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Brecon Beacons a top tip for outdoor fun

Posted 21 March 2012
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Brecon Beacons a top tip for outdoor fun
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The Brecon Beacons has been tipped as a great place to enjoy a range of outdoor activities.

Director of tourism promotion agency Alexandra Marr & Associates Frank Marr said: "It's very rural - the county itself, Powys, despite being one of the biggest in Wales, has one of the lowest populations. Four different mountainous areas, waterfalls, loads of mineral water and foods and plenty of activities."

He listed walking, kayaking and horse riding among the many activities that can be enjoyed there and noted the high number of waterfalls in the national park is another attraction, as is the lack of light pollution that is the basis of a campaign to make the national park Wales's first Dark Sky reserve, a project backed not just by the national park authority along with the University of Glamorgan, Dark Sky Wales and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales.

But for many who visit the national park, the best thing to do is bring walking boots and Ordnance Survey maps, as it offers a wealth of walking amid its lofty mountains.

These include the highest peak in southern Britain, the 2,907 ft Pen y Fan, while other peaks over 2,500 ft include Fan Brycheinog, Wan Fach and Waun Rydd.

It is perfectly possible to complete some very long and lofty hikes in the national park, which may be one of the reasons why it is used by the SAS for training marches.

The Offa's Dyke Path is one long-distance route that encroaches on the national park, which stretches to the border with England. This historic barrier still marks the border in places and this includes at the 2,306 ft summit of Black Mountain.

Technically, this makes the peak both a Welsh and English one and highlights an error on the sign near the Okehampton army camp below Dartmoor's 2,039 ft highest point, High Willhays. This states that the nearest higher ground in England is Kinder Scout (2,088 ft) in the Peak District, ignoring Herefordshire's claim.