Wales is a totally gorgeous country to explore! From picturesque towns like Tenby gorgeous Welsh beaches and beautiful national parks, it’s the kind of country that’s got a little slice of everything to see. Now, if you’re basing yourself in South Wales or the more rural areas around West Wales, you’ll easily find a heap of tranquil and totally beautiful national parks to visit. This is no truer than with the Brecon Beacons. Stretching halfway across the width of Wales, there’s a heap of the best places in the Brecon Beacons you won’t want to miss!
Being one of Wales’ three national parks (like Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire), the Brecon Beacons has long been protected for us all to enjoy.
It’s the kind of place that’s totally easy to visit if you’re fancying a gander from one of South Wales’ cities for a day trip, or a holiday in its own right. Honestly, you can spend a heap of time in the Brecon Beacons and still not get to see it all!
So, to help you get the most out of your trip, I wanted to share some gems that we love.
Take a look, below, at the best places in the Brecon Beacons to visit. Have an amazing time in Wales.
1.) Fforest Fawr Geopark (from Pen-y-Fan to Dan Yr Ogof)
For anyone that loves the great outdoors, Fforest Fawr Geopark will be an area you’ll have to visit. Stretching from Brecon in over to Llandeilo, it compromises the vast majority of Western Brecon Beacons and is stunning to visit.
Not only that, it’s now been classified as a UNESCO Global Geopark, being the first-ever geopark to be designated in Wales.
You see, the thing that makes this one of the best places in the Brecon Beacons to visit is its long and diverse history. The gorgeous landscapes were formed more than 20,000 years ago. Not only that, the whole area of Fforest Fawr Geopark even has evidence of early populations that lived in the area over 8,000 years ago!
Once here, make sure to explore the trails around the Black Mountains like the Black Mountains Circular Walk, for instance. Yes, it’s around 25-km or so to complete but it’s totally incredible to see.
Alternatively, take one of the shorter routes to see Llyn y Fan Fach, a glacial lake that’s too stunning to miss.
For the views, head to the top of Pen-y-Fan for the most beautiful sunset (or sunrise, if you’re keen). Now, it can be long but the four hiking routes to the summit are totally stunning. Just be sure to hike responsibly and be aware of weather conditions that can change really fast here.
If you’re nearer Merthyr Tydfil, pop over to Pontsticill Reservoir for a little stroll around. You can also pop in the Old Barn Tea Room to warm up with some welsh cakes, bara brith and hot tea. Yum!
Oh, and be sure to pop in the National Showcaves Centre for Wales at Dan Yr Ogof. I’ve visited countless times and love them!
2.) Llanthony Priory
Located in the gorgeous Vale of Ewyas in Brecon Beacons National Park, Llanthony Priory is the ruined monastery dating back to the 12th century. Honestly, it’s one of the best places in the Brecon Beacons to explore, especially if you love a gander at the human history of the park.
You see, the Priory has a fascinating history, starting from when a nobleman came upon a dilapidated chapel and decided to devote himself to solitary prayer.
A church was eventually built here, attracting monks and more followers, and developing into one of the great norman-gothic buildings in Wales.
Also, from here, you can join part of the Beacons Way, a trail that runs for 99-miles right through the park itself.
Staying overnight? Check into the historic Abbey Hotel, which is incorporated into a tower of the priory, if you’re planning on staying the night.
3.) Llangors Lake
Just east of Brecon, Llangors Lake is the largest in South Wales and one of the best places in the Brecon Beacons to visit for a few hours.
In the summer months, you might even be able to go out boating on the lake. It’s lovely and so picturesque.
4.) Brecon Mountain Railway
Fancying taking a little chill time but still seeing lots of best places in the Brecon Beacons? Well, I’ve got just the trick for you; the Brecon Mountain Railway.
Running through the National Park (from Pant to Torpantau), hopping on the historic steam trains is a totally unique way to experience the natural beauty of the area.
5.) Fan Hir
North of Dan-Yr-Ogof Caves and within the Black Mountains, Fan Hir is well worth a visit for the best views in all the park. Well, in my opinion at least.
Just be aware, the route can get boggy in really wet weather, so make sure to wear good, waterproof, shoes. No one likes being a soggy foot hiker.
Don’t fancy a hike to the top? Follow some of the Beacons Way that takes in the impressive views of Fan Hir itself.
6.) Skirrid Mountain Inn & Tretower Castle and Court
Speaking of hauntings, the Skirrid Mountain Inn, is known as one of Wales’ most haunted and oldest pubs in Wales.
Built on a “shivering” mountain, the Skirrid Mountain Inn is said to be home to numerous ghosts and has embedded itself in countless legends and has around 900 years of history in the Brecon Beacons as an execution spot. Even to this day, you can still see the oak hanging beam where people were hung!
Feeling brave? Spend a night amongst the ghoulish residents whilst exploring the Skirrid Fawr trail or further afield.
Talking of further afield, drive 25-minutes west to explore Tretower Castle and Court.
It is known to have adapted over the years to match the current style, tastes and trends, maintaining its reputation as one of the most fashionable courts in Wales. Whilst there, try to catch a glimpse of the famous White Lady, forever waiting for the return of her brave lover from the Battle of Agincourt.
7.) Carreg Cennen Castle
Built back in the 1200s, Carreg Cennen Castle is steeped in history and one of the best places in the Brecon Beacons to explore when in the western fringes of the park.
Once here, be sure to explore the natural caves and vaulted walkways and views across the region. It’s stunning.
8.) Red Kite Feeding Station
Located in Llanddeusant, the Red Kite Feeding Station allows you the opportunity to see one of the largest birds of prey in Wales. They’re so majestic – and huge!
Watch the iconic Red Kites circle in the sky before flying down for a meal, accompanied by other birds of prey like buzzards. It’s pretty easy to visit if you’re already in Fforest Fawr Geopark and well worth a gander if you love wildlife.
9.) Henrhyd Falls
Henrhyd Falls is totally stunning to visit and really easy to get to from Swansea or Merthyr Tydfil by car. It’s one of the best places in the Brecon Beacons to visit, especially if you want to see South Wales’ highest waterfalls.
Also, you might recognise the falls from the Batman movie, The Dark Knight? This is the actual waterfall where Bat Cave is located!
Oh, just be aware, the free car park is rather small and can fill up fast. So, just incase take some cash with you to pay for the private car parking that’s nearby.
10.) Waterfall Country
On the fringes of Brecon Beacons, the area lovingly known as Waterfall Country is an incredible place to explore – especially by foot.
With what seems like a waterfall everywhere you turn, talking a walk down a trail or two around Waterfall Country and explore some of the area’s key falls.
Once in the area, head to the car park at the trailhead for the Four Waterfalls Walk. From here, you’ll be able to visit the iconic; Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr and the beautiful Sgwd Yr Eira.
11.) Talybont Reservoir
One of the larger bodies of water in the Brecon Beacons, Talybont Reservoir is a stunning spot to visit for the trails and waterside view.
Plus, you can easily partner this with a trail to the top of Pen y Fan and then spend some time chilling out by the water. It’s so pristine.
Oh, and whilst you’re in the area, pop over to the nearby Pontsticill Reservoir. It’s around a 12-minute drive from Talybont Reservoir and another great stopping point.
That being said, if you do decide to take the Brecon Mountain Railway (from Pant), you’ll easily see Pontsticill Reservoir as you meander the valley edge.
12.) Sugar Loaf
Nestled within the south-eastern fringes of the Brecon Beacons, Sugar Loaf is a great stopping point if you’re looking to join a hike.
Taking around three hours to fully hike this relatively easy route, Sugar Loaf summit is gorgeous to visit for a half-day trip and really beautiful on a sunny day. Along the way, you might even spot some of the local red kites or grouse that call this area of the park home.