The Black Mountains

The northeast part of the Brecon Beacons National Park is dominated by the Black Mountains, a group of old red sandstone hills, the highest of which is Waun Fach. They're cloaked in grass and heather and laced with rivers.

Located to the east of the arc described by Hay-on-Wye, Talgarth, Llangorse, Crickhowell and Abergavenny, the Black Mountains form a natural border with Herefordshire, England.

Apart from Waun Fach (811m), the range has many peaks that are well known to walkers, including Black Mountain (703m), Hay Bluff (677m), the Sugar Loaf (596m) and Ysgyryd Fawr (486m), also known as The Skirrid.

In the past, the area was quarried for sandstone which was used as a building material in the surrounding counties.

Culturally, this is a lively area, known for its busy market towns, galleries, food scene and festivals.

Top five things to do in the Black Mountains

  1. Walking 
    The area is hugely popular for short walks and long hikes. The Offa's Dyke National Trail runs along the border between England and Wales, while both the Beacons Way and the Marches Way also pass through the Black Mountains.

  2. Mountain biking
    Talgarth has access to routes which are gnarly enough to appeal to expert riders.

  3. Horse riding
    This is excellent horse riding and pony trekking country: the Three Rivers Ride runs along the northern slopes of the massif and the Black Mountains Riding Loops explore gorgeous countryside.

  4. Flying
    Thrill-seeking gliders, hang gliders and paragliders can ride the winds that are forced up and over the northern escarpment.

  5. Heritage
    Visit Llanthony Abbey, the characterful market towns of Hay-on-Wye and Talgarth and the region's many ancient churches.