Brecon Beacons National Park

Brecon Beacons National Park

Brecon Beacons National Park

There are some marvellous places to go to by car which can be reached in an hour from Cardiff. One place you ought to make for is Brecon Beacons National Park calling at Castell Coch and Caerphilly Castle. Casteil Coch is just 5 miles north west of Cardiff and looks like one of the castles on the Rhine. Round towers and conical turrets set in the ruins of an ancient and long since ruined medieval castle are the work of William Burges, who built this folly for the Earl of Bute at the same time that he was redoing Cardiff Castle. For all the world the two could be the two wings on the same flight of fancy, and they are. Fantasy such as Disney wished he had thought of, and extravagance such as most of us dream of make this an ideal film set. 'The Prisoner of Zenda' television series was shot here. From drawing room to dungeon, it is all only a hundred years old, but fun.

Caerphilly Castle is on the far side of the Caerphilly Mountains from Cardiff. One of the largest fortresses in all Europe, surrounded by moats and lakes, it has an inelegant leaning tower which defied Cromwell's attempts to blow it up. The ghost of a French princess, married to the Lord of the castle, who fell for a Welsh prince haunts the castle.

Brecon Beacons I went up there in late November when the hills were the most gorgeous russet, but even that did not prepare me for the grand remoteness at Brecon. There are four separate areas which make up the National Park; in the east the Black Mountains have scarred valleys cut in the southern slopes and a high plateau; Brecon Beacons have gentler slopes eased by trees with pointed summits of hills; Fforest Fawr rolls along through valleys, over grassland; and Black Mountain, the furthest west of them all, is topped off by the mountain of Carmarthen Fan and has farms and forests scattered over its open moors. The highest mountain, Pen-y-Fan, is in the Brecon Beacon part and is only a few hundred feet lower than Snowdon, but quite different in character and shape. Llangorse Lake and Gospel Pass are crowded in summer, but there is plenty of space elsewhere. There are show caves at Dan-yr-Ogog where the rock formations fascinate and that is quite close to Craig-y-Nos Country Park, which also has a Dinosaur Park and Bone Cave. The Brecon Mountain Railway runs along the side of a reservoir for only about a couple of miles, but the journey and the halt at Pontsticill are most attractive. At Libanus is the Mountain Centre.

Interested in - Scotland - Edinburgh

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