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The Black Mountains

Black Mountain Range, the Black Mountains, Fforest Fawr, and the Brecon Beacons

The Black Mountain Range and the Black Mountains aren’t one and the same, although they are both found within the grassy expanses of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

The Black Mountain Range, sometimes just called Black Mountain, is to the west, north of Swansea. It’s one of Wales’ most wild and remote corners with impressive, glacier-carved escarpments and isolated lakes, several miles from the nearest road. Its highest peak is Fan Brycheiniog (802m).

The Black Mountains are to the east, on the border with England. Abergavenny, Hay-on-Wye, Llangorse, and the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal stand at their feet and their highest point is the Waun Fach plateau (811m). Confusingly enough, this range is also home to a peak called Black Mountain.

To the southwest is Fforest Fawr (Great Forest), an upland area of remarkable limestone cliffs and caves. It was the the first Geopark in Wales.

Views of Pen y Fan and Corn Du

View of stars in the dark sky and snow-covered mountains in the foreground

Dominating the centre of the Brecon Beacons National Park are the Brecon Beacons, whose most celebrated peaks, Pen y Fan (886m) and Cribyn (795m), are the highest in southern Britain. The Brecon Beacons are popular, with plenty of footpaths and bridleways. But they’re quieter than Snowdonia. Head off on foot and at times it can feel as if you have an entire mountainside to yourself.