Walking Holidays in the Brecon Beacons
The Brecon Beacons National Park is one of three in Wales and since its recognition in 1957 has been a favourite spot of walkers in the UK. Comprising of less demanding ascents than Snowdon with more lakeside views and a more open setting, the Brecon Beacons offer a pleasant location for a walking holiday with plenty of different routes for the hiking novice or the experienced veteran. Our holiday homes in the Brecon Beacons area are affordable, comfortable and most importantly cosy, something that is always essential, especially if you opt to visit the Beacons in the winter when they look their most spectacular with some snow.
Climb the Black Mountain - admire the glacial lake and ruins of mining communities
In the Western part of the Beacons, you will find the Black Mountain that lies at the edge of the park. Here you will encounter an interesting mixture of terrain and see where the rural peace of the park meets the industrial area where mining communities used to thrive. From the mountain you will see the surrounding moorlands to the North and the old quarry to the south. Keep an eye out for the Brynaman mining town in particular and the huge sandstone boulders that are the most obvious clue of the glacial activity that shaped these valleys, as well the ruins of Blaencamlais castle.
Pen-y-Fan is one of the Beacons’ best peaks and the glacial lake Cwm Llwch sitting below, provides you with some beautiful views from the top. At 886m high, Pen-y-fan is the tallest mountain in Southern Wales. Other nearby peaks that you will encounter on a route in this area include Corn Du which towers over the lake and the Cribyn which features a Bronze Age burial site like that on Pen-y-Fan. The route here is around 8 miles and will take you most of the afternoon to complete, so bring some snacks for the journey before you return to your holiday home for some downtime.
For some contrast, Talgarth is a perfect town for hikers and provides some woodland too, something which is more sparse in the Brecon beacons than other regions. First, stop by the town for some breakfast or lunch. You will find a variety of small cafes and tea rooms here for some classic British treats, as well as some Welsh specialities. Try some Cawl, a hearty stew with bacon or beef or rarebit, toast served with melted fondue cheese and optional garnishes. The town features an old mill and St Gwendoline’s church which is extremely old, perhaps even dating back to the 6th century if sources are correct. Along the way you will encounter Pwll-z-Wrach or the ‘Witch Pool’ where legends say that those accused of sorcery were put on trial. Further down the path you will find small ponds and winding paths in this woodland.
Bwlch To Tor y Foel is another area to explore that offers some different landscapes. Passing by canals, forest and the routes of old trams and railways, this area will will take you winding through the trees and ascending and descending hills. The first stop is the Llangynidr Bridge, a narrow bridge dating back to the 1600’s, a great spot for some bird-watching. Next you will hike down the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal before ascending Tor y Foel to conclude the walk.
The Brecon Beacons is a picturesque region that will resonate with those who enjoy wide landscapes and staying in this area will leave you near to Cardiff and Swansea, both cities well-worth visiting.