The summits and ridges of the Brecon Beacons soar in great green waves above the surrounding landscape. The views from the summits are exhilarating - once you manage to leave the crowds behind. The high point is Pen-y-Fan at 886m but one of the laid out walks will take the walker to this and a number of peaks and ridges. The best base towns are Brecon and Abergavenny but plenty of farms and guest houses offer good accommodation.
11 Apr 2009 - Brecon (Brecon Beacons), WalesLeaflets from the visitor centres provide a set of different walks but we opted for 'The Big One' which is an epic 11 mile circuit of the main summits and ridges of the central Brecon Beacons in a spectacular day's walk. This begins and ends at a small wood on the A470, 8 miles south of Brecon. This takes in Y Gyrn, Corn Du (873m), Pen-y-Fan (886m), Cribyn (795m), a descent and walk along the Neuadd reservoir before a taxing 200m climb following the ridge all the way back to the start point.
Brecon Beacons - On the way to the top of Y Gyrn
At the top of Y Gyrn you get your first chance to admire the view before following a short descent to then begin the challenging climb up to Corn Du which can be seen in this photo.
Brecon Beacons - At the top of Corn Du
The climb up to Corn Du is long and gets gradually more steep. The reward for this is a short rest, photo opportunity and then a descent before the climb up to the Pen-y-Fan, the highest point in southern Britain. The small lake which can be seen is the unpronounceable Llyn Cwm Llwch.
Brecon Beacons - From Corn Du to Pen-y-Fan
A fantastic view from Corn Du to Pen-y-Fan showing the saddle that the walker will drop into before another lung bursting climb.
Brecon Beacons - The Corn Du, Pen-y-Fan saddle
A short, sharp descent leads to an initially gradual climb giving way to short and steep section leading to the top of Pen-y-Fan.
Brecon Beacons - Wave like ridges
This shot shows the vastness and the beauty of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Brecon Beacons - Map like views of the topography
The peaks are at such a height that looking down from them resembles looking at a map. Due to its remoteness, terrain and the weather, the park is used for military training. The Special Air Service (SAS) is known for holding especially demanding selection training exercises here such as the Fan dance (exercise). The infantry regiments of the British Army all train at Sennybridge, where NCO selection also takes place.
Brecon Beacons - Towards the Neuadd reservoir
Following the ridge along the left (off shot) you will eventually travel parallel to the reservoir, cross it, climb the ridge on the far right of the picture and then begin the return.
Brecon Beacons - A fine looking ridge
People walking along the ridge appear just as specs. Glaciers over successive ice ages carved out the dramatic scenery that can be seen today.