As a perfect antidote to the urban grind, or a stress free alternative to a noisy and uncomfortable beach holiday, the Brecon Beacons fit the bill. Not only do they boast scenic vistas that are globally renowned, they are a playground for the adventurer, and richly reward those who roam its rugged peaks and vales. The Beacons are an idyll where the landscape is infused with its own histories and cultures.
From high octane adventure activities and extreme sports to meandering streams, pleasant pastures and Neolithic stone circles, the 520 square miles of the Brecon Beacons cater for every taste and trend. The traditional market towns, that form the gateways to the Beacons, each retain their own charm. Abergavenny, Crickhowell and Brecon are towns not only with a wealth of history, but places where you can still find vibrant and exciting events going on all year round.
The Beacons Way is the Brecon Beacons National Park official trail. It passes east-west through the landmark Black Mountains, the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountain. The Brecon Beacons National Park is a protected environment with some of the most spectacular upland scenery in Britain. Beacons Way involves remote and rugged terrain, with some 8500ft of ascent and is designed for experienced walkers. As well as incorporating many of the major peaks, including Fan y Big, Pen y Fan, Fan Llia, Fan Hir, Fan Foel and Twyn Swnd, the Way passes glacial lakes, ancient standing stones, churches and fine mountain views.
The Taff Trail is a multipurpose route between Brecon and Cardiff. Passing through a significant part of the Brecon Beacons, the Taff Trail covers a very varied landscape that traces a line through the many histories of southern Wales. Ideal as the backbone for a holiday or just for a day out, the Taff Trail has become one of the most unique and popular walks in Wales, taking in breath-taking scenery, disused viaducts and the fairy-tale Castell Coch Castle. Much of the 55 mile route is traffic free and suitable for horse-riding.
Wales is a country well endowed with picture book Waterfalls, but those that are found along the rivers that run south through Fforest Fawr and join at Pontneddfachan are some of the best.
Brecon Beacons 'Waterfall Country' includes the villages of Hirwaun, Ystradfellte, and Pontneddfechanwaters of the head waters of the rivers Nedd, Mellte, Pyrddin and Hepste. The Four Waterfalls Walk starts at the village of Penderyn and the Sgwd yr Eira waterfall is perhaps the most unmissable and there are plenty of other natural splendours along the way.
ACTIVITIES IN THE BRECON BEACONS
Call of the Wild: Call of the Wild Adventure Activities
is an outdoor activity provider based in the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park
- a natural outdoor adventure playground. The extensive range of activities on offer (which are suitable for all ages and abilities), includes canoeing, quad biking, paint balling and gorge walking.
Cantref Riding Centre:
As the only horse riding provider with access to the Brecon Beacons National Park
, the Cantref Horse Riding Centre
represents an incredible opportunity to enjoy the wonders of the park in style. It is possible to take advantage of pony trekking, mountain horse riding, horse riding lessons, short riding courses and holiday horse riding breaks.
Cradoc Golf Club: Cradoc Golf Club
is a stunning 18-hole parkland golf course set on the northern side of the Usk Valley, some 2 miles from the charming town of Brecon.
The award winning course offers an alternative and leisurely way to enjoy the views of the Brecon Beacons
. Although the stunning views over the Brecon Beacons may beguile and possibly distract you, they will only enhance the experience of a magnificent day’s golf on a fabulous course.
Bailey Balloons: Bailey Balloons
offer a friendly, personalised and memorable flight experience - far more than just a balloon ride! The company that describes itself as the ‘Fortnum and Mason’ of the ballooning world offers you the chance to take in the beautiful Wye Valley, Vale of Usk and Brecon Beacons
from 5,000 feet.
BEST OF THE BEACONS
Table Top Mountain:
A tramp to the top of the iconic Table Top Mountain can be achieved in just an hour or two, but that doesn’t mean the panoramic views won’t take your breath away. The summit used to house an Iron Age hill fort, Crug Hywel, which lent its name to the nearby town of Crickhowell
To the east of the beacons and just north of Crickhowell
the Black Mountains
are the imposing gate posts to the Brecon Beacons. Despite the natural splendour that has made them a haven for hill walkers; they also boast the ruins of Llanthony Priory
, plenty of adventure and extreme sport opportunities as well as the oldest pub in Wales.
The Black Mountain:
Not to be confused with The Black Mountains, the Black Mountain range lies on the western fringes of the Beacons. The Black Mountain is generally considered to be one of the wildest regions of Wales and is associated with numerous myths such as the Lady of the Lake and Twrch Trwyth.
There are many impressive candidates for the title of best waterfall in the Beacons, and the Four Waterfalls Walk is the best way to choose for yourself, but Henrhyd Waterfall is the tallest of the lot. The sheer power of the falling water from Nant Llech, and its proximity to a number of truly impressive gorges, like the Melte, makes a visit to Henrhyd an unforgettable experience.
The tallest peak in southern Britain, but only the 21st highest in Wales, Pen-Y-Fan has long been a mecca for walkers wanting a challenge. Situated at the very heart of The Brecon Beacons
, Pen-Y-Fan stands at 2,907ft and offers a range of routes to suit all abilities. The area surrounding the mountain is used for SAS training courses.
Dan-yr-Ogof Caves: The Brecon Beacons National Park
encompasses some of the most important cave systems in Europe and is just as spectacular beneath the surface as it is above. The National Showcaves Centre, at Dan-yr-Ogof in the upper Swansea Valley, has three separate cave systems and is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the National Park.
Second only to Bala Lake
in size, Llangorse is both big and beautiful, as well as wet. Although there are many other lakes worth visiting, especially Llyn Y Fan Fawr (with its Lady of the Lake legend), it is hard to beat the serene majesty of the Llangorse waters. This glacial lake is famous for its pike fishing and for Crannog Island on which a Dugout Boat was found that dates back to the 9th century.
offers comprehensive walking breaks across the Brecon Beacons
and Black Mountains
. The walks are accompanied by an experienced guide and full board and en-suite accommodation is provided by the charming Ty Gwyn Guesthouse in Crickhowell
Contours: Contours Walking Holidays
are specialists in self-guided walking tours. Their walks in Wales traverse landscapes steeped in history and natural splendour. The walks that explore the Brecon Beacons
include Offa’s Dyke
, The Vale of Usk, the Three Castles Walk and the Wye Valley.
Tregoyd Mountain Riders:
Offers horse riding, pony trekking, hacking, riding holidays, riding lessons, bed & breakfast for horses and riders and livery in the Brecon Beacons National Park
. Tregoyd cater for all ages and abilities with packages ranging from half day pony trekking to week long holidays and courses.