Brecon Beacons

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Introduction

The Brecon Beacons is a mountain range in South Wales. In a narrow sense, the name refers to the range of Old Red Sandstone peaks popular with walkers which lie to the south of Brecon. Sometimes referred to as "the central Beacons" they include South Wales' highest mountain, Pen y Fan. The range forms the central section of the Brecon Beacons National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog), a designation which also encompasses ranges both to the east and the west of "the central Beacons". This much wider area is also commonly referred to as "the Brecon Beacons", and it includes the Black Mountains, Wales to the east as well as the Black Mountain (range) to the west. The highest peaks include Fan Brycheiniog to the west and Pen y Fan in the central part. They share the same basic geology as the central range, and so exhibit many similar features, such the north-facing escarpment and glacial features such as lakes and cwms below the escarpment. They all fall within the border of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The Brecon Beacons are one of four ranges of mountains and hills in South Wales which make up the Brecon Beacons National Park. the National Park was established in 1957, the third of the three Welsh parks after Snowdonia in 1951 and the Pembrokeshire Coast in 1952.

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Geography

The Brecon Beacons range, in its narrower sense comprises six main peaks: from west to east these are: Corn Du (873 m or 2864 feet), Pen y Fan, the highest peak (886 metres), Cribyn (795 metres), Fan y Big (719 metres), Bwlch y Ddwyallt (754 metres) and Waun Rydd (769 metres). These summits form a long ridge, and the sections joining the first four form a horseshoe shape around the head of the Taf Fechan river, which flows away to the southeast. To the northeast of the ridge, interspersed with long parallel spurs, are four round-headed valleys or cwms; from west to east these are Cwm Sere, Cwm Cynwyn, Cwn Oergwm and Cwm Cwareli.

The Brecon Beacons are said to be named after the ancient practice of lighting signal fires (beacons) on mountains to warn of attacks by invaders,[citation needed] or more recently to commemorate public and national events such as coronations or the turn of the millennium.

The round of the Taf Fechan skyline forms a ridge walk commonly known as the Beacons Horseshoe.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 8:14 on Aug 9, 16 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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