The Brecon Beacons

Edi the campervan in the Brecon Beacons Walking up Bannau Sir Gaer Fan Gyhirch at sunrise Warming up inside the van with a glass of wine View down from Bannau Sir Gaer View down from Bannau Sir Gaer

The Brecon Beacons are a great place to take the campervan and go walking as they are only 3 or 4 hours from London just along the M4, the mountains are easily accessible from the road and the paths are normally well marked so the walking isn’t too difficult. November is a good month to go walking as the colours in the hills are so vivid, the crispness of the air catches your breath and there are less people out so you can enjoy some solitude. So in Nov 2018 we took a road trip to bag some mountain peaks.

How to get there

We drove down the M4 and only started to get caught in traffic when we reached Newport on the outskirts of Cardiff.  If you’re on a road trip it’s always nice to get off the motorway, so we took the A4042 to Abergavenny and the A40 to Brecon.  Both are good roads and have better views than the M4.  From Brecon we took the A4215 Defynnog and then the A4067 past the Cray Reservoir to Glyntawe and the Mountain of Fan Brycheiniog (802mts).

Where to stay

As you drive along the A4067 there are plenty of official parking places along the side of the road that would be good for an overnight in your campervan.  However, my suggestion would be to push on another mile or two and park up at the Tafarn y Garreg which is a mile out of town. They have good off road parking and some nice camping pitches for campervans.  But most importantly they have some really good food and a warm welcome.  As we were camping in November the outdoor shower was a little bracing, great when you were under the hot water, but instantly cold when you turned it off!

Andy and his wife run a lovely pub with a very warm welcome and good hearty pub food, and have plans to put in an outdoor hot tub in the summer! This is a great place to stop, however, I’m sure it gets busy in the summer, so I recommend you call ahead if you planning to stay there in the summer!

What to see/do when you are there

Most people planning a walk in the Brecon Beacons for the first time will head for Pen y Fan as it’s the highest peak in south Wales (886mts), and it can be easily accessed from the A470. However, on a sunny Sunday morning, the carparks will be full and you will see a long precession of people walking up the mountain.  If you want some solitude, head a couple of miles further west towards the Swansea Valley and Glyntawe, which is a lovely little Welsh village surrounded by mountains and quite foot paths.  From there you can walk on to Carreg Goch (558mts), Garreg Las (635mts), Fan Brycheiniog (802mts), Bannau Sir Gaer (749mts), and the ridge along the Beacons Way.  If you want a photo of a mountain to excite your Instagram feed, get up early and bagged Fan Gyhirch just as the sun is rising!  Just stunning.

sun rise over Fan Brycheiniog

Watching the sun rise over Fan Brycheiniog from Fan Gyhirch