15 Best Things To Do In Brecon Beacons, Wales

15 Best Things To Do In Brecon Beacons, Wales

By will

The Brecon Beacons in Wales is an area of outstanding natural beauty and one of the best places to explore in the UK.
With its spectacular views, exciting outdoor activities, and plethora of historical sites, there’s something for everyone in the Brecon Beacons!
Here are some of the best things to do in the Brecon Beacons, and why they’re so great.
From hiking to horse riding, and bird watching to stargazing, you won’t be short of activities in this amazing part of the world.
So let’s get exploring!

Visit the Brecon Beacons National Park

Brecon Beacons National Park
Photo by M J Richardson

You’d be remiss not to visit the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park while visiting Wales!

Located in the heart of South Wales, it is an area of largely unspoiled natural beauty that is perfect for exploring.

The park offers a wide variety of activities, including walking, cycling, and horse-riding, and you can take in some of the most breathtaking views in the country.

There are also many attractions within the park, including historic sites and monuments, waterfalls, caves, and ancient trails.

The Brecon Beacons National Park is home to some of the most iconic peaks in the region. Pen y Fan is the highest peak in the park and offers spectacular views from its summit.

You can also explore the Welsh Valleys, with their rolling hills and lush forests, and visit the many lakes and reservoirs.

If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, take in the spectacular views from the top of the Brecon Beacons mountain range and even take part in some rock climbing.

With so much to do and see, the Brecon Beacons National Park is a great destination for visitors of all ages.

Hike the Brecon Beacons Way

Beacons Way
Photo by Derek Harper

Exploring the Brecon Beacons Way is a must for any outdoor enthusiast, providing a stunning backdrop as you trek through the Welsh countryside.

The Brecon Beacons Way is an 83-mile circular path that is split into 12 sections, each providing an individual challenge and reward.

The path takes you through a variety of terrain, from open grassland to the summit of Pen y Fan, the highest point in the region.

Along the way, you’ll come across some of the area’s most iconic attractions, such as the waterfalls at the Devil’s Pulpit and the Iron Age fort on the summit of Pen y Fan.

You’ll also pass by some of the area’s most picturesque villages, such as Llangynidr and Talybont-on-Usk.

Hiking the Brecon Beacons Way is a great way to experience the beauty of the region while taking on a challenging, rewarding journey.

Whether you complete the whole route or just take on one of the sections, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Tour the Brecon Beacons Waterfalls

Waterfall on Brecon Beacons
Photo by Alan Hughes

Experience the splendour of the Brecon Beacons’ waterfalls and take in the breathtaking views!

The Brecon Beacons is home to five major waterfalls, all of which are situated in the National Park. These include Henrhyd Falls, Sgwd y Pannwr, Sgwd Clun Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun Gwyn, and Sgwd yr Eira.

Each of these waterfalls has its own unique beauty, offering spectacular views and picturesque scenery.

Visiting the Brecon Beacons’ waterfalls is an unforgettable experience. From the cascading waterfalls to the lush vegetation and wildlife that inhabit the area, these waterfalls provide an ideal spot for nature lovers to explore.

Regardless of the season, the stunning views of the waterfalls make it a great way to explore and appreciate the beauty of the Brecon Beacons.

Experience the wonders of nature and soak up the majestic beauty of the Brecon Beacons’ waterfalls.

Explore Llangorse Lake

Llangorse Lake
Photo by Shaun Ferguson

Llangorse Lake is a stunning lake in Wales, providing an idyllic spot for outdoor adventure! This picturesque lake is located in the Brecon Beacons National Park, and it’s the largest natural lake in South Wales.

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The lake is home to a wide variety of wildlife, and visitors can spot a range of animals, including swans, geese, ducks, and even otters. The lake is also popular with bird watchers, who come to observe some of the many species of birds that can be seen in the area.

The surrounding area of Llangorse Lake is a great place to explore, with its stunning scenery and a wealth of outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy activities such as sailing, fishing, and kayaking, as well as a number of walking trails through the park.

There are also a number of sites of historical interest to explore, including the ruins of an Iron Age hillfort and a Norman castle. The nearby village of Llanelltyd is also worth a visit, with its traditional pubs and shops.

Go Horse Riding

Discover the beauty of Llangorse Lake from horseback and take a journey through the stunning countryside! Horse riding is one of the best ways to explore the Brecon Beacons National Park and its vast beauty.

With its rolling hills, lush green valleys and stunning views, horse riding is the perfect way to appreciate the Brecon Beacons. Not only is it a great way to get around, but it’s also an exhilarating experience!

Visitors can take a guided tour of the lake and its surroundings on horseback, and the experienced staff are more than happy to help and offer advice to novice riders. With a variety of routes to choose from, riders can go at their own pace, tackling different terrains and taking in the breathtaking views.

And don’t forget to take some time to relax and enjoy a picnic at one of the many scenic spots that dot the surrounding area. Horse riding is a great way to enjoy the Brecon Beacons and its majestic scenery!

Visit the Skirrid Mountain

Climb to the summit of Skirrid Mountain and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Welsh countryside! Skirrid Mountain, also known as the Holy Mountain of Wales, is a sacred site located in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The mountain is the site of an ancient Iron Age fort, as well as a Norman castle.

It’s a popular hiking destination for its stunning views of the Brecon Beacons and the surrounding area. The hike to the summit of Skirrid Mountain is relatively short, but it offers an intense workout with a steep climb. On clear days, the views from the summit are simply incredible, and you can see for miles in all directions.

The summit itself is marked with a cairn, and you can take a moment to appreciate the history and beauty of the landscape. Skirrid Mountain is the perfect place for a day of exploration and discovery.

Enjoy the Local Food and Drink

Treat yourself to the delicious local food and drinks of the Brecon Beacons, and savor the unique flavors of Wales! Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal or a light snack, you’ll find something to satisfy your taste buds.

From traditional Welsh dishes to gastropub fare, the Brecon Beacons have something for everyone. Try some of the local favorites, such as the traditional Welsh Cawl and Bara Brith. Welsh Cawl is a slow-cooked stew of lamb, potatoes, and vegetables such as carrots and leeks. Bara Brith is a moist, fruit-filled bread that’s often served with tea.

Take a break from your sightseeing and grab a pint of some of the local ales and ciders. The Brecon Beacons are home to a number of breweries that produce award-winning ales and ciders. Try some of the Beacons’ own brews, such as Brecon Brewing’s Beacons Best ale, or the Black Mountains Cider Company’s Welsh Perry. You can also sample some of the area’s many whiskies, including the Penderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky.

Enjoy the local flavors of the Brecon Beacons and you’ll surely have a memorable experience.

Go Canoeing and Kayaking

Embark on a thrilling adventure and paddle your way through the stunning scenery of the Brecon Beacons! Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or just starting out, the Brecon Beacons is the ideal place to explore the great outdoors and try something new.

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There are many different kayaking routes available to suit every experience level, from winding rivers to tranquil lakes.

For a peaceful journey, you can rent a canoe or kayak at Brecon Canoe Centre and take a leisurely tour of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take on the rapids of the River Wye. No matter which route you choose, you will have the opportunity to take in the breathtaking sights of the Brecon Beacons and make some unforgettable memories.

For those looking for a more challenging experience, there are plenty of white-water rapids to tackle, including the River Usk and River Tawe. You can even join guided tours and get tips and advice from experienced instructors.

Not only is kayaking a great way to explore the area, but it’s also a fantastic way to stay fit and active. So, make sure to take advantage of the incredible canoeing and kayaking opportunities in the Brecon Beacons and enjoy an exciting outdoor adventure!

Take a Cruise on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

Sail through the stunning scenery of the Brecon Beacons on a cruise of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.

A cruise along this canal is a unique way to experience the area, and it’s a must for all visitors.

The canal has been in use since the early 19th century, and it’s a great way to get back to nature and relax.

The canal is over 33 miles long, so there are many different routes to explore, depending on your time and preference.

Cruises are available from various locations, with some offering a full day’s cruise and others just a short trip.

As you cruise, you’ll get to see some of the most beautiful countryside in Wales, including the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Black Mountains, and the Usk Valley.

You can also expect to see plenty of wildlife, including otters, swans, and herons.

No matter which route you choose, a cruise on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is sure to be a memorable experience in the Brecon Beacons.

Walk the Offa’s Dyke Path

Take a journey along the England-Wales border on the Offa’s Dyke Path, a 177-mile long-distance footpath.

This stunning path, which was built in the 8th century by Offa, King of Mercia, is one of the best hikes in the Brecon Beacons.

With its rolling hills and stunning views, you’ll get to experience the beauty of the Welsh countryside as you walk.

Along the way, you’ll find plenty of places to stop and enjoy lunch, explore ancient ruins, and learn about Welsh culture.

The path also passes through historic towns and villages, so you can get a taste of local life as you go.

The walk can be done in sections, or in its entirety as a multi-day trek.

Whether you choose to take on the whole path or just a few miles, you’re sure to create lasting memories and be rewarded with exquisite views.

Go Caving

After a great day walking along the Offa’s Dyke Path, why not extend your stay in the Brecon Beacons and experience the thrill of caving?

Caving in the Brecon Beacons is an amazing way to explore the region’s hidden underground world. With a qualified guide, you can explore the many caves, caverns, and tunnels of the area and discover the incredible beauty and wonders of the underground.

From beginner-friendly caves to more challenging routes, there’s something for all levels of caver, and you’re sure to have a great adventure. Plus, you’ll get to see some amazing sights like the underground rivers and waterfalls, and perhaps even some rare cave creatures.

So if you’re looking for something a bit different, caving in the Brecon Beacons is the perfect choice.

Visit Carreg Cennen Castle

Be captivated by the majestic Carreg Cennen Castle, a breathtakingly beautiful sight that’s sure to take your breath away.

Located near the village of Trapp in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, this medieval castle is an impressive sight to behold. Its strategic location atop a limestone cliff makes it easy to spot on a clear day, and the views from the ramparts are stunning.

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The castle is believed to have been built in the 13th century, and its walls are made of local sandstone which has been worn by the elements over the centuries. Visitors can explore the main gatehouse and towers, as well as the castle keep, which is the highest point in the castle.

There’s also a network of caves located beneath the castle, which can be explored with a guide. These caves were used to store supplies during the castle’s heyday, and it’s a fascinating experience to explore them.

Carreg Cennen Castle is a great place for a day trip, and it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Explore the Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Reserve

Experience the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Reserve, the perfect place to gaze at the stars and marvel at the night sky.

The Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Reserve is the fifth largest Dark Sky Reserve in the world, and the first in Wales. It was also the first destination in Wales to be awarded the prestigious International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) Dark Sky Reserve status in 2013.

This pristine reserve is located in the Usk Valley in the Brecon Beacons National Park, and is known for its low light pollution and clear night skies.

The Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Reserve offers visitors a unique opportunity to see stars, planets, constellations, and meteor showers in all their glory. From the summit of Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in southern Britain, you can get an incredible view of the night sky.

There are also guided stargazing tours throughout the year where you can learn about the night sky and its vast expanse of stars. So if you’re looking for a truly unforgettable experience, be sure to check out the Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Reserve.

Visit the Brecon Beacons Botanical Gardens

Embark on a journey of discovery and explore the lush flora of the Brecon Beacons Botanical Gardens, a must-see for any nature lover.

Located in the scenic Brecon Beacons National Park, the gardens offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, where visitors can explore and marvel at the beauty of the natural world.

Featuring a variety of different gardens, such as the rock garden, alpine garden, wildflower meadow, and pond garden, the Brecon Beacons Botanical Gardens offer something for everyone.

Stroll through the gardens and take in the sights of the stunning flowers and plants in bloom, or take a break and enjoy a peaceful picnic in the shade of a magnificent tree.

Take advantage of the knowledgeable staff and guided tours, and learn more about the native flora and fauna of the Brecon Beacons.

With its picturesque setting and vibrant wildlife, the Brecon Beacons Botanical Gardens offer a wonderful experience for any nature lover.

Go Bird Watching

Take in the beauty of the Brecon Beacons National Park and its wildlife by going bird watching. The Brecon Beacons is home to over 130 species of birds, making it an ideal location for birdwatchers.

From the common chaffinch to the rare marsh fritillary butterfly, the Brecon Beacons is a paradise for all types of birds.

The best time to go bird watching in the Brecon Beacons is during the spring and autumn months when the resident bird population is at its peak.

There are many bird watching trails and hides throughout the park, providing plenty of opportunities to observe the various species.

There are also parks such as the Brecon Beacons National Nature Reserve, which offer a great chance to spot some of the rarer birds.

Bird watchers should also be sure to bring binoculars and a bird guide to help them identify the different breeds.

With a little patience and a good pair of binoculars, birders can take in some of the most amazing views in the world.

Conclusion

I’ve had an amazing time exploring the Brecon Beacons.
From hiking the Brecon Beacons Way to visiting Carreg Cennen Castle, there’s something for everyone.
I’ve enjoyed taking in the spectacular views of the National Park and the Dark Sky Reserve, and I can’t wait to come back.
The Brecon Beacons Botanical Gardens are breathtaking, and the bird watching on offer is truly remarkable.
I’m so glad I took the time to explore this truly special area of Wales.
It’s an experience I won’t forget.
If you want to get away from it all and take in some natural beauty, the Brecon Beacons are the perfect destination.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.