Remote, breathtakingly wild and lovely; a vast area to explore within the mountain folds
weather can change very quickly
Fantastic views and amazing air for hikers and tourists alike.
Of course the main thing to do in the Brecon Beacons is walking, and in the Mountain Centre you can get different maps of the area. Because I was only here for one afternoon, I just bought a small map for £1, which was sufficient for my short walk to Twyn y Gaer (more about that in the next tip).I enjoyed my walk very much because I had not...more
The destination of my walk was the iron age hill fort of Twyn y Gaer. This walk was proposed by the men working in the Mountain Centre, and I agreed because I am interested in prehistory and because they said that you have a very good view from there. And it was a very nice walk indeed!The hill on which the fort was once constructed is 367m high....more
The Mountain Centre is definitely the place to go if you do walking or hiking in this part of the Brecon Beacons. They have as many maps and guide books on offer as you can wish for, and in addition a selection of gear, special clothing, souvenirs etc. There is a help desk where you can buy leaflets and where staff are there to help you in case you...more
A lovely walk along a chain of waterfalls down the Mellte and Hepste rivers, near Ystradfellte, in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The most spectacular waterfall, Sgwd yr Eira, is at the end of the trail, where you will walk behind a curtain of water. The trail is beautiful, through wooded countryside; fairly easy walking with the odd steep...more
The present structure is C14th, though there was a much earlier church here. St Mary's is said to have the second largest collection of medieval monuments of any church. One extraordinary item to have survived the the Puritans is an enormous wooden figure of Jesse, once part of an even more enormous wooden structure of a Jesse tree; this probably...more
The railway has all-weather carriages which provide amazing views of the route along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservoir to Dol-y-Gaer. Passengers can alight at Pontsticill and visit the Café, admire the view across the water to the peaks of the Brecon Beacons, and go for a ramble alongside the reservoir. There is also a play area for...more
The Brecon Beacons Park Society, have just published their Summer 2009 walks programme,loads of good walks in here, they are usually quite long and strenuous and you need a good level of fitness to keep up with the regulars. Its a great way to find out more about the area and get to places that youmight not feel confident navigating on your own...more
Hay festival is all about books and interesting people, it has a great atmosphere, there are tevents to make you laugh and events to make you think, as well as lots of events aimed at younger readers, the only down side is that it's not cheap (some of the talks are free but you still need to book a ticket) and the popular events tend to get booked...more
An easy walk of three and a half miles, a bit steep in places and can be very muddy where the horses have been using the bridleway. From the fort at the top of the hill you get some of the best views in the National Park, guess thats why those canny Romans chose it as a look out spot. There is a interesting little hunting tower in the wood on the...more
Llangorse Lake, the largest lake in South Wales is situated in the Brecon Beacons National Park .It is surrounded by common land and provides an ideal spot for walking, fishing, camping and water based activities.It is also an important centre for scientific research and possesses many rare plants as well as a great variety of fish and birds.Near...more
You can make the walk to the top of the Sugar Loaf any thing from 1 3/4 miles to 9, depending on where you start your walk. The highest of the car parks is off the A40 on top of Mynydd Llanwenarth, take the first turn on the right after Neville Hall Hospital signed for Sugar Loaf vineyard and when you are on the narrow lane make sure you make two...more
This is an iron age fort on the wild and boggy Mynydd Illtyd common land in the Brecon Beacons National Park, named after St Illtyd who is the patron saint of Wales with St David. Legend has it he is buried on the common here. Take care when walking here as a horse and farmer were nearly sucked into one of the bogs a few years ago - there are...more
A wild and remote place; a winding and lovely walk or drive along the choppy, sparkling river Honddu. Llanthony Abbey was founded by a Norman knight, William de Lacy, who sheltered in a chapel dedicated to St David whilst out hunting and had a mystical experience - as anyone might in this valley. A priory was esablished near the spot and was...more
The Skirrid (Ysgyryd Fawr) is known locally as 'Holy Mountain' and is situated a mile or so from Abergavenny. The strange glacial fissure in the hill is said to have been created by a fork of lightening at the moment of the crucifiction. This is illustrated on the local inn sign pictured. At the summit, there's the remains of both an iron age fort,...more
When I arrived at the Mountain Centre, I was very thirsty from my walk up the hill, and so at first I bought a cold drink at the Tea Rooms. It was quite crowded here because there were several groups of school children and walkers, so the queue was a bit long, but finally I managed to get a drink.There are a few tables inside of the Tea Rooms, and...more
After climbing a couple of the nearby peaks this pub was a welcome rest.The owners were very welcoming and we were greeted by a roaring fire. The food was very tasty; all eight of us enjoyed our meals.The food is priced very reasonably.The area around the pub is very picturesque, and it is situated very close to some of the highest peaks in the...more
This is favourite place, partly because it marks the beginning of so many happy journeys home for me - stopping off here has become a tradition. This is a huge coaching inn: lots of higgledy piggledy rooms, old beams, horse brass, dramatic courtyard and arch, accommodation and an attractive garden with some of the brightest displays of nastursiums...more
Those of you who grew up in small country towns will be familiar with the Abergavenny Saturday-night-ambience. We stumbled ever so fractionally on the kerb and we found this provided a group of 16 year old girls with enough amusement to keep them laughing for a good 10 minutes. Before I get lots of angry emails from local residents, we had a lovely...more
We went to the very first Green man festival in the eccentric Craig Y Nos castle grounds. It was a tiny folk festival then, with other events alongside, like a story teller and fire-eater. Will be its 5th year in 2008 15th, 16th, 17th August. Super Furry Animals and Richard Thomson head the bill. It has grown enormously and is now held in the...more
The closest bus stop the Mountain Centre is located within the small village of Libanus. From the bus stop, it is still a walk of about half an hour to the Mountain Centre itself.I went to the Brecon Beacons by a bus of the Sixty-Sixty bus company, but unfortunately this connection was cancelled in the end of March 2012.Now the best option (as far...more
Don't know if you have heard of Beacons Bus, it is a Sunday Bus service that runs to all sorts of places in and out of the National Park, Brecon is the hub, so all the early morning buses make their way to Brecon arriving at 11ish and then go out again on various tours, you can get all the way to Carmarthen and back if you really want to. Any how...more
The cup is connected with the estate at Nant Eos (Stream of the Nightingale), near Aberystwyth, and is said to have been brought to Wales by Joseph of Arimathea - that same uncle of Jesus who was so busy at Glastonbury.
Some say the cup is made of olive wood, some of wych elm (it was claimed it was of olive wood, I suppose, to suggest it could be the wood of the true cross). It is supposed to have come from nearby Strata Florida Abbey at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The cup once had healing powers, but these are said to have been lost.
One story tells how the composer Wagner stayed at Nant Eos in C19th, and inspired by the presence of the cup, and the legend of the quest to find it, began work on his opera Parsival. However, the facts and dates don't match up, as Wagner began work on the opera some ten years before he stayed at the house. I don't know where the cup is now, though my brother things it may be in a safety box in a bank vault in Hereford!
At the tourist information they had told me that from the bus stop in Libanus I should just walk up the street and I would find the Mountain Centre very easily...So I went to Libanus unprepared, but when I arrived, I saw that it was not so easy. I found a signpost and walked up the way it indicated. However, after some time the street became wilder...more
When I arrived at the Mountain Centre, I asked staff about the walks that I might do within the short time I had, and they advised me to do the walk to the hill fort. I asked several times just to make sure, and they said that I could absolutely do that walk within one hour, and that I would then have plenty enough time to walk back to the bus stop...more
The church of St. Issui, Patricio, took half a day and a lot of argument to find. In a very lovely and very isolated valley in the Black Mountains. There is a very great deal to see here: a superb carved medieval rood screen; extraordinary wall paintings once hidden behind whitewash (and some later, C17 ones, such as the ten commandments); a rare...more
I have included Blaenavon in the 'Off the Beaten track', simply because it falls outside the National Park. An easy day trip from any part of the Beacons.It will be through films like Brassed Off & Billy Elliott that many VT visitors will know of the struggle between titan Scargill's NUM & titaness Margaret Thatcher and her plans to close the pits...more
This is not in the Beacons National Park, but makes an easy trip for anyone staying in the Hay area and makes for a lovely drive through the Golden Valley.The name "Kilpeck" means monastic cell . Nothing remains of this, though there is evidence of some very old structures beneath the C12th fabric of the church.It is an extraordinary church with...more
I went to the Brecon Beacons by bus and I enjoyed the ride very much. After some time you get right into the mountains, and you can see this remarkable landscape... I found it simply wonderful, and also unusual: The mountains are barren apart from some scarce vegetation, you can neither see rocks, nor many trees. It is a yellowish-brownish colour, and the rolling, soft form of the mountains is a contrast to the harsh vegetation. It is a strange sort of beauty, but beauty it is!
I loved going through here by bus, and although I was only here for one day, I fell in love with this landscape and very much wish to return.