Visitors in pursuit of dark skies, will not be disappointed when they come to Wales. On a clear night in our National Park Brecon Beacons, you can enjoy seeing major constellations, bright nebulas the Milky Way and even meteor showers. The Brecon Beacons National Park has a number of publicly accessible Dark Sky sites, which are excellent places to enjoy stargazing. Find out more here.
Our Park has some of the highest quality dark skies in the whole of the UK, making it the perfect destination for stargazers. We think that this is something worth shouting about, so we teamed up with the Brecon Beacons Park Society to apply to the International Dark Sky Association to make our entire National Park an International Dark Sky Reserve. In 2012, we became just the fifth destination in the world (and the first in Wales) to be accredited.
Take part in the first Welsh Dark Skies week, which starts on the 19th February. View all the online dark skies events here
Brecon Beacons Dark Skies accommodation
We have some great accommodation where you can enjoy our Dark Skies.
Aberyscir Coach House is a tranquil one bedroom self catering holiday cottage in the Central Brecon Beacons with panoramic views of our highest peak, Pen-Y-Fan. A perfect base for stargazing.
5* Basel Cottage is a fabulous rural retreat on the west of the National Park approximately 2 miles from the lovely Market Town of Llandovery in Carmarthenshire. Set in 17 acres with a private woodland, enclosed garden, decked terrace overlooking the Afon Bran, a tributary of the River Towy and a gorgeous stone and slate terrace with fire-pit, perfect for enjoying our magnificent dark skies.
Wigwam Holidays Brecon are located just outside the market town of Brecon on family farm. Sit out in a hot tub and enjoy our dark skies – what a treat!
Camp Cynrig Glamping Village is the ideal place to escape the stresses of everyday life and enjoy a unique and very cool glamping experience situated in the heart of the Brecon-Beacons National Park in Wales; an area of outstanding natural beauty. The beautiful off-grid, solar-powered glamping site is approximately 4 miles from the historical cathedral town of Brecon, Wales, and just minutes from the foothills of Pen-Y-Fan. In the heart of the countryside you will never be short of things to do.
Aber Glamping is set on an organic farm with spectacular views of the Brecon Beacons. And even better, as it’s located in a Dark Sky reserve – you’ll get the chance to see the Milky Way glinting far above on clear evenings. The stargazing tents have clear ceiling panels so you can lie back in bed and enjoy the stars from there too – and when you want to go to sleep, simply draw the curtains so you don’t get woken up at dawn.
Upper House and Spa, in Craswall near Hay-on-Wye is a spectacular landmark forming the border between Wales and Herefordshire. This luxury accomodation is a very special holiday retreat to escape from it all in style and comfort, you can immerse yourself in nature and unwind in total quietness – perfect for experiencing our dark skies.
Argoed Barns has spectacular panoramic views from Hay Bluff round to the Brecon Beacons via the Black Mountains. The luxury glamping pods have a huge 5m wide window to capitalise on the stunning views and a great way to admire the night sky.
By the Wye luxury tree top glamping is hidden in the heart of Hay on Wye, elevated in clearings between trees, on the bank of the River Wye. The safari tents are perched on platforms, floating out above the woodland floor, relax on the deck with the River Wye babbling at your feet and the expanse of the dark sky reserve glittering overhead.
Tegfan Garden Suite in Talgarth faces the Black Mountains and you can sit out in the garden and enjoy star lit skies during your stay.
Bryniau Pel Cottage and Hill Cottage are located on a 200acre farm in the ‘dark heart of the park’ being situated between the Usk and Crai Reservoirs (that registered the darkest readings in the International Dark Sky Reserve application). On a clear night millions of stars are visible with the naked eye. Both cottages have binoculars but Bryniau Pell comes complete with an easy to use, portable telescope and a range of stargazing guides for use by children or adults. When it gets chilly simply nip inside for a warm in front of the woodburner and a cup of hot chocolate.
Beacon Park Boats you can enjoy stargazing from your own luxury, self-contained narrowboat accommodation, moored in a different place every night, and wake up to a different view every morning.
Find all our accommodation here.
3 dark sky activities to enjoy in the Brecon Beacons
1. Dark Sky Wales Experiences
Dark Sky Wales have put together a number of exclusive packages, gifts and experiences for you, your family, friends, colleagues and associates to enjoy. From learning Astro-photography (no kit needed) to one to one star tuition, or even getting the most from your new telescope. We have it covered for all tastes and budgets.
2. Enjoy a night hike on Pen Y Fan with Trigpoint Adventures
We will explore the grand mountains of South Wales during this experience as we journey Dorian will share stories and legends of the Brecon Beacons.
We will climb up onto Corn Du and watch the sunset from this excellent vantage point until darkness engulfs us. We will then head across to the highest mountain in South Wales, Pen Y Fan, to enjoy exceptional views that the dark skies reserve can provide.
Fingers crossed for a clear night as our location will provide an ideal vantage point to see the Milky Way, major constellations, bright nebulas and even meteor showers, a must for any star gazer!
On the summit of Pen Y Fan Dorian will help you orientate yourself by pointing out the major constellations. All you will need is your hiking gear including warm layers, a head torch and your camera to capture the night skies.
Dorian Thomas, your guide for the night is a fully qualified mountain leader and a Brecon Beacons Dark Skies Ambassador, ideal to look after you and also provide insight to the area.
3. An evening walk with Wild Trails Wales
An evening walk with Wild Trails Wales on a Sunset and Starts walk at a quieter part of the day in the mountains.
The walk will take in beautiful views throughout golden hour, with the aim of reaching a peak or viewpoint for sunset, and descending under the stars. Find out more and book here
Enjoy a taste of the dark skies
Black Mountains Preserves Dark Sky Reserve Artisan Chutney was launched at the prestigious Brecon Beacons National Park Dark Sky Festival 2021. Celebrating the National Park dark sky reserve status Black Mountains Preserves Luxury Artisan Dark Sky Reserve Chutney is deep and dark in colour and sparkles with stars.
Equal parts of seasonal fruits of Apple, Pear, Plum and Tomato sweetened with dark sugar and treacle give you a real depth of flavour with a hint of caramel. Celery chopped into crescent moons and a light touch of “star” mustard seeds bring the Dark Sky Reserve chutney to life! Buy yours here.
Ten places to go stargazing in the Brecon Beacons
We have some amazing and iconic places that you can experience the majesty of the night sky as well as our National Park.
Here’s our top three tips on how to make the most of your experience and help us too.
- Make sure you wrap up warm – Even in the summer, after the sun goes down temperatures plummet. Layers of clothing work best rather than one big warm ‘all or nothing’ coat!
- Keep your eyes in night vision mode. Use a red bike light or paint the torch lens with red nail varnish.
- Be respectful – much of the land in the National Park is privately owned and, in some places, footpaths are close to people’s homes. Please do not congregate close to these and always make sure you have the landowners permission.
Read our favourite top ten locations to enjoy the night sky here.
8 things to enjoy after dark in the Brecon Beacons
Most people come to the Brecon Beacons to make the most of our fabulous countryside. But when the day comes to an end, the fun doesn’t have to stop, read our suggestions here.
Download our digital visitor guide to start planning your visit. With an interactive map, visitors can be sure to find the best places stay, to visit, things to do, great walks and places to eat and drink.