Brecon Beacons, United Kingdom
On the borders of the Brecon Beacons National Park, sweet villages and bustling towns beckon: bursting with bookish riches, Hay on Wye’s annual literature festival is hailed as ‘the Woodstock of the mind’. The body can indulge in delicious, locally reared lamb and beef; take to the hills for some invigorating cycling, caving or hiking; and recuperate in cosy country pubs. Somehow, the landscape urges you to climb higher, delve deeper and walk further. And, when you finally reach that distant waterfall, mountain-encircled lake or windswept ridge, and gaze out across the heart-stopping view, you will find that the Brecon Beacons will make the spirits soar, too.
Areas in Brecon Beacons
When to go
The centre of the National Park can get fairly crowded in summer, especially along the route to the highest peak, Pen y Fan; the west of the park is much quieter all year round.
PlanesCardiff Airport (www.cwlfly.co.uk) is the closest regional and international hub; it has good transport links to the city and the rest of South Wales.
TrainsFirst Great Western trains from London Paddington to Swansea take around three hours; see www.trainline.co.uk for details. From Swansea, catch the Heart of Wales line to the Brecon Beacons National Park border at Llandovery; what the service lacks in speed and frequency it makes up for in scenery (www.heart-of-wales.co.uk).
AutomobilesThe M4 can speed you into South Wales | all the way to Swansea; be prepared for the Severn Bridge toll. From Swansea | you can reach the Brecon Beacons on the A483. From the Midlands | the A40 is the best route.
TaxisYou’ll need to ring ahead and book a taxi; try 1-4-U Taxis in Llandovery on +44 (0)1550 720217.