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On The Black Hill Tour

Brecon Beacons

On the border between Wales and England explore the brooding beauty of Bruce Chatwin’s “On the Black Hill”. A novel of “pastoral vision” (according to the New York Times review of 1983), it tells the story of identical twins Lewis and Benjamin Jones and their lives in a remote farm, “ The Vision” in rural Wales.

Spanning over eighty years, from the turn of the twentieth century to Thatcher’s 80’s, Chatwin’s novel captures the landscape and culture of a past Wales, whose essence can nevertheless still be found today.

Included in the tour

  • 2 nights Bed and Breakfast en -suite accommodation at the historic Castle Hotel in Brecon, the oldest hotel in Wales. Free wifi and parking.
  • Full tour programme as below.
  • Services of a local and knowledgeable guide.
  • Tour transport on a comfortable mini bus.
  • Guided tour on Day 3.


  • Standard Ticket: Three day tour including 2 nights B&B, full tour programme and a social evening with meal and storytelling.
  • Day Ticket: Join us on a tour of locations associated with this evocative novel including one of the earliest Nonconformist chapels built in Wales and the farmhouse in which the local brothers who were the inspiration for Lewis and Benjamin lived . Enjoy lunch ( non inclusive ) at the picturesque Bridge Inn in Michaelchurch Escley before visiting further sites mentioned in the novel. Before our return to Brecon you will have the opportunity to spend some time in Hay on Wye to take in the atmosphere during the world famous Hay Festival.
  • Day Tour Premium Ticket: Everything included in the Day Ticket + Social Evening.

Upcoming Dates

  • 13th November - 15th November, 2019

Tour Highlights

  • Take in various locations featured in the novel, culminating in a visit to the farmhouse which was the original inspiration for The Vision
  • Lunch at the picturesque Bridge Inn, Michaelchurch (not inclusive)
  • Explore the world renowned town of Hay on Wye
  • Relax with an evening of readings from the novel , discussion, good food and drink
Buy Tickets - (from £45) Or see the details.

Day One

Your room will be available anytime from 3pm onwards. Once you are settled in we will all meet for afternoon tea (provided),  where you can get to know us and the other guests and find out more about the tour. The evening is then free for you to do whatever you wish. We will be at hand to give you suggestions and directions if required.

Day Two

Depart at 10am for a tour of locations associated with the novel, including a visit to one of the earliest Nonconformist chapels to be built in Wales, dating back to the 1690’s. A trip through the rolling landscape brings us to the farmhouse in which the local brothers who were the inspiration for Lewis and Benjamin lived and a short walk from the farm gives us dramatic views of the Black Hill itself.

A 5 minute drive takes us to the small hamlet of Michaelchurch Escley, the resting place of the brothers, where we will stop for lunch at the Bridge Inn.

After a brief stop at another of the locations we return to Hay on Wye, the world famous “town of books” where you will be able to explore the town at your leisure.

7.30pm - We meet at a local cafe/bistro for a meal and an evening of readings and discussion related to Chatwin and On the Black Hill.

Day Three

After a leisurely breakfast guests are welcome to either: take a guided tour of Brecon - 11am start (included in price) or depart at their own convenience.

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The Details

This tour involves some walking of a gentle nature on an uneven farm track . Please bring a warm layer, a waterproof coat and suitable footwear for hill walking.If for any reason changes have to be made to the programme eg due to weather conditions,  we will always ensure a suitable alternative is provided and will do all we can to make your tour , rewarding, relaxing and memorable..


The Castle Hotel is an elegant Georgian hotel set in the grounds of an 11th century castle with stunning views of the beautiful Brecon Beacons. It has stylish modern rooms, a restaurant, a welcoming bar, riverside and mountain view gardens.

Payments & Refunds

Payments are made via Eventbrite, a well established event management and ticketing website. In line with their refund policies, we offer refunds up to 7 days before a tour start date. Once you’ve bought your tickets we will send out a welcome information pack about two weeks prior to your tour. This will contain further details and advice as to what to bring with you for the tour. If at any time you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me, either by phone or email.

Buy Tickets - (£375)

"Because they knew each other's thoughts, they even quarrelled without speaking"

- Bruce Chatwin