Discover the riches of this spectacular national park with our guide to the best hikes in the Brecon Beacons.
Brief history of the Brecon Beacons National Park
The Brecon Beacons National Park comprises four regions: the Brecon Beacons, Black Mountains, Fan Frycheiniog and Forest Fawr. Our guide looks at the best walks in the Brecon Beacons – all within an hour’s drive of several major cities.
The area was designated as a national park in 1957, later achieving International Dark Sky Reserve status in February 2013. The park covers an area of 519 square miles and it’s highest point is Pen y Fan (886m).
Best hikes in the Brecon Beacons
Cribyn, at 795m, sits 101m below the tallest peak in southern Britain, Pen y Fan. But far from inferior, the angular mount affords spectacular views over the surrounding countryside, making it well worth the climb ©Alamy
Often overshadowed by its towering neighbour, Pen y Fan, this verdant mountain in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales is one of Britain’s most understated peaks.
- 18.6km/11.5 miles
- 6 hours
Map and route
Pen y Fan, Powys
For anyone who doesn’t fancy to entire 10.5-mile hike, stop at the reservoir and appreciate the peak from the valley ©Getty
Pen y Fan is one of the most popular peaks in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Most visitors hike to the mountain top from the Storey Arms – but for a quieter and more rewarding route, take the path up from Taf Fechan Forest past Neuadd Reservoir.
- 16.7km/10.4 miles
- 5-6 hours
Map and route
Keeper’s Pond on the flanks of Blorenge in the Brecon Beacons ©Getty
The rounded hilltop of Blorenge in the Brecon Beacons National Park was once dominated by industry – now, wildlife flourishes among vast swathes of heather moorland.
Craig Cerrig Gleisiad, Wales ©Getty
Climb any of the Brecon Beacons and you’ll find a stirring view. But the best of them all is the glowering peak of Craig-Cerrig-gleisiad. Purple Arctic-alpine flowers and bluebells colour this unique, craggy habitat.
Llanthony and Hatterall Ridge, Monmouthshire
Llanthony Priory sits in the Vale of Ewyas in Monmouthshire ©Getty
Get your heart racing with a 4.5-mile circular walk, ascending from a valley of ancient architecture to the sweeping mountain views of Offa’s Dyke Path.
Carn Pica, Powys
Look out for wild ponies on the ridge up to Carn Pica ©Daniel Graham
The Brecon Beacons National Park comprises many great peaks, each as worthy as the next – one of the most understated of these is Carn Pica. Explore this forgotten mountain and the surrounding landscape with a five-mile circular walk beginning and ending at Talybont Reservoir.
- 8km/5 miles
- 3.5 hours
Map and route.
Fan Hir, Powys
Surrounded by peat moorland, rocky mountain ridges and spilling streams, Llyn y Fan Fawr is a great place for novices to try their hand – and feet – at a guided trail run ©Sian Anna Lewis
This seven-mile route across the Black Mountain to Llyn y Fan Fawr in the Brecon Beacons National Park is wild and rugged – take on the path at walking pace, or for a little more excitement, try running the length of the ridge.
- 4 hours
Map and route.
Lesser spotted woodpeckers can be seen in the hazel and oak woodland ©Getty
Explore a dramatic – almost other-worldly – landscape in the Brecon Beacons National Park, shaped by an industrial past and now reclaimed by nature.
Llyn y Fan Fach, Camarthenshire
Looking east from Bannau Sir Gaer over Llyn y Fan Fach ©Getty
A four-mile walk in the west of the Brecon Beacons National Park along a bustling river, a lonely llyn and a wild mountain ridge.
Sugar Loaf Mountain, Monmouthshire
Pinched at its crest, the iconic Sugar Loaf peak is visible from miles around ©Getty
In its relatively modest 596m, the summit of Sugar Loaf in the Brecon Beacons National Park encompasses much that is magical about mountains, hills and woodland – explore this wonderful Welsh peak with a five-mile circular walk.