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Brecon Beacons

Hiking in Brecon Beacons

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Sculpted uniquely by millennia of relentless geology, the Brecon Beacons are totally unique amongst Britain’s wild places. Walks in the Brecon Beacons take you across ancient high mountain plateaus, around glistening glacial lakes, past dramatic waterfalls and spacious grassy moorlands. Here, the ancient hills jut out above seas of verdant green, dotted with dark forests and the vestiges of the coal mining industry that once thrived here. 

Established in 1957, the national park takes in 520 square miles (837 km) of delectable stomping ground. Pack your head torch, as hikes in the Brecon Beacons take you into the heart of one of the very first international dark sky reserves, making the area perfect for exploration underneath a canopy of bright stars. Or you can conquer the highest hill in the south of Britain, Pen-y-Fan at 2,910 ft (886m), an icon of South Wales.

Intermediate
02:50
5.01 mi
Intermediate
02:56
6.41 mi
Difficult
06:10
12.3 mi
Intermediate
04:26
8.59 mi
Intermediate
04:32
10.2 mi
Intermediate
04:52
9.18 mi
Easy
01:57
3.79 mi
Intermediate
03:25
7.35 mi
Intermediate
04:07
7.75 mi
Easy
01:39
3.71 mi
Intermediate
03:55
7.08 mi
Difficult
06:34
12.9 mi
Intermediate
04:29
8.41 mi
Intermediate
04:17
7.78 mi
Intermediate
03:56
7.46 mi
Intermediate
04:58
9.49 mi
Difficult
06:20
11.7 mi
Intermediate
04:05
8.08 mi
Easy
01:53
3.38 mi
Intermediate
01:24
3.13 mi

Top 20 best walks and hikes in Brecon Beacons

    1
    Intermediate
    02:50
    5.01 mi
    1.8 mph
    1,450 ft
    1,450 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    2
    Intermediate
    02:56
    6.41 mi
    2.2 mph
    750 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
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  • 3
    Difficult
    06:10
    12.3 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,250 ft
    2,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    4
    Intermediate
    04:26
    8.59 mi
    1.9 mph
    1,825 ft
    1,825 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    5
    Intermediate
    04:32
    10.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    925 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    6
    Intermediate
    04:52
    9.18 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,125 ft
    2,125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    7
    Easy
    01:57
    3.79 mi
    1.9 mph
    800 ft
    800 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    8
    Intermediate
    03:25
    7.35 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,000 ft
    1,000 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    9
    Intermediate
    04:07
    7.75 mi
    1.9 mph
    1,900 ft
    1,900 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    10
    Easy
    01:39
    3.71 mi
    2.2 mph
    350 ft
    350 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    11
    Intermediate
    03:55
    7.08 mi
    1.8 mph
    1,950 ft
    1,975 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    12
    Difficult
    06:34
    12.9 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,700 ft
    2,700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    13
    Intermediate
    04:29
    8.41 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,075 ft
    2,075 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    14
    Intermediate
    04:17
    7.78 mi
    1.8 mph
    2,050 ft
    2,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    15
    Intermediate
    03:56
    7.46 mi
    1.9 mph
    1,800 ft
    1,800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    16
    Intermediate
    04:58
    9.49 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,150 ft
    2,150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    17
    Difficult
    06:20
    11.7 mi
    1.8 mph
    3,000 ft
    3,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    18
    Intermediate
    04:05
    8.08 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,625 ft
    1,625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    19
    Easy
    01:53
    3.38 mi
    1.8 mph
    975 ft
    975 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    20
    Intermediate
    01:24
    3.13 mi
    2.2 mph
    325 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

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More Information

The ever-popular central beacons

The best hiking trails in the Brecon Beacons – and certainly the most popular – are those which traverse the high, unique escarpment of Pen-y-Fan and its satellite peaks. These stunning hills are accessible from all directions and reward the intrepid hiker with huge views of South Wales. After all, the summits can be seen from hundreds of miles around, which is why signal fires used to be lit on their summits to warn the Welsh of invading English raiders. Invaders of a different sort take to these vast hills these days – the elite special forces regularly use the open, high ground to train and hone their navigation skills. 

In the sweeping valleys that divide the high plateaus, there is plenty more to explore. Tranquil forests surround the southern end of the massif, interspersed with numerous reservoirs that are a pleasure to walk alongside. Hikes in the Brecon Beacons are enjoyable all year round, though it is worth noting that Pen-y-Fan can be very busy on sunny weekends and public holidays. 

Space to breathe, space above your head

A sense of space is what makes the national park so special, in more than one sense. Stride out under huge blue skies, across massive thrusts of grassy sandstone that rise wedge-like above shimmering glacial lakes below. As the sun sets, and its tendrils fade from the long, straight valleys, the dark skies above become ablaze with the celestial glow of thousands and thousands of stars. For solitude and even darker skies, two other areas of stunning upland sprawl away from the central peaks: the Black Mountain (Mynydd Du) to the west and the Black Mountains (Y Mynyddoedd Duon) to the east. Look out for the semi-wild Welsh ponies that gallop the wild pastures found here.

Bases that are primed for adventure

Both Brecon and Abergavenny are fantastic bases from which to launch your hiking adventures. Brecon is handily situated to the north of the most popular peaks. Whilst quaint Abergavenny – often cited as the gateway to Wales – is a gorgeous place for a ramble amongst charming cattle fields and verdant woods. Walks in the Brecon Beacons are amongst the finest not just in Wales, but in the entire UK.

Brecon Beacons's best walks and hikes on the map

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