For western Beacons, go for the campsite at the Dan yr Ogof showcaves, with the Gwyn Arms close by, and also Tafarn y Garreg just up the road if it's still open (it keeps opening and closing).
For central Beacons, try Pencelli Castle camping with nearby pubs in Pencelli and Talybont.
For getting around, see this website which links to the Traveline Cymru website; there's also the Beacons Bus service on sundays and BHs.
in terms of eastern / central / western Beacons, are they different in character?
If you only had four days where would you choose?
(We are going in late May. I have plenty of hillwalking experience.)
beware Zooty, MK has a pathological hatred of the Black Mountains in the east
For the Black Mountains, you cant beat either the basic campsite at Llanthony Priory (with pub 200 yards away and 2000ft ridges either side of the valley) OR base yourself in/around Crickhowell/Llanbedr (stunning walks and pubs a plenty nearby)
But 'west is best'! And impy Dave is just as biased as me.
The western Beacons are quite a bit quieter than the eastern.
I would say that for quietness:
western beacons - whisper and the sheep glare at you
eastern beacons - a few people around but depnding on where you go not that many
central beaons - whats that you saying sonny? Speak up I cant hear for all the tramping feet going up the motorway to corn du and pen y fan!
Metric Kate wrote (see)
splendid that's what I wanted to know - a bit like the eastern Lakes fells and western fells.
thanks all for suggestions / advice - just the sort of thing I need to know to plan a trip.
western beacons are bleak and rather splendid but not as many (good) pubs as the eastern beacons
central beacons are high and relatively "easy" but busy alot of the time. not that many pubs
eastern beacons are more pastoral but 4 sweeping ridges and the finest horseshoe walk in the whole national park along with pubs at strategically and easily reached points along the way
Actually my girlfriend is less into long days out than I am so I'm not necessarily after the gnarliest / wildest bits for a change.
Probably looking at a bit more pub action on this trip. Though I do not like 'busy', ever.
benp1 wrote (see)
Dave, which is the finest horseshoe walk in the eastern? The only horseshoe i've done is the normal one involving Pen Y Fan (which I loved)
Llanbedr (Crug Hywel) horseshoe.
Crug Hwyel, Pen Cerrig Calch, Pen Allt Mawr, Pen Twyn Glas, Waun Fach, Pen y Gadair Fawr, Crug Mawr
A stunning stunning walk that can be tailored to suit size wise but is best as the full fat 17 miler. also starts and ends at a pub too (if you wish to)
you can also extend it for a superb wildcamp spot halfway
I did the Llanbedr horseshoe on Sunday afternoon. It was a fine walk in beautiful weather. It was further than I expected; I should have looked at the map more carefully; I should have taken more water too. There were very few people about except for two parties of motor cyclists, and that I didn't appreciate at all. Navigation might get interesting if the visibility were bad.
If you do Pen y Fan it is usually a lot quieter at sunset, especially in winter. More than once I have scrambled down the gully to the Neuadd reservoir in the moonlight. For a longer circuit you can park at Torpantau and follow the line of the escarpment, returning on the track through through Taf Fechan forest.
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