Our NEW Google Plus Page

Aside from photography, I have had a little time while we have some bad weather to make headway on our Google Plus page bringing it up to a similar standard as our Twitter and Facebook feeds, run by Ceri and Emma, which do a great job of keeping it really fun and up to date with offers.

Brecon Cottages Google plus page

Our Google plus page, connect with us and share your photographs and experiences.

With our new Google Plus Page you can expect to find offers, last minute deals and some photographs of my trips out and about as I visit cottages to shoot interiors, or simply an afternoon stroll up the hill!

As well as this I am aiming to connect with our customers and am really interested in your experiences of visiting our beautiful countryside, your photographs of walks you have been on and your feedback if you have stayed at one of our cottages.

So create an account if you don’t have one and connect with us to share your experiences!

Happy blogging!

Lucy

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Photographer’s Insight: What a Summer… Part 2-Road Trips

As soon as there is a good weather day and I am not out taking photographs, Liz jumps up form her desk and says “Right! Let’s do some exteriors!” She is quite right, the weather will not stay like this for ever and grabbing moments of brilliance has been easy this year with our amazing sunny summer.

We ventured over to very West and Southern part of the National Park combining visits to new properties and sampling local cafes. As I have said before, Liz has an amazing memory for roads, and is the very best to go out and about with to see the countryside, she knows all the routes and back lanes.

We went passed Madog Barn, settled on the lea of a hill near Crai and got this shot looking over one of the hedges from across the valley, The clouds were moving fast that day and after a couple of minutes of waiting the light was perfect. This shot depicts the agricultural land and the valley views surrounding this beautiful converted barn.


 

We then headed over to a new property, The Old Wash House, which sleeps 6. As I don’t often come on new property visits (usually coming along afterwards with my lighting kit and spending a good amount of time setting scenes and creating lifestyle shots) I hadn’t expected to need the kit. Also I need to be a lot quicker on days like this to make the most of the day and Liz doesn’t like hanging around while either Paul or I shoot. So, while Liz finalized the agreement I wandered around the Old Wash House shooting without lights. The results were so pleasing and I didn’t feel that going back with the flash kit was necessary.

Take a look at the shots and let me know what you think? It’s a different style and form when you use natural light so it would be good to hear your opinions.

The area around the Wash House was so beautiful, the birds were twittering away, drinking from the ornamental ponds and rustling in the trees and you could smell the fresh cut grass, one of my special summer days.


 

On another day I went to see a new owner and property, Hunter’s Cottage. This time I took the kit, but it was missing a vital piece called a Radio Slave which fires the flashes off so we shot without flash. Working with available light is different, it makes things softer and less defined quite a lot of the time; great for smoothed out wedding portraits. AND fine if you are in the Med or have constant cloudless skies but a nightmare for fast work if you are a slave to the changeable Welsh weather.

Hunters Cottage is a sweet apartment perfect for 2 people, all on the ground floor, attached to the main house with a decking area that would be perfect for afternoon drinks or for relaxing in the sun. It really is in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by beautiful rolling hills. The owners are very accommodating, have their own horses and their own chickens as well, so look out for Fresh eggs for breakfast and see the beautiful horses.

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A Photographer’s Insight: What a Summer! …Part 1

Oh gosh…where to start.

The summer has been such a busy one for me, buzzing around the welsh countryside in the blue Brecon Cottages van. With weather as good as ours I have been ticking off many of the cottages on my list as well as keeping up with the latest additions to the BBHC line up. Interspersed with these are a few lifestyle seasonal shots and landscapes that I often forget about, as I am so concentrated on getting to the next location.

It was a brilliantly sunny day when Tom and I headed over to the new property, Outlook Beacons Edge near Glasbury, which comfortably sleeps 4. The cottage has amazing views across the valley meadows to the Beacons in the background. You can see from the shots what the view is like!

Also that day we shot interiors for the property next door, Beacons Edge, which has been with us for a long time and holds the same views.

Lisa’s Cottage was another one I did earlier on in Spring/Summer in the Aber Valley which is an ideal spot for anyone wanting to be near to walking routes such as the Taff Trail, the Henry Vaughan Walk and the Beacons Way and don’t forget the tough  Beacons Horseshoe as well as some more great walks up and onto the Beacons and Pen Y Fan. Also a great base to explore the waterfalls and adventurous cycle tracks through forests.

Then over to a really cute old stone cottage called Rock Cottage in Llangynidr. This village like Talybont-on-Usk is a popular one as it features the canal, the River Usk and Llangynidr mountain to the back as well as several pubs to choose from within walking distance.
The Glaisfer Stream runs below the stone wall along one side of the cottage garden and is a great place to spot trout and other river wildlife as well as the being soothed by gentle sounds of the flowing water.

Also not to miss is the Farmer’s Market in Llangynidr on the last Sunday of Each month in the Village Hall.

 

 

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Guest Blog | Alison Kidd | Eco- travel… even when it’s chilly!

We set up the Eco Travel Network two years ago because we wanted to offer Brecon Beacons visitors and residents a novel way of exploring the National Park that was fun, quiet and eco-friendly. Now everyone smiles and waves when they encounter one of our family of 11 electric Twizys whizzing silently along the lanes and hills or nipping around the streets of Brecon, Abergavenny and Hay

.Thumbs up for Twizy!

Tomos, Thierry and Tatyana are our local Twizys – you often spot them around the lanes of Talybont or even parked outside The Star Inn – whilst the crew refresh themselves with a pie and pint and the Twizy gets a top up electric charge from The Star Inn’s ever welcoming hosts.

But what about the cold and wet as winter comes on? Well you don’t get wet while you are driving along in a Twizy and a toasty coat and hat means you don’t really notice the cold either. Best of all, you can enjoy the autumn colours and smells and hear the rush of the streams and rivers in way that simply doesn’t happen in an enclosed car. You even get the odd leaf floating in and sticking to you!

The Eco Travel Network has been busy this year modifying a Twizy to give it a more rugged, rural look with bigger tyres and better suited to rough tracks and cattle grids. It will even carry a couple of bikes on the back! We’ve named the latest addition to the Twizy family ‘Toro’ (the bull) and, after a celebrity appearance at this year’s very muddy Hay Festival, we took Toro up to the Hebridean Isle of Eigg to see how well he might work there. They love him and Eigg is ideal for Twizys because the island has no mains electricity and generates all its own electricity from a mix of hydro, wind and sun so Toro is 100% green.

So, if you fancy trying a Twizy next time you visit us in the Brecon Beacons, just call up Brecon Cottages and they will book Tomos for you and show you places to go and interesting stopovers where you can get a top up charge for Tomos if he needs it. He probably won’t – he can do 40-50 miles on a charge. Twizys carry two people and have a top speed of 50mph. They can be charged from any 13amp plug and use 1/10th of the energy of a normal car.

And what next? The Eco Travel network has just ordered the Boma All Terrain electric wheelchair to add to its funky fleet next Spring. The Boma enables less mobile visitors or locals to accompany their friends and family on more challenging walks up hills and along horse or mountain bike trails. Watch this space for further information about the Boma’s availability through Brecon Cottages and the Eco Travel Network next year.SONY DSC

Follow Alison Kidd and her Twizy adventures on Twitter @ecofunkytravel

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Brecon Cottages in The Sun – Brecon in a Sweat

The Sun logoThe Brecon Beacons were featured in The Sun. Travel Editor, Matt Hampton, stayed at Danyfan and cycled a leg of the Tour of Britan route, with Drovers Cycles.

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British Holiday Cottages with Games Rooms

The Telegraph | British Holiday Cottages with Games Rooms | 11th February 2014 | Lizzie Porter and Joanna Symons list some of the best UK cottages with games rooms – great for this rainy weather! Bryniau Pell, Brecon is featured.

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Guest blog – Birdlife 5 – A good year for the birds

guest-blogger (Small)Steve Carrow owns the beautiful Nuthatch Cottage. The stunning gardens are a haven for bird life. Steve monitors the bird life for the British Trust for Ornithology and he is now doing a regular guest blog for us.  This is the fourth post of the series.

 

As the breeding season draws to an end we can look back on a successful time for our boxes. We had 28 boxes up, the most ever, so perhaps not surprisingly we had as many nests as ever, 16. Actually the percentage used was below most years, with the number of chicks fledged was 78 from 109 eggs laid.
This total was bettered back in 2008 when we had 87 from only 12 nests. Back then there were 10 blue tits nests, but following the disaster of 2009 when no blue tits fledged from 9 nests, we haven’t had over 6 blue tits nest in our boxes. On the bright side the other bird species have moved in and for the last 2 years we have had 5 different species in the boxes, with the pied flycatchers making up 5 nests.
We have regularly seen a spotted flycatcher with mouthfuls of insects flying from the electric cable to a ledge above our toilet window, also saw a wren building a nest in one of the clematis plants in the garden.
Still hear swallow chicks up in the nests in the barn.
Should be a good autumn for the resident birds with the hedgerows overflowing with sloes and hawthorn. I’ve not seen so many hazelnuts before and although the squirrels have already started to take them, there should be plenty to pick.
Jays are taking the wild plums from our garden hedge.
Birds at Nuthatch Cottage WSBC0025
So much going on.
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