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Wales - Brecon Beacons National Park

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The Brecon Beacons National Park

1. Forest of Fawr Waterfall Walk

This popular walk takes you past Sgŵd Clun-gwyn (White Meadow Fall), where the river crashes fifty feet over two huge, angular steps of rock before hurtling down to Sgŵd Isaf Clun-gwyn (Lower White Meadow Fall) and Sgwd y Pannwr (Fall of the Fuller). The walk's climax is the Sgwd Y Eira (Fall of Snow), whose rock behind the main tumble has eroded back six feet, allowing you to walk directly behind a dramatic twenty foot curtain of water.

2. Forest of Fawr, Dan-yr-ogof Showcaves

The Dan-yr-ogof Showcaves were discovered in 1912, and form the largest system of subterranean caverns in northern Europe. At over 10 miles long, Dan-yr-ogof cave is the longest in Britain, with a warren of caverns framed by stalactites and limestone deposits. At 150 ft long and 70 ft high, Cathedral Cave is a hugely impressive, and Bone Cave is where 42 human and many animal skeletons were found. Elsewhere on site there's also a short dry ski slope and a pony trekking centre.

3. Abergavenny and the Food Festival

The lively market town of Abergavenny has a reputation for fine cuisine with a number of restauants and good pubs serving tasty English and Welsh specialities. The annual food festival which takes place each September is now one of the most prestigious in Britain. Here you can enjoy the company of some of the most skilled, passionate and articulate food lovers in the country and feast the senses with wonderful produce by artisan food-makers from Wales, the Marches and further afield.

4. Tretower Court and Castle, the Black Mountains

Rising out of the valley floor, dominating the view from both the A40 and the A479 mountain road, the solid round tower of the castle and court at Tretower was built to guard the pass. In the late 14th century the tower was supplemented by a luxurious manor house, which was expanded over ensuing years. An enjoyable audioguide tour takes you around an open-air gallery and wall walk, and explains late medieval building methods using the exposed plaster and beams where work is still under way.

5. Table Mountain

Crickenhowell lies four miles southeast of Tretower on the northern bank of the wide and shallow River Usk. This compact town is a great base from which to explore the surrounding area, and is named after the mountain north of the town, 'Crug Hywel,' also known as Table Mountain. At 1481 ft it provides a spectacular northern backdrop, and is topped by the remains of the 2500 year old hill fort (crug) of Hywel. accessed on a path past the Wern, off Llanbedr Road.

6. The Vale of Ewyas

In total contrast to the urban Valleys, just a few miles to the south, this northern finger of Monmouthshire, stretching along the English border, is one of the most enchanting and reclusive parts of Wales. Whether you're an experienced walker or pulling on a pair of boots for the first time, this is a fantastic place to come if you want a good, long trek. As well as its outstanding beauty, it is known for the ruins of Llanthony Priory, and for several noteworthy churches such as Capel-y-ffin and Cwmyoy.

7. Mountain Biking

Wales is fast becoming notorious for it’s singletrack routes within the beautiful forests of Wales. Now in the Brecon Beacons National Park sixteen routes make the Brecon Beacons a top destination. Ride open forests, struggle up loose and steep climbs, weave down some wonderful descents and find some of the most steepest and challenging drops.  A route pack is on sale which contains all 16 routes and lots of useful information. By purchasing the route pack you'll be helping with maintenance.

8. Brecon Mountain Centre

The central Breacon Beacons are grouped around the two highest peaks in the national park. Although falling just short of 3000 ft, the terrain here is dramatically mountainous. The panorama fans out from the Brecon Mountain Centre, sited on a windy ridge six miles south west of Brecon. As well as a fantastic cafe specializing in local ingredients, there are interesting displays on the flora, fauna, geology and history of the are, together with a well stocked shop of maps, books and guides.

9. The Heart of Wales Line

The Heart of Wales Line runs for 121 miles between Swansea and Shrewsbury and is the ideal way to access the Brecon Beacons. It's a small train with just one or two cars, and the conductor asks people where they want to disembark. The views are fantastic, taking in the beautiful scenery of Wales, with mountains, rivers and even glimpses of the sea. Knighton, Llandrindod Wells and Builith Wells stations are all sited with the Brecon Beacons, with other smaller stops in-between.

10. Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery

Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery is one of the liveliest small museums in Wales. First established in 1928 by the Brecknock Society, it occupies an historic building at the heart of an attractive area with a rich and varied past. The Exhibition programme is exciting and varied, and strongly features the work of contemporary artists living and working in Wales.
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