It is not often that things live up to their marketing spiel, but actually the Priory Mill Farm campsite comes pretty damn close.
Situated just outside the town of Brecon, Powys, just North of the Brecon Beacons, Priory Mill Farm is on the banks of the river Honddu. We stayed mid-week in March 2010 (we were unsurprisingly the only ones there!) for two nights at a cost of £7 per person per night plus £1 per night for the dog.
If you want a truly special, small, secluded place to camp, this stunning riverside meadow will provide it. The level, grassy field meanders alongside the river offering plenty of space and privacy. The only buildings visible are the traditional stone built farmhouse and watermill. The nearby road is unclassified and quiet, so the only noises are the gentle swirling of the river, the inquisitive hens and sometimes the Tawny Owls at night.
Despite the time of year, the site was in excellent condition – you camp on one of several flat areas of ground (I suppose you could call them meadows) on the banks of the river, and we were (quite reasonably) asked to park on some hard standing, rather than driving on the grass (there is a wheelbarrow you can borrow if you have loads of stuff!).
The main meadow has the best access to the site’s facilities (the other fields would be more of a trek!) which consist of a recycling area (they are big on recycling), an outdoor open air washing up area, and a toilet / shower block. The layout does seem a little bizarre – for men the urinal and sink is behind one door, with the shower (50p a go) and toilet behind another door each. The sink has hot water (heats up very quickly), but the outdoor washing up area does not – again very odd!
The site has metal fire trays available to borrow, and reasonably priced locally produced charcoal and firewood on sale (I can imagine the trays being very popular at busy times, so get one early!). There are also log seats you can borrow.
The only part of the blurb above I disagree with slightly is the road – you will notice traffic passing above you – it isn’t a busy road, but there is traffic. Generally though it is not enough to spoil the tranquillity of relaxing beside a gurgling stream in front of a campfire, listening to the owls, whilst enjoying a bottle of locally brewed beer. The peacefulness is further helped by their no noise after 10.30pm policy and at the same time the lights in the cabin turn off!
The owner was very friendly and nice, and each morning he came over for a chat as he walked his dog around the site. The walk to town takes about 10 minutes, and once you leave the campsite there is a pavement the whole way.
Overall this is a brilliant campsite which, despite the odd layout of the facilities, I would recommend. £7 does not seem particularly expensive to me.
Good: Peaceful, relaxing, friendly, well looked after and clean site
Bad: Bizarre layout of facilities, especially washing up outside with cold water