Nestled in a quiet valley in Mid Wales, about 11 miles from Aberystwyth, lies the Brynarth Country Guest House. It’s an incredibly picturesque cluster of 17th century white washed stone farm buildings, grouped around a central courtyard. It’s quiet, peaceful, surrounded by trees and also a great base for exploring cycling in the local area.
Run by James and Stuart, we were immediately impressed with the friendly, welcoming and most importantly relaxed atmosphere they created.
Brynarth is interesting because it markets itself as bike-friendly. This is good news for cyclists, as not every guest house is happy when you turn up with a road bike or a muddy MTB.
As well as serving breakfast, you can also order evening meals, which is great if you’ve been out all day riding and don’t want to go in search of your dinner elsewhere. That said there are great places to eat within a short drive.
Perfect for: Groups and couples, and of course cyclists. The communal lounge is incredibly cosy, and the courtyard tables, games room and field give you plenty of outdoor space to play with too.
Picture yourself: Enjoying breakfast outside in the sunshine in the summer, or relaxing with a drink sitting in the cosy lounge in front of the fire in the evening.
Price: From £80 per room per night for doubles, and £45 per night for a single room.
Address: Brynarth Country Guest House, Lledrod, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales, SY23 4HX
Telephone: 01974 261367
How to find it: Brynarth is located not far from Lledrod, so take either the A485 or the B4340. If you find your satnav attempting to direct you down a farm track, don’t do it! It’s trying to get you to cross a ford, and it’s not the right way anyway. Keep going, and it should recalculate another route – the right route! The best directions are on the Brynarth website.
Parking: Easily accessible and large car park with a wide entrance. There’s plenty of room for a number of car, and vans or small minibuses won’t have any trouble parking up either.
Bike storage: The location provides some security, as the bike store is located in part of one of the main buildings. The store itself is a locked room in one of the stone farm buildings, that is accessed from the courtyard.
Cycling in the area
The nearby roads are quiet and well-surfaced for road cyclists, and Brynarth is located right next to Lon Cambria and Lon Tefi, Part of Route 81 of the National Cycle Network that goes from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth. For the mountain bikers there’s plenty to choose from with places like Nant y Arian and Machynlleth nearby.
Nant y Arian trail centre offers 3 trails, plus parking and cafe in the centre itself. Look out for the Red Kites!
Machynlleth has the Mach 1, Mach 2, Mach 3 and CliMachX trails – the latter of which is reputed to have the longest singletrack descent in Wales! There’s no trail centre, so you’ll need to plug in the postcode to your satnav to find where to park.
Coed Trallwm in the beautiful Elan Valley is perfect if you fancy some wild, natural riding. The trail centre is the perfect base to head out from.
If off the beaten track is your thing, and you want to explore the area with someone who knows it well, check out Mid Wales Mountain Bikes Guides.
One thing that really stood out as we toured the area was how good the surfaces were on the majority of roads. Most were smooth, many were freshly tarmacked, and would be a pleasure to ride on.
Head to the Elan Valley for long rides with beautiful views, and some challenging climbs!
With fresh and cosy décor, the rooms are all of a reasonable size, and most of them come with ensuite facilities. The rooms are split between two buildings, with two double bedrooms in the central building, and several more in one of the side buildings, including some singles.
We stayed in their biggest room. High ceilings with wooden beams, a large double bed, plus an ensuite bathroom with shower gave us plenty of room for lounging about in. We’d have liked a bath in the room, but there was one in a separate room just across the hallway, that’s shared with the room next door.
Over in the other building there are a selection of doubles and singles, most of which are also ensuite with either bath and shower or shower. Again, expect wooden beams, cosy decor and woodland views.
Downstairs in the main building lies the dining room, and next door to that an incredibly cosy lounge with large soft sofas and a wood burning stove. Brynarth also has a teeny bar and snug, so you can settle in for the evening with all your creature comforts taken care of.
The third stone building houses a games room, with pool and table tennis, plus an extra room with sofas that operates as the TV room in warmer summer months.
Brynarth has several acres of land, so you can go for a stroll around the grounds after dinner. Wander down and say hello to the chickens, past the stream, up through the bluebell littered woodland and back over the little brook to the hostel. Don’t forget to say hello to Brian the Dog! He’s very friendly.
Food and Drink
The food was everything we’d hoped for an more – local products, cooked well. Absolutely perfect for a country retreat.
Breakfast: Served from 8.00 to 9.30, you can start off with juice, fruit salad, cereal and yoghurts. After this you can choose between a full Welsh breakfast, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, porridge or a bacon buttie, plus tea, coffee and toast with condiments.
We opted for the full Welsh and it didn’t disappoint. Everything was cooked to perfection and served piping hot. The sausage and bacon were both sourced from the local butchers and were spot on. A tasty egg comes courtesy of the Brynarth chickens, or from local freerange hens.
Dinner: You can opt to have dinner at Brynarth too, and it’s nice to not have to worry about going out again in the evenings to find food, particularly if you are in a group. There’s a different meal every night, with a vegetarian option, and you need to let Stuart and James know in advance whether you’d like to have it.
We had smoked haddock on new potatoes with a poached egg and mustard cream sauce, and it was delicious. It was also huge! With a nice salad on the side, it was the perfect post-ride protein fueled meal.
Desert was the ultimate comfort food – apple crumble with custard. In a delicious twist from the usual recipe, there’s a tang of orange and cinnamon from the apples, and ginger in the crumble. I could eat several bowls of this!
A great location to base yourself for a weekend of exploring the road cycling and mountain biking the areas has to offer. This is a great spot for groups, but works equally well for couples. It’s well set up to welcome guests year round, with pretty much everything you could wish for taken care of.
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