Britain’s Best Getaways: Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
They say the best things in life come free, and that certainly is the case when we’re talking about Brecon Beacons National Park. The Park is around 42 miles wide and covers approximately 520 square miles of South and Mid Wales. It has masses to offer with its charming waterfalls, beautiful mountains and moorland and colourful communities.
This blog will tell you about the park’s history, fun activities and where to stay in the area. There’s lots to discover in Brecon Beacons National Park, whether you’re planning a relaxing getaway, an active holiday or a heritage tour.
Brecon Beacons National Park was of the first ten national parks in Great Britain, established in 1957, to safeguard the stunning landscapes shaped by the Ice Age. Human activity, from nearly eight millennia, has also helped to mould the landscapes leaving stone circles, burial chambers, forts, churches and Roman camps. St Catwg’s Llangattock Church, located at Brecon Beacons, is considered one of the oldest in Britain, founded in the 6th century, but has since been rebuilt quite a bit since its foundation, adding a 14th century nave and a 16th century tower. During the industrial years, the Monmouthshire Canal and the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal were founded to help transportation of limestone, coal and iron. This age brought fine rural and urban buildings to the area.
In more recent history, for more than 100 years, the central Brecon Beacons have been an important place for the British army and is used today by the Ministry of Defence as the selection ground for the Special Air Service.
The National Trust became the landowner back in the 1960s and has since then been developing the park as a tourist destination.
For more interesting information about the park’s geology, traditions, stories, legends and more, click here.
There is a lot to do and see in Brecon Beacons National Park. Here are just some of the highlights:
- Abergavenny Food Festival – This weekend festival is one full of food and drinks! You will find stalls, talks, demos and various activities such as guided wild food walks. The festival takes place on Saturday 20 September and Sunday 21 September.
- Blaenavon World Heritage Site – This UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its various museums, tells you the story of South Wales’ rise as an iron and steel producer. Discover the vintage railway and explore the restored town centre!
- Carreg Cennen Castle – This haunting and romantic castle, on a hilltop to the west of the National Park, has inspired many artists to put it canvas or film. Visit it now and get inspired yourself.
- Stargazing – The park has some of the highest quality dark skies in the UK, where you can see the Milky Way, meteor showers and major constellations on a clear night. Indeed, last year, the park was designated an ‘International Dark Sky Reserve’ and was granted special protection. There are different events every month to enjoy stargazing. Head on over now and get starry eyed! Intrigued? For a preview of this wonderful activity, watch the official video here.
- Waterfalls – Take a romantic tour along the waterfall, where you will see amazing wildlife. There are so many of them at the head of the Vale of Neath, they call it Waterfall Country.
- Be active – As well as the scenic aspects of the park, there is plenty to do if you are a sporty type. From caving, to potholing, golf, horse riding, rock climbing, cycling kayaking and more, there is something for everyone in this park.
There is so much more to discover in this beautiful national park. Visit the official website for more information on activities, events and planning your visit.
Make the most out of your stay in South Wales by staying at Gliffaes Country House Hotel in Crickhowell, Powys, tucked away in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Gliffaes Country House Hotel is the perfect place to experience the uniqueness of South Wales – its breathtaking scenery, outstanding local produce and a warm welcome. Surrounded by 33 acres of gardens, lawns and woodlands by the River Usk, it is the ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. You are only a couple of minutes from the great fishing in the River Usk, making it a perfect fishing getaway as well!