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February 15, 2018

Dog-Friendly Holiday in Brecon Beacons: Brecon Retreat (Reviewed)

How many hours have you spent on holiday and dog-friendly websites trying to find a pawsome dog-friendly holiday??  I can imagine it’s a LOT!  And I’ve been there with you, clicking that ‘pets-allowed’ link only to find a huge list of conditions, various small print and then feel like the holiday provider isn’t dog-friendly after all.    So whenever Millie and I head out on our adventures, we like to share them with you and try to save some of those painful hours researching.

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I’ll admit that our expectations were set high as we made the mammoth trip down to the Brecon Retreat.  Having seen several reviews and blogs about this family, dog and eco-friendly lodge, we were a tad excited to have booked our very first dog-friendly holiday in the Brecon Beacons!


Brecon Retreat Dog-Friendly Holiday in the Brecon Beacons

Brecon Retreat:  Dog-Friendly Holiday in the Brecon Beacons



Booking the Brecon Retreat was super easy.  You can search availability online via their website HERE and book and pay online.  You will need to pay a deposit with the balance due 8 weeks before your arrival date.   Even paying the balance was super easy.  You’ll receive a reminder to pay along with a link.

A couple of weeks before arrival, I received a really helpful booklet with in-depth information about what I’d find in the lodge and how to access.  No worrying about what I’d need to pack – they’d answered all those questions plus more!  I then received a text a few days beforehand with a code to access the lodge.

So far, so good.  Don’t you love somewhere that makes it easy to do this part?


Brecon Retreat Map of Location

The Lodge

Brecon Retreat currently has two properties to hire, though they are just a stone’s throw apart.  Swn Yr Afon, ‘Sound of the River’, is a four bedroom self-catering house and entertainment cabin, while Swn Y Nant, ‘Sound of the Stream’ is a 2 bedroom self-catering lodge.

We’d booked Sound of the Stream, suitable for 4 + 2 infants and after a long 9-hour journey from Scotland, Millie and I finally parked up at the lodge. The last hour of the drive was interesting as my sat nav decided to take me over the ‘hills’ in the dark! Talk about living on the edge and I suspect I may have cried if I hadn’t been looking forward to the week as much as I was.   If you follow the directions provided by the Brecon Retreat, you’ll get there quicker than I did and avoid those hills in the dark!  😉

But as expected.  The lodge was stunning and what a view greeted me that night!

Brecon Retreat: Dog Friendly Holiday in the Brecon Beacons


Dog Friendly Family Holiday Brecon Breacons Brecon Retreat

View from the upper mezzanine


Dog Friendly Family Hold Brecon Breacons Brecon Retreat

The gorgeous double bedroom on the mezzanine floor.


The lodge had been left with her lights on and it was so, so, so welcoming.  Music was playing quietly and the log fire was all set up and ready to light.  Bliss!

After dumping bags we had a quick explore around the two levels before Tesco arrived with our food delivery for the week.  Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda all deliver to the lodge with Morrison and Alidi also just 3 miles away. There are several local producers and butchers.

And those dog-friendly reviews that we’d based our booking on?

They were all spot on!! There really isn’t a crook or cranny that hasn’t been thought about. The furnishings, the technology, the doggy welcome pack, the equipped kitchen and on and on and on.  It seems Brecon Retreat’s pre-arrival info whilst spot on, could never really quite get across the care and love that has gone into creating such a fantastic space.

Dog-Friendly – YEP!

Child-Friendly – YEP!

Eco-Friendly – YEP!


Dog Friendly Family Hold Brecon Breacons Brecon Retreat


Key Information:

    • 1 double bedroom on mezzanine floor
    • 1 double/twin room on ground floor
    • Hot Tub
    • Gas BBQ
    • Fridge and Freezer
    • Washing Machine
    • The most amazing large bath with waterfall tap and HUGE walk in shower!
    • Iron and Ironing Board
    • Dog Bed and welcome goodies (Crate available upon request)
    • Large Flatscreen ‘Smart TV’ – HD and 3D in living room with further Flatscreen in bedroom upstairs
    • PlayStation 3
    • Blu-Ray DVD Player
    • Mini iPad
    • WiFi
    • Wood-Burning Stove
    • Outdoor water (for cleaning those muddy paws and wellies!)
    • Highchairs, travel cots and fireguard can be provided
    • Toaster and Kettle
    • Microwave
    • Hob and Oven
    • Cook and Ovenware


Helen howarth Brecon Retreat

I’m missing this view already

The Local Area

Having not had much time to research the local area in advance, I was so grateful to find the biggest folder of information in the lodge.  Millie and I mulled over the various walks, places to eat out with a large mug of filtered coffee (did I mention that little welcome hamper!?!?!??!).

The reality is, that given the location, you will need to get into your car to go exploring.  But you have booked a lodge with ‘retreat’ in the name. Would you expect anything less?

For Millie and I this was perfect! Thanks to Helen’s great little-handwritten notes and individual printouts of local walks, we quickly found two walks that started at the lodge and a number further afield for those adventures that we love.  Helen is a Brecon Beacons National Park Ambassador and so I was keen to take her advice and suggestions to make the most of our stay.

We were blessed with some fantastic weather during the week and made the most of it by getting outdoors.  However, given the location and how well equipped the lodge was, it would have been so easy to have bunkered down for five days and just chilled. Millie on the other hand… was keen on the adventures option.

We were in the Brecon Beacons after all and there was that hot tub to sink into to ease those weary legs.


Dog Friendly Family Hold Brecon Breacons Brecon Retreat

The river at the start of a local walk and just behind Brecon Retreat’s other property – perfect for a doggy dip!


Dog Friendly Family Hold Brecon Breacons Brecon Retreat

Sunshine in March? in Wales? Oooooh yes!


Dog Friendly Family Hold Brecon Breacons Brecon Retreat

Well…. we are in Wales!


Dog Friendly Family Hold Brecon Breacons Brecon Retreat

Time to sink in after a long walk in the hills!


Who’s Going to Love It

If you are looking to be right in the middle of a community with everything on your doorstep, then this isn’t the place for you. Looking for great nightlife, pubs and clubs? Nope, it’s not for you either.

However, the Brecon Retreat is somewhere that you can escape to. Whether you plan to down tools and not move from the lodge for a week (honestly, I think it’s possible given how well kitted out it is), or if you are someone who prefers to spend their holiday outdoors, then it’s perfect.

I can see why families and couples both are quick to book the lodge given its flexibility of space and I know Helen adds little touches for those special occasions too.

For me, I can’t go on enough about just how perfect this was for a dog-friendly holiday. It’s so rare in the UK to not feel like a second-class citizen because you have a dog. The Brecon Retreat is so much more than that and in fact, it makes you feel even more valued as a dog-owner.

Oh and if I haven’t persuaded you that this is really the best dog-friendly holiday you’ll go on, Helen just happened to pick up one of the Dog Friendly Awards.  They are officially the number one dog-friendly place to stay in the UK

Dog Friendly Family Holiday Brecon Breacons Brecon Retreat



Pricing and Availability

My midweek break (Mon-Fri) in March (2017) cost £510, which includes a £15.00 supplement per dog.  A week in August at Swn Y Nant, will cost £1,095.

The Lodge books out months in advance and you will have too book very early to secure weekend and school holiday dates. 2018 dates are already very limited.

We are already planning our return visit to the larger 4 bedroom Swn Yr Afon with friends next summer, so don’t book before be we do ;0) Oh ok.. go on then!!


Millie’s Top Tip

I was always going to be spoiled on this trip but remember to make sure your hoomans wash off both you and their wellies when back from a walk. I loved the warm water!

Make sure they also then pop the wood burner on for you and then get comfy on the sofa while watching a DVD.

I lurrrrrrrve Helen.  She has made sure the sofa’s have ‘sofa toppers’ just for me to chill out, just like being at home.


Dog Friendly Family Hold Brecon Breacons Brecon Retreat

Snooze time!


Dog Friendly Holiday Brecon Breacons Brecon Retreat

Yep – this was my favourite spot!


Links and Booking

You can find availability and prices over on the Brecon Retreat website HERE.

You can also have a snoop around on various social media sites or check out reviews on Trip Advisor:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/breconretreat/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/breconretreat/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BreconRetreat

Trip Advisor – https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/VacationRentalReview



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