15 Fascinating Facts About Brecon Beacons

Are you looking to visit the Brecon Beacon National Park? Here are some fascinating facts you should know before spending your vacation and exploring in the Brecon Beacons. 

Facts About Brecon Beacons and Its National Park:

  1. The spectacular Brecon Beacons National Park established in 1957 was the only 10th area in Wales and England to be given such glorious status, under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949.
  2.  The majestic Brecon Beacons National Park covers a staggering 520 square miles of South and Mid Wales, with two-thirds of this area being comprised of old red sandstone rocks.
  3. The Brecon Beacons is one of the training grounds of SAS, due to its remoteness and harsh, unpredictable weather conditions.
  4. Llyn Cwm Llwch which is recognised as the best-preserved glacial lake in South Wales, is located in the Brecon Beacons.
  5. The Fforest Fawr Geopark which was the first European Geopark established in 2005, is also here within Brecon Beacons National Park. The area is recognised for its picturesque landscapes, historical and cultural interest and scientific value. It also has geological significance as it demonstrates the story of the ancient climate change, mountain building and sea-level changes. Moreover, its breathtaking hills and valleys are marked by glaciers from the Ice Ages.
  6. The area around Blaenavon was declared and recognised as the UNESCO World Heritage Site 2000 for its driving force and contribution and during the Industrial Revolution.
  7. The Batcave entrance from the famous movie “The Dark Knight Rises” is located at Henrhyd Falls, which is recognised as the tallest waterfall in the Brecon Beacons National Park.
  8. There’s a Cathedral Cave in Brecons where you can get married. It lies 150m below the ground at the National Showcaves Centre and has a beautiful 40ft waterfalls that cascade into an underground lake.
  9. 70% of the land that lies within the park is privately owned, but there is still plenty for the public to explore, with a plethora of walking routes showing off the best of Wales’ natural beauty!
  10. On the edge of the Brecon Beacon National Park, there’s a small farming village called Bethlehem that attracts thousands of visitors during Christmas season. They travel far and wide to post their card and get their envelopes stamped with a seasonal postmark from “Bethlehem”. 
  11. Within this beautiful park, there are around 1,250 farms which are mixed livestock enterprises (mostly cattle and sheep).
  12. The Brecon Beacons National Park is an International Dark Sky Reserve. It was only the fifth location in the world and the first in Wales to receive this accreditation, in 2013. It is a highly prestigious status that indicates exceptional quality in terms of starry nights and grants it special protection to ensure this quality is maintained. We were lucky to be staying over on a clear night and were able to see the Milky Way, major constellations and a nebula with the naked eye. The aurora borealis or the Northern Lights can sometimes be seen here. 
  13. About 250,000 people use the National Park Authority’s three Visitor Centres each year.
  14. There are more than 2,800 rights of way within the National Park with an overall length of 1983km.
  15. The name of Brecon Beacons is believed to come from the ancient practice of lighting signal fires (beacons) on the mountains to warn of enemy attacks. 
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