Crickhowell, Wales  » Travel  »
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  • Until fairly recently I was not only ignorant of what an interesting little town Crickhowell was, but was barely even conscious of its existence, tucked away as it is in the Brecon Beacons National Park
  • I would recommend beginning with a nose around the main shopping street, rather unexcitingly known as High Street
  • Possibly the best of these are the simply named No
  • The latter in particular is known for its excellent cakes - I also very much enjoyed the cup of tea I had here, something which is always a vital consideration for me
  • Unfortunately it is not that easy to get a good view of the bridge without walking along the banks for a little way, and on the far side at least this involves trudging alongside a busy A road

    • by fredhound
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      Until fairly recently I was not only ignorant of what an interesting little town Crickhowell was, but was barely even conscious of its existence, tucked away as it is in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Having now seen the place for myself, I can only unreservedly apologise to its inhabitants and other fans, since it turned out to be an extremely pleasant destination for a visit, and I certainly intend to go back again in the future. It is probably a little small for a full day, but as an afternoon destination it would seem to be ideal.

      Getting to Crickhowell is relatively straightforward by the standards of many places in this somewhat remote part of the United Kingdom, although the nearest railway station is the one in Abergavenny, some seven miles to the east. From there, however, there does exist an acceptably useful bus service, with the Sixty Sixty company’s route 43 running through about five times in each direction each day - though do be careful, as it doesn’t operate on Sundays! If you arrive by car, thenĀ  you


      will need to drive carefully through the narrow streets, and finding the car park can be a bit of a trial at first (in fact it is just east of the town centre) but parking charges are reasonable and there is usually ample space.

      I would recommend beginning with a nose around the main shopping street, rather unexcitingly known as High Street. Here you will be able to find an interesting variety of shops, some of which are a little bit out of the ordinary. The department store Nicholl’s, at the northern end of the road, is a perfect example of this. From the street it seems like a fairly small gift shop of a less than interesting nature, but when I ventured inside I was startled to discover its Aladdin’s Cave qualities - it goes back and back and back, seemingly for far further than the building’s size could reasonably accomplish! There is a good stock of clothing, giftware, toys and kitchen products, although no books or food and with a strong (and understandable) slant towards souvenirs.

      High Street is also ...


      • the place to go for a bite to eat. There are a couple of pubs which serve food, of which the bright pink Dragon Inn is probably the most striking, and several small bakeries and cafes. Possibly the best of these are the simply named “No. 18″, which has a cellar seating area making it less tiny than it would seem, and the upstairs Courtroom Cafe, which as its name implies is actually situated in a disused courtroom. The latter in particular is known for its excellent cakes - I also very much enjoyed the cup of tea I had here, something which is always a vital consideration for me! Crickhowell is a little short on more upmarket restaurants, but that isn’t something that really bothers me.

        A little way down High Street, if you look to the left you will see a strange isolated tower, located appropriately enough in Tower Street. This looks for all the world like the remnants of a castle, but in fact the largely ruined (and very photogenic) Crickhowell Castle lies elsewhere, on the green parkland

        to the north of Castle Street. Amazingly, this apparently unloved and unremarked tower is actually a folly, built for no reason other than as a bit of whimsy. I do think nevertheless that it is a bit of a shame that it does not at least bear a plaque explaining its reasons for being there, as at the moment it just looks neglected.

        The final major point of interest in Crickhowell is the bridge, several hundred years old and still used for motor traffic, albeit now controlled by traffic lights. Getting here involves a walk down the very picturesque Bridge Street - though this is pretty steep, so be prepared for a fairly taxing climb back up to the top! Unfortunately it is not that easy to get a good view of the bridge without walking along the banks for a little way, and on the far side at least this involves trudging alongside a busy A road. If you can get a photo, though, it will be worth it - and much the same applies to the town as a whole.




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