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10 romantic things to do in the Brecon Beacons

January 2017

Walker on the Brecon Beacons
Walker on the Brecon Beacons

Soft, green hills, sparkling waterfalls and starry skies make the Brecon Beacons National Park an idyllic place to enjoy a little well-earned together time.

 

Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons
Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons

Stand on the roof of southern Britain, hand in hand, and you’ll feel on top of the world. There are several routes to the marker at the top of this famous hill, 886m up. The best known path is so gentle that anyone can mooch along it, but there’s also a horseshoe ridge walk via two other nearby peaks and steep tracks to really get your hearts racing.

Carreg Cennen Castle, Carmarthernshire
Carreg Cennen Castle, Carmarthernshire

Seen from a distance, Carreg Cennen has a stunning silhouette, perched high on a crag in the rolling Carmarthenshire countryside. Many an artist has sketched, painted or photographed it – not least JMW Turner, whose watercolours now reside in Tate Britain. Climb up to the ancient castle walls and you’re sure to feel inspired.

Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon, Mid Wales and the Brecon Beacons
Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon, Mid Wales and the Brecon Beacons

This elegant country gastropub near Brecon has been showered with awards, including being named the Good Pub Guide Dining Pub of the Year in Wales for five years running. Its specialities include pheasant with pearl barley bourguignon and roast cod fillet with squash and pancetta. Sunday lunch is a real occasion, with live music every other week.

Sgwd yr Eira, Brecon Beacons by Paul J James
Sgwd yr Eira, Brecon Beacons by Paul J James

What could be more magical than walking through a Welsh woodland with the sound of rushing water growing louder with every step? The geology of the Brecon Beacons National Park makes the southwestern corner a superb area for waterfalls, some of them wreathed in romantic myths of Celtic princes and princesses.

Talyllyn, Brecon Canal by Ron Fisher
Talyllyn, Brecon Canal by Ron Fisher

Peaceful and rural, with a flavour of times gone by, the Mon and Brec is a wildlife haven that’s often voted Britain’s prettiest canal. It’s easy to hire a narrowboat or small motorboat and there are even electric boats, for quiet, eco-friendly cruising. Alternatively, settle back while someone else mans the tiller on a relaxing cruise from Brecon Basin to Brynich Lock.

Enjoy a picnic at Llangorse Lake

Llangorse Lake, Brecon Beacons by Paul J James
Llangorse Lake, Brecon Beacons by Paul J James

Llangorse is the largest natural lake in the southern half of Wales, with grassy banks, dreamy views and a poignant sense of history. Its crannog, a small island near the water’s edge, was once the site of a 10th century palace. The Crannog Centre explains how it was built and who lived there, and reveals some of its legends.

Brecon Mountain Railway, Brecon Beacons
Brecon Mountain Railway, Brecon Beacons

If the thought of a brightly polished steam locomotive chuffing through the Welsh countryside warms your heart, jump aboard the Brecon Mountain Railway. It runs from Pant near Merthyr Tydfil to Torpantau, high in the Brecon Beacons, with panoramic views of the peaks and the Pontsticill Reservoir on the way.

Hay-on-Wye, Mid Wales
Hay-on-Wye, Mid Wales

For character and nostalgia, this quirky market town is pretty hard to beat. Browse the poetry shelves of Hay’s many bookshops for a special way to say I love you, dip into homeware boutiques for craft items and vintage finds to line your nest, then gaze lovingly at each other over locally made ice cream or cake in a cute little café.

Dine out in Abergavenny

The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny, Wye Valley by The Angel Hotel
The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny, Wye Valley by The Angel Hotel

Abergavenny is gourmet central. Cwtch Café near the Market Hall couldn’t be cosier for morning coffee or lunch – cwtch is the Welsh for a snug or a cuddle – and The Angel Hotel will serve you and your loved one a heavenly afternoon tea. Then, for a dinner you’ll never forget, take a table at The Hardwick, voted by experts the best restaurant in Wales.

Brecon Beacons National Park by Dave2142
Brecon Beacons National Park by Dave2142

There are billions of reasons to hope for clear skies during your time in the Brecon Beacons, and they’re all twinkling overhead. In 2013, the National Park became the first place in Wales – and only the fifth in the world – to be granted special protection as a Dark Sky Reserve. The views of the stars are superb. Don’t forget to make a wish.

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