Middle Ninfa Farm
If ever a hill can be said to cascade down into a valley it’s the Blorenge, halfway up which perches the smallholding of Middle Ninfa (‘charcoal burner’ in Welsh). From its three tiny and secluded wild pitches on the edge of the Brecon Beacons you can imagine yourself an eagle lording it over the Usk Valley. A little closer to hand, though still far below, is the owners’ cottage with its tennis-court-cum-croquet-lawn, next to which is a space for another tent or two. Even down here the view is an extraordinary one, off out into the blue and across to the Skirrid mountain. Around the fire listen out for tawny owls in the woods, the occasional scream of a steam train’s whistle, and the crack of wood on wood if other guests are playing on the croquet lawn (or the crack of wood on scalp if things have become sufficiently heated). In the morning, expect a visit from a playful young cat and one exceedingly gentle chestnut horse who is all happy to be made a fuss of and careful not to tread on anything she shouldn’t. A short trek upwards leads to a wonderful nature reserve and pond, while vertigo sufferers can check themselves into a luxurious bunkhouse by the cottage. Meanwhile, the site’s eco credentials even run to a compost loo in a tiny shed in the garden. And just in case all this were not heaven enough, you can book yourself a session in Middle Ninfa’s very own wood-fired sauna. Just spare everyone the jokes about becoming a Ninfa-maniac.
FacilitiesLoos (compost): 2 Unisex. Showers: One solar-heated shower. Other facilities: Wood-fired sauna (small charge), fruit and veg for sale depending on season (sweetcorn, courgettes, tomatoes, spinach, chillies, rocket, hunter beans, damsons, grapes, apples & more), maps of local footpaths to borrow. Stuff for children: Tennis court, croquet lawn. Recycling: Everything. Dogs: At owners’ discretion (sheep, ducks & horses around). Fires: Open fires (wood £2.50 per bag – campers are not permitted to gather wood from the farm); BBQs off grass.
NearbyBig Pit, Blaenavon (5½ miles) – join an underground tour of the mine and discover what it was like to be a coal miner; 01495 790311. Llangorse Multi Activity Centre (16 miles); go skytrekking, horse-riding, climbing; or get wet, muddy and impossibly disorientated tackling the dingle scramble; 01874 658272.
Food & DrinkGoose and Cuckoo (free house), Upper Llanover (3 miles) – cosy award-winning country pub (‘Goose and Gander’ map showing footpath route to pub available on site); 01873 880277 (credit cards not accepted).
Opening TimesAll year.
Ordnance Survey Grid Ref: SO 285115
Co-ordinates for Satnav
Lat. 51 deg 47min 54.66 sec N
Long. 3deg 2min 14.53 sec W
Middle Ninfa is located approximately two miles from the A465 (Hereford/Neath), A40 (Brecon/Monmouth and M50) and A4042 (Newport, M4). The farm is reached by a steep winding tarmaced road from Llanfoist, crossing the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.
Train station: Abergavenny (2½ miles) – Newport to Hereford line. It costs around £8 for a taxi from the station to the site; tell the driver to go the Llanfoist way.
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