The Brecon Beacons is one of Britain’s most historic spots. Designated as a National Park in 1957, people have been living, working and basking in the beauty of the area for over 8,000 years. Find any list of the best places to visit in Wales and the Brecon Beacons will be somewhere at the top of the list. As if it’s award-winning beauty wasn’t enough motivation to go, read on to find ten more brilliant reasons to visit the Brecon Beacons.
Where is Brecon Beacons?
The Brecon Beacons National Park can be found in South Wales, slightly north of both Cardiff and Newport. It also borders England to the east.
Plunge your nose into a book in Hay-on-Wye
Best for: Lovers of books
Cornwall is known for its beaches, the Lake District for its views, while the miniature market town of Hay-on-Wye is known worldwide as a sanctuary for lovers of the written word. Often referred to as ‘the town of books’, every year, Hay hosts the award-winning ‘Woodstock of Words’, otherwise known as the Hay Festival.
For ten days, usually during late May, writers and readers come together to discuss literary classics from past, present and future. For the rest of the year, when the festival isn’t running, Hay is still a top literary stopping point, home to hundreds of world-famous second-hand book shops.
Marvel at one of the world’s clearest skies
Best for: A view of the heavens
Head out after dark and you’re in for a surprise. The Brecon Beacons are home to one of the clearest night’s skies in the country. In 2011, the national park was officially named the world’s fifth Dark Sky Reserve, an incredibly prestigious title, awarded to destinations with stunning views of the night sky.
Although just watching the night sky from out back in your holiday home is already a treat, we recommend waiting until the sun sets and walking the circular route from Pen y Fan. For something a little more adventurous, Black Mountain Range is home to hundreds of wonderful routes, most of which are at their most romantic after dark.
Have some fun at the Penderyn Distillery
Best for: Putting a little fire in your belly
There are lots of great things to be famous for, but Penderyn Distillery is known for one of the best – its brews. Celebrated worldwide for producing some of the finest whisky ever tasted, this award-winning distillery is perfect for anyone looking to put a little fire in their belly. Best of all, the water used to make the whisky comes from the Brecon Beacons itself.
Thrill the kids at Llangorse Multi Activity Centre
Best for: All kinds of adventures
From time to time, we all have an urge to get our hearts pumping with some family friendly fun. Well, whatever your age, whatever the weather and whatever your ability, Llangorse Multi Activity Centre has an adventure for you. Home to just about every kind of recreation imaginable, you can start your day by scaling the indoor climbing wall, have a go on a horse at lunch then finish the day above ground, on the outdoor zip line.
Hop aboard the romantic Brecon Mountain Railway
Best for: Feeling like a Victorian aristocrat
No mode of transport can compare to the steam-train: the magic, the romance and the soft click-clack of wheels on track. Climbing aboard one of these gorgeous locomotives feels like stepping back in time. And if you’re looking to see the beauty of the Brecon Beacons, there’s no better way.
Running across the national park, Brecon Mountain Railway lets you see some of Britain’s most stunning scenery. It’ll also make you feel like a Victorian aristocrat while you do.
Explore the mysteries the National Showcaves Centre
Best for: Treading where humans aren’t meant to
Officially voted the ‘finest natural wonder’ in Britain, these world-famous caverns are the Brecon Beacons most mysterious attraction. You can inside and explore an incredible system of prehistoric caves, which unravel underground for over 11 miles. Spot stalagmites, stalactites and ghostly ‘Alabaster Pillar’ as you wander through a natural dungeon that humans were never meant to see.
Stroll through gardens at Craig-y-nos Castle
Best for: A stroll through romantic gardens
Set on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, Craig-y-nos Castle is our pick for the most romantic spot in South Wales. Once the elaborate home of 19th-century opera singer Adelina Patti, this decadent castle is now open to the public.
Why not grab your special someone and spend the day wandering the stately grounds, taking in the castle gardens’ seasonal flowers and decor. If the gardens only whet your appetite for an afternoon of wandering, the surrounding Craig-y-nos country park is a great place to find scenic walking routes that suit all abilities.
Find tranquility in Waterfall Country
Best for: Tracking down your inner peace
Nestled on the national park’s southern slopes, Waterfall Country is about to become your new happy place. A relaxing experience for all the senses, soft-tree lined hills surround you, shutting out the stresses of the outside world, and letting your mind unclench. The sound of gently tumbling water joins the chirp of local birds as you wander amongst Wales’ largest collection of natural waterfalls, and what can only be described as your very own Celtic rainforest.
Spend a rainy day at Brecon Play Barn
Best for: Energetic indoor fun
The Brecon Beacons is home to some of the best ‘outdoors’ in Britain. But for those days when the sun isn’t shining, it’s worth having some exceptional ‘indoors’ up your sleeve. Brecon Play Barn is an award-winning soft play centre nestled on the edge of the national park.
Suitable for children up to 11 years old, it’s home to hours of safe, secure and, most importantly, energetic indoor-fun. Of course, looking after your little-ones is hungry work, so there’s also a cafe serving drinks, snacks and delicious meals, to keep your energy up all day long.
See wonders at the Red Kite Feeding Station
Best for: A breathtaking display of nature
With a wingspan of almost two metres and a maximum speed of over 240 miles an hour, red kites are some of the most impressive birds in Britain. Every day, hundreds of these agile animals descend onto this 200-acre farm for a feeding display guaranteed to make your jaw drop. A sight than has to be seen to be appreciated, don’t miss your chance to come within touching distance of the incredible creatures that call the Brecon Beacons their home.