The top things to do in the Brecon Beacons holiday cottages

The top things to do in the Brecon Beacons

Kate W 03 March 2020

From waterfall walks to castle tours, exciting festivals to canoeing adventures, the Brecon Beacons is full to bursting with wonderful things to do. Climb to the top of a mountain or head to a fun attraction for a day out with the kids in this beautiful national park.

Llangorse Lake

If you are wondering what to do during your next Wales holiday, we’ve got you covered with a whole lot of Brecon Beacons attractions for you to choose from. Take a trip underground and explore ancient caves, enjoy horse riding around a magnificent reservoir or check out our suggestions of free things to do in the Brecon Beacons.

When you are ready to book a beautiful holiday home for the ideal Wales retreat, browse through our cottages – you’re sure to find the perfect escape in our collection.


Are you an adventurer or would you prefer a relaxing getaway? Do you enjoy long walks or prefer to sit and watch the world pass you by? Discover fantastic places to visit and things to do for great days out in the Brecon Beacons below…

Kayaking and canoeing

Canoe and kayak

Discover the beautiful Brecon Beacons from the water! Relax with a gentle canoe trip down the River Wye in the north of the Brecon Beacons or head out on a kayaking adventure down the Usk River which runs through the centre of this national park.

It’s one of the top things to do in the Brecon Beacons and a great way to take in the natural scenery of the reserve while enjoying a lively activity – a fun adventure for families or adult groups holidaying in this fantastic region.

Stay nearby:

Retreat to a cottage by the river and get out on the water on your next Wales trip.

Delve underground at the National Showcaves Centre for Wales

National Showcaves Centre for Wales

Fantastic fun for both adults and kids, the National Showcaves Centre for Wales offers up a variety of on-site attractions and is another top thing do to in the Brecon Beacons - a regular favourite among visitors to the region.

You can, of course, enter the three epic caves made up of the Dan yr Ogof Cave, Cathedral Cave and the spookily-named Bone Cave. Besides this, you can visit the dinosaur park where there are over 200 full-sized dinosaur models for you to discover.

There is also a shire horse centre and farm, where you can see the impressive horses as well as Shetland ponies, alpacas and chipmunks too – children will have a great time meeting all the animals!

Stay nearby:

Escape to a holiday let near the popular family-friendly National Showcaves Centre for Wales.

Go horse riding around Llangorse Lake

Llangorse Lake

You can also explore the banks of this beautiful lake by foot or by bike, but horseback is a fantastic change and a unique activity to experience while on holiday. Ellesmere Riding Centre can be found in Llangorse, right by the lake of the same name, so you can enjoy a morning’s horse riding before popping into one of the town’s country pubs for a well-earned lunch.

Stay nearby:

Head to the beautiful Llangorse Lake on your next Brecon Beacons getaway.

Explore parks and nature reserves

Aberglasney garden

This incredible landscape offers up a whole host of scenic gardens and nature reserves for you to explore during your Wales holiday. Besides the wonderful sense of relaxation often felt during time spent in beautiful outdoor spaces, children can enjoy fun and invaluable experiences by learning and interacting with the natural world.

Brecon Beacons gardens:

Begin your holiday with a trip to one of these impressive Brecon Beacons gardens.

  • Aberglasney: A fantastic heritage garden and mansion whose garden restoration was captured in the BBC TV series, ‘A Garden Lost in Time’.
  • The Walled Garden at Treberfydd: Walk around the delightful walled garden and nursery complete with tearooms where you can treat yourself to a cuppa and cake.
  • Craig Y Nos Country Park: An exquisite park and arboretum established by the late 19th-century opera singer, Adelina Patti.

Free things to do in the Brecon Beacons

Waterfall walks

Waterfall walks in the Brecon Beacons

Walking is usually free and there are many fantastic walking routes with views, alongside rivers and hikes up mountains.

Yet as the Brecon Beacons is also known as ‘Waterfall Country’, a fantastic way to make the most of your time here would be to discover one of the national park’s magical waterfalls – if it’s your first visit to the Brecon Beacons, then a waterfall walk is one of the best things to do during your trip. Look forward to that moment when you round the final corner and are faced with a crashing waterfall that will take your breath away.

Waterfall walks:

Follow one of these fantastic walking routes below to see a stunning Brecon Beacons waterfall. 


Stay nearby:

If you’re searching for a holiday cottage near these top waterfall walks, take a look at these charming retreats.

  • Parc House, Ystradgynlais (near Henrhyd Falls) | sleeps 6 and 2 dogs
  • Dan Y Wenalt, Talybont-on-Usk (near Blaen-y-Glyn) | sleeps 4

Explore ancient castles and heritage sites

Abergavenny Castle

While the Brecon Beacons is nicknamed ‘Waterfall Country’, the country of Wales itself is known as the ‘Land of Castles’ due to the extraordinary number that were built during the 11th-century Norman conquests. In fact, the Brecon Beacons are believed to have been named after the flaming beacons that were lit along the top of the mountains as a warning system.

Free-to-visit castles:

Here are a few castles for you to check out during your holiday to Wales. 

Other excellent castles that are worth a visit include the iconic Raglan Castle, beautiful Dinefwr Castle, and 900-year-old Tretower Court and Castle, although these are all paid entry.

For a trip even further back in time, visit one of the Roman sites that have been discovered across the national park, the Britain Express has a list for you to check out. Otherwise, The Big Pit is a great free attraction where kids can discover life as a coal miner, while at The Gunpowder Works you can enjoy a historical walk through the ruins of Wales' first gunpowder factory.

Stay nearby:

Find a bolthole by one of these impressive Welsh castles.

Visit the Owl Sanctuary, Festival Park, Ebbw Vale

Owl Sanctuary

This family-friendly attraction is a great place to see large birds up close, and it’s free, although they do accept donations. Owl Sanctuary at Festival Park rehabilitate and care for injured, abandoned and uncared for wild owls, hawks and falcons, and often visit local schools and events to talk about the animals in their care.

From vultures and eagle owls to parrots and little owls, there is a whole host of wonderful birds to see. After exploring the site, you can venture into the nearby town of Ebbw Vale to grab lunch.

Stay nearby:

Relax in a holiday cottage close to the Owl Sanctuary so you can meet the birds on your next trip.

Hayman's Old Stable Cottage, Clydach | sleeps 4

Stargazing in this beautiful Dark Sky Reserve

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Did you know that the Brecon Beacons became a Dark Sky Reserve in 2012? That means it has some of the darkest, clearest night skies in the UK and is a fantastic place to take in the stars.

During the summer months, you will have to stay up late or get up early with the hours between 1-3am being the darkest time, however, during winter you can see a wonderful night sky between 7pm and 4am. Layer up, grab a fluffy blanket and take a cup of hot chocolate outside for some stargazing. 

Stay nearby:

Find a cottage with a private garden where you can sit back and gaze up at the night sky. 

Special events

Hay Festival

The Brecon Beacons National Park is such a beautiful setting for an event and there is always something going on. Plan ahead and book your holiday to coincide with one of Wales’ famous events such as the Hay Festival of Literature, Crickhowell Walking Festival, or one of the many foodie festivals, Easter egg hunts and Christmas markets that take place across the region.

A few top events to look out for:

  • Hay Festival: The renowned festival of literature that draws famous authors and writers from all over the world. 
  • Crickhowell Walking Festival: Lace up your walking boots and put your best foot forward for this adventure event.
  • Green Man Festival: A music festival with an area for the Little Folk, a Babbling Tongues area with talks, and the mysteriously-named ‘Somewhere’.

Cottages near these Brecon Beacons festivals

Don’t restrict yourself to a muddy tent - stay in comfort at one of our cottages near these Brecon Beacons festivals!

  • Cusop Mill Cottage, Hay-on-Wye (near the Hay Festival) | sleeps 7
  • Savona, Crickhowell (near Crickhowell Walking Festival and Green Man Festival) | sleeps 6 and 2 dogs

Now that you’ve discovered a few of the best things to do in the Brecon Beacons National Park, you need a beautiful holiday cottage where you can unwind after those busy days out.

Take a look through our full collection of holiday cottages in the Brecon Beacons and discover the ideal restful getaway for you and your travel companions.

Retreat to the Brecon Beacons

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.

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