The Upper Usk Valley

A land of history and legend in this quieter, wilder part of Wales

A traditional rural scene of patch worked green fields, deciduous woodlands and coniferous forestry complete with meandering rivers is the Upper Usk Valley. The area offers a natural beauty that rivals better well-known areas of Wales. Tucked neatly between the Mynydd Epynt, Brecon Beacons and the Carmarthen Fans, the Upper Usk Valley is regularly used by film and television companies attracted by its unspoiled countryside largely unchanged for 500 years.

This is the “Wilder Side of Wales” where the River Usk starts its 63 mile journey.

Close to the source of the River Usk, on higher ground is Llyn y Fan Fach. Legend tells the famous story of The Lady of The Lake, and her sons the Physicians of Myddfai. You can find this enchanting story told by Owen Staton:

Running through the Upper Usk Valley is the A40 trunk road connecting to Brecon at its eastern edge and to Llandovery in the west. Much of the A40 is an ancient Drovers Road which was also used by the bowmen and soldiers who set off to fight at Agincourt in 1415.

History is alive in the land. Discover pagan stones, ancient yew trees, castles and medieval churches. The hills and mountains hold the keys to time – anything from Roman camps to wartime plane crash sites.

As you might expect, the open countryside of the “Wilder side of Wales” offers varied recreation opportunities for those looking to experience its natural beauty, from walking & mountain biking to fishing, the UUV is just the place!

There are two Dark Skies sites in the area if you want to look at the stars. But if you want to spend your time just breezing through the beauty of the Upper Usk Valley and dropping into a local tea room, then that’s ok too.

The Upper Usk Valley Rural Alliance Group loves this part of the Brecon Beacons National Park!

The Upper Usk Valley Rural Alliance is an open group. It is dedicated to the promotion of social, economic, cultural and environmental vibrancy within the Upper Usk Valley. The initiative is supported by the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and the Welsh Assembly Government. Initially, it helped to bring the villages of Defynnog, Crai, Trecastle and Sennybridge closer together and recently Heol Senni, Llandeilo’r Fân and Pentrebach have also joined in.

We invite others to benefit from what this stunningly beautiful area can offer. We want to encourage increased involvement by local residents and businesses and to extend the use by visitors and tourists.

The UUV Rural Alliance Group is keen to organise more events in our local calendar, create more opportunities for local people to be involved and to retain the living narrative of this fascinating area.

To find out more, contact the Secretary of the UUV, Sharon Millar by emailing or follow the Facebook page.

Image: Matt Botwood

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