If you haven’t yet traveled to Wales in the United Kingdom, you are in for a treat. Everyone speaks English, Welsh too. The scenery is gorgeous, the people are friendly, the food is excellent and the weather is as unpredictable as catching a native brown trout on a fly rod on the River Usk. You’ll want to visit all three of Wales national parks, including Brecon Beacons. A stay at Gliffaes Country House Brecon Beacons Hotel is a guaranteed winner.
Fishing on the River Usk is like catching fireflies in Texas; it takes skill and it’s catch and release. I learned how to fly fish the Sacramento River but fishing in Wales is a different experience.
The Usk is a beautiful wild river, running 63 miles through countryside that divides the Beacons and the Black Mountains. The Usk holds the distinction of the best wild brown trout river in England and Wales, and attracts salmon as well. Full disclosure, we were only here for two nights and opted to go horseback riding in Brecon Beacons National Park instead of fishing.
Family hotel and fishing lodge
Gliffaes house has been in the family for over 70 years. The owners take great pride in offering Welsh hospitality. Each of the 23 guest rooms is individually decorated, as are the public areas. I love the feeling of walking into a stately country house with fires burning softly in the drawing and sitting rooms. Fishing and hunting magazines feel right at home on antique tables, while large picture windows in the glass conservatory remind guests to step outside and into nature.
Nature and nurture at Gliffaes House
You don’t have to go far to delight in the garden or forest of trees on the 33 acre property. Known as one of the best small arboretums in Wales, Gliffaes House takes forest bathing to a new level with its many species of trees and flowering shrubs for guests to explore outside the doorstep. I first learned about forest bathing in Sonoma County. However, growing up riding horses in California afforded me the opportunity to walk and ride in the woods on a daily basis.
Dine at Gliffaes Country House
Gliffaes Country House Hotel offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and Afternoon Tea to hotel guests and visitors. In this part of South Wales, Gliffaes features locally sourced meats, cheeses, organic fruit and vegetables. The sustainable-minded restaurant only uses fish approved by the Marine Stewardship Council. I ordered fish both nights during my stay and was very impressed. Of course, I ordered dessert at every dinner so don’t let my healthy dining choices fool you.
Need to know:
Gliffaes Country House has 23 hotel rooms. Rates are seasonal and depend on what size room you book. Prices range from £145 – £315 per night for bed and breakfast. Our classic double room #19 rented for £197 – £258 per night during high season.
Learn to fly fish packages are available for an additional fee.
Pets are not allowed in rooms, but Gliffaes House does have a dog kennel that guests may use free of charge. WiFi is complimentary. Free onsite parking.
Check in: 2:30 p.m.
Check out: 11:00 a.m
Rooms 6 & 7 have amazing views over the River Usk and feature small balconies. Room 6 has a vintage Victorian roll top bath tub. Welsh fabrics from Melin Tregwynt are used throughout the hotel.
The hotel offers two night break special and dinner packages. If you are keen to go fishing, they can put you in touch with a guide. Advance bookings are essential.
Twenty minutes away is Llangorse Lake, the largest natural lake in South Wales. The lake is also home to Ellesmere Riding Center. If you want to ride in the Black Mountains, this is the place. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter or Instagram @Nancydbrown and Gliffaes Country House Hotel on Instagram.
If You Go:
Gliffaes Country House Hotel +44 (0) 1874 730 371
Crickhowell, Powys, NP8 1RH, United Kingdom
Gliffaes Country House Brecon Beacons Hotel review, YouTube video and all photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. As is typical in the industry, I received a complimentary media stay, however, all opinions are my own.