Our top Christmas walks…

We’re betting there won’t be a single person in Britain that won’t be looking to get involved in a little post-indulgence exercise this Christmas. The Brecon Beacons is true walking country, with countless routes and some of the most picturesque spots in the country. We’ve picked five of our top Christmas walks in the Brecon Beacons National Park…

The beautifully situated Dinefwr Castle © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales
The beautifully situated Dinefwr Castle © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales

1. Crickhowell or Hay-on-Wye – We thought we’d start with two of our most picturesque market towns, both of which will no doubt be boasting the prettiest window displays around, as well as bright lights, Christmas trees and all manner of festival fun come Christmas. You’ll certainly get a good bit of exercise wandering around Hay’s famous second hand bookshops while there’s no better place in Crickhowell to stop for a well-deserved rest than the delicious Number Eighteen cafe. If exploring Hay, the nearby 5* Cefn Barn is a great option for families, while Courtyard Cottage is great for couples looking to wander the streets of Crickhowell.

Brecon Cathedral © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales
Brecon Cathedral © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales

2. Brecon Cathedral – Then again, you could always take an evening stroll around Brecon itself, which will doubtless be home to the odd Christmas tree or two when the festive season gets into full swing. There’s no better way to finish off a Christmas walk in Brecon than to head on over to Brecon Cathedral on December 17th and get involved with the annual Rotary Christmas Concert with the Brecon Cathedral Singers. We dare you not to feel festive after a rendition of Good King Wenceslas. Damson Cottage is one of our most popular, sleeps 2 and is just four miles from Brecon.

3. Dinefwr Park and Castle – This beautiful National Trust parkland can be found in Llandeilo, comprising an 800-acre estate, a 12th-century Welsh castle and a medieval deer park. Spend a couple of hours exploring the grounds at your leisure before climbing the castle stairs and being rewarded with some stunning panoramic views. There are also a couple of educational walks, including ‘Hidden History‘ and ‘Deer Park‘ that’ll allow you to combine exercise with education. Inglenook Cottage boasts its own private hot tub if you need a little soak after your long walk.

Word up a sweat exploring Hay's second hand bookshops © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales
Word up a sweat exploring Hay’s second hand bookshops © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales

4. Mynydd Illtud – If you’ve got an afternoon to spare, this picturesque walk will take you from the Brecon Beacons Mountain Centre right up to Trig Point on Mynydd Illtud. It may be a bit of a walk, but the sight of all the Christmas lights of the houses through the Valleys below will be more than worth it, we promise! Having said that, make sure you leave enough time to get back safely before it gets really dark, and be sure to strap on a good pair of walking boots – it gets muddy out there. Baddegai is a superb Welsh stone longhouse that sleeps 8 at the foot of the Brecon Beacons, the perfect location for this particular walk.

A festive window display © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales
A festive window display © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales

5. Fairy Glen at Llangynidr – Perhaps the prettiest option of all: you should start at the Coach and Horses (maybe after sampling a lovely local ale) before following the canal towpath up to the locks, crossing a small footbridge and heading up the little valley known as Fairy Glen. At the top you can either cross the stile and explore the farmyard beyond, or simply turn around and head back the way you came – perhaps even back to the Coach and Horses for a festive tipple. 5* Trelawney Cottage in Crickhowell is a single storey barn conversion overlooking the impressive crags of Llangattock mountain.

For our full selection of self-catering holiday cottages, see www.breconcottages.com

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