Brecon Beacons - "Take nothing but photographs. Kill nothing but time. Leave nothing but footprints"

The Brecon Beacons is situated in Wales and is one of Great Britain’s most beautiful national parks. It is situated near the town of Brecon, a market town on the River Usk, northwest of Cardiff and northeast of Swansea. Due to its large size, it is part of several counties - Carmarthenshire, Brecon, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

The area is perfect for hiking for people of all ages and fitness. There are plenty of low-lying areas for those who wish a pleasant stroll, and there are also many summits that are classed as mountains, ensuring rewarding ascents for the more adventurous. The scenery is quite spectacular and there is a fair amount of wildlife for the interested and patient hiker.

Though there are some well-marked routes, it is important to bring a proper Ordinance Survey Map and a compass. As the weather can deteriorate, it is important to bring warm and rain-proof clothing, as well as emergency food. Always ensure that someone knows where you are going and when you are likely to be back. Do not rely on mobile phones as the topography can interfere with the signals.

There are a plethora of camping sites, as well as caravan parks, Bed and Breakfasts and even hotels. For most people, the area is far too remote to make a day trip, so it is best to stay at least one night, unless you are planning a very brief walk. Unless you have a pressing reason, it is best to spend at least a few days there to take in the different kind of sights and experiences on offer.

Facts & figures

Designated a national park: 1957
Area : 135,144 hectares
Average visitors per year: 7 million
Budget: £3,078,000
Staff: 92

Land occupation

Private: 69.6%
Forestry Commission: 8%
Ministry of Defence: 0.1%
Water Companies: 4%
National Trust: 3.5%
English Nature: 0.8%
Other: 14%

Land type

Open country: 58,451 hectares
Agricultural land: 53,651 hectares
Coniferous wood: 9,051 hectares
Broadleaved woodland: 5,565 hectares
Mixed woodland: 352 hectares
Inland water: 799 hectares
Urban area: 1,078 hectares
Derelict area: 323 hectares
Other: 5,792 hectares

Total: 135,062


The Countryside Commission, (1998)