Guidebook

Hike and Bike the Beautiful Brecon Beacons

7 gorgeous and varied journeys through a mythical mountain range.

Charlie Boscoe

Description

Perhaps best known as the training location for Britain's legendary SAS special forces regiment, the Brecon Beacons have a reputation for being barren, wild and rugged. All of those adjectives are appropriate, but they only tell half the story - the Brecon Beacons are also beautiful and full of superb trails for both bikers and hikers.

For the hikers out there we've picked our favourite trio of Brecon Beacons treks, starting with the "Central Peaks of the Brecon Beacons" route, which offers several options for climbing southern Britain's highest peak (Pen Y Fan). An equally challenging route in here is the "11 High Points in Brecon Beacons" line, which is a linear hike over and through some of the best - and best-known - parts of the Beacons. Both of those hikes should ideally be done in good weather, but rain and wind are no strangers to the Brecon Beacons, so we've also included "Brecon to Llanfrynach", a cruisy little hike which can be completed in any weather.

There's also an excellent bad weather option in amongst the 4 bike routes in here - the "Talybont on Usk Tramroad" trip can be done regardless of the conditions and is atmospheric and enjoyable on even the dampest of days. The nearby journey through the Aber forest is only slightly tougher and also makes for a good option on a bad day.

The remaining 2 bike routes in here are both truly epic, starting with "Mind the Gap" - a route which is challenging, scenic and fun in equal measure. Equally good and perhaps even wilder is the "Talybont and Pontsticill Reservoir Route", which is utterly brilliant and should really be much better known.

So whilst the Brecon Beacons are ideal for pushing soldiers to their limits, they're also perfect for a week of fun, fresh air and trails!

Central Peaks of the Brecon Beacons
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Central Peaks of the Brecon Beacons

Brecon Beacons National Park
4 - 5 hrs
17.3 km
927 m
930 m
A high level mountain walk from the Storey Arms on the A470 onto the highest mountain (Pen-y-Fan 886 metres) in southern Britain for views, weather permitting, of the Usk Valley to the north and the valleys of the south wales coal fields to the south.
Moderate
Private
11 High Points in Brecon Beacons
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

11 High Points in Brecon Beacons

Brecon Beacons National Park
4 - 5 hrs
16.8 km
1,109 m
830 m
Simple walk along the Brecon Beacons.
Moderate
Private
Talybont and Pontsticill Reservoir Route
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Talybont and Pontsticill Reservoir Route

Brecon Beacons National Park
22.4 km
770 m
387 m
A great wilderness figure of 8 cross country route which is 90% traffic free, incorporating some tough climbs & open mountainside.
Difficult
Private
Mind the Gap
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mind the Gap

Brecon Beacons National Park
33.2 km
785 m
786 m
This is one of the all time classic Brecon Beacons mountain bike routes which has it all.
Difficult
Private
Talybont on Usk Tramroad and Aber forest
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Talybont on Usk Tramroad and Aber forest

Brecon Beacons National Park
16.3 km
498 m
498 m
A challenging route with some tough climbs taking in the Brecon canal, Taff Trail & an old tramroad
Moderate
Private
Talybont on Usk Tramroad
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Talybont on Usk Tramroad

Brecon Beacons National Park
5.9 km
192 m
103 m
A traffic free route taking in the Brecon canal, Taff Trail & an old Tramroad and stunning scenery
Easy
Private
Brecon to Llanfrynach
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Brecon to Llanfrynach

Brecon Beacons National Park
8.5 km
68 m
72 m
A very scenic family route, or useful as a link between Brecon and the trails around Talybont on Usk.
Easy
Private