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Brecon Beacons

 


Brecon Beacons is a place steeped in history, magnificent in its natural beauty with so many things to do, you will never be bored.

You may want the high adventure of the spectacular mountains, lakes, rivers or caves or the quiet relaxation and family activities to be found in the comfortable towns and villages around, steeped in history and tradition. Either way, the Brecon Beacons National Park is rich in things to do and places to go and there are many people just waiting to help you enjoy yourself.


Brecon Beacons National Park spans 519 square miles (1,344 square kilometres) of beautiful mid-Wales countryside in the west of the UK which contains some of the most spectacular and diverse landscapes in Europe.

The area is home to Pen y Fan, with its distinctive red table top summit - the highest Old Red Sandstone summit in Britain - as well as some of the UK’s most spectacular waterfalls, caves and wooded gorges. The landscape is scattered with prehistoric monuments, Roman remains, and medieval castles.

Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy this breathtaking landscape, and to reconnect with the natural world. Here, you can find relaxation and adventure, with some of Wales’ finest walking, riding, cycling, climbing and caving.

In 2005, Fforest Fawr Geopark covering the western half of the National Park, was officially recognised for its superb geological heritage and diversity, when the National Park Authority was awarded membership of the highly prestigious European Geoparks Network. This was followed in 2006 by designation as a UNESCO Global Geopark.


Outdoor activities

How about a windswept walk before a well deserved hot bath then maybe a visit to a village pub serving local food in front of a log fire?


You can be as adventurous as you like with expert guides available to help if you are less confident or want to learn new skills. There are places to hire or buy equipment if you fancy just having a go, whilst centres at Llangors and Taff Bargoed provide indoor climbing and other activities.

Please follow the Countryside Code wherever you go.

Guided Walks
Alternatively join one of the Guided Walks organised by the National Park Authority.

The Brecon Beacons Park Society also run guided walks.

Self Guided Walks
The National Park Authority is developing a series of self guided walks six of which are now on the shelves of local Information Centres. Selling for just £1 each, they make lovely souvenirs of your visit. Walks available include: The Sugar Loaf from Abergavenny, Llanfoist Wharf from Abergavenny, Pen y Fan and Cribyn from Cwm Gwdi, The Beacons Circuit, Explore Llandovery and Wood of the Waterfalls.

Please do remember to be safe - the rescue services are excellent but they prefer not to be called out!

There is also a booklet of low-level Wildlife Walks designed for families to enjoy around some of the National Park's most hidden gems. National Park Visitor Centres and local Tourist Information Centres all stock a good selection of walking publications to choose from.

The Brecon Beacons Park Society has also developed a selection of six self guided walks which can be printed out for free from their website.

Countryside Access in Wales
The Countryside Council of Wales' website is a guide to land and paths that are normally available for access on foot in Wales.

The town of Brecon just North of the Brecon Beacons themselves is the centre for the whole area while Crickhowell has a wide range of watering holes in haunted or unhaunted venues, you will be spoilt for choice. Sennybridge, whether it’s Red Kites or the mix of uncompromisingly rugged terrain and stunning scenery you will not be disappointed. Talgarth sits to the north east of Brecon, surrounded by both premium mountain biking and first class outdoor activity centres Talybont on Usk with the Taff Trail and Monmouthshire and Brecon canal passing through Talybont on Usk there are many pubs and a range of accommodation in this charming village giving plenty of overnight options. Hay on Wye is now internationally famous for its books but there is much else besides - crafts, food, arts and even high fashion. Brecon has antiques and outdoor shops; Abergavenny good food; Crickhowell food, furnishings and outdoors; Llandovery arts and crafts.

 

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BEACONS WAY

Why not explore the National Park using The Beacons Way?

The Beacons Way walk offers some of the best views the National Park has to offer. If you want to complete the whole 163km (101 mile) walk it takes eight days, or you can do it one day at a time at your convenience. Some days are more challenging than others so you can choose what suits you and maybe set yourself a challenge to build up to the more strenuous days.

There is an annual 8 day guided walk along the Beacons Way - in 2010, it will be from Saturday 24 to Saturday 31 July. For more details and to book a place contact Rob Knowles on 07971 190768. Remember you can join just one day of the walk if you like.


A book is available called The Beacons Way: The Holy Mountain to Bethlehem by John Sansom and Arwel Michael, complete with maps, instructions and points of historical interest - available in the National Park Visitor Centres or by post - see details below.

Or you can use the OS Explorer Maps OL12 and OL13 to follow the route.

 


GEOCACHING? NEVER HEARD OF IT!

The global treasure hunting game for the whole family.

Have you ever found it difficult to entice your family out for a walk in the countryside? Then Geocaching might just be for you!

The Brecon Beacons National Park has around 160 caches or treasure boxes hidden within it - ranging in size from small film cannisters to much larger tupperware containers and old ammo boxes - all waiting to be found.

Caching can be like having your own guide - taking you to great places and can explain what is so good about a location, for example, a WWII bomber crash site, Tommy Jones’ tragic story, or just a great view.

All you need is a handheld GPS unit together with information from the geocaching website to start your quest. Once found you can share your experiences online with others who have also been hooked by this fun game.

But don’t feel you have to make an investment in a GPS unit before you try it out – with experience of using a map and compass, together with the cache clues provided on the geocaching website, you may well be able to find some of the easier ones!

What are Geocoins?
Special coins, with their own unique activation and tracking ID codes can be sent on trackable journeys via the internet, from geocache to geocache or be passed amongst friends, picking up stories along the way. The journeys they take can be followed online through logs which each finder posts on to the geocaching website. You can upload photographs too, as well as thoughts or views associated with the coins. Why not start your very own collection with a lovely Brecon Beacons National Park Geocoin?



 


 


 

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