Did you know that the western half of the Brecon Beacons National Park is also a Geopark? Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark stretches from Brecon and the Central Beacons in the east all the way to Llandeilo in the west. A cracked and crumpled layer-cake of rocks, 480 million years in the making, it is celebrated for the spectacular landscape, industrial history and the people who have shaped it.
So why not go west this Easter and discover the wide open spaces, mountains carved by ice, castles, hillforts and starry skies of the Geopark. Here are 10 things to see and do over the Easter holidays.
- Take a hike – For seasoned hikers, the Geopark is a great destination for a day’s walking. Head to the summit of Fan Brycheiniog (802m) in the Black Mountain range in the far west, which is part of the Beacons Way. For those who want an easier walk head up Pen-y-Crug above Brecon town.
- Get on your bike – For mountain bikers, the Usk Reservoir circular loop is a good place to start and for road-cyclists try the Cycle Across The Beacons route. Starting from Llandeilo the route takes in some of the most scenic parts of the Geopark and National Park before finishing in Abergavenny.
- Climb a hillfort – Garn Goch is one of the largest Iron Age Hill Forts in Wales. Take the family and climb the ramparts, imagine what it would have been like 2500 years ago and be rewarded by the views from the top.
- Conquer a castle – The picturesque and romantic Carreg Cennen Castle, near Llandeilo, sits high up on a rocky hilltop overlooking the Black Mountains. Take along a torch and head into the cave underneath the Castle.
- Explore a quarry – Herbert’s Quarry, once a busy limestone quarry, it’s now a fascinating place with panoramic views over the Geopark.
- Go geocaching – Head to Mynydd Illtud Common, Libanus and hunt the eight geocaches that are hidden on the common. It’s a treasure hunt for the whole family!
- See stars – The Usk Reservoir is the darkest spot in the Geopark, which is within the International Dark Sky Reserve of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Perfect for stargazing; Look up on a clear night and you will see a sky full of stars and maybe even the Milky Way in the night sky.
- Walk with the Romans – Step back in time at the Roman Marching Camps of Y Pigwyn and Waun-Ddu near Trecastle. Download the ‘Roman Walk’ App before you visit and then let the characters of Rory and Primus guide you around the site.
- Visit a park within a park– Craig-y-Nos Country Park in Cwm Tawe was once the Victorian Garden of the world-famous opera singer, Adelina Patti. Family-friendly paths take you through woodlands, past rivers and lakes and a lively duck pond. Have lunch in the Changing Season Café and browse the craft shops.
- Spot a Red Kite – Watch an exciting aerial display of Red Kites and Buzzards as they swoop to feed at the Red Kite Feeding Station at Llanddeusant.
Visit www.breconbeacons.org to find out more.