The Brecon Beacons is a wonderful part of Wales to visit on holiday. Designated as a National Park in 1957, the Brecon Beacons contains some of the most spectacular and distinctive upland formations in southern Britain. The park occupies 519 sq miles (1,344 sq km) of mountains, moors, forests, pastureland, lakes, and the broad Usk valley.
Did you know?
The landscape of the Brecon Beacons National Park is the product of thousands of years of human intervention. For example, during the Middle-Age period around 5500BC, hunter-gatherers cut down scrub and burned the aftermath in an attempt to create small grassland areas to encourage the animals they hunted to graze.
Where is it?
The Brecon Beacons can be found in southern Wales, slightly north of both Cardiff and Newport. It also borders England to the east.
What to do
Paragliding and Hang gliding
The Brecon Beacons is one of the best areas in the UK for paragliding and hang gliding. The north-facing mountains overlooking the undulating landscapes of Mid Wales provide near perfect take-off sites. Taking to the sky, one can soar along hill ridges or enjoy the experience of a buzzard circling high overhead.
The Brecon Beacons National park has some of the highest quality dark skies in the country. It has recently been designated the fifth International Dark Sky Reserve in the world, making it the perfect destination for stargazers. On a clear night you will awestruck by the Milky Way, major constellations, bright nebulas and perhaps a meteor shower. For a spectacular night, try the Usk Valley, the Sugar Loaf Mountain (promise we’re not making this up!) and the Crai Reservoir.
Walking and Cycling
One of the most popular spots in the country for both walking and cycling holidays, the Brecon Beacons will not fail to disappoint with dozens of well-trodden routes to follow. If you are feeling really fit, the SAS run part of their intensive training in the National Park. Follow the route yourself by taking part in the Fan Dance Race Series. The winter version takes place in January, or you can give it a go in July at the summer version.
What to eat
For some superb food during your stay, visit The Walnut Tree. Within easy reach of Abergavenny, this restaurant has a Michelin star and serves up a veritable feast. Whether you go for lunch or dinner they have an à la carte menu which changes daily. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays, so bear that in mind when planning your trip.
Where to stay
Tasteful Llangynidr Cottage
Tasteful Llangynidr Cottage is a charming holiday home in a perfect location for walkers looking to explore the Brecon Beacons. There are two great pubs near by and the village has large playing fields with tennis courts which can be hired.