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Review and Video of The Granary, Brecon Beacons, Wales

Posted by Paul Miles at 12:11 on Wednesday 19 June 2013

With its big crunchy gravel drive and a double-height reception room where a grandfather clock ticks, this former granary is rather grand and peaceful, says Paul Miles.

>> For contact details and availability, see our full listing for the Granary

>> Joyce Shaw from The Granary B&B is a Brecon Beacons National Park Ambassador

The terrace at the Granary. Photo © Paul MilesThe terrace at the Granary. Photo © Paul Miles

The setting
On the outskirts of Talgarth, beyond its pretty church and up and down narrow lanes, this 19th century stone and slate building sits within a complex of properties that once provided the local hospital (now closed) with food.

Watch our video of The Granary:

The rooms
The three guest bedrooms, all upstairs, all en-suite, have high ceilings with exposed beams and joists, wooden floors, comfortable firm beds, Victorian dark wood furniture and large bathrooms. One room, ‘Autumn’ at the back, overlooking the manicured garden, has a window through which grain used to be loaded into the granary. ‘Summer’ is the only room with a bath, a very nice roll-top one it is too. All rooms have TV/DVD and wi-fi. Downstairs, in the dining and living room, the tasteful renovations of previous owners have been personalised with new owners’ Joyce and Ray Shaw’s interior style.

The lovely wooden staircases at the Granary. Photo © Paul MilesThe lovely wooden staircases at the Granary. Photo © Paul MilesThe food
Her breakfasts have made Joyce a cover girl: she appears on the front of a pamphlet about the National Park, wielding a frying pan of sausages and bacon. She’ll happily cook vegan or veggie alternatives though and makes sure all her ingredients are as local as possible, with the meat from butchers, W.J George in Talgarth, where they have their own abattoir. Bread is made from Talgarth mill’s flour, eggs are from the neighbour’s hens and some vegetables that feature in your evening meal (on request) – potatoes, peas, beetroot – are grown in their small vegetable plot. On fine days, breakfast is served outside on the terrace overlooking the back garden, otherwise it’s in the dining room.

If you have a creative urge you’ve never exercised or want to develop your talents, the building right in front of The Granary is a studio where, from October until July, artist Niel Bally holds courses in mono-printing, life painting and still-life (http://artcourseswales.com). Otherwise, some famed mountain bike routes go right past the front door, including a 32-miler known as the ‘Killer’, the only black route in the Brecon Beacons National Park. There’s bike storage and cleaning available and bikes can be delivered if you don’t bring your own. There are many footpaths. (Talgarth hosted its first walking festival in 2013.) Black Mountains Gliding Club (blackmountainsgliding.co.uk) is nearby and offers tandem rides and lessons all year round. If that seems too much excitement, Ray can take you to play a game of outdoor bowls in Talgarth or you could sit on the decking in the neat back garden with a book from Hay-on-Wye (nine miles away).

The green
Joyce buys as much local produce as possible and they grow some of their own vegetables. The property is double-glazed. Low-energy light bulbs and A-rated appliances are being phased in.

Roll top in the lovely bathroom. Photo: Paul MilesRoll top in the lovely bathroom. Photo: Paul Miles

Public transport
Ray or Joyce will collect you from Abergavenny train station, some 20 miles away. Or you could take a train to Hereford and a bus – number 39 – to Talgarth from there.

Top tip
Bedroom ‘Summer’ with its roll-top bath (and large shower) is less expensive than the bigger, garden-facing ‘Autumn’ but is more cosy and romantic.

Within easy reach of all the Black Mountains have to offer, it’s a comfortable and convenient base for those exercising their artistic talents. 

>> For contact details and availability, see our full listing for The Granary

>> The Granary is featured in our Greentraveller Guide to Mid Wales


Blogs posts categorised as 'Reviews' have been written with the support of one or more of the following: accommodation owner, activity provider, operator, equipment supplier, tourist board, protected landscape authority or other destination-focussed authority. The reviewer retains full editorial control of the work, which has been written in the reviewer's own words based on their experience of the accommodation, activity, equipment or destination.

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