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The Bear’s long ancestry as a coaching inn is plainly evident. A cobbled forecourt, archway into the inner courtyard and 15th-century stagecoach timetable in the bar are all reminders of the Bear’s former role. Traditions live on; over five hundred years later, weary travellers still look forward to stopping off at the Bear, a hotel famous for its buzzy atmosphere, historic character, convivial surroundings and outstanding menu with something for everyone. Experienced hosts, Steve and Sam Hindmarsh live and breathe The Bear, it has been in the family for decades, and their respect for the old lady is evident in their sympathetic evolution of an important historic building.

The Bear’s cosy low-beamed bar, filled with antiques is always warmed by a roaring log fire in winter, and sets the style for a place to stay that is warm and characterful rather than a hotel in the grand manner. Perfectly kept hand-pulled ales and a great value wine list help wash down a menu that focuses on quality ingredients sourced from within the Brecon Beacons National Park, but often with an international twist in style and presentation.

Although a building of great antiquity – it dates back to 1432 – the Bear tastefully incorporates all modern comforts into its historic surroundings. Rooms within the hotel and the recently renovated courtyard – a blaze of colour with hanging baskets in summer – are individually furnished with luxury designer fabrics. Some have four – poster beds, but as a special treat try the sought after Very Best Room, with acres of space, an instagramable freestanding copper bathtub in the bedroom, squishy sofas and a separate walk-in shower.
Popular with locals and visitors alike (including Johnny Depp, Robbie Williams and Gordon Ramsey), lunchtime at the Bear is the social hub of the pretty town of Crickhowell.

Don’t miss a wander down it’s award-wining high street to explore the many independent businesses and boutique shops. It is the perfect base for exploring the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park and border country, the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, Tretower Court and Castle, the market towns of Brecon and Abergavenny, and Hay-on-Wye, the famous ‘town of books’. The gorgeous River Usk, one of the country’s very best wild brown trout fisheries, and its beautiful valley, is a few minutes potter from the Bear front door.

Welsh Rarebits

Welsh Rarebits are a million miles removed from the bland, corporate, soulless places run by the big boys of the so-called hospitality industry. So what makes a Welsh Rarebit? They're all different. Very different - everything from traditional country houses to cutting edge boutique boltholes, luxury spas to historic inns. We look at things like comfort, attention to detail, food, decor and all those small touches that add up to so much, separating the best from the rest.
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