What makes the Brecon Beacons National Park a special place to visit?
Whether you’re planning an activity-packed holiday, a heritage tour or a relaxing break, there’s a great deal to discover in the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Those who live in and look after the National Park are not just connected to this place, we’re a part of it, and it is part of us. We work in partnership to respect our heritage and enjoy our surroundings. We allow nature and wildlife to flourish while safeguarding them for future generations. And we’re proud of our distinctive way of life.
Most of our visitors come here to enjoy the stunning scenery. It’s both beautiful and diverse, with rolling countryside and valleys, wide open hillsides and wildly beautiful forests, lakes, waterfalls and caves.
Our flora and fauna are remarkable. Our park is one of the last outposts for Welsh mountain ponies. They live, breed and run wild across our rugged and remote uplands. The skies above are home to a once endangered but now thriving population of red kites. Our heathlands provide Britain's most southerly home for red grouse. Britain's largest breeding population of lesser horseshoe bats can be found in the Usk Valley. And our grasslands and woodlands harbour many species of fungi, mosses, grasses, flowers and trees, some of which are unique to our region.
You may think that the landscape of the Brecon Beacons is unspoilt and natural, but in fact people have shaped and changed it over many thousands of years. Without them, it would not be the beautiful, diverse place it is today.
We can see the legacy that past peoples have left to us in our rich archaeological heritage and our historic buildings and settlements. Within the National Park are over 250 ancient monuments including prehistoric and Roman sites including stone circles, burial chambers, hillforts and camps. Our hills and villages are also dotted with medieval castles, ancient churches and reminders of our industrial heritage.
Eight places on Cadw’s Register of Landscapes of Outstanding and Special Historic Interest in Wales lie, at least partly, within the Brecon Beacons National Park. These include the Black Mountain and Mynydd Myddfai, the Middle Wye Valley, East Fforest Fawr and Mynydd-y-Glog and the Middle Usk Valley.
Architecture that tells our story
The built heritage of the Brecon Beacons National Park helps make it a special and distinctive place. Our fine rural buildings and historic townscapes bear witness to our important cultural inheritance and provide a unique window on the past. They can tell us about old construction techniques, what everyday life was like for our ancestors and how fashions and styles changed.
Historic buildings are often at the heart of our communities and contribute to local character and our sense of identity; they also demonstrate local and traditional crafts and skills, which may be dying arts today. There are thousands of architecturally significant buildings in the park, nearly 2000 of which are listed.
Contemporary culture and green ideas
From the world famous Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts and the Brecon Jazz Festival to our buzzing gourmet food scene, there’s always something going on in the Brecon Beacons National Park. To find out more, visit Things to enjoy and Events.
Our area is also fast becoming known as a green destination. It's easy to make yourself feel good in the Brecon Beacons by supporting our eco-friendly accommodation and activity companies, or reducing your carbon footprint by taking public transport for a day. To find out more, visit Green thinking.