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Brecon Beacons National Park

The Uplands of South and Mid Wales, a high country consisting of gently rolling moors, forests, plateaus, farmland, rivers and streams is known as Brecon Beacons. The National Park, lying within the southern uplands, is 519 square miles (1344 sq. km) in size and stretches 40 miles (65km) from east to west. There are four mountain ranges within the park. Near the border with England are the Black Mountains, Next lie the Brecon Beacons, then the Fforest Fawr and, in the far west, the wilderness of Black Mountain. The two highest peaks in southern Britain are located in the Park.

Because of the different patterns of limestone and grit erosion which dominate the area, waterfalls, gorges and caves have formed over the centuries.

Peregrine falcon and raven can be seen in flight. Look for red kites in oak and ash woodlands. Arctic alpine plants blossom, while in the valleys, foxgloves and bluebells hold sway.

The Usk is the major river in the park. It is famous for both salmon and trout fishing. The Wye flows along the eastern Park boundary and the Tywi in the west. Other rivers disappear into caves. At Devil's Bridge, the Mynach River plunges 300 ft (91.4m) on its way to meet the River Rheidol. Man-made reservoirs have added to the natural lakes in the area.

Remnants of chambered long cairns dotting the valleys attest to man's long habitation in the area. Mysterious standing stones hide in the mountains. Iron Age man and the Romans built fortifications in the area, and the Normans, when they conquered Britain, constructed castles. Sheep and cattle are scattered throughout the landscape.

A good place to start a journey is at the Brecon Beacons Mountain Centre, six miles (10km) southwest of Brecon. There are waterfalls, old viaducts, reservoirs, castles, caves and walks to be enjoyed amid nature's scenic wonders.