Henstent

UK Wales Mid Wales Powys Penybontfawr

  • Good walks nearby
Good facilities; great location

To be perfectly truthful, there is nothing startlingly different about Henstent – it’s a typical small-ish caravan park and it even has a few statics occupying its immaculate acres. However, if you’ve read the entry concerning the remote and peaceful Pistyll Rhaeadr campsite, but you’re still not sure that you can live so simply (or simply can’t live with the rules) and if you’re still desperate to get intimately involved with the beautiful Berwyn Hills, then Henstent will more than save the day.

Suggesting that Henstent is a bad-behaviour alternative to Pistyll Rhaeadr is being grossly unfair – it’s just that Henstent is more ‘normal’. You’ll get short shrift if you behave badly, but you can quite safely sit out in the evenings with a glass or two of something. What’s more, the Tanat Valley is a very special place, with scenery just as majestic as the Lake District to admire, but with none of the traffic clogging up the roads, nor the crowds covering the hills.

The camping field, if field be the right word (as it’s more like a large garden), stands immediately next to the River Tanat, which is usually an affable little river, but in flood would necessitate a wary eye being kept on camping children. The river contains a healthy population of fish and consequently supports a wide variety of wildlife, all of which can be seen from the campsite itself. This includes otters, though patience will be needed to spot these elusive critters.

The site facilities cover most needs and are well maintained, but be aware that the provision of electric hook-ups doesn’t extend to the camping garden.

The Tanat Valley is well suited to several days out on bikes – down one side of the valley, back up the other – as well as a truly great pedalling expedition from the campsite over to the next valley, where Lake Vrnwy can be found and circum-cycled.

Most of all, though, the reason why Henstent is such a great campsite is the scenery in and around the Tanat, which offers walking routes to suit every taste and aspiration. These range from a gentle stroll around the cute neighbouring village of Penybontfawr, to a longer valley walk to the remarkable Penant Melangell Church, which as well as being one of the oldest churches in Britain, is one of the most atmospheric.

This must surely be one of the emptiest places in southern Britain and Henstent is a small and highly civilised oasis from which to explore it.


Details

Facilities

Hot showers (£1), flush toilets, laundry, dishwashing facilities.

Food & Drink

The Tanat Valley Inn (01691 860227) and the New Inn (01691 860229), both in Llangynog, have reasonable food, though nothing very adventurous. Of the two, the New Inn (just 300 years young) will have wider appeal, but the Tanat Valley retains more of a flavour of the heritage of the area.

Opening Times

Technically all year, but between October and March it’s essential to pre-book as they are prone to winter flooding.

Location

Contact Henstent, Llangynog, Powys SY10 0EP

Show Map

Getting There

From the A5 at Oswestry take B4580 through Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, then right onto the B4391 through Penybontfawr to the site, on the right just before Llangynog. A bus run by the Tanat Valley Bus company stops outside the campsite gate once a day from Oswestry railway station. Take a look at the times (www.tanat.co.uk).

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