The Brecon Beacons comes alive in the autumn, with crisp leaves and roaring open fires in cosy inns and pubs. Head outdoors and go for a rejuvenating walk in many of the breathtaking spots in the Brecon Beacons.
Matt Bottwood-Central Beacons
Woodland Walks-The Brecon Beacons has some great nature reserves and woodlands that look their best in the autumn. Why not make an afternoon of it and call in one of our pubs or cafes after your walk for a deserved drink or meal.
1. Pwll-yr-Wrach Reserve
Pwll y Wrach Visit Wales
The Black Mountains town of Talgarth is an excellent centre for nature-lovers, with superb woods where you can see bluebells, wood anemones and wild garlic in spring. The Brecknock Wildlife Trust’s Pwll-yr-Wrach Reserve is a beautiful spot to visit. Click here to find out more.
2. Priory Groves, Brecon
Priory Groves is located next to Brecon Cathedral is a mixed woodland, bordering the Honddu river, with oak, beech, hazel and alder trees. Whatever the time of year there are always some birds to see. While you are near the river, look out for dippers at any time of year, and grey wagtails in summer. In spring and early summer there is a good display of wild flowers. Click here to find out more.
3. Cwm Oergwm Nature Reserve
Cwm Oergwn nature reserve consists of a narrow band of woodland with glades, that extends for almost a mile along the steep eastern bank of the Menasgin stream. Click here to find out more.
Cwm Oergwm Nature Reserve Brecknock Wildlife Trust
4. Taf Fechan Forest Walk
This is an excellent sheltered spot for wildlife including birds & dragonflies and is a great getaway on an autumn day. This is an isolated, but scenic spot in the middle of a forested valley. A short ramp with a gradient of 1:4 leads onto the boardwalk.
How to get there: This is an isolated spot on a minor road, 5km north of Pontsticill – follow the signs for Talybont-on-Usk. The board walk is just past the Ystradgynwyn tea rooms and holiday cottages (CF48 2UT) and are clearly visible on your left hand side.
5. Dinefwr Castle
This ruined medieval Welsh castle stands upon a high wooded ridge above the meandering River Towy, just west of our National Park.
Dinefwr Castle is thought to have been founded in the later 12th century by Lord Rhys ap Gruffudd and remodelled by Edward I in the 13th century. The visible remains date from the 13th and earlier 14th centuries. Take a long stroll around the parkland and make sure you look out for their legendary herd of white park cattle. Find out more here
More Autumn Walks include….
6. Pontneddfechan Waterfall Walk
Golden woodland, scenic gorges and – yes – waterfalls abound on this Brecon Beacons walk. Starting and finishing at the town of Pontneddfechan, the walk is 12 miles long, so leave plenty of time to get back before sunset. Highlights include the bubbling cascades of Sgwd yr Eira, Nedd Fechan and Sgwd Ddwli. Take care on the slippy paths.
7. National Botanic Gardens of Wales
At the National Botanic Garden in Wales, the wooded valley of Pont Felin Gat displays ancient woodland flowers and culminates in a dramatic waterfall built 200 years ago. A leisurely stroll through Pont Felin Gat can be done in about 90 minutes or less. In autumn the woodland floor comes alive with fruiting bodies of fungi, some recorded nowhere else in Wales.
If you’re still yearning for more scenery, take in the rest of the Botanic Garden, housed in the 568-acre historic Middleton Hall estate. Walled gardens, formal borders, endless varieties of flora, and a garden café provide a colourful day out. Route info here.
8. Llangorse Lake
The lake in Llangorse is enchanting at any time of the year. Not only famous for its coarse fishing and watersports – what makes this place even more unique, is the fact that it’s home to the only example of a crannog in Wales and England. Watch out for the colourful dragonflies and damselflies as they patrol their territory, hunting down flying insects on the wing like miniature flying aces. More here.
9. Brecon Canal
The Brecon Canal towpath enchants autumn walkers. Still canal waters reflect jewelled leaves of red and gold. Bright painted boats pass aqueducts and bridges, and the wild and rural Brecon Beacons cast a storybook glow upon the towpath walk. The 35 mile canal towpath begins in Brecon and traverses the Usk Valley through villages, under bridges and across an aqueduct until it rambles into Five Locks in Cwmbran. Trees and wildflowers line the path, making it a haven for birds and butterflies. It’s a mild and easy walk, so take it in small sections depending upon how much time you have. Be sure to stop along the way to sample a local pub.
An autumn view of the Brecon to Monmouth Canal at Llangynidr, Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales, United Kingdom
10. Wye Valley Walk-near the Brecon Beacons
With Wordsworth’s poetry as your muse, a walk through the picturesque Wye Valley will rejuvenate your senses. The 136 mile Wye Valley Walk starts at Chepstow Castle and passes through meadows, woodland, orchards, hills, mountains and moorland before it ends at Hafren Forest. If you’re adventurous and fit, try a twelve-day trip and complete the whole walk. You can camp along the way or book a restful night at one of the many guesthouses en route. An interactive map of the walk with accommodations and services is available at wyevalleywalk.org.
For shorter excursions, linear and loop walks are available, offering less challenging terrain with the same views. The Chepstow Riverside Walk can be done in about 30 minutes and is a great option with easy access for all types of travellers.
11. Craig y Nos Country Park
Situated in a dramatic and romantic location in the secluded upper Swansea Valley, Craig-y-nos Country Park is a 40-acre Victorian garden with shady woodlands, meadows, ponds, lazy lawns and rushing rivers. Find out more here
12. Cyfarthfa Castle and Gardens
Cyfartha Castle and Gardens
Built in 1824, Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery – described as the most impressive monument of the Industrial Iron Age in South Wales – was once home to Ironmaster William Crawshay II and his family. It is set in 160 acres of parkland, which are free to wander around and have spectacular views of the Brecon Beacons
The park has something for everyone, from relaxing sensory gardens and woodland walks, to an exciting state-of-the-art Splash Pad and Playground.
The woodland walks and nature rambles are accessible and will introduce you to the variety of animal, bird and plant species that make Cyfarthfa Park so special.
Find out more here.
Pick your favourites from more of our walking itineraries here.