Destination Of The Week: Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

Brecon Beacons is a north-facing mountain range in South Wales, near the town of Brecon. The range includes the highest point in southern Britain,; Pen y fan, which climbs 2,907 feet high.  The fields of Brecon Beacons National Park are filled with evidence of many years of human history, including single standing stones, or menhirs, from the Bronze Age. The remains of ancient stone circles and Iron Age Celtic hill forts can also be found here.  Surrounded with grasslands and water meadows, Llangorse Lake offers an appealing abode for geese, warblers, starlings, ducks, and other birds, which can be seen from the lakeside hide. The lake also features the remains of an Iron Age crannog, or human-made rock island, on the northern shore. Historians believe the ninth-century King of Brycheiniog may have sheltered here from The Vikings.

How to Get There: The park is just an hour from Cardiff International Airport. Trains stop at Abergavenny, Llandeilo, Llandovery, and Merthyr Tydfil. Buses also run to these main centers and offer connections to smaller communities inside the park.

When to Visit: Anytime is a great time to visit Brecon Beacons, but many people around the world flock to Hay-on-Wye, a town with some 40 bookshops, for the Hay Festival in late May and early June. U.S. President Bill Clinton called the event “the Woodstock of the mind.”

How to Visit: On holidays and summer Sundays, visitors can take advantage of the Beacons Bus, which is based in Brecon and runs routes around the park. Visitors can hop on and off at their convenience.

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