There's so much to do in the beautiful Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park it's hard to know where to begin! We've come up with a shortlist of some of the most challenging, but immense fun, things to do in the Bannau above and below ground.
Walking the Beacons Way
Because the National Park has more day hikes than you can shake a walking stick, the Beacons Way remains a trail for connoisseurs. This difficult long distance trail covers over 100 miles of the best, but little known, walk in Wales between Llangadog and Abergavenny. You can take the high-ground by day then dip to towns each night, via glacial lakes, waterfalls, castles, major peaks and stunning views. Magic.
Fishing on the River Usk
The Usk trickles from the Black Mountain down through forests and over bedrock to the freestone runs where wild brown trout run and salmon leap. From June to October the loveliest game river in Wales offers a challenge for anyone who enjoys a summer evening’s fishing: angler, otter and kingfisher.
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Go hard on the Black Mountains Classic from Talgarth. Go slow on the family-friendly visitor centre route near Brecon. Whatever your pedalling style, you'll find your track among the 14 that are routed close to pretty towns. You don’t need a bike – hire is plentiful – just a sense of adventure.
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Stargazing in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons)
Home to some of the UK’s darkest skies, the Brecon Beacons National Park is Wales’s first International Dark Sky Reserve. Regular stargazing events provide telescopes to reveal blazing nebulas, constellations and meteor showers. Or simply step outside after dinner. That stripe across the velvet black sky is the Milky Way.
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Canoeing on the River Wye
Llangorse Lake is fine for a potter. But for a mini-adventure hire a canoe at Glasbury and dip a paddle in the River Wye. You can drift downstream past meadows and waterbirds, bounce over gentle rapids then stop for lunch and book shopping in Hay-on-Wye.
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Canyoning in waterfall country
For decades, visitors simply admired the waterfalls near Ystradfellte in the south of the park. Nowadays they wear wetsuits, buoyancy aids and helmets then leap off them on guided trips. They also slide down chutes and bounce over rapids. Fun, of course, but don’t forget to admire the scenery too.
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Pony trekking in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons)
We’ve been pony trekking here longer than anywhere else in Britain. What do you expect with thousands of kilometres of bridleways across hill, valley and moor? It’s the freedom of an empty trail that appeals to both adults and children. That and the delays – a pub lunch while your mount grazes outside.
Discover more about horse riding breaks in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park.
High flying in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park
North-facing mountain escarpments offer near-perfect launchpads for the first-time flyer. On a trial flight in a glider, you can ride thermals over patchworks of hills and soar along hill ridges in what many pilots name as the UK’s finest gliding region. Why should buzzards enjoy the best views?
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Caving in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons)
Three cheers for tropical sea creatures. Thanks to the bed of limestone they created 370 million years ago the Brecon Beacons is as impressive below ground as above. Dangerous alone, one of Europe’s longest cave networks offers a genuine adventure, if explored with an accredited operator. Or with the kids in the Dan-Yr-Ogof Showcaves - there's a dinosaur park on site as well!
Find out more about caving in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park