What it's like
Wales’s most southerly national park is home to the tallest peaks in the whole of Southern Britain and what fine peaks they are too: tall, proud and incredibly shapely. Yet despite this perhaps slightly daunting claim to fame, these are welcoming mountains, with summits of grass rather than rock, and clear, easy to follow paths rather than scrambles to get to their tops. This makes the Beacons a great place to cut mountain teeth: with a gradual weaning from the well-trodden tops of Pen-y-Fan and Sugar Loaf to the bleak moorland of Waun Rydd and on to the more serious wildernesses of Fforest Fawr and the Black Mountain (singular).
With so much achievable high ground, it would be easy to believe there was nothing beneath it, but there is so much more to the Beacons than just mountains and even the most committed summit addict should take time out to visit the dramatic waterfalls of Ystradfellte, where Fforest Fawr’s mighty rivers plummet from protruding rock shelves creating a spectacle and a crescendo never forgotten; or the tranquillity of Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, which winds timelessly down the valley of the Usk, offering fine views and plenty of places to stop for a drink or lunch.
And there are castles here too; perhaps the most spectacular of them all: Carreg Cennen, sat astride it’s lofty crag on the far west side of the Park; and Forests such as Garwnant, with walking and cycling trails for all the family.
- Pen y Fan From the Storey Arms, the highest peak is less than an hour’s hard labour, or from the north, via Cefn Cwm Llwch, it becomes a real mountain walkers’ mountain.
- Sugar Loaf Shapely and easily achievable, this is one mountain that everyone should climb.
- The Waterfalls Well signed paths lead from Porth-yr-ogof to some of the most beautiful cascades in the land.
Must see and do
- Post Sugar Loaf pint in the Dragon’s Head Llangenny Rustic and quirky and perfectly situated just outside Crickhowell.
- Lunch in the Mountain CentreHome cooked local produce and wonderful views over the highest peaks.
- Carreg CennenThe most spectacularly positioned of all Welsh Castles.
Destination County : Brecon Beacons