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Brecon Beacons, Mid Wales | South Wales

Brecon Beacons
The Brecon Beacons are a mountain range that stretch across the south-east region of Wales. The range lies in the central section of the Brecon Beacons National Park , to the south of Brecon . The Brecon Beacons get their name from the ancient practice of lighting signal fires, or beacons, on high and exposed places to warn of attacks by enemy. Nowadays, the peaks are no longer in use as warning beacons but they are sometimes fired to commemorate public and national events.

The highest of the Beacons is Pen y Fan at 2,841 feet. Corn Du, Cribyn and Fan y BÓg are all over 2,300 feet and form a long horseshoe-shaped ridge which wraps around the head of the Taf Fechan river to the south-east. Long parallel spurs extend from the ridge to the north-east. The formation forms a popular ridge walk known as the Beacons Horseshoe, one of many walks in the Brecon Beacons. The first walk to span the entire length of the Brecon Beacons National Park was opened on 22 May 2005. Called The Beacons Way, the 100 mile trail runs from Abergavenny to the village of Bethlehem, Carmarthenshire, via Crickhowell . The Taff Trail, which runs from Brecon to Cardiff , crosses the Beacons.

The Brecon Beacons and the National Park are very popular with visitors and offer a wide range of activities. As well as walking, the area is excellent for cycling, horse riding and mountain biking. Sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and fishing are available on the attractive rivers and reservoirs. Obviously, given the topography, the Beacons offer a wide range of rock climbing and caving. The caves at Ogof Ffynnon Ddu are the most famous in the area. The contours of the land are also excellent for hang-gliding. For many years the peace and tranquility of the beacons have made it a haven for caravanning and camping. The area has many waterfalls, including the Henrhyd Waterfall and the falls at Ystradfellte.

The mountains are prone to rapid changes in weather, regardless of the season. In winter the mountains and the weather combine to produce very dangerous conditions. Due to both the remoteness and the weather, parts of the Brecon Beacons National Park are used for military training. The Special Air Service (SAS) use the area for their especially demanding selection training exercises. The infantry regiments of the British Army all train at Sennybridge

More British Natural features?

Other Mid Wales Naturals

River Severn
Dan yr Ogof
River Tywi
Cambrian Mountains
Pen Y Fan massif
Abergwesyn Common
River Teme

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On this day:
Englandís Worst Mining Disaster - 1866, Marconi sends 1st transatlantic wireless message - 1901, Marples Hotel Tragedy - 1940, Peace Women Embrace Greenham Common - 1982, Clapham rail disaster - 1988
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