Brecon Beacons - FURTHER INFORMATION
Brecon Beacons - Brecon Beacons visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Brecon Beacons' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Powys.
Known in Welsh as 'Bannau Brycheiniog', the Brecon Beacons are a mountain range in Wales forming part of the Brecon Beacons National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog), one of three National Parks in Wales.
Full of areas of outstanding natural beauty, the Brecon Beacons are a popular holiday destination in both the summer and winter, with most of the attractions being outdoors. Throughout the park runs the Beacons Way (Ffordd y Bannau) walk, a 101 mile trail encompassing some of the best views in the park.
Brecon Beacons - HistoryThe Brecon Beacons have been occupied from ancient times. The park contains many Neolithic standing stones more than 4000 years old. During the Iron Age over 20 Iron Age hill-forts were built in the region. The largest of these include Y Gaer Fawr and Y Gaer Fach ('the big fort' and 'the little fort') atop Y Garn Goch near Bethlehem.
In 43Ad the Romans arrived in Wales, using Y Gaer, near the town of Brecon as their main base. Some evidence of Roman occupation can still be found today. There then followed the Dark Age when King Offa ordered the construction of Offra's Dyke, a 150mile long dyke running along the Welsh border. During Norman times many castles were built in an attempt to control this rebellious region, one of the most famous of which is Carreg Cennen Castle.
The region also played an important part in the Industrial Age, demonstrated by the Blaenavon Ironworks, which in it's day was one of the largest ironworks on earth.
Brecon Beacons - Tourist AttractionsThe limited list below gives but a few of the tourist attractions in the Brecon Beacons. The area is popular for walking, not least the Brecons Way, outlined in the section below this.
- Carreg Cennen Castle - dramatic ruins of 12th century castle at Trapp on the River Cennen.
- Blaenavon World Heritage Site & Big Pit - World Heritage Site, testament to the massive ironworks in Wales.
- Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal - important canals that run through the Brecon hills, with boat hire and cycle routes.
- Brecon Mountain Railway - take a tour on an old railway through the park.
- Dan-yr-Ogof Showcaves - with cave tours, a dinosaur park, iron age village, stone circles, museum and more.
- Abergavenny Castle - 11th century castle with the Abergavenny Museum in a hunting lodge. Brecon Castle - 11th century castle on the confluence of the Usk and Honddu.
- Bronllys Castle - 12th century castle founded by Richard Fitz Pons.
- Llandovery Castle - 12th century castle on a rocky hillock overlooking the River Bran.
- Fforest Fawr Geopark - showcasing geological and wider natural heritage as well as 7000 years of recorded human occupation.
- Llangors Lake - largest natural lake in south Wales.
- Llanthony Valley - U-shaped glacial valley in the Black Mountains containing the remains of Llanthony Priory.
- Waterfall Country - the Brecons has many lovely waterfalls, including Blaen y Glyn Waterfalls, the Sychryd Cascades and Sgwd yr Eira (Fall of Snow).
- Brecon Cathedral - with the largest Norman font in Britain, beautiful choir, vaulting and stained glass windows.
- Defynnog Church - medieval church famous for the ancient Celtic windows.
- Outdoor Sports - the Brecons are covered with numerous walking, hiking, cycling and horse-riding trails. There are numerous camp-sites and many B&B places in the region.
Breacon Beacons WayThe Brecon Way can be broken down over 8 days, walking segments as follows:
- The Holy Mountain to Llanthony via Ysgyryd Fawr (486 metres), Llanvihangel Crucorney and Hatterrall Hill (531m) - 16.2km (10.1miles) long with 803m (2634ft) of ascent.
- Llanthony to Crickhowell via Bal Bach (520m), Partrishow, Crug Mawr (550m) and Table Mountain - 20.3km (12.7 miles) long with 961m (3152ft) of ascent.
- Crickhowell to Llangynidr via Cwm Mawr, Cwmdu, Cefn Moel and Bwlch - 20.3km (12.6 miles) long with 844m (2768ft) of ascent.
- Llangynidr to Craig Cerrig-gleisiad via Bryn Melyn, Pont Blaen-y-glyn, Fan y Big (719m), Cribyn (795m), Pen y Fan (886m) and Corn Du (873m) - 26.4km (16.4 miles) long with 1439m (4719ft) of ascent.
- Craig Cerrig-gleisiad to Craig-y-nos via Fan Dringarth (617m), Fan Llia (632m), Sarn Helen and Penwyllt - 21.8km (13.5 miles) long with 755m (2476ft) of ascent.
- Craig-y-nos to Llanddeusant via Tafarn y Garreg, Llyn y Fan Fawr, Fan Brycheiniog (802m) and Picws Du (749m) - 17.8km (11.0 miles) long with 1067m (3500ft) of ascent.
- Llanddeusant to Carreg Cennen via Carreg yr Ogof (585m), Garreg Las (635m), Foel Fraith (602m) and Carn Pen Rhiw-ddu - 23.8km (14.8 miles) long with 1032m (3385ft) of ascent.
- Carreg Cennen to Llangadog via Cilmaenllwyd, Carreglwyd, Y Gaer Fawr (236m) and Bethlehem - 16.0km (9.9 miles) long with 329m (1079ft) of ascent.
Brecon Beacons Tourist Information and Visitor Centre
Powys, LD3 8ER
Phone: 01874 623366
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS AND GETTING THERE
Road: The A40 and A470 are the main roads through the Brecon Beacons. The town of Brecon, on the north edge of the Brecon Beacons, is 45miles north of Swansea and 40 miles north of Cardiff. It is 60 miles east of Gloucester and 90 miles from Birmingham.
Bus: Beacons Bus services run throughout the region in the summer months.