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Nine Unmissable Spots in the Brecon Beacons

Dolygaer is located in one of the world’s most beautiful areas, Brecon Beacons National Park. Wales is celebrating a Year of Adventure and there isn't a better place to find one than the Brecon Beacons. There are stunning reservoirs, sparkling rivers, and gorgeous mountaintops to view it all from. Our staff are lucky to live in such a great area, so we’re happy to share some of our must see spots to help you plan a trip to the Beacons that you’ll never forget.

View of Pen y Fan

Pen y Fan       

It could probably go without saying that if you come to the Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan is the place to go. It is the highest peak in South Wales and the highest British peak south of Snowdonia. On a clear day, the views from the summit are incredible. It’s also fairly easy to climb, with a very busy car park located on the A470. But the secret to really getting the most out of this mountain is to climb a the other side. Start your trek from near Brecon, in the Cwm Gwdi car park. It’s a bit tougher than the other side, but it is always a lot less crowded.  According to the National Trust, “From the main car park walk up the tarmac track to the gate, continue along the track that runs along the right-hand side of the field until you reach a second gate. From here you follow an old quarry track that heads up the valley until you reach the footpath that leads up Cefn Cwm Llwch to the summit of Pen y Fan.”


Brecon Mountain Railway Trek

We love this classic steam train so much we’ve created a special day all around it. The train starts in Pant station and climbs up to Torpantaeu. This alone is a great experience for families as it combines the history of the steam train with the beauty of Ponsticill Reservoir and the surrounding area. But for an added bonus, we get off at Torpantaeu station and hike back down to Dolygaer. We then paddle from Dolygaer across the Pontsticill Reservoir to the catch the train back to Pant Station. It’s a really unique way to experience this beautiful area of the National Park.

Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal

The Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal runs from Brecon through the National Park. It’s 35 miles long and has some stunning scenery to take in. For most of the way through the Beacons it follows alongside the river Usk.  Whether you want to enjoy a walk along it, peddle along it, or take a easy paddle down it, there are many segments that you can choose from. The stretch from Brecon down to Talybont is a great segment with a pub at either end! The Canal and River Trust has a brilliant downloadable map that gives you all kinds of great tidbits.

Penderyn Distillery

Everyone knows that the Scottish and Irish have some amazing whisky - but Wales? The Penderyn Distillery is the only one in Wales and it’s located here in the Brecon Beacons. It’s open for tours and - best of all - these tours include tastings! Not a whisky fan? They also make a range of spirits so you won’t feel left out.

They also offer a Masterclass for those looking to get a really in depth understanding of the process and flavours. These are only on selected dates though, and you need to book ahead.

Waterfall Walk

When you are finished with your Penderyn Distillery tour you will find yourself on the doorstep of one of the most scenic spots in Wales. Here, next to the tiny town of Pontneddfechan you will find the famous Waterfalls Walk. Here you can experience this in two ways. You can take a nice, leisurely walk along the river Mellte and take in the waterfalls from the path. But if you’re a bit more adventurous, try a Gorge Adventure. This involves a lot of scrambling and swimming as well as a bit of climbing, but if you have one of our instructors with you it is guaranteed to be the most thrilling way to experience this area.

Brecon Cathedral and Town

Brecon sits where the river Honddu runs into the Usk. It’s also the starting place of the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal. It is a pretty little town with nice shops, tons of coffee spots, and lots of gorgeous views.

The Cathedral itself sits on the edge of town. It’s got it’s own cafe, the Pilgrims Tea Room, and onsite parking so it’s an ideal spot to stop if you’ve only got a little bit of time. It’s a gorgeous Cathedral with the lovely Priory Groves to walk through right next to it.

If you’ve got more time, the Promenade is a great spot to walk along the Usk. It’s also got a fun playground for the little ones and, during summer, the Boathouse hires out foot paddle boats.

Llanfaes Ice Cream

Whether you’re in town for a short stop or a long one, Llanfaes Dairy is a necessary stop. Located across the bridge from the town centre, this ice cream parlour makes all its luscious flavours by hand and from as many locally sourced products as possible. The result is something wonderful. On a hot summer’s day it is impossible to be within a ten mile radius and miss out.

Llanthony Priory

Located on the Northeast border of the National Park, Llanthony is an Augustinian Priory with some truly beautiful ruins. The arches of the old priory reach up from the green grass in the middle of nowhere. The river Afon Honddu runs nearby and you can view a stretch of Offa’s Dyke from the Priory.

Anywhere on a Clear Night

The Brecon Beacons is one of only 10 internationally recognised Dark Sky Reserves. This means that no matter where you are in the Beacons, an effort has been made to reduce light pollution. As long as you have clear skies you will have a stunning view of the night time sky.

While you are visiting, take the time to sit outside and view the brilliance of the stars full; you won't regret staying up late for this. If you are very lucky to be here at the right time you can even get a peek of the Northern Lights. In late July to early August, as long as Welsh weather is agreeable, the Perseid meteor showers are always a treat. According to Nasa’s website, the best nights for viewing in 2016 are the 11th and 12th of August, with a peak activity of up to 100 meteors an hour.

These are just a selection of the amazing opportunities in the Brecon Beacons. If you are planning a holiday in the UK, the Beacons are an incredible place to visit whatever your interests or passions are. And in this Year of Adventure, the chance to #FindYourEpic has never been better.

Contact us today on: 01685 848 309

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Business Hours

Opening Days:

  • Monday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Tuesday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Wednesday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Thursday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Friday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Sunday   09:00 - 17:00

About Us

Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer is an activity centre based in the south of the Brecon Beacons, just a 15 minute drive from Merthyr Tydfil. We offer a fantastic range of activities suitable for all ages and abilities


Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer Pontsticill Merthyr Tydfil CF48 2UR