In 2018 we’re celebrating Wales’ outstanding coastline, and inviting visitors to discover epic experiences all around our shores. This is our Year of the Sea. The 870- mile Wales Coast Path passes seascapes of breath-taking variety, hundreds of beaches, harbours, inlets and islands, set in seas that are home to porpoises and dolphins.
There are dozens of activities to try on the coast, from kayaking to coasteering – or follow the rivers upstream to the inland shores of our lakes and reservoirs. With a unique culture, a warm Welsh welcome, the finest food and drink … this is the greatest coastal experience of 2018. Welcome to our epic shores.
Here’s our Year of the Sea top 12 things to see and do in the Brecon Beacons, despite not having a coastline, we do have plenty of inland shores for you to enjoy.
1. Visit Llangorse Lake
Llangorse Lake is the largest natural lake in South Wales and is a fine spot for sailing, wildlife-watching and waterside strolls with shimmering views. There’s local history to explore, too at the Crannog near the northwest shore. Over 1000 years ago, this was the homestead of a local king. Spend the day exploring the lakeside, walk to the bird hide or take to the water in a pedalo or boat. Find out more here.
2. Explore the River Wye
Britain’s fifth longest river, the beautiful River Wye, makes just the briefest of visits to our Park, flowing through Hay-on-Wye in the north-east corner before winding east then south through Herefordshire and Monmouthshire to meet the Bristol Channel at Chepstow.
By the time it reaches Hay, the Wye is already a broad, meandering river. The Warren, a peninsula formed by a beautiful rocky loop in the river, just west of the town, is an ideal place for a dip. To walk there, take the road opposite the Cinema Bookshop. Turn right onto a footpath by the church, then left along the path above the river.
Messing about on our rivers
The River Usk and the River Wye are hugely popular for canoeing, kayaking and boating, with Brecon Promenade, Glasbury and Hay-on-Wye the most used entry points. Smaller, steeper rivers such as the River Tawe and the River Sawdde offer exciting white water paddling in season. To find out more, visit our pages on canoeing and sailing.
You can also have a go at canoeing or kayaking – if you need to hire then head here
3. Talybont Reservoir
To the east of the Central Beacons is Talybont Reservoir, a Local Nature Reserve. No boating is allowed here, but it’s a wonderful spot for waterside walks, enjoying the tranquil atmosphere of the Caerfanell Valley. An easy access path starts from the large lay-by on the north-west side. To find out more, visit our pages on walking. At the southern end of Talybont Reservoir is a bird hide overlooking a protected wetland area that floods in the winter.
4. Blaen y Glyn Waterfalls
Much of the water that fills Talybont Reservoir begins its journey high up in the mountains at the head of the Talybont Valley in the eastern Beacons. At Blaen-y-Glyn, the infant River Caerfanell, the Nant Bwrefwr and other streams tumble down from the hills over tremendous clusters of picturesque waterfalls. There are pleasant walks to these falls from Natural Resources Wales car parks at Upper Blaen-y-Glyn (grid reference SO056176) and Lower Blaen-y-Glyn (SO064169) find out more here.
5. Head underground and explore our caves
The Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales is one of the most exciting and varied caving areas in Britain. Our Geopark includes four of the five longest limestone cave systems in Britain. Why not explore this fascinating underworld? You can go caving with one of the expert instructors and guides.
6. Spend an afternoon at our inland beach – the Warren, Hay
Hay on Wye has its very own stoney beach on the river Wye, named the Warren. A popular beauty spot for locals and tourists alike, it really comes alive during Summer. Enjoy a walk which follows the old railway line alongside the wooded banks of the River Wye. Find out more here.
7. Check out the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal
There are 35 miles of navigable meandering waters to explore in the heart of the Brecon Beacons. The rural and peaceful canal is a must for nature lovers, there is an abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna. There are numerous activities to enjoy on the beautiful canal, relax on a boat trip, take in the local heritage, there are lime kilns and old workings from our industrial heritage that can be seen all along its length, spot wildlife, buzzards, red kites, herons and dragonflies. Enjoy a family day out to the wonderful sites of Brecon Basin, Llangynidr locks or Goytre Wharf, with its historic limekilns or pop in for a snack at Pontymoile or any of the numerous canal side pubs or cafes. More here.
Click here for an exciting new series of short animated videos that reveal the historic story of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. Download the story book here
8. Take a bus and have a day at the Seaside – (Swansea)
The T6 Bus runs from Swansea to Brecon, with an hourly service on weekdays and Saturdays, allowing for a great day out at the beach! The beautiful Gower Penisula is home to award winning beaches-including the 10th best beach in the world!
9. Enjoy our watersports
The Brecon Beacons National Park offers an array range of options for paddlesports, from the tranquillity of canals and reservoirs to extreme kayaking over jaw-dropping waterfalls. Get ready to design your own adventure! Find out more here
10. Get lost in the mystery of Llyn Cwm Llwch
Tucked beneath the highest peaks of the Brecon Beacons in South Wales, the sparkling waters of Llyn Cwm Llwch have captured the imaginations of many down the years.
The wild, remote landscape of the central Brecon Beacons seems an unlikely place to suddenly find the calm, lapping waters of a lake. But if you look north-west from Corn Du or Pen y Fan, just where the steep, northern glaciated slopes start to fall away more gently, Llyn Cwm Llwch captures the eye. More here.
11. Take a stroll along the Brecon Promenade
The Promenade is popular with families for walking, playing and exercising dogs. It consists of surfaced riverside paths, large meadows and a children’s play area. You take to the water by hiring a pedelo. Find out more here
12. Go on a walk with a Dinky Donkey
Have a mini adventure with some Dinky Donkeys – head on on a walk with Good Day Out.
Walk a pair of Mediterranean Miniature donkeys along an ancient track with them carrying your snack picnic in special panniers.
Views towards the central Beacons on one side and The Black Mountain to the other. Find out more here
We hope you enjoy exploring the Brecon Beacons National Park!