A day trip to Brecon Beacons National Park from Cardiff is an absolute must for nature-lovers. Much as I’d badly wanted to visit Brecon Beacons during my stay in Wales last September, I somehow could not find any truly detailed review and / or travel guide of this place. In fact, I kind of knew there were trekking trails and stuff, but I also really wanted to see real photos and stories of those who had taken a day trip there. A quick search from Google yielded limited results, most of which were not so informative anyway.
And that’s why here I am, doing what I think should have been around long before. In this post, I’ll be sharing details about our day trip to Brecon Beacons from Cardiff, including transportation, things to do and other considerations as well.
How to get to Brecon Beacons from Cardiff by public transport?
The Brecon Beacons National Park is about 1 – 2 hours away from Cardiff by bus. From the bus stop called Castle Stop KA (right in front of Cardiff Castle), you can catch bus TrawsCymru T4 directly there. This bus also stops at the Central Station Cardiff and the Royal Hotel. Check here for the full timetable of TrawsCymru T4.
Note: Remember to prepare the exact amount of money to pay your bus fare, as drivers cannot give change. A day ticket (£10 for adult / £7 for children / £25 for group) is the best option if you also want to drop by Merthyr Tydfil during your day trip. Otherwise, single and return tickets are also available. View the exact amount of bus fares to Brecon Beacons here.
- If you want to trek to Pen y Fan (the highest peak in South Wales), stop at Storey Arms. Read more about 4 ways to reach Pen y Fan here.
- If you want a less challenging visit (with no less stunning scenery), stop at Libanus. This is what we did. Read on to the next section for info about what to do once you’ve stopped here.
What to do for a day trip to Brecon Beacons?
There are many things to do and see in Brecon Beacons, such as trekking, cycling, photographing, or just enjoying a cup of tea in the tea room overlooking the breathtaking view around here.
After stopping at Libanus, we started walking up a steep hill to the National Park Visitor Centre. It’s a narrow path right on the left hand side of the road, first going through some houses and then completely bordered by trees on both sides. The climb would have taken 30 minutes on average. However, since we stopped frequently on the way to take photos and appreciate the breathtaking surrounding landscape, we reached the top after 45 minutes.
There were lots of sheep roaming around on the meadows we passed by. As we tried to approach them to take photos, we realised they’re quite scared of strangers and would run away.
The path became more muddy and slushy as we got closer to the top. It’s ideal to wear waterproof shoes which you aren’t afraid of making dirty. Also, it’s very easy to step into a pool of rainwater or onto a pile of sheep poo, so be careful!
Brecon Beacons National Park Visitor Centre
There are many things you can do at Brecon Beacons National Park Visitor Centre, such as:
- Have a tasty lunch and / or a cup of aromatic tea while enjoying the spectacular view of the mountains (Don’t forget to try faggots – a traditional dish in South Wales!)
- Shop for some lovely souvenirs
- Let your children play in the indoor and outdoor playgrounds
- Have a picnic
- Ask for information about trekking, walking and cycling trails around the area
After having lunch at the National Park Visitor Centre, we went for a short walk around this amazing area for one hour. The sheer beauty of Brecon Beacons rendered me speechless! There are many trekking / walking / cycling trails that you can follow. Just ask the friendly people at the Visitor Centre and they will show you all available options!
Other things to keep in mind for a smooth day trip to Brecon Beacons
- Check the weather beforehand. I can’t stress enough how important this is, as the weather is accountable for 80% of your trip’s success. There were intermittent rains during our day trip to Brecon Beacons, but we were lucky to have several periods of sunshine as well.
- Bring comfortable shoes which you’re not afraid of making dirty. Mud, sheep poo and water pools are ubiquitous here.
- Check the bus timetable and plan well beforehand, especially the last departure time. Bus T4 runs every hour or even longer. This means if you come back to the bus stop from your trek at the wrong time, you might have to wait for up to an hour for the next one. Also, I’ve realised that bus T4 is not always on time, so don’t get panicked if it’s 10 minutes late for your journey back to Cardiff.
- Bring some snacks / protein powders with you. If you become exhausted during your trek, it can take hours to walk to a place with facilities such as the Visitor Center.
- If you have time and have purchased a day ticket with bus T4, consider visiting Merthyr Tydfil on the way to Brecon Beacons. Merthyr Tydfil is most famous for hosting the Cyfarthfa Castle, which is a 19th-century magnificent mansion now repurposed into a museum and gallery. We did not stop there because we started our trip quite late during the day. However, had we managed to catch the 8am bus for example, we would definitely have stopped at Merthyr Tydfil for several hours.
To be honest, I really wish we could have spent more time in Brecon Beacons so as to fully enjoy this beautiful place. All in all, our day trip to Brecon Beacons was totally worth it in the end. If you have been to Brecon Beacons before, don’t forget to leave a comment below and tell us what you did there! I can’t wait to hear more from other people about their amazing trips to this wonderful national park!
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