Our top 10 Brecon Beacons walks

Walking, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Kate W on 7th July 2021

Our top Brecon Beacons walks

Break free of routine and step out into the beauty of the Brecon Beacons National Park, an iconic Welsh region where mountains climb into the clouds and valleys sweep down into rushing rivers and crashing waterfalls.

We’ve pulled together a selection of the best walks in the Brecon Beacons, with true hikes to challenge keen ramblers and easy access trails for relaxing wanders. Take a look through our top Brecon Beacons walks and take the chance to explore this blissful region.

Don’t forget: The weather is changeable in this remote region so ensure you bring along all the essentials including a compass, map, waterproofs, whistle and torch, especially on the longer routes. Stay safe during your walking adventures.

Brecon Beacons cottages


Pen y Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk

Pen y Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk

A challenging walk up South Wales’ highest mountain, the Pen y Fan circular walk offers well-maintained footpaths and expansive views with two peaks to conquer.

This Brecon Beacons circular walk slowly slopes up at first and can offer a bit of a challenge in places but, at 4 miles long, you’ll soon reach the summit above the clouds and can look out over the surrounding mountaintops in the heart of this wild and wonderful national park.

Distance: 4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Stay at: Ann's Barn, Cantref | sleeps 2 

Discover more natural wonders and beauty spots in our guide to National Trust places to visit in South Wales.


The Elidir Trail / Waterfall Country Walk

The Elidir Trail / Waterfall Country Walk

Tumbling waterfalls, local legends and natural scenery, The Elidir Trail is another popular walking route perfect for family days out or a romantic stroll during your holiday.

Hidden in the Vale of Neath, follow this delightful path for picnic spots and wildlife, not to mention several waterfalls spilling into plunge pools. We reckon The Elidir Trail is a must-visit if you’re staying nearby – this is Waterfall Country after all!

Distance: 3.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Stay at: Miner's Cottage - Bryndulais Row, Seven Sisters | sleeps 4 and 1 dog 

Wales’ rugged landscape hides many more magical falls and to hunt them all down, take a look through our guide to the many waterfalls of Wales. 


Henrhyd Falls and Nant Llech Walk

Henrhyd Falls and Nant Llech Walk

If you simply cannot get enough of waterfalls or love spending time near water, the Henrhyd Falls and Nant Llech Walk provides visitors with the chance to take in the highest waterfall in South Wales.

A 90ft drop will leave you in awe of these immense falls, and it’s certainly best seen after heavy rain, although be careful of slippery rocks along the trail if you do choose to visit after a downpour. Nant Llech is the winding river that you’ll follow on this Brecon Beacons waterfall walk, and oak, ash and elm make up the forest all around.

Distance: 3.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Stay nearby: Nant-y-gwared Bungalow, Pen-y-cae | sleeps 4 


Brecon Canal from Crickhowell to Llangynidr

Brecon Canal from Crickhowell to Llangynidr

Follow this Brecon Canal route if you like to people watch as you wander, as you will often spot others perched on canal boats floating by. You’ll pass by the wide, flat waters of the River Usk on this route and could spot birds sitting in the canopies or drinking from the water along a tree-lined section of the canal.

Beginning in the market town of Crickhowell and finishing at Llangynidr village, you’ll be able to pick up a refreshing drink or a snack before or after your walk too.

Distance: 5.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Stay nearby: Crud-yr-awel - Crickhowell Town, Crickhowell Town | sleeps 5 and 1 dog 


Brecon Beacons Horseshoe Trail

Brecon Beacons Horseshoe Trail

Are these Brecon Beacons walking routes looking a bit too easy for you? For a real challenge, venture out on this Brecon Beacons Horseshoe Trail which is known as the hardest route up Pen y Fan, taking in Corn Du and with a stint down Jacob’s Ladder too.

It’s near Merthyr Tydfil so this traditional Welsh town is a great place to round off your walk with a hearty and well-deserved pub lunch after your challenging Brecon Beacons hike. Don’t forget to bring along food and water during the trek as well to keep you fuelled.

Distance: 11 miles

Difficulty: Challenging

Stay nearby: Corn View Llanilid, Crai | sleeps 4

For an adrenaline-packed holiday, discover a host of exciting activities and unforgettable experiences in our ultimate guide to outdoor activities in Wales.


Sugar Loaf Mountain Walk

Sugar Loaf Mountain Walk

The sweetly named mountain offers a couple of different approaches, all relatively steady climbs whichever way you decide to approach, although the south appears to be the most scenic route.

On a walk up Sugar Loaf near Monmouth and Abergavenny, you’ll pass woodland, a stream and the trig right at the summit – and the best bit, amazing views across the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains!

Distance: 5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Stay nearby: Hatterall View Cottage, Pandy | sleeps 2


Pontsticill Reservoir Walk

Pontsticill Reservoir Walk

This Brecon Beacons walk, just north of Merthyr Tydfil, takes you along the banks of an immense reservoir and is a beautiful choice for a dog walk or family adventure on a bright and sunny day.

Settle on the banks for a picnic next to the sparkling waters, or pop by the tearoom at top of the reservoir. You could even factor in a journey on the reservoir aboard the Brecon Mountain Railway before starting the Pontsticill Reservoir Walk.

Distance: 7 miles

Difficulty: Easy – includes a moderate climb

Stay nearby: Roundhouse Farm - Mary, Nantyglo | sleeps 2


Talybont Reservoir Circular Walk

Talybont Reservoir Circular Walk

Step it up with a visit to the largest reservoir in the Brecon Beacons on the Talybont Reservoir Circular Walk.

If you’re a keen birdwatcher or just enjoy spotting wildlife on your travels, visit Talybont Reservoir during the cooler months to spot overwintering wildfowl. There is a bird hide that overlooks the protected wetland area of the reservoir and includes space for one wheelchair, although the bankside trail itself is not entirely accessible with a forest and busy road to navigate.

Distance: 6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Stay nearby: Nantymynydd, Talybont-on-Usk | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs 


Craig-y-Nos Circular Walk

Craig-y-Nos Circular Walk

For a quiet, gentle excursion, take a drive down to Craig-y-Nos and follow this beautiful circular walk surrounded by simple natural scenery. This route is a gem any time of year as the mixed trees of the forest change with the seasons and there are ponds and lakes to pass by, bursting with life in the spring and frozen over in winter. 

Beyond all that beauty, there are view of the Upper Swansea Valley to admire. It is an easy, barrier-free route with good surfaces and small gradients. As it was the garden of the great Adelina Patti, there are delightful garden features left behind including a pavilion, a monochrome white metal bridge and a bed of roses commemorating her death. 

Distance: 1.4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Stay nearby: Barn Cottage Retreat, Abercrave | sleeps 3 and 1 dog 


Hay-on-Wye Easy Access Walk

Hay-on-Wye Easy Access Walk

The Wye Valley Walk runs for 136 miles passing through magical woodland, beautiful orchards, and rugged upland, never meandering far from the iconic River Wye. There are several Brecon Beacons easy access walks that can be enjoyed along this trail, and our pick is the Hay-on-Wye Easy Access Walk.

The terrain is a mix of pavements, paths and a road verge in one section, all fairly flat but uneven path surfaces with the odd step along the route. It begins in the town centre where the crumbling ruins of Hay Castle sit, before heading down to the wide, rushing Wye for a pleasant riverside stroll.  

Distance: 3.2 miles

Difficult: Easy

Stay nearby: The Old Cider House, Hay-on-Wye | sleeps 6


Brecon Beacons walking retreats

Whether conquering South Wales’ highest mountain or listening to the roar of tumbling water in Waterfall Country, there's a wealth of natural wonders to discover on these Brecon Beacons walking routes.

Find your ideal base for your next Wales adventure by browsing our Brecon Beacons cottages. You could end your day of walking by soaking tired limbs in a hot tub, lounging in front of a crackling fire, or sharing a nightcap in the garden with friends and family.

Brecon Beacons cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.