The Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales has just established itself as the ideal night-time destination, thanks to being officially named an International Dark Sky Reserve. Budding astronomers, curious kids and romantic couples are invited to navigate the stars and discover freedom from light pollution in one of Britain’s most beautiful National Parks. It joins the ranks of Exmoor National Park in England, and other dark sky reserves in Namibia, New Zealand and Canada who also hold the prestigious title.
Newly designated International Dark Sky Reserve, the Brecon Beacons is a viewing platform for the Milky Way, major constellations and even meteor showers. There are dozens of easily accessible spots to enjoy the night sky from, including the atmospheric Llanthony Priory along the Offa’s Dyke Path (that runs along the border of England and Wales) and Sugar Loaf Mountain, close to the lovely market town of Abergavenny on the eastern side of the Park. By day the Park is a haven of green valleys, stunning mountain ranges and secret waterfalls to explore, and active visitors can choose from horse riding, kayaking, climbing, walking, sailing and windsurfing to entertain them before settling in for some star-spotting.
Trains from London run to Abergavenny to the east of the Park and Merthyr Tydfil, to the south. The Brecon Beacons are roughly 1 hour from Cardiff by car. There is a ‘Beacons Bus’ that takes visitors around the Park; see www.breconbeaconstourism.co.uk.