Brecon Beacons Walks
Established as a national park in 1957, Brecon Beacons National Park is a beautifully scenic stretch of terrain in the south of Wales that features a wide variety of landscapes from rugged mountain ranges to rolling countryside, open moorland, and ancient forests. It was the third national park to be designated in Wales, following Snowdonia and the Pembrokeshire Coast in 1951 and 1952, respectively.
The park can largely be divided into four sections, with the Black Mountain range in the west, Fforest Fawr and the Brecon Beacons in the centre, and the confusingly titled Black Mountains to the east. The highest point in the park, Pen-y-Fan at 886 m, is one of the most popular walking destinations in Southern Britain, as it offers sweeping views that extend out across the Bristol Channel to Exmoor.
Thanks largely to the diversity and natural beauty of its terrain, Brecon Beacons National Park is an area popular with tourists and outdoor enthusiasts, seeing an approximate 4.4 million visitors who spend an average of £278 million each year. The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority has thus been tasked with conservation and enhancement efforts to ensure that the environment there is both looked after and suitable for enjoyment by the public. For those looking to experience the beautifully wild landscape of Wales, Brecon Beacons National Park is a great place to do so.
10 Best Walking Routes In Brecon Beacons National Park
The stunningly diverse landscape of Brecon Beacons National Park makes it an ideal area to explore if you are looking for an amazing walking excursion in the United Kingdom. A mixture of rolling countryside, tranquil ancient forests, charming villages, and dramatic peaks means that there will never be a shortage of amazing scenery, and that there will always be a wide variety of trails to match up with every skill and age level. If you are looking to explore the vast and wild beauty of Wales but aren’t sure where to start, check out this fantastic list of what we think are the 10 best walking routes in Brecon Beacons National Park:
- Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk: Arguably the most popular walking route in the central beacons of Brecon Beacons National Park, this trail will take you uphill to the breathtaking summit viewpoints atop Corn Du and Pen-y-Fan for a spectacular sightline across the surrounding mountains and picturesque Welsh countryside.
- Ystradfellte Four Waterfalls Walk: This is an spectacular adventure for those times when you aren’t looking to take on a huge day of uphill walking and simply want to explore the forest while taking in some amazing riverside and waterfall views.
- Llyn y Fan Fach and Llyn y Fan Fawr Circular Walk: Situated in the western part of Brecon Beacons National Park, this fantastic walking route will lead you across the rugged terrain of the Carmarthen Fans to visit the charming lakes of Llyn y Fan Fach and Llyn y Fan Fawr.
- Brecon Beacons Horseshoe Circular Walk: Another amazing route in the central beacons, this trail will take you high up into the mountains across the peaks of Corn Du, Pen-y-Fan, Cribyn, and Fan-y-Big to experience exceptional views of the surrounding mountains and valleys of the park.
- Brecon Beacons Four Peaks Walk: While this route may be very popular, it is deservedly so, as it will take you across the summits of the central beacons of Corn Du, Pen-y-Fan, Cribyn, and Fan-y Big. Traversing the mountainous terrain along this route will provide a great workout and outstanding views.
- Parc Bryn Bach Circular Walk: A charming walking route just on the edge of Brecon Beacons National Park, the Parc Bryn Bach Circular will lead you around a lovely 36 acre lake to experience some pleasant views of the surrounding landscape.
- Usk Reservoir Walk: This fun walking route will lead you through the Welsh countryside to visit the lovely Usk Reservoir and its woodland surroundings, asking for a great afternoon for the entire family.
- Talybont Reservoir Walk: Another great reservoir walk, the Talybont Reservoir Trail will take you through the open countryside and charming forests surrounding the largest stillwater reservoir in the central beacons.
- Fforest Fawr Circular Walk: A slightly difficult route to navigate, the Fforest Fawr Circular Walk will take you through the mountains for some exceptional views overlooking the park and the opportunity to visit the scenic Ystradfellte Reservoir.
- Llanfrynach and Fan-y-Big Walk: This challenging walking route will see you traverse the open Welsh countryside and make your way into the central beacons, where you will be able to visit the ‘diving board’ rock formation at Fan-y-Big and capture some amazing photos.
When is the Best Time to Walk in Brecon Beacons National Park?
While the climate of Brecon Beacons National Park is fairly mild year-round, the mountainous and exposed landscape can be challenging to traverse, particularly during the wetter months of the year. If you are hoping to get the most out of your walking adventure in Brecon Beacons National Park, the best time to visit would be during the May-September window, when the weather is at its warmest and driest.
Other Outdoor Activities in Brecon Beacons National Park
The diverse landscape of Brecon Beacons National Park makes it an ideal place to explore, no matter what your preferred outdoor activity is. While the most popular thing to do here is walk the park’s many trails, there are a great number of other opportunities available, such as camping, wild swimming, fishing in the region’s many reservoirs and waterways, cycling, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing/abseiling, and stargazing.
Epic Adventure Tours Near Brecon Beacons National Park
While everyone can agree that taking part in a fantastic adventure is a great experience that will create lasting memories, the planning aspect of such an excursion can often be a tedious affair. If you are looking to avoid fussing about over accommodations, itineraries, and things to do, then you should check out this list of amazing adventure tours in the nearby South of England that will leave the planning to the professionals so that you can focus on exploring the outdoors.
Frequently Asked Questions About Brecon Beacons National Park
How big is Brecon Beacons National Park?
Brecon Beacons National Park covers an area of 1344km².
What is unique about Brecon Beacons National Park?
Brecon Beacons National Park is such a unique place, thanks to a diverse landscape characterized by a picturesque countryside, rolling hills, cascading waterfalls, rugged mountains, and beautiful forests.
What is the highest point in the Brecon Beacons?
At an elevation of 886 m above sea level, the highest point in the Brecon Beacons (and southern Britain in general) is Pen-y-Fan.
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Best Hikes in Brecon Beacons National Park
Pen y Fan and Corn Du Short Walk
The Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du Short Walk is an amazing outdoor adventure in Brecon Beacons National Park that will take you uphill to the summit of a mountain with unbeatable views overlooking South Wales. While out walking the trail, you will work your way up the steep and rugged mountainside to reach the summits of Corn Du and Pen-y-Fan, the highest peak in South Wales and Southern Britain. Although steep, this path follows one of the more direct routes into the central beacons and will hopefully allow you to avoid some of the crowds.
Ystradfellte Four Waterfalls Walk
The Ystradfellte Four Waterfalls Walk is a fantastic adventure in Brecon Beacons National Park that will take you through the forest to visit a series of stunning waterfalls. While out walking the trail, you will enter into the dense cover of the forest and follow along the banks of Afon Mellte, eventually passing by the cascading waters of Sgwd Uchaf Clun Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun Gwyn, and Sgwd yr Eira. This is a wonderfully scenic woodland adventure if you are looking to relax and view some breathtaking waterways in Wales.
Llyn y Fan Fach and Llyn y Fan Fawr Circular Walk
The Llyn y Fan Fach and Llyn y Fan Fawr Circular Walk is a beautifully scenic adventure in Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales that will take you up into the mountains for stunning views over two charming lakes. While out walking the trail, you will make your way to the tranquil shores of Llyn y Fan Fach and the Carmarthen Fans, traversing the summits of Waun Lefrith, Bannau Sir Gaer, Fan Foel, and Fan Brycheiniog before arriving at the shores of Llyn y Fan Fawr. Simply put, this is one of the best walking routes in Brecon Beacons National Park.
Brecon Beacons Horseshoe Circular Walk
The Brecon Beacons Horseshoe Circular Walk is a beautifully scenic outdoor excursion in Wales that will lead you to the highest point in Brecon Beacons National Park (and southern Britain as a whole) for some breathtaking views. While out walking the trail, you will climb up into the mountains to explore the central beacons, traversing the summits of Corn Du, Pen-y-Fan, Cribyn, and Fan-y-Big, before descending back into the valley below. This is a great alternate route from which you can explore the rugged terrain of the Brecon Beacons.
Parc Bryn Bach Circular Walk
The Parc Bryn Bach Circular Walk is a charming lakeside adventure in Wales that will take you through a 340 acre nature reserve. While out walking the trail, you will follow closely around the shores of a 36 acre lake that features beautiful views of the surrounding grassland and forest. This is a lovely walking route near Brecon Beacons National Park that is perfectly suited for a fun family adventure.
Torpantau, Corn Du, and Pen-y-Fan Circular Walk
The Torpantau, Corn Du, and Pen-y-Fan Circular Walk is a long and challenging outdoor excursion in Brecon Beacons National Park that is utilized by special forces for training in rugged mountain terrain. While out walking this 22.0 km trail, you will traverse the undulating terrain of the mountains to visit the summit viewpoints of Corn Du and Pen-y-Fan, before making the return along an elevated position above the valley. This is a very challenging trail that should only be undertaken by seasoned walkers.
Brecon Beacons Four Peaks Walk
The Brecon Beacons Four Peaks Walk is a fun, albeit very popular, walking route in Brecon Beacons National Park that will take you on the most direct route over these famous mountains. While out walking the trail, you will climb uphill through the rugged, mountainous terrain in order to traverse the summits of Corn Du, Pen-y-Fan, Cribyn, and Fan-y-Big. Even though it is a well-travelled route, the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains are an ample reward for having to deal with the crowds.
Llanfrynach and Fan-y-Big Walk
The Llanfrynach and Fan-y-Big Walk is a challenging adventure in Wales that will take you up into the Brecon Beacons for stunning views from the ‘diving board’ rock formation at Fan-y-Big. While tout on the walk, you will pass through the village of Llanfrynach to traverse the open countryside, climbing uphill to the summit of Fan-y-Big before descending along Cefn Cyff. Walkers should take note that this route is best done in favourable weather conditions, as navigation will be easier and the views will be far more scenic.
Usk Reservoir Walk
The Usk Reservoir Walk is a great adventure in Brecon Beacons National Park that offers a chance to explore a lovely body of water set in the Welsh countryside. While out walking the trail, you will follow along the edge of the Usk Reservoir and enjoy beautifully scenic views across the surface of the water and the surrounding woodland landscape. This is a fantastic walking route that is perfectly suited for a fun family adventure.
Talybont Reservoir Walk
The Talybont Reservoir Walk is a relaxing outdoor experience in Wales that will take you around the shoreline of the largest stillwater reservoir in the central Brecon Beacons. While out walking the trail, you will traverse quiet roads and footpaths through the forest, as you take in some beautiful views across the water. While this is an easy-going walk, be sure to keep an eye on children and dogs when walking along the road portions of the route.
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