Towns and Villages in the Brecon Beacons National Park

Our National Park is ringed with characterful market towns while, further inside our Park, the River Usk, the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal and the shores of Llangorse Lake are dotted with pleasant country villages and sleepy hamlets. Together, our towns and villages reflect our history and heritage as a mining, quarrying and farming region and our role as custodians of a beautiful region of hills, valleys, lakes and waterways. Some are notable historic centres with classic Welsh architecture, interesting museums and ancient churches. In our main towns, Abergavenny, Brecon, Crickhowell, Hay-on-Wye, Llandovery and Talgarth, there’s always something going on. Our towns and villages also offer great places to stay, eat, shop, fix up outdoor activities and chat about things to see and do.

Abergavenny

A bustling market town with Roman origins and long considered to be a gateway to Wales and to the National Park. Visit the 11th and 12th century ruins of Abergavenny Castle and take a look around the Museum which is housed in the lodge atop the Norman motte. Check out our town guide here.

Brynamman

The village sits at the top of the Amman Valley in the shadow of the Black Mountain. Notable people from Brynaman include Roy Noble, broadcaster and Dafydd Iwan, folk singer and politician. At the heart of this once industrial village is the Black Mountain Centre, an old school now converted as a resource for visitors and residents – an excellent place to start exploring the area. Find our guide here.

Llandovery

Llandovery is a great base for enjoying the western Brecon Beacons. Llandovery is an ancient market and droving town, and has been home to a host of interesting historical characters. One of the most famous residents is Llywelynap Gruffydd, a statue of whom stands gleaming next door to the hill-top ruins of Llandovery Castle. Once the location of violent attacks and battles during medieval times, those who climb up to the castle will be rewarded with peaceful views over the town and the River Bran. Find our town guide here.
llandovery statue

Merthyr Tydfil

Merthyr Tydfil lies just to the south of the National Park’s boundary and is the perfect setting for a wide range of activities and attractions. Days out for all the family can be spent in the local forests and hills at sites such as the Taff Fechan Local Nature Reserve, Gethin Woodland Park, Garwnant Forest or at one of the many attractions including: Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art GalleryJoseph Parry’s cottageBrecon Mountain Railway or the International Indoor Climbing Centre at Taff Bargoed.

Merthyr Tydfil owes its name to Tydful, the daughter of Brychan, Prince of Brycheiniog, who was slain by the marauding Picts in the 5th Century at the Site of the Parish Church. Subsequently canonized, the site on which she was slain became known as Martyr Tudfyl (Merthyr Tydfil). More here.

Talgarth

Once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Brycheiniog, this small, friendly riverside town which is located on the Eastern side Brecon Beacons National Park has peaceful churches and wonderful views of rolling hillsides.   Talgarth is a gateway to the Black Mountains making it a well-placed hub for outdoor activities.

St Gwendoline’s Church has a memorial to Hywel Harris, a remarkable man who led the Methodist Revival in Wales in 1735, with Talgarth’s old mill beautifully converted as part of a very successful community project. Read here to find out more about the town.

Llandeilo

Llandeilo-nestled in the Towy Valley, Carmathenshire and on the western edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Llandeilo has an excellent range of independently owned shops and its own award winning brewery, Evan-Evans.the Llandeilo Gospel Book,, a beautifully illuminated biblical manuscript from the 8th century, can be seen in St Teilo Church. The town has the largest single arch bridge in Wales (145ft, 44 metres) Both are owned by the National trust.  Visitors will hear Welsh widely spoken in the town. More here.

Llangorse

Llangorse has the largest natural lake in south Wales, formed thousands of years ago when moving ice pushed and scraped its way along, whaping the landscape seen today. When the ice finally melted this debris was left to form mounds known as moraines. Llangorse Lake owes its existence to the moraine deposits left in the area between Llanfihangel Talyllyn and Talgarth. At one time it was some 150 feet (45 meters) higher with two overflows into the Usk River at Bwlch and Pennorth. More here.

Bwlch

Bwlch,meaning a ‘pass’ in Welsh, has castles, ancient iron age forts and standing stones, not to mention 360 degree views across the lake.

Bwlch is the home of the now well established Bwlch with Altitude Challenge which takes place every summer and is a 12 mile walk around the lake from Bwlch and Llangorse respectively, contestants enjoy this event seeking out clues and answers to a number of questions set as part of the challenge’s photographic quiz. More here.

Brecon

Known as one of the most historic locations in Wales, Brecon is home to a Cathedral, Theatre, museums, art galleries, and a historic Market hall holding monthly farmers, antiques and craft markets. Take a leisurely trip down the canal with the many canal boat hire companies found at The Canal Basin, located by Theatr Brycheiniog, or why not walk up Pen Y Fan- with the highest peak in South Wales. Check out our town guide here.

Hay-on-Wye

Hay-on-Wye is a pretty little town swept by the river Wye on the north, with the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons to the south and west, and the lush agricultural land of Herefordshire to the east. It is famous as the town of books, and for the annual Hay Festival. But it is also an excellent base for serious walking with two national trails, the Offa’s Dyke path and the Wye Valley trail passing through the town, and the protected countryside of the Brecon Beacons National Park on it’s doorstep. More here.

Crickhowell

A pretty Georgian town with a High Street full of unique independent shops, Crickhowellis an ideal base for many to sample all the Brecon Beacons has to offer. There is a wide selection of places to eat including pubs, cafes, restaurants and bakeries.  A well-known feature of Crickhowell is the bridge spanning the River Usk, built in 1706. More here.

crick.jpeg

Talybont on Usk

Talybont is a great place for hill walking and cycling and for gentle strolls along the canal and through the lowland countryside. It also has a good range of accommodation, excellent pubs serving food to suit all pockets. Talybont General Store is a village shop, cafe and Post Office all rolled into one, and very handily it also stocks information about things to do in the local area. More here.

Langadog and the western villages

Llangadog, Capel Gwynfe, Bethlehem, Trap, Myddfai and Llanddeusant are the villages that make up part of the west of the Brecon Beacons National Park, set in the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside. More here.

Pontneddfechan

Located in the Vale of Neath, Pontneddfechan was once a scene of great industrial activity and innovation.

Today, visitors are drawn here to explore the fascinating relics of its industrial past and access the waterfalls for which the area is renowned.

At the eastern end of the village, limestone was quarried out of the Dinas Rock and carted away by horse-drawn drams to the Pont Walby Brickworks where it was crushed for the production of lime for agriculture and building, and for road metalling. Near by is the Gunpowder Works. More here.

Remember these are just a few of our wonderful  towns and villages to visit! There’s plenty more to discover on your visit here!

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