Day 6, Thursday 8 September: Builth Wells to Brecon (33 miles, 570 m ascent)
The Sustrans map indicated that this was going to be a relatively easy day’s cycling and after a few undulating miles overlooking the River Wye, which by now is a substantial and beautiful river, we reached Erwood and the Craft Centre where we stopped for a tea break and some bara brith. A few miles later we reached Boughrood, where the Black Mountains started to come into view, and then we soon arrived at the very attractive old Radnorshire village of Glasbury. Having decided that we had time to get to Talgarth before lunch, we cycled on but had to pick our way carefully through several miles of thorn-rich hedgerow cuttings which littered the route. Fortunately we managed to avoid any punctures before stopping at the Mill in Talgarth for excellent soup and tea. The Mill is an interesting project, having been taken over by local people, authentically refurbished and run as a co-operative enterprise - it’s well worth a stop. While we were in Talgarth we also took the opportunity to visit the grave of Richard Livsey, the former MP and a colleague of John’s when they worked together at Aberystwyth. From Talgarth our route took us to the pretty village of Llanfilo; its church is dedicated to St Bilo and has Norman masonry although it has been altered and extended over the centuries, the 16C screen and rood loft, restored between 1913 and 1951, are particularly notable.
Another steep climb out of Llanfilo led us to more great views of the Powys countryside with the Brecon Beacons in the distance. Arriving in Brecon somewhat earlier than we’d anticipated, we took the opportunity to check tyre pressures at ‘Bikes and Hikes’ – a big thanks to Keith and Arlene for their ready support. That night we stayed at the Coach House B&B in Orchard Street, opposite Christ College Brecon, and enjoyed an excellent breakfast. The Bridge Café, a bistro just along the street where we had supper, was also first rate.