Jam packed with rolling mountains, vast moorland, deep gorges and flowing waterfalls – Brecon Beacons National Park is the perfect destination for a hiking adventure! If you’re planning a trip to try out the trails then this guide should help you make the most of your visit.
Getting there & getting around: Brecon Beacons National Park is located in the south of Wales and is easily accessible by car, which is how I recommend you travel around. Most of the hike trailheads are not on public transport routes, so having four wheels will enable you to get around on wheels.
Accommodation: There are numerous villages and towns you can stay in around the park, the most popular being Abergavenny, Crickhowell and Brecon. There are hotels for all price points and an abundance of Airbnb’s in the region.
Price: Hotels, restaurants and cafes have typical UK prices – with those inside the national park being able to charge a premium. Stay just outside the park and cook your own food in self catering accommodation to save some pennies.
How long to stay: You could easily see the highlights of the Brecon Beacons in a long weekend, but could also fill a whole week with activities and adventures if you had the time!
When to go: The Brecon Beacons is a year-round destination. However, if you’re looking to hike then the summer months allow for easier access to trails rather than dealing with snow and ice on the peaks.
Brecon Beacons National Park is an incredible place to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails, it has an abundance of routes for all abilities. The ones listed here are more on the challenging end of the scale. I recommend that whatever the time of year you pack for all eventualities. It can be sunny in the valleys but raining and stormy on the peaks. There is no such thing as being over prepared in the mountains!
The Brecon Beacons Horseshoe
Elevation Gain: 982m
This iconic circular route takes in four beautiful peaks including the famous Pen Y Fan. The scenery is incredible and the landscape is dramatic, with panoramic views in all directions for most of the walk. Be warned, the trail is popular due to its beauty so I recommend arriving very early to guarantee a parking spot.
Llyn Y Fan & Llyn y Fan Fawr
Elevation Gain: 740m
Do not miss this hike! It is a beautiful trail which takes in dramatic mountain scenery and stunning lakes. It is challenging at times with some large inclines, but worth it for the rewarding views. I recommend you pack your swimming gear for a mid hike dip!
The Four Falls Hike
Elevation Gain: 275m
This short and sweet hike goes through the famous “waterfall country” region of the Brecon Beacons, taking in four absolutely stunning waterfalls – each unique in their own way. You can take a dip at many of the falls, so be sure to pack your swimming kit.
Elevation Gain: 835m
If you want to escape the crowds then this route is lesser known than the others in this guide. It has all the makings of a great day out – challenging inclines, rewarding views and beautiful scenery. I recommend doing the trail in an anticlockwise direction and taking £2 in cash to cover the parking fees.
Elevation Gain: 404m
Located in the far East of the national park this route offers a change of scenery. It is a varied walk with only one short incline and the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in a Keepers Pond. There are great views throughout the whole trail, why not take a picnic to enjoy at the top.
Wild Swimming Spots:
The Brecon Beacons is known for its gorgeous rivers, streams, lakes and waterfalls. It is an incredible location for wild swimming and I recommend packing your swimmers on every hike you do, as you will no doubt stumble across the perfect spot for a dip. Here are some great locations to take a cold water plunge out in nature.
- Llyn Y Fan Fawr – a beautiful lake surrounded by scenic peaks.
- Llyn Cwm Llwch – a small lake under Pen Y Fan.
- Nant Sere – a stream with small pools below Pen Y Fan.
- Henrhyd Falls – the tallest waterfall in southern Wales.
- The Secret Waterfall – discover how to find it here.
- The Four Falls Hike – dip in as many as you like!
- Wolf’s Leap, Irfon – rich with pools and gorges.
Safe travels and enjoy the natural beauty of Wales!