My Personal View: From a Brecon Beacons Phtotographer

David Meacham is a professional photographer, designer, writer and editor. A proud Welshman, David has lived and worked in the Brecon Beacons for many years and sells his images of the area to people all over the world as well as providing images to tourism operators here in his beloved Wales.

David is the co-owner of Pickledegg Design and Photography, a company which he runs with his daughter Marie McDonald. He is a keen walker and cyclist and likes to share the things he sees en route through his often-whimsical writing and by showing his images on Facebook and other social media.

Panorama of the Beacons taken from above Dering Lines Barracks ©

1.    Where I live could be described in one word as magical.

2.    I would take a first-timer to the Brecon Beacons to the Trefil Tramroad starting at Talybont-on-Usk (including the Henry Vaughan Garden) and also to Sgwd Clun Gwyn near Ystradfellte and Llangors Lake.

3.    My favourite restaurant is The Pilgrims’ Tea Rooms because on the menu is just good, simple food, cooked well and without any of the pretentious nonsense that seems to surround eating these days

Beacons from Groesffordd – just above the pub ©

4.    My favourite pub is: Don’t do pubs much but when I do I head for the Three Horse Shoes, Groesffordd because the company is good the food is brilliant and it’s not far from the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal which is one of my favourite places to walk.

5.    My favourite view of the Brecon Beacons is from the hills above Dering Lines Barracks, especially in the evening.

6.    You can buy great gifts at loads of places but Talgarth TRIC, Talgarth Mill Shop and Beacons’ Crafts in Brecon are arguably the best.

7.     If you’re on a budget the best advice for the

Entrance to Henry Vaughan* Garden on the Trefil Tramroad from Talybont-on-Usk ©

Brecon Beacons is to consider bunkhouse accommodation. There are loads of good bunkhouses in the Beacons’ area, I know they are all top notch because I was contracted to photograph them.

8. The best way to see the Brecon Beacons is with your head out in the weather – in other words walking or cycling some of the fantastic routes that are available all over the Beacons and beyond.

One of my favourite walks is around Llangorse Lake from Llangasty to the fabulous new bird hide and then on to the Lakeside Restaurant and the pier. When I’m feeling more energetic, cycling the Taff Trail from Brecon up through the gap to Torpantau is a wonderful way to spend a day. My other favourite cycle trip is along from Cradoc to Sennybridge, up the old road to the National Park Visitor Centre for a cup of tea and a cake then back down to Brecon through Ffrwydgrech.

Sgwd Clun Gwyn – waterfall near Ystradfellte

9. To escape, I go to: Having moved recently to Talgarth I’m busy exploring some of the routes around the Black Mountains. The walk from the town up through the dingle and across the gliding club to Castell Dinas, an Iron Age Hill Fort with stunning views on a clear day, is brilliant, especially if you deviate from the written route slightly and come back down though Pwll-yr-Wrach (The Witches Pool) where there is a picturesque waterfall.

10. The best season to travel to the Brecon Beacons is: Difficult to chose a best season to visit – all of them have their merits – spring brings carpets of flowers in the woodlands which is great for photographers. Summer is great for camping and cycling and to see some of the fantastic local shows and the famous Brecon Jazz and winter can turn the mountains into scenery to rival any in the world.

Speaking as a photographer though my favourite is the autumn because of the colours in the trees and the heather and the early morning mist in the lovely river valleys of the Usk and Wye.

Seasons don’t matter much here really, nor does the weather, so bring the right clothes for all eventualities and do your thing regardless.

All images copyright © David Meacham 2011/12

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