Where: Priory Mill Farm, Brecon, South Wales,
How Much: £7.50 per adult, £4.50 per child (2-11)
Campfires: Yes, only in braziers but you can borrow them free of charge.
Wood: £5 per bag of logs
Facilities: Lovely toilet and shower block, a river and short walk to Brecon.
So much about this campsite is great. It has been well thought out, the facilities have been built with skill and charm, the Mill House is beautiful, they do not overcrowd the site and they do rent out fire pits. The site lies in a fairly narrow ribbon alongside a lovely tumbling river, just the right sort for kids to play around in, making dams etc.
On the down side, as you are down in a small valley it does feel a little enclosed, I was frustrated that I was in the Brecon Beacons with no mountains in sight. The road next to the site, although minor, is fairly busy during the day and being in a small valley the noise is a bit amplified. Where we were pitched was perhaps the worst spot. The river is behind a big screen of trees and down a steep bank so I did not feel able to leave the kids (one of whom is only 3) to play in the river by themselves, as I couldn’t see them. Of course, no fault of the owners and I certainly am not suggesting they should cut the trees down but just an aspect that made it slightly less than perfect for me, however, it was a good patch of shallow river great for building dams etc and would be great for slightly older kids.
Unfortunately, I had been unable to book a fire pit, having been assured that one would be available. When we turned up I was rather disappointed when it turned out there were none left. They did agree that we could use our fold up barbeque as a fire pit, and I was a happy camper once again. But I fear my experience was slightly tarnished in those important first moments of arrival. In addition, having set up camp at the far end of the site on a rather scrubby bit of land as we were in a campervan, I was somewhat miffed to find a campervan parked right in the middle of the lush meadow the next day.
The Brecon Beacons is a fantastic national park and our explorations of it are far from over. Priory Mill has done a lot right but I think you need to pitch in the right spot to get the most from it and try to insist on reserving a fire pit!
I have since been in contact with the owner of Priory Mill and I told her about my experience. She had the following to say:
I’m really sorry that your experience with us was not so great.
I’m not sure when it was that you came to stay, but it really is very rare for us to run out of fire-pits.
We had a few fire-pits stolen from our site towards the end of last year (quite disheartening) which meant that a couple of times we ran out, but only over one or two weekends at the end of the summer holidays. Noel has since made some more to replace these.
We are still planning on sticking with our honesty system this year (and lending our fir-pits out) rather than a deposit system (too complicated) in the hope that people will honour this and not take them home!
We have done quite a bit more clearing on the river bank this winter so that the river is more accessible than it was…. and sunnier too.
We have an area at the far end of the field that we use for campervans as it has hard core under the grass. This means that we can have campervans park there without damaging the grass where the ground is much softer.
Occasionally we have had people taking their campervans onto the softer grass area….. (possibly misunderstanding our directions to the hard standing area?)….. it is then difficult for us to insist that they move once they’ve set up, but I can see that this could be annoying to witness as a camper who has followed our request!
We endeavour to keep both the site and the grass in as good a condition as is possible until the very end of the season (end of October), but a very wet summer can make this quite a challenge. Keeping vehicles off the grass helps to prevent a late summer mud bath !
Once again I’m really sorry that your stay with us was not more enjoyable and I hope that if you come again it will be a better experience.