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Crickhowell is a small town that lies on the river Usk on the southern edge of the Black Mountains and in the eastern part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Crickhowell is a beautiful and scenic place that is home to a couple of thousand people.
I have travelled a lot to Crickhowell, either when passing through en-route to other destinations in south Wales, or when specifically visiting the town itself. The town itself is wonderfully charming that offers plenty to do and in this article, I will explore the best of what’s on offer.
1. Explore The History Of Crickhowell Castle
Crickhowell Castle is sometimes referred to as its alternative name “Alisby’s Castle” this is thought to be after a former governor of the castle, Gerald Alisby.
Although there isn’t much left to see of the castle these days, there are plenty of information boards dotted around which provide a good level of detail about the history of the site.
As well as the castle, the area in which it sits makes an ideal spot for a family picnic with lots of green space to sit and enjoy the wonderful surroundings.
A huge bonus for those travelling with younger children is the fact that there’s a play park located nearby which the kids will enjoy spending an hour or two.
There is also a car park located a short distance away from the castle grounds which makes for a nice, short walk.
2. Cruise In Style On Beacon Park Boats
If you wish to channel your inner sailor, embarking on a self-driving trip up the glorious Monmouthshire and Brecon canal aboard one of Beacon Park’s boats is just the thing for you!
Each of the boats is designed by Beacon Park who leads the way in UK narrowboat design.
It’s also possible to hop aboard one of these boats and use them as a splendid form of accommodation that provides excellent access to the nearby town of Crickhowell.
3. Enjoy Excellent Food At Nantyffin Cider Mill Inn
Did you know that the literal translation for the Nantyffin Cider Mill Inn is ‘the brook by the border’? The inn was originally a cider mill and you can still see some of the equipment such as the old cider press shown in the image above.
Cider is no longer made here, but it’s now one of the top food destinations in Crickhowell.
A stop at the Nantyffin Cider Mill Inn for dinner is an excellent choice whilst in Crickhowell. Only the best locally sourced produce is used which means the extensive menu offers an excellent choice of top-quality food that caters for all, at very reasonable prices.
4. Learn The History Of St Edmund’s Church
Spending some time visiting the church to learn the history of the building and why it is the only church in Wales to be dedicated to St Edmund.
Whilst on your visit you can expect to see beautiful stained-glass windows, and a very well-kept interior and exterior. The Church also regularly holds weddings so it’s likely that you’ll see one of these if you visit over a weekend2 (source: Trip Advisor).
5. Take A Walk To The Top Of Crug Hywel (Table Mountain)
Crug Hywel, also known as Table Mountain in English is an Iron Age Hillfort, which rises to 451m above sea level and offers stunning views of the town of Crickhowell from the summit.
As you’d expect with a climb of 451m, it’s a strenuous walk and should only be attempted if you have a good level of fitness, however, the views at the top make the walk worthwhile.
Parking is available at the nearby Crickhowell Information Centre and the walk should take approximately 2.5 hours in total.
6. Cross Over Crickhowell Bridge And Admire The Beautiful Scenery
A walk over this bridge when you’re in the area is well worth doing because it provides some excellent spots for pictures, plus the bridge is a fine example of 18th-century engineering.
There are also a different number of arches on either side of the bridge, which make it unique.
7. Enjoy The Beauty of Craig Y Cilau National Nature Reserve
Craig y Cilau National Nature Reserve is one of Wales’ most outstanding botanical sites, which is home to an exceptional variety of alpine plants and trees, some extremely rare.
With free access to the public, it makes for an excellent day out but please ensure you have the appropriate clothing and footwear if you intend on walking through the reserve.
As the site is a former limestone quarry your visit will enable you to explore the wonderful amphitheatre of cliffs and screens, which show you how large-scale quarrying used to take place here.
Dogs are welcome provided they are kept under close control, so feel free to bring them along to enjoy the experience.
8. Visit Crickhowell Resource Information Centre
The Crickhowell Resource and Information Centre (CRiC) is a volunteer-run organisation located in the heart of Crickhowell town centre.
A visit to CRiC is well worth it when in Crickhowell as the centre offers an excellent range of activities all under one roof, such as Oriel CRiC gallery which showcases different exhibitions, plus there’s an annual Crickhowell Open Art competition which attracts a mix of professional, emerging and amateur artists.
The on-site café also serves a range of hot and cold beverages alongside a great selection of locally baked cakes and snacks.
The centre is open from 10 am – 5 pm which allows for plenty of time to experience all of the attractions and stop for refreshments.
Is Crickhowell Worth Visiting?
Yes, Crickhowell is worth visiting because even though it’s a small town there’s still plenty on offer to keep people entertained. It’s also excellently placed as a gateway to either the Brecon Beacons or Abergavenny which are both a short drive away and can easily be accessed.
What Other Activities Are Nearby?
There might be a limited range of activities in Crickhowell itself, but there are plenty of other great things to do in the Brecon Beacons National Park, most of which can be reached within 30 minutes of driving.
Mike was born and brought up in Aberystwyth and is passionate about sharing his local knowledge. In his spare time, Mike is an avid cyclist, you'll find him along one of Mid-Wales' cycle routes or mountain bike courses.