Climb Pen y Fan

Stand on the roof of southern Britain, hand in hand, and you’ll feel on top of the world. There are several routes to the marker at the top of Pen y Fan, 886m up. The best known path is so gentle that anyone can mooch along it, but there’s also a horseshoe ridge walk via two other nearby peaks and steep tracks to really get your hearts racing.

Visit Carreg Cennen Castle

Seen from a distance, Carreg Cennen has a stunning silhouette, perched high on a crag in the rolling Carmarthenshire countryside. Many an artist has sketched, painted or photographed it – not least JMW Turner, whose watercolours now reside in Tate Britain. Climb up to the ancient castle walls and you’re sure to feel inspired.

Walker looking across to Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons
Exterior of Carreg Cennan Castle.
Carreg Cennan Castle, near Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, West Wales and Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons

Lunch at the Felin Fach Griffin

The Felin Fach Griffin country gastropub near Brecon has been showered with awards. Its specialities include pheasant with pearl barley bourguignon and roast cod fillet with squash and pancetta. Sunday lunch is a real occasion, with live music once a month.

Couple relaxing on a leather sofa in the Felin Fach Griffin with a drink
Sofa by the fire at Felin Fach Griffin, Monmouthshire

Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

Peaceful and rural, with a flavour of times gone by, the Mon and Brec is a wildlife haven that’s often voted Britain’s prettiest canal. It’s easy to hire a narrowboat or small motorboat and there are even electric boats, for quiet, eco-friendly cruising. Alternatively, settle back while someone else mans the tiller on a relaxing cruise from Brecon Basin to Brynich Lock.

Image of a small stone bridge over a river and houses
Brecon and Monmouthshire canal, Brecon basin, Mid Wales

Take a walk in Waterfall Country

What could be more magical than walking through a Welsh woodland with the sound of rushing water growing louder with every step? The geology of the Brecon Beacons National Park makes the southwestern corner a superb area for waterfalls, some of them wreathed in romantic myths of Celtic princes and princesses.

Enjoy a picnic at Llangorse Lake

Llangorse is the largest natural lake in the southern half of Wales, with grassy banks, dreamy views and a poignant sense of history. Its crannog, a small island near the water’s edge, was once the site of a 10th century palace. The Crannog Centre explains how it was built and who lived there, and reveals some of its legends.

Sgwd Isaf Clun-gwyn waterfall in the Brecon Beacons, Mid Wales
Llangorse Lake with the hut, Pen y Fan can be seen in the background, Brecon Beacons
Sgwd Isaf Clun-gwyn waterfall and Llangorse Lake, Brecon Beacons, Mid Wales

Ride the Brecon Mountain Railway

If the thought of a brightly polished steam locomotive chuffing through the Welsh countryside warms your heart, jump aboard the Brecon Mountain Railway. It runs from Pant near Merthyr Tydfil to Torpantau, high in the Brecon Beacons, with panoramic views of the peaks and the Pontsticill Reservoir on the way.

Spend an afternoon in Hay-on-Wye

For character and nostalgia, this quirky market town is pretty hard to beat. Browse the poetry shelves of Hay’s many bookshops for a special way to say 'I love you', dip into homeware boutiques for craft items and vintage finds to line your nest, then gaze lovingly at each other over locally made ice cream or cake in a cute little café.

Dine out in Abergavenny

Abergavenny is gourmet central. Cwtch Café near the Market Hall couldn’t be cosier for morning coffee or lunch – cwtch is the Welsh for a snug or a cuddle – and The Angel Hotel will serve you and your loved one a heavenly afternoon tea. Then, for a dinner you’ll never forget, take a table at The Hardwick, voted by experts the best restaurant in Wales.

Abergavenny town centre and Market Hall.
Abergavenny town centre

Go stargazing

There are billions of reasons to hope for clear skies during your time in the Brecon Beacons, and they’re all twinkling overhead. In 2013, the National Park became the first place in Wales – and only the fifth in the world – to be granted special protection as a Dark Sky Reserve. The views of the stars are superb. Don’t forget to make a wish.

Pen y Fan and Corn Du in snow, Brecon Beacons, Powys
Brecon Beacons from North East Dark Skies
Stargazing in the Brecon Beacons

Related stories