Things to do – Explore The Park
Brecon Beacons National Park
The Brecon Beacons are said to be named after the ancient practice of lighting signal fires or “beacons” on mountains to warn of attacks from invaders.
Ty Newydd is in the central area of the park so a great base to access the four main regions – the Black Mountain West, Fforest Fawr (Great Forest), the Brecon Beacons in the centre, and the Black Mountains East.
The landscape is varied from rugged mountain peaks, to grassy moorland with grazing Welsh mountain ponies, to forestry plantations, and farmland in the valleys.
There are lots of historical sites to discover. Burial cairns from the Bronze age can be found on hills in the west. There are over twenty Iron Age hill-forts and numerous castles from the Norman Conquest around the park.
Brecon Beacons National Park has become only the fifth destination in the world to be granted prestigious International Dark Sky Reserve status. To you and me this means, that if you look up in the sky at night you are very likely to see stars, which means we have the magic combination of little cloud and very low levels of light pollutions. This is an astounding accomplishment for a populated area, it also means it will be protected for the future.
We are on the edge of the Fforest Fawr Geopark in the national park. A Geopark is a territory whose geological heritage is of great significance. Geoparks promote the parks natural and cultural heritage linking geology and archaeology. They organize a lot of events and provide a lot of fascinating information. To find out more go to their website www.fforestfawrgeopark.org.uk. You will never look at a rock the same way again.
The Brecon Beacons and South Wales area played a significant role during the Industrial Revolution. The landscape rich in raw materials were mined and transported. Blaenavon was the largest ironworks in the world and is now a “World Heritage” site. Next door is the Big Pit Coal Mining Museum where you can experience going underground like a real miner. You can even take a ride on a vintage steam train with the Brecon Mountain Railway which runs between Pontsicill and Pentwyn Reservoirs.
The Monmouth and Breconshire canal and various railway and tramlines are a result of this industrial progress, today they are used for walking and cycling round the park..
There are so many…. I am just going to highlight a few:
- Pen-y-fan; The second highest mountain in the south of England. Get up there.
- Waterfalls; The main area is Ystradfellte which is known as waterfall country, however there are smaller local waterfalls dotted all over the park. The famous Henrhyd waterfall is 27 metres high.
- The National Show Caves; Has three caves to be explored, the Dan yr Ogof, the Cathedral Showcave and the Bone Cave. All are spectacular.
- Bleanavon Ironworks and The Big Pit Mining Museum; This is a world heritage site and its FREE
- Carreg Cennen Castle; This is probably the most photographed castle on the planet, and you can see why. It perched on a breath taking cliff and has been bracing the elements for 700 years.
- The National Museum Wales at St Fagans; Is one of Europe’s leading open-air museums. Wander round this living museum and see over forty original buildings from various historical periods.