REVIEW | Pandy Caravan and Motorhome Club Site near Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
SUMMARY | Perfect for proximity to the Brecon Beacons with all of its walking and adventuring delights but these old pitches seem a little too close together with awnings/cars/dogs/tables for relaxation on this quiet site even with its odd passing trains on the adjoining line
On a sunny day in early September, we rocked up to Pandy Caravan and Motorhome Club Site on the very edge of the Black Mountains, surrounded by the River Honddu on one side and a steady use railway line on the other. It made for a curious blend of country and modern life.
But let’s be clear Pandy Club Site is not a singing and dancing site. It has a shabby but functional wash block, a shed with passable useful local information. And the welcome although clear and concise was far from warm and friendly. Maybe it was just the end of a very long season for these wardens!?
So with 50 other motorhomes and caravans for company on these warm and breezy days – how did we find Pandy Club Site?
And there’s the thing. It is a site of contrast. With 50 vans on a compact concise and narrow site, space was not without someone or something coming in close proximity. With a river on the west side and a railway line on the east – the sun crossed the sky so those near the railway line got closer sight of the regularly passing trains but full sun for most of the day but those in the quiet ‘riverside’ location got sun later and lost it earlier as the sun headed for the treeline and the Black Mountain ridge beyond.
So if you pride yourself on a sunny spot? Get here earlier and head for the train side or indeed the central corridor. But if you can’t abide the train idea head for the river side.
And whilst I’m on the subject of the trains, whilst it’s not everyone’s perfect idea of tranquility – you do get used to them, and for the most part they pass and then go like a plane passing overhead. But there are evening trains and ones that cross in the night. Some might find them annoying. Others – a curiosity. Each to their own.
The river again those there, is mostly fenced apart from a section where you must be wary with little ones. It’s a gentle flowing Welsh river but as with all water courses when the weather’s up, the river can rise quickly.
And here again is a paradox – whilst the Black Mountains, Hatterall Hill and the Skirrid are all within eyeshot, there are few in the campsite itself because of the bank of trees which line the site. All apart from a tiny sliver of a shot of the Skirrid at the very end of the campsite itself.
So whilst you won’t found us sunning ourselves on this site in amicable gentility, you might find us up at the lark climbing every mountain, up on the hillside taking in those stupendous and awe-inspiring views of this part of the world. It’s what matters even if the train wakens you from time to time.
And in a curious postscript, the site was entranced as paragliders took in the thermals from the hillside above to jink and dance over the skyline whilst they plummeted lower. Later that evening whilst taking a wander through the footpaths surrounding the site, we encountered one of the paraglider carrying some 20 kilos of equipment, poor fellow was quite lost, looking for the rare sight where he last parked his car – in a car park / field somewhere in the fields around. There wasn’t much help that we could give apart from a helpful point of some of the local features and a good luck to wish him on his way back up the mountainside.
Site access is easy from the A465 road just under the railway bridge before you cross the river and it’s readily signed on the main road.
LOCAL PLACES TO VISIT |
And for most, the reason you stay at this site is the walking opportunities that are on your doorstep. Within half a mile from access on to the Offa’s Dyke Long Path Distance Walking Trail which heads up on to the Black Mountains and on to either Hay-on-Wye at its end, or down to Longtown. Climb up the Skirrid or Sugar Loaf. Or take in one of the Pandy routes found in the little club site shed.
For others, they head out to Abergavenny, the castles found in this borderland territory where Wales and England once collided, the Canal or indeed the Industrial History up at Blaenavon now a World Heritage Site.
POINTS OF NOTE |
There is a shop at the local garage some 25 minutes walk along the main road. Or head for Abergavenny itself ten minutes drive with a wealth of supermarkets or more desirably some great local food shopping and interest. There’s a pub on the corner of the road some 400 yards from the site and others within easy travel.
Pandy Club Site
Caravan and Motorhome Club