Black Mountain Tipi Retreat

UK Wales Mid Wales Powys Crickhowell

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
Tipi, hot tub, mountains, stars… take your pick

Hear ‘Black Mountains’ and you might (understandably) picture raven-black, prodigious, unending hills that cast eerie shadows in a scene illuminated by a cloak of stars... But you won’t find anything dark or foreboding about this tipi retreat, which sits peacefully among the brooding peaks that bristle not black, but envious green in a variety of impassioned hues. Here the mountains watch jealously as you frolic in your very own private tipi camp, itself ringed by token sheep and wild Welsh meadow.

There is envy all round as you approach Ty Croes, the family farmhouse belonging to Jilly, your ever generous and warm host. Her home is nothing short of a picture-perfect fantasy – the stuff rural-escape dreams are made of. And as you are transported by quad bike to the meadow, you’ll find yourself scared to make a sound, lest it disturb the serenity of this secluded spot.

Your sight will be caught by the authentic, towering Native American tipi first, followed by its complementary counterparts – a rustic kitchenette, a House & Garden-style dining area and your own private (and sort of beautiful) toilet and shower room. And because each of them are so snugly sheltered, you can enjoy your tipi camp in any weather that Mother Wales may send your way.

Sidestepping the tipi for one second, it must be disclaimed that even though the Cool Camping folk love all things natural and the great outdoors, we do have one weakness for the man-made, in the form of two words: hot…tub. Combine the therapeutic bubbles with the mountainous backdrop and this tipi retreat offers one corker of a USP. Throw in a sauna (yes, a sauna) and your fate is sealed – Jilly will have to start employing bouncers just to ensure people leave.

And we’re back in the room, ahem, tipi. The inviting interior is spacious but cosy, and the lining is brought to life with hand-painted Native American artwork. Yet if it’s the outdoors that floats your dinghy, then the Brecon Beacon National Park doesn’t ever disappoint. If moseying around country villages is a bit more up your cobbled street, then head for nearby Crickhowell, almost impossibly idyllic, it’s a little like Countryfile meets Midsommer Murders – without the murders.

So, you have two options upon leaving Jilly’s retreat. Either dig yourselves a hidey-hole in the meadow grounds and wait till the coast’s clear to resurface and sneak back in; or work for Jilly as a bouncer and ask for staff benefits. Then again, you could just book another visit. But don’t forget: the Black Mountains will be watching you….

Details

Facilities

Campfires and barbecues allowed. The tipi has 1 double futon with warm bedding; Jilly can provide additional beds in the tipi for up to 4 people in total (additional bedding is £10); sheepskin rugs. A cosy kitchenette with cooking utensils and cutlery for 6 people, double gas ring cooker and grill, a fold-out barbecue, kettle, candles, firelighters and matches, spice rack, coolbox and ice packs, hot water bottles, bottled drinking water. A large sheltered decking dining area. A wooden outhouse compost-toilet with hand soap and mirror, plus a separate hot-shower shed. Outside you have a tap and washing-up area, a picnic table, recycling facilities, chopped wood, an axe and shears for foraging, a hammock, swing seat next to a firepit and solar lights. The picturesque Cwm Banw River runs alongside the camp. Jilly will also let you use her very secluded hot tub and sauna/home spa at an additional cost of £9 per person, pre-book to avoid disappointment.

Additionally, Jilly offers holistic healing retreats, massages, yoga and meditation classes onsite. For more information contact the site.

Suitable For

Additional tents, couples, families, groups (if pre-arranged), dogs – yes. Caravans, large campervans – no.

Nearby

You’re in the vortex valley of the Brecon Beacons National Park – the options are endless. Black Mountain Activities (01497 847897) offer a great choice of canoeing, rock-climbing, archery, gorge-walking, caving and more. Otherwise, just don your best walking boots and explore the surrounding 45 acres – Jilly will provide many top walking suggestions.

For something that exercises your tastebuds instead, try your luck at making your own chocolate with Black Mountain Gold Chocolate (01873 812362).

Food & Drink

Crickhowell village is the local food hub and the Bear Hotel (01873 810408), dating all the way back to 1432, offers truly sensational seasonal Welsh food – a tad pricey but worth it. Black Mountain Gold Chocolate (01873 812362) showcases some of the finest looking (and tasting) handmade chocolate around – definitely worth grabbing a coffee at too. Thompsett Fish & Chips is great for a takeaway fish supper. Our fave is M T Cashells butchers – grab a few steaks and stonebake them on the campfire.

Opening Times

Easter–November.

Location

Black Mountain Tipi Retreat, Ty Croes, Llanbedr, Crickhowell, Powys NP8 1SY

Show Map

Getting There

From Abergavenny, take the A40 south west onto Brecon Road and follow it for approximately 6 miles, until you reach Crickhowell. At the Shell petrol station, turn right onto Llanbedr Road and go past the Swan Inn pub. After about 3 miles you will arrive at Ty Croes farmhouse on your left. Warning: don’t rely on your satnav.

Catch a train to Abergavenny, hop on local bus no. 43 to Crickhowell and then get a cab (or walk if brave) to the site.

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