The Brecon Beacons are a National Park in South Wales, consisting of steep, rounded, treeless hills, almost reaching 3,000 feet (1,000 metres). To the east of the park, on the English border, are the Black Mountains. From the summits, there are stunning views on a clear day
The main centre is Brecon, but it grey slate building can look a little gloomy in bad weather.
Transport: Its best to have your own car.
There are several Maralyns in the park, each making a good day's walk.
Walks: From East to West.
- Black Mountain (Fan Brycheiniog, 802m) . Park just north of the Dan-yr-Ogof caves on the A4067. Follow the obvious path (only the start is marked on OS maps), then the obvious ridge to the summit. Return the same way. Usually quiet.
- Fan Gyhirych (725m) and Fan Nedd (663m). Between the A4067, and a minor road north of Ystradfellte
- Fan Fawr (734m). East of the Storey Arms.
- Pen-y-fan (886m) and Cordn-du (873m): A glacial peak at the top of a horseshoe shaped ridge. 2 options:
1) park at the Storey Arms car park (named after a long closed pub) on the A470 road, and follow one of the 2 obvious, well maintained paths to the summit. The start is at the top of a pass, so you're already at 439m. Busy at weekends.
2) for a better but harder circular walk, park at the Neuadd Resevoir access road (south of the mountain), and follow the horseshow ridge of the subsidary peaks.
Fom either walk, if time permits, follow a subsidary ridge east to Waun Rydd (769m)
- Cefn yr Ystrad (617m). Further south than the other peaks, Access from a minor road north of Tredegar, or the Pontsticilli resevoir.
Safety: Apart from the tourist route up Pen-y-fan, and the Black Mountain, you must have a map and compass. Always take waterproofs. People die every year in the Brecon Beacons, even in summer.