Breacon Beacons walking vacation, Wales

Description of Breacon Beacons walking vacation, Wales

2-5 nights of superb walking in one of Britain's most beautiful National Parks. The itinerary can be adapted to suit your individual requirements, including your preferred grade of walking. With our tailor-made vacations, you also have a choice of accommodation.

This short vacation explores the best that this region has to offer with contrasting walks in both the eastern and western parts of the Park. Enjoy being 'on top of the world' with magnificent views on southern Britain's highest peaks on one day. Then, another day, the best of the softly rounded Black Mountains in arguably the most beautiful valleys in the National Park.


• expertly-crafted self-guided walks in one of the UK's most beautiful National Parks
• peace of mind knowing that all routes have been thoroughly researched by us, and tested by numerous walkers, so you can relax in the knowledge that you will not get lost! We include a marked-up Ordnance Survey map in your pack with a waterproof map case
• routes through the most tranquil and beautiful scenery imaginable, well away from the crowds
• printed commentaries highlighting features of special interest to provide you with an understanding of the area’s history, culture and natural environment
• the freedom to choose your own dates, walk at your own pace, linger as long as you like over lunch and, on some walks, visit places of iinterest
• a stylish, comfortable hotel or B&B
• excellent food with lunch at an ancient abbey
• an enhanced sense of well-being following a few days of peace, fresh air, exercise, scenic beauty and close contact with nature. You will leave feeling refreshed, relaxed and restored

What to Expect

Grading of Walks: the routes are selected for their accessibility and suitability for anyone of average fitness, able to walk around 8 miles on hilly terrain for up to 4 hours with a break for a picnic lunch. As this is hill country, ascents and descents are to be expected.

Accommodation: Stay at a wonderfully atmospheric old coaching inn renowned for its historic character, dating back to 1432. Its restaurant has won many awards including two prestigious AA rosettes, the “Taste of Wales” Restaurant of the Year and “Pub of the Year” awards. Most superior and deluxe rooms are large, well-appointed and situated off a balcony overlooking the delightful courtyard and gardens. Alternative B&B accommodation is also available.

Travel Information

By road: from central London - 3 hours, less than 2 hours from Birmingham; under an hour from Cardiff; easily accessible for motorists via the M4 motorway and Severn Bridge. Ample parking at the hotel.

By rail: From London Paddington to Abergavenny via Newport, 1 train an hour (journey time 2 hours, 12 minutes); onward travel by bus or taxi (6 miles). Easily accessible from Newport, Cardiff and Manchester.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Settle into your accommodation, enjoy our short guided walk around Crickhowell followed by dinner in the Bear Hotel’s award-winning restaurant.
Day 2:A short drive by car or taxi to the start of your first delightful excursion into one of the remotest recesses of the Black Mountains. The outward leg involves a modest, fairly short ascent up a grassy slope to enjoy a gentle ridge walk with superb views. Reaching an isolated mountain pass at the head of the Grwyne Fechan valley, we recommend lunch in an idyllic spot at 2,000 ft, surrounded by lofty peaks and distant views over the Wye Valley. This is Black Mountains walking at its best. After lunch, you descend gently down the hillside, above tumbling water, to the beautiful, remote Grwyne Fechan valley below. The path is easy, a path of springy turf, delightful walking, before finally crossing the river at Tal-y-maes Bridge to The Hermitage and your awaiting transport. (8.5 miles, 'Moderate' grade)
Day 3:Today the drive to the Mountain Centre, the starting point of today’s walk, will take you through diverse landscapes. To start the walk, you cross a stretch of ancient heathland before the path starts to meander through a beautiful valley dotted with small farms and woodlands which stretch like long green fingers into the heart of the mountains. Today a different aspect of the Brecon Beacons unfolds before you as you ford streams and cross green and gold meadows with the steep slopes of Fan Frynych rising above you. You'll follow a winding path on an easy gradient to reach our recommended picnic spot below the high peaks, marvelling at the scenic splendour and beautiful remote valleys below. Buzzard, sparrowhawk or kestrel provide an aerial display. Wind down easily on a grassy path to the flat expanse of the common below to rejoin the moorland path back to the Mountain Centre, a fitting finale to this wonderful walk. Here enjoy tea in the award-winning tearooms, while continuing to enjoy the surrounding superb mountain views. (Picnic lunch available from the Mountain Centre). (8 miles, 'Moderate' grade)
Day 4:After a very scenic drive, gradually ascending 1,300 feet in your vehicle, the easy way to gain the tops, you will arrive at the start of the walk. Superb walking follows up to the highest peaks in southern Britain. Following a steep but relatively short climb, punctuated with stops to read our commentaries and get your breath back, you'll arrive at the beginning of one of the UK's finest walks. Once up the remaining gradient is gentle. You'll cruise easily along the finest ridge walk imaginable, never dropping below 2000 feet, to the broad summit plateau of Corn Du. Then to the majestic peaks of Pen y Fan and the Cribyn, with the option to bypass either or both peaks if you prefer. As you look down on the lonely lakes below and the scooped-out valleys, you feel you are standing on top of the world. The views which extend to the Malvern Hills, the Bristol Channel and the hills of Somerset and Devon are truly awesome. Seeing buzzards, raven, or red kite circle overhead, you'll feel the presence of nature in the raw. This is mountain walking at its best, physically exhilarating and spiritually uplifting. Finally you'll descend grassy slopes to join an old Roman road back to your transport. (Picnic lunch today which can be purchased in the village.) (8 miles, 'Moderate' grade)
Day 5:Today you walk from the hotel, exploring Crickhowell itself, its Norman castle and beautiful 16th century bridge spanning the River Usk. Then on to join a picturesque stretch of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal before crossing rolling meadows towards the Llangattock Escarpment. From these spectacular uplands you'll look down over open hillsides to a patchwork of lowland fields dotted with farms and villages below, a backcloth of dramatic peaks beyond. You'll encounter long-abandoned quarries, culminating in a series of caves, the fascinating historical remains of a hugely-important quarrying industry that once dominated these hillsides. Finally, your descent to Crickhowell via the village of Llangattock is a gentle and relaxing finale to two days of scenic splendours. (8 miles, ‘Moderate’ grade)

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Breacon Beacons walking vacation, Wales


Walking is the least carbon intensive way to travel and ensures that the environmental impact of our walking clients is kept to a minimum. Where it is necessary to travel by means other than on foot, we encourage the use of public transport; if that is unavailable we recommend local transport companies to reach the start of the walk. We aim to balance the environmental impact of traveling with the benefits that sustainable tourism brings to the local rural economy. We accommodate our walkers in a small local inn or B&B, all being family run and central to the life of the village. They employ local people and prepare meals from locally grown produce as far as possible.

In our small home office we recycle paper, cardboard, ink cartridges and printed material. We purchase recycled printer cartridges, paper, envelopes, labels, pens, toilet tissue, bin liners. We turn off printers, photocopiers, computers, battery chargers and transformers at the end of each day and avoid ‘screen savers’, use energy-efficient bulbs and low-energy appliances. We cut CO2 emissions by keeping thermostats at the lowest comfortable setting. We do not use tumble dryers nor take disposable plastic bottles to the countryside, instead promoting the use of water bottles manufactured by companies like Sigg.

We keep our customers informed electronically via email, electronic newsletters and our website. We encourage clients to remit their payments electronically via PayPal or by bank transfer.


We endeavour to balance the environmental impact of traveling with the benefits that sustainable tourism brings to the local economy. In choosing to lunch at local restaurants we are patronising establishments which employ staff from the local rural community. Where no pub or restaurant is available as on the Brecon Beacons walks, we recommend purchasing supplies at the village shop in Crickhowell or at the Mountain Centre.

We choose the best walks available which may not always start directly from a railway station or hotel. Therefore provision has to be made to transport people to and from the start of the walks. To achieve this we employ local minibus and taxi companies. Over the years we bring repeat business to them.

Bringing people to a new region, arranging their accommodation and food, transporting them from place to place, walking the ancient footpaths, visiting their pubs and restaurants and teaching through carefully-researched commentaries something about the area’s rich history, culture and folk law, has the effect of giving people a sense of community with the place. People often return on their own or with friends, visit the same pubs and renew their sense of being at one with the beautiful local countryside.


This carefully-researched and crafted walking vacation in a special landscape of the UK, promotes appreciation, respect and enjoyment of the countryside through informative commentaries. These commentaries relate to history, rural life and traditions, flora and fauna, geology and literature.

We walk in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We describe the views to be seen from the high points and our walkers always enjoy seeing the distant route they took earlier in the walk. We always explain something of the history of the area we are visiting and introduce into the walks topics of a literary nature such as poems, references to writers associated with an area and examples of the soothing power of nature.

We share knowledge about features of architectural interest and geological interest. For example, we may explain about the chalk downland turf or archeological features such as barrows and earthworks and explain how the land we see today has been shaped by the past. Or we may explain about a national trail, its history and its significance today. We include references to the economic importance of, for example, chalk, hardwood, coppices.

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