While most summer tourists from over the border descend westwards to the Pembrokeshire coast or north to Snowdonian peaks, those in the know will tell you you're missing a trick in bypassing the rugged delights of the stunning Brecon Beacons. In the famed land of mountains and valleys, the Brecon Beacons stand out for their beauty.
Just outside the charming Brecon village of Trecastle lies the refreshingly no-frills Ynysfaen. This quiet site boasts acres of space, unencumbered by cars in the tents-only field. Exception to the rule, a cosy two-person shepherd's hut is the only four-wheeled thing around here and it's travelling nowhere fast. Well...perhaps not the only thing – there are also a trio of exclusive VW-campervan-only pitches. In addition, glampers can make the most of their digital detox in one of the brand new glamping bell tents. While cars are not permitted in the camping field, guests can load their gear in the colourful wheelbarrows provided. This low-impact ethos is in keeping with the site's enduring atmosphere of peace and tranquility. While it's the perfect base camp for exploring the Beacons and Black Mountains, Ynysfaen offers a relaxing retreat, soundtracked by tweeting birds and the gentle babbling of the River Usk.
Speaking of birds, the area has more than a few to keep the twitchers entertained. See red kites, red starts, buzzards, kingfisher, heron, wild mallard and woodpeckers. Keep your eyes peeled for foxes, badgers and even the occasional otter, wriggling from the Usk that weaves past the campsite.
Ynysfaen is also a great spot for stargazing, as it is in the Brecon Beacons National Park Dark Skies Reserve. The Usk Reservoir (a mile away) was named the darkest place in the reserve, so you can admire the twinkling night sky, free from light pollution. Owner, Jane, is also a Dark Skies ambassador and knows her Orion from her Ryanair. She's happy to give a helping hand or some suggestions if you want tips on making the most of the experience. Just one of many strings to her bow, Jane can also claim to be a Brecon Beacons National Park Ambassador and a Fforest Fawr Geopark Ambassador – so has plenty of current and historic knowledge of the area and can keenly advise on where's best to go.
The Owner SaysWe’re a small family-run campsite just two miles from Trecastle and 20 minutes west of Brecon in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park, which has recently been designated one of the five Dark Skies Reserves in the World. Our lovely old farmhouse is set in 5 acres. To call it 'beautiful' is an understatement – but we would say that, we live here!
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ReviewsAdd Your Review
Beautiful, peaceful, perfect
This is a beautiful place for stargazing
First time glamper... it will be hard going back.
Idyllic spot - spotlessly clean facilities
Peace, quiet and campfires!
Unspoilt, low key, relaxing
Beautiful and peaceful with brilliant facilities!
An absolute gem of a campsite!
My favourite campsite
Brecon Beacons Best Spot?
Lovely Campsite, beautiful location!
Rude and spoken down too! Avoid... Plenty of sites out there
First arrived, met the guy that runs it, lovely fella. Very welcoming. So far liking this. Really nice site. Good dark sky and a nice little stream along side. Calm atmosphere on the field, not too many people. However sadly this was all tainted when we encountered the wife. Very rude and abrupt and talks to you like you've just walked into her house on Christmas Day and peed on the kids!
Don't like being talked down too especially when I made a mistake about what bins to use. They were cleary labelled, glass, plastic, paper etc near to the exit, where most bins are located in 99% of campsites I've been too! However apparently these were the wrong bins. Instead of being politely shown I was talked too like someone who had just decided to take a dump in her bin(maybe I should have) When I went to move off I split the rubbish on the floor by accident. Instead offering to help, she chuckled and wondered off.
Also spoke down to my friend when he went to just look at what the deal was with the firewood. She again flings open her door shouts 'leave that alone, we will put some out later. Just leave it'. Annoying and unnecessary when we were just looking.
So behold the 'one star' Shame really, good manners and hospitality are important in this industry. Hope they learn from this!
Rules on a site are important, but so are manners and pleasant hospitality.
Response from Camping at Ynysfaen
Hi Micheal, we are sorry that you felt this way but I feel I need to explain myself. When all of our campers arrive they are shown where all of our amenities are, including that we only recycle our rubbish. Our bins are located in the washing up area and the place in which you were trying to dispose of your rubbish, was behind a building in which you would never have been made aware of. As for the firewood we can only see this as a bit of miscommunication. We have been in this trade for 10 years and often pride ourselves on customer service. Kindest regards Jane (the wife)
Warm and welcoming
Beautiful Shepherds hut
Beautiful Shepherds hut
Excellent Camp Site
My daughter and I spent a week here last summer, and were delighted with the campsite. Set in an idyllic location, with plenty of space and a superb shower block! Jane and Nigel were wonderful, helpful hosts too. This is a good spot for exploring the Brecon Beacons, and we had a lot of fun that week. Highly recommended.
Camping at its best
My 12 year old daughter and I have just returned from a camping tour of Wales, first stop was Ynysfaen. Jane and Nigel are perfect hosts going above and beyond to welcome their guests and providing assistance - the battery in my car key died part way through unpacking - luckily Nigel provided a spare free of charge! Their warm welcome was quite different to that experienced on other sites.
A stunning sheltered location, lots of space, incredibly clean and well located for exploring the Beacons - we enjoyed a fantastic days horse riding at Cantref Riding Centre.
I hope to bring the rest of the family back soon to stay at Ynysfaen.
camping at Ynysfaen
We've just got back from a really lovely Easter weekend spent at Ynysfaen.
My two children aged 3 and 5, my husband and myself and our dog had a great time. Jane and everyone else were very helpful from the minuet we got there. They helped tow out trailer next to the spot we wanted to camp (the very end of the field), showed us around and made us very welcome. The toilets and showers were immaculate throughout our whole stay, the showers were the best we have ever used on a campsite, no nasty timers or buttons to push.
The location is amazing, the sound of the stream and sheep in the background and the small stream for the children to paddle in. We saw lots of red kites, bats and we even think we spotted a back otter.
My children loved using the fire basket to toast marshmellows and bread over the fire.
Jane was very helpful whilst we were packing up and was there to help us with her quad and trailer to take things back to the car. We were running quite late packing up as my daughter was ill through the night and I let her sleep in that morning. We were told not to rush and take our time.
We had a great stay and will definitely be back in the near future.
Rachael, Ben, Maddie, Alex and Molly dog.
A lovely stay
We just wanted to write a belated thank you to the lovely couple who run the campsite. Arriving in Wales and our tent pole snapping as soon as we pitched was not what we envisioned for our first camping trip with our 18month old daughter. Jane and her husband went above and beyond the call of duty lending and pitching a tent for us which they luckily had spare. It was close to tea time and raining so it would have been a nightmare for us to begin finding alternative accommodation for the night. Our whole camping trip was a happy one, apart from the panic of the tent pole snapping of course. The site was quiet and immaculately clean and it was so lovely to return to the campsite after a long days walk for a clean hot shower. Also great to tuck the baby up in bed and sit outside watching the stars burning a wood fire . We will definitely be returning next year. Thank you again folks xxx
My partner and I stayed for three nights at this campsite at the start of June. Jane was very friendly and helpful. The site is lovely. Huge flat area to set up your tent and not over crowded. Firebaskets are available and it is lovely to sit around them in the evening. The shower / toilet block is very modern and always clean with lots of helpful local guides inside it including a daily weather update - although we found the weather a bit unpredictable. The site is about a mile and a half from Usk reservoir which is easy to walk to and about three miles from Red Kite reserve which we highly recommend visiting. The Showcaves are about a 20 mins drive away and again would definitely recommend a visit there. There is also lots of local walking with beautiful views nearby. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
My husband and I have just returned from two wonderful night at this site over May Bank Holiday. The site is a little gem - nestled in a stunning part of Wales near Trecastle - ideally located for the beautiful Brecon Beacons, and situated 'off the beaten track' with only the sound of birds, lambs and the gentle stream to lull you to sleep! Jane and Nigel are wonderful warm hosts who make you feel very welcome. The camping field itself is large, however as Jane and Nigel limit the number of campers it certainly does not feel crowded. We prefer our 'basic' camping.....however this site has all that you need to satisfy daily needs....lovely showers, toilets (all extremely clean) and washing up facilities, along with fridge/freezer storage. Thank you Jane and Nigel for making us feel so welcome and for sharing your 'home' with us!
2 wonderful nights
Just got back from a long Easter weekend in Wales, with 2 nights at Ynysfaen. We were incredibly lucky with the weather and that made for a truly magical stay. Jane gave us the warmest welcome and briefly showed us all we needed to see..... immaculate showers and toilets (free steaming hot showers not timer controlled), great undercover area for washing up (with washing up liquid and brush - just as well because we had forgotten ours!), fridge/freezer and the spring (the freshest drinking water ever), the recycling area and the store of fire baskets, logs and newspaper. And then the field..... beautifully flat, in a gorgeous valley and sparsely populated. With the soundtrack of sheep and birdsong it was an idyllic location. If you're looking for a quiet, well maintained, welcoming campsite please do not look anywhere else. It's perfectly located for Brecon, Pen y Fan and Llyn y Fan Fach (great walk and THE best views in the world). The abundance of adjectives should give you an idea of how we were blown away by Ynysfaen. Oh, and do not leave without the eggs and redcurrant jam - both as yummy as the campsite. We shall be back!
Great days by the Black Mountain
We stayed at Ynysfaen for 9 days in Sep 2013. The campsite sits in a quiet valley a couple of miles southwest of Trecastle, which is part way between Llandovery and Brecon, in a beautiful rural location not far from some of the great climbs of the Beacons.
The site consists of one field about 150 yards long, which is almost entirely flat (very unusual for such a size) and surrounded by trees, which gives it a cloistered enclosed field and shelters it from the winds to some degree. On the south side there is a small river, obscured by trees, but which creates a gentle aural backdrop, which sounded a bit like rain on occasion. If the road is followed past the nearby reservoir, one can reach the area of Llandeusant, home to a lovely horseshoe walk. We had plenty of space between our tent and our nearest neighbours; on the Saturday night there were probably a dozen tents on the field, but there was still a good space between tents. There was no queue for the facilities, although there might be if it had been busier. The grass of the meadow was mown close when we arrived and was mown again during our stay; after the mowing it felt like a carpet to the touch of bare feet. You can light a fire and fire baskets are provided and the owners requests that you buy the wood from them; a bag was costing £3.
The most striking thing about the campsite is the quality and cleanliness of the facilities: in a purpose-built wooden block there are 3 WCs, 2 sinks and 3 shower stalls; there is also a table displaying useful books and brochures and Jane, the owner, copies out the BBC weather forecast for Wales on a daily business, a nice touch. We have never seen a better standard of cleanliness than is present at Ynysfaen; it is truly exceptional and, because it is so clean, the campers tend to tidy up after themselves (as encouraged to do by the little signs the owners put up), so it becomes a virtuous circle. On the back of the block, there is a covered washing-up sink, double draining board and table with running hot water. Outside the toilet block, a few feet away, another hut contains a fridge/freezer.
Jane is a friendly presence around the site and is happy to stand and chat with the campers. There is nothing one can criticize about the site as it has all been thought through and executed really well. Highly recommended.
Camping at its best, excellent pitches, beautiful meadow, clean, safe. Eco-friendly, toilet and shower block, five star standard a credit to the owners. This site one the best we have camped in the passed 15years a great family gathering. With three tents,gazebo lovely campfire under the stars and new laid eggs each day. A fabulous time by all. Will return.
Warm & Welcoming
Words spoken by my son as he loved the atmosphere and the peace and quiet. Limiting the amount of campers helps with the overall ambience of the campsite. Facilities are excellent too as are the eggs :-). It was a perfect base for walking , exploring and geo-caching! Definitely will be returning.
We stayed here for one night in August 2013 to see how our new beagle pup would tolerate camping. Jane was lovely, v approachable and friendly. Campsite had a real nice homely chilled feel to it. Toilets and showers were modern and immaculate and fresh treated spring water was available for free - delicious! Fresh eggs and homemade jam were available to buy also. A great campsite with fab facilities in a lush location; what more could you want?! We'll definitely be back.
Solitude at its best
We stayed two nights at the end of June 2013 and were thoroughly impressed with Ynysfaen. The owners were approachable and had truly done their best to make this a beautiful campsite.
The car park is situated about 30 meters in front of the campsite so you unload into one of the colourful wheelbarrows when you arrive. There are three loos and three showers in a wooden out building which sits behind the owners farm house and hear the top of the camping field. Washing up is also available here, hot water is free and the owners had also thoughtfully provided soap, a cloth and a washing up brush :)
Our children enjoyed the garden and the riverbank area and we had a great campfire in the fire-basket provided to each pitch (provided purchasing wood for £5). We climbed Pen y fan and also visited some amazing waterfalls. I'm sure we will be back. I would have given an extra star for more information on local shops or even better more produce available on site to buy.
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