The Star Bunkhouse was my base for 2 nights when I arrived in Brecon Beacons National Park back when I did my National Parks mini tour in 2017. My plan was to climb nearby Pen Y Fan, about 25-minute drive away so it was a great location for me. Bwlch is a wonderful place for anyone that loves hiking, cycling or really anything outdoors.
After my first stay I always said I wanted to return and in the spring of 2022 I hiked the Beacons Way long-distance trail. Since it was my birthday whilst on the trip my friend and I decided to treat ourselves to a night in a proper bed and a pub dinner for food on our third night which perfectly timed itself with the Star Bunkhouse in Bwlch.
Here you can read my original review (2017) of the Star Bunkhouse with a few updates from my one night stay on my Beacons Way.
The Star Bunkhouse review
Star Bunkhouse Address
Where is the Bunkhouse located in the Brecon Beacons?
Star Bunkhouse is in the east of Brecon Beacons National Park. Close to South Wales’ highest mountain Pen y Fan. It’s situated in the small village of Bwlch, on the A40 between Brecon and Crickhowell. About an hour’s drive to Cardiff and 1 hour 15 minutes to Swansea.
The Star Bunkhouse is great if you’re hiking the Beacons Way.
This long-distance trail goes straight past the Star Bunkhouse, either on day 2 or day 3 (starting from Abergavenny/ Y Fenni) depending on how days you are taking to complete the trail. We stayed there on our night 3 of the hike and after wild camping for 2 nights it was nice to have some luxury.
Even if you’re not staying at the bunkhouse then you can still pop in to visit the tuck shop and refill your water on the way, which is brilliant during the hotter months as I found many water sources had dried up.
What facilities are at the bunkhouse?
- 6 bedrooms for up to 20 people
- Large social and dining areas
- Information books, maps and leaflets
- Free Wi-Fi
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Laundry facilities
- Drying room
Bunkhouse sleeping options
- Individual, family and group bookings
- 6 rooms (1 x 4 bed en-suite, 3 x 4 bed, 2 x 2 bed)
Prices at The Star Bunkhouse
There are different rates depending on which room you select and how many of you are staying, they also offer some discounts too. For example, we received a 10% discount as I’m an MTA (Mountain Training Association) member. Thank you 🙂
*Rate correct at time of writing. For latest rates click here: Bunkhouse rates
About The Star Bunkhouse
The Star Bunkhouse is an independent hostel/bunkhouse ran by Emma and Pete. Although the hostel can be used in a shared capacity, which is what it was like when I stayed. It can also be booked out for sole use. Funny something I’d commented before I’d read that they offered that option!
There is free Wi-Fi available; this works better in the social areas downstairs. Although I was lucky enough to have a room directly above. So for me, it worked perfectly in my room too!
Check-in at the bunkhouse
Emma had emailed me to confirm my arrival time (she did this for both trips).
On my first trip (2017) I was travelling from Pembrokeshire National Park and had given an approximate time. However, my plans for the day changed and I arrived earlier than expected. Outside there was a personal blackboard message to knock on the cottage and Emma’s mum would let me in. Emma’s mum was lovely and showed me around.
I was given a key to my room and code for the front door. A great idea for shared accommodation. After unloading my belongings via the fire exit, which was the nearest door. I popped downstairs for some tea and cake.
On my second trip (May 2022) Emma was in the Reception, a small building at the back of the car park, and Emma’s mum was there again too doing some gardening! We had a catch up then the process was similar, we were given the door code and a reminder of the facilities and I was good to go.
I need to give Emma a special shout out here because I told her about my faulty camping stove and she kindly leant me hers for the duration of my trip which we returned at the end. As well as picking up some kit that we’d left in the baggage storage.
You might like to read – 3 days walking in the Brecon Beacons National Park
On the dining table, there’s an information folder with everything you could possibly need. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a comprehensive information area. There are leaflets and information for every possible activity in the Brecon Beacons!
Emma arrives a short while afterwards. She makes sure I’ve found everything I need. But I’m getting pretty good at exploring new places now so I’m all good.
There’s a pub quiz over the road at The New Inn and Emma invites me along to be on their team. I do warn her that I’m pretty rubbish at quizzes but thankfully she doesn’t change her mind!
The room at Star Bunkhouse
My room is one of the two-bed bunks; however, it’s set up as a double at the bottom and single bunk at the top. So would suit a family or group of three people too. But a bonus for me, a double bed all to myself. What a luxury!
The room is spacious with two small tables. Great for dumping my stuff strategically around the room haha! And also a long mirror on the back of the door. It’s at this point I realise a shower is needed!
On our Beacons Way trip we had a similar style room, it was big enough for both Chrissy and I, and we had a good night’s sleep.
Facilities at The Star Bunkhouse
A long galley style kitchen, which has everything you could possibly need for cooking. I also love the little baskets they have for each room. A great way to store your dry food. Unless you’ve managed to buy half the shop as the guys in basket number 3 had done!!
If you really can’t be bothered to cook there is The New Inn pub that is literally across the road, unfortunately on our Beacons Way trip they had stopped serving food at 3 pm (Sundays) so we walked to the next village for pub food, about 2.5 km away.
There’s also a small laundry and drying room. Not huge but perfect for wet boots or to hang your jacket.
Overall thoughts of Star Bunkhouse
The Star Bunkhouse was a wonderful place to stay and relax. It’s a warm cosy atmosphere and decorated with a personal touch. I could imagine coming back as a big group and having the whole place to ourselves.
Bwlch itself is a small village. However, there are still a few great walks you can do directly from the hostel. And there are even a few leaflets you can buy with walks for just 20 pence, yes what a bargain.
They include a detailed map and instructions. I tried out the ‘Bwlch with Altitude’, a 12-mile circular route. But there’s also the 10.5-mile ‘Bwlch with Magnitude’ and 7.5-mile ‘Bwlch with Fortitude’ to try out. And wait for it there are even badges you can buy for 10 pence if you complete the walks. Now, what more could you want!
After my first visit didn’t disappoint, the second was equally great. Both Chrissy and I had a great night’s sleep and it was a perfect stop for the Beacons Way.
For further information or to book email: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.starbunkhouse.com
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*I was a guest at The Star Bunkhouse for my first trip and paid for my second. All views and opinions are my own.
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