Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Wild Pub Walks: Crickhowell Circular

A long walk and a good pub lunch are staple weekend activities for us Brits.  I grew up on the edge of the Brecon Beacons here in South Wales, so there was never any shortage of hills to climb, nor pubs to rest in afterwards.   I was recently contacted about the book Wild Pub Walks for review.  This is no ordinary walking book, because like all of those published in association with CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale), every walk is chosen partly for its proximity to decent pubs.  What a good idea!

The book contains 22 walks across the UK's prettiest mountain regions, covering the Peak District, Lake District, Highlands/Islands, Scottish Borders, Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire/South Wales, North York Moors National Park and Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The walk I'm giving you a snapshot of today is one of the South Wales walks, the Crickhowell Circular, taking in the Black Mountains.  Crickhowell is a pretty little town in Powys, close to where I grew up.  The walk takes you up firstly to the peak of Table Mountain, followed by a long circuit around the peaks of Pen Cerrig-calch, Pen Allt-Mawr and Waun Fach.  You can see the peaks from Crickhowell itself.

wild pub walks crickhowell @porcelinasworld

wild pub walks crickhowell @porcelinasworld
Above: Table Mountain is the peak on the right, with the larger peaks to the left.

wild pub walks crickhowell @porcelinasworld

wild pub walks crickhowell @porcelinasworld
The town square, with the Bear Hotel

wild pub walks crickhowell @porcelinasworld

wild pub walks crickhowell @porcelinasworld
The Bridge Inn

Wild pub walks @porcelinasworld

And now to confess.  I haven't actually done the whole walk detailed in the book...

My husband and I had every intention of doing the walk.  Then we had a heatwave.  Not a good idea to walk in such heat.  Then we had torrential rain and gales.  Not a good idea to walk in such bad weather.  Finally, a day approached when I hoped to squeeze the walk in.  Weather forecast was mild but clear.  Perfect.  I checked the book.  And that's when I realised that I hadn't originally read it properly, because the suggested walk was 7 hours and a whopping 12 miles!  Crikey.  The idea of this book you see is to showcase walks that are a little more remote or mountainous than you would usually tackle.

Having grown up in the area, and therefore having done parts of the suggested mammoth walk before, I made an executive decision and instead had a nice time pottering around the little town of Crickhowell, taking photos of the lovely scenery and the nice pubs mentioned in the book (The Bear, and the Bridge to name two).  So there you go, I did some research for you with minimum physical exertion.

This book seems to be targeting those on walking holidays perhaps, when you have a whole day to spend on a proper mountain hike.  Shorter walks are available!  As a half day alternative, if like for me a whole day is a bit too much of a time commitment, the walk up to Table Mountain and back is approximately 5 miles.  You could do it in the morning and be back at the Bear in time for lunch.

Wild Pub Walks is out now and available through the CAMRA online shop.

I was sent a copy of Wild Pub Walks for review.  All opinions are my own!


  1. I'm glad you double checked that walk before you set out! 7 hours!!
    I know Crickhowell from going to the Green Man festival when we'd have a few hours away from the music, walk along the river bank and have chips in the castle grounds. The last time we visited found a great charity shop and bought a 1960s fringed suede jacket for £3! xxx

  2. This does bring back the memories. I holidayed in the area in the early 1990s, staying in a B&B in Tretower. Crickhowel is a gorgeous little town. I remember The Bear! And we walked to Table Mountain too. Thanks for taking me back there! xxx

  3. Ha! Yeah...I'm kind of over doing extra long hikes like that. I do like the idea of a good pub at the end of a long hike.


  4. pubs after a long hiking is always the best of the ideas. CHEERS

  5. Such a pretty town centre! The Bear must've been quite a swanky coach stop a couple of hundred years ago. If you'd done the whole walk you'd have worked up a thirst and a half.


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