Penpont 2018 (39282)

Event Overview

Join OutdoorLads' most popular 'signature event' for the May Bank Holiday weekend - camping in the walled gardens of a stately home, beside the meandering River Usk yet at the foot of the Brecon Beacons.

Many of you will know and love penpont but for those who don't it truly is a magical place.

We will be running mountain walking, canoeing, mountain biking days on this event as well as some beautiful day walks

If you're feeling adventurous, you will have the opportunity to explore the Brecon Beacons with some of the finest views that South Wales has to offer. If you'd like a more ...

Join OutdoorLads' most popular 'signature event' for the May Bank Holiday weekend - camping in the walled gardens of a stately home, beside the meandering River Usk yet at the foot of the Brecon Beacons.

Many of you will know and love penpont but for those who don't it truly is a magical place.

We will be running mountain walking, canoeing, mountain biking days on this event as well as some beautiful day walks

If you're feeling adventurous, you will have the opportunity to explore the Brecon Beacons with some of the finest views that South Wales has to offer. If you'd like a more sedate weekend, we have plenty of less strenuous activities planned and we'll be within easy travelling distance of the towns of Brecon and Abergavenny. Altertnatively you can spend the weekend relaxing within the Penpont Estate: exploring the remarkable buildings, gardens, the woodland art, hedge maze, tennis courts, croquet lawns, dower house and the 2000 acre estate that surrounds you!

After dusk we will gather together around a campfire, relax and be merry.

Campervans are welcome at the site.

Penpont also welcomes well behaved quiet dogs, but they must be kept under control and with you during your stay on site. 


Friday: You are welcome to arrive from the late afternoon. We will pitch our tents and settle round the campfire. There will be an event briefing at 9pm.

Saturday & Sunday Daytime: There will be a range of activities organised by the event leaders and also within easy travelling distance. Please see the drop down section titled "Activities" for further details. 

Alternatively you are welcome to explore the local area and relax within the grounds of Penpont.

Saturday & Sunday Evening: We will have our dinners and then settle down around the campfire.

Bank Holiday Monday: We will tidy up, take down our tents and say our goodbyes.

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What to bring

The kit list

Boots:  Hiking boots are arguably the most essential piece of kit when hiking just about anywhere.  Walker’s should make sure that their boots are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support.  Boots should also be in good condition.

Socks: Walking socks are often overshadowed by those new to hiking, with many novices failing to invest in proper socks.  Good walking socks are essential in regards to keeping the feet dry, and in turn stopping the development of blisters.  Sports socks and other socks not designed for walking will often become waterlogged, or damaged which will in turn blister feet.

Gators:  Gators attach to the bottom of walking boots and extend to just under the knee.  They provide waterproofing for the bottom half of the leg, and are essential in keeping the feet dry.

Walking Trousers:  Walking trousers should be of a windproof design and made of a rip stop material, that will stand up to walking through ferns and undergrowth.  They should also ideally be water resistant, or at least not gain weight, and lose their insulation properties when wet.  Jeans are therefore to be avoided, as they are heavy when wet and provide no protection from the elements.

Waterproof Trousers:  Waterproof trousers are essential in keeping the legs dry, as water resistant trousers will not keep out any significant rainfall.  Walker’s should look for waterproof trousers that are breathable, in order to avoid being soaked with sweat.

Base Layer: A breathable base layer should be chosen in order to let sweat escape from the body.  This should ideally consist of a breathable synthetic, specially designed fabric, though a cotton T-Shirt is sufficient.

Mid Layer: A Mid Layer goes on top of the base layer and should consist of a 100 weight micro fleece, or a rugby typed thick shirt.  The layering system is important as it allows walkers to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature.

Outer Layer: The outer layer should consist of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece.  This is the final layer and walkers should ensure that this layer provides ample warmth.

Waterproof Jacket:  A good waterproof jacket is one of the most important pieces of kit you will require when hiking.  Walkers should look for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable in order for them to be protected from sweat.  Materials such as Gore-tex are often the best choices.

Hat: As most heat is lost through the head a good hat is essential.  The best hats are those of a fleece design, with wool also being acceptable.

Gloves: Gloves are essential in the colder months as walkers will require the usage of their fingers for various activities such as map reading.  Windproof or better still waterproof gloves are the best choice.

Rucksack: A good Rucksack that is comfortable to wear is essential, and required to carry both food and equipment.  Day sacks should have a capacity of around 30 litres with equipment being placed in water proof bags inside.

Emergency Equipment: A number of items should be taken in case problems occur whilst walking in the hills.  Emergency equipment becomes of greater importance the further from civilisation walkers are.  Equipment should include spare food stuffs of high energy, a survival bag, a whistle, a medical kit, a torch and something to make fire, either storm proof matches or a firelighter.

Food & Water:  At least two litres of water should be brought for each day hiking, with more being taken if cooking is required.  Enough food for the duration of a walk should also be taken.  Food should be of the high energy variety, with hot food being able to be eaten raw if necessary.

Map & Compass: A map of the area being walked in is essential as well as a compass.  The map should be in a waterproof bag or be of a waterproof design.

Mobile Phone: A mobile phone should also be brought and kept in a waterproof bag for use in emergencies.

Change of Clothes:  A full change of clothes should be brought and kept in waterproof bags, as well as multiple pairs of socks.

Large Rucksack/Bergen:   A large rucksack of around 60 litres is required.  This rucksack should be capable of carrying all necessary equipment on the inside, as well as providing back support.

Tent: A tent if of course essential when sleeping out in the open.  Walker’s should make sure that they have pitched the tent before, and have all parts of it, such as poles and pegs.  The tent should also be light enough to carry as well as being able to stand up to the weather.  A 3 season tent is recommended as a minimum level of protection.

Sleeping Bag / Mat: A sleeping bag is of course required for camping.  Walker’s should look for one that provides adequate warmth, below the temperature that they expect.  If in doubt walkers should bring a sleeping bag for colder conditions than they expect.

Cooking Equipment: Walkers should bring some kind of cooking equipment so that they can cook hot meals, and enjoy hot drinks when cold.  Being able to cook hot food is essential during the colder months

Food & Drink

Please note that in a change to previous years, there will be no BBQ provided nor will we have use of the kitchens. You will need to bring your own food for the course of the weekend.

You are welcome to use disposable BBQs, please take care to use the materials provided to prevent damaging the lawns. A number of larger containers that can be used for BBQs present on site, available on a first come first serve basis.

There are a number of supermarkets and butchers available in Brecon for collecting supplies.


Meeting & Times

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A variety of wonderful walks will be on offer in hte wonderful contryside that surrounds Penpont. 

Mountain Biking (Saturday): Hosted within Gethin Woodland Park, Bike Park Wales offers a range of routes for riders of varying experience levels. Please see the Mountain Biking tab for more details.

Canoeing (Sunday)

Do you fancy spending a day canoeing down the River Wye? Please see the Canoeing tab for more details

Miscellaneous activities

If you fancy striking out on your own or with a couple of friends, there are a number of activities you could get upto:

Indoor Climbing: The Summit Centre in Merthyr Tydfil, offers a range of indoor climbing activities including bouldering.

Brecon, Abergavenny, Builth Wells, Hay-on-Wye, Llandovery: If you fancy a day out, there are a number of charming towns within an hour's drive of Penpont.

Brecon Mountain Railway: You'll get to travel on the original route of Brecon & Merthyr Railway, along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservior before heading upto the summit at Torpantau.

Whiskey Tasting Tour: The Penderyn Distilliery Tour, located within 30mins drive from Penpont offers an insight into how Wales' only whiskey is made (followed by a tasting session...).


There will be a contingent of attendees going to Bike Park Wales on Saturday 29th April (30 min drive from Penpont).

This is a downhill mountain biking park and can be quite full on. We will be taking the blue runs which are classed as intermediate and are ok for beginners who are fit and strong, can ride a bike confidently and up for having a go even if this is your first time at downhill mountain biking. They also have full on red and black runs for the more experienced riders.

You must have a mountain bike with suspension for this bike park and a helmet is essential (you are not allowed in the park without one). If you want to come mountain biking but don’t have a suitable bike you can hire one, these must be booked in advance.




The canoeing is for a full day. This will involve a drive to the canoe centre, approximately five hours of paddling down the river (this is relatively easy as we are going with the flow of the water), a visit to a nice riverside pub at the end before returning to the campsite.

The canoes are open Indian style ones. A water tight barrel is provided to keep things dry in the event of capsizing. Whilst the barrel is reasonably watertight, this cannot be guaranteed so please do not bring any valuables that are incompatible with water! Buoyancy aides are also provided.

There may be an option on the day to use a kayak if you have some previous experience and would prefer.

Canoe Kit List. Please bring the following:
Footwear that is designed for water or that you do not mind getting wet.
A change of clothing.
Outdoor clothing suitable for the weather conditions on the day.
Waterproof jacket (and trousers if you have them) in case of rain.
Snacks / packed lunch / drink for our lunch stop by the riverside.
There is a café at the canoe centre where we start from where you can purchase some supplies prior to the trip.
Don’t forget money for a pint/food in the pub at the end.


If you are interested in coming canoeing please do not delay as this event is also open to non penpont attendees and will fill very soon!!


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