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Encyclopedia > Brecon Beacons National Park
Part of the Brecon Beacons National Park, looking from the highest point Pen Y Fan, 886 m (2907 feet), to Corn Du, 873 m (2864 feet)

The Brecon Beacons National Park is one of three national parks in Wales. Located in the south-west of Wales, it is centred on the range of hills named the Brecon Beacons, the highest of which is 'Pen y Fan' (886m) which, together with the summits of 'Corn Du', and 'Cribyn', form a high level ridge walk called the 'Beacons Horseshoe'. In the east is another distinct range of hills called the Black Mountains, and in the west is a remote region known (confusingly) as the Black Mountain. Most of the national park is moorland, with some forestry plantations, and pasture in the valleys. The whole park covers 519 square miles (1344 kmē), from Llandeilo in the west to Hay-on-Wye in the east.

It was established in 1957, the last of the three Welsh parks. (Snowdonia was first in 1951).

The Brecon Beacons are so named after the town of Brecon and the ancient practice of lighting signal fires (beacons) on the mountains to warn of attacks by the English.

Popular activities in the park include walking, cycling, horse riding, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, fishing, rock climbing, and caving.

The park is known for its lakes such as Llyn y Fan Fawr and the high-altitude Llyn y Fan Fawr, and for its waterfalls, including the 27 meter Henrhyd Waterfall.

Welsh mountain ponies may be seen grazing.

Due to its remoteness, parts of the parks are used for military training. The Special Air Service (SAS) is known for holding especially demanding and dangerous training exercises here.

See also: Brecon, Brecon Mountain Railway

External links

  • Official site of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (http://www.breconbeacons.org/)
  • A guide to the Brecon Beacons (http://www.brecon-beacons.com/)
  • Brecon Beacons National park Information at the Mountain Hut (http://www.brecon-beacons.com/)

National parks of England and Wales:
Current Parks:

Brecon Beacons | The Broads | Dartmoor | Exmoor | Lake District | North York Moors | Northumberland | Peak District | Pembrokeshire Coast | Snowdonia | Yorkshire Dales

Proposed Parks:

New Forest (approved June 2004) | South Downs



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