotel along the river in either directions, and the staff will provide you with maps.
Llangoed Hall is also only nine miles away from Hay-on-Wye, site of the world famous Hay Festival. This paradise for book lovers has more than 20 book shops specialising in everything from antiquarian books to detective stories and horror.
Is Wi-Fi available?
Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
Rooms at Llangoed Hall start from £175 per night, which includes breakfast, complimentary sherry, water, fruit, and a newspaper of your choice in the morning. Should you want to treat yourself and upgrade to a package which includes dinner as well, prices start from £250 per night.
Value for Money
Staying at Llangoed Hall, you really do get a lot for your money. The rooms are huge, the service is attentive without being fussy, and the views are completely sublime. Including items like breakfast and sherry in the room rate means you don’t get stung for little extras when you check out. It really is a very good deal indeed.
Llangoed Hall is just outside the village of Llyswen, on the northern side of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The easiest way to get here is by car, and there’s ample free parking on site.
If you do want to come to the hall by public transport, the closest railway station is at Cilmeri, 14 miles away. You can then take a taxi to Llangoed Hall. There are also buses to Llyswen from Brecon, Cardiff, Newton, and Merthyr Tydfil, though they are not particularly regular.