Brecon Beacons - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Brecon Beacons

Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons National Park is only half an hour's drive north of Cardiff and comprises four mountain ranges and an interesting terrain of old mining valleys, bare escarpments and sprawling sheep farms. Most visitors are walkers heading for Offa's Dyke Path, which passes along the eastern border, or the Taff Trail, heading south from Brecon. Offa's Path runs through the Black Mountains, which boasts spectacular views including sights such as the ruins of Llanthony Priory, the River Honddu, the ancient hillforts at Y Garn Goch, and the pretty church at Patrishow.

There is much to see and do in Brecon Beacons, and popular activities include hiking, horseback riding, fishing, rock climbing, canoeing, spelunking and sailing. The popular mountain biking route, the Taff Trail, traces 100 miles (160km) along Beacon's Way across the park.

The highest point in the Black mountains is Waun Fach and the tallest peak in the Brecon Beacons is Pen-y-Fan. Don't be surprised if you bump into groups of soldiers in the park - this is a major army exercise area and a main training ground for the SAS who you might see bounding up the mountains, doing the Fan Dance. Around the park are the historic market towns of Brecon and Hay-on-Wye, a fascinating little town with Norman and Jacobean ruins and the world's largest selection of second-hand book shops - 30 of them.

Information & Facts

English is the official language, though visitors will be astonished by the variety of regional accents.

The currency is the pound (GBP), which is divided into 100 pence. ATMs are available in all towns and Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels, however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks. Travellers cheques are accepted in all areas frequented by tourists; they are best taken in Pounds Sterling to avoid additional charges.

Local time in the United Kingdom is GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

One of many cave systems in Brecon Beacons National Park, the Dan-yr-Ogof Caves are an 11 mile (17km) cave system about 15 miles (24km) southwest of Brecon. Only the first portion of the system is open to the public, but the spectacular limestone rock formations of the three available caves, the Dan yr Ogof Showcave, the Cathedral Showcave and the Bone Cave, mustn't be missed. Formed 315 million years ago, the formations include the vertical stalagtites and stalagmites, and also rare helectites, which grow sideways. The nearby National Showcaves Centre for Wales has a dinosaur park with more than 50 life-size statues, an Iron Age farm, and a museum.

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