Before we get going with our advice on where to wild camp in the Brecon Beacons it’s important to address the fact that, apart from in Scotland and Dartmoor, wild camping in the UK isn’t actually legal. Ideally, you should get permission from the landowner before wild camping in somewhere like the Brecon Beacons.
That’s tricky to do though. The amount of farms within the national park in South Wales, and the difficulty in identifying who owns what makes asking permission a tricky business and in most cases, it’s not necessarily feasible.
So, if you can’t get permission, just camp as respectfully and subtly as you can. Whether it’s in South Wales, or the Lake District or Peak District, if you stick by the rules of wild camping and the Leave No Trace code of conduct you’ll actually be fine. So that means pitching in a subtle location, arriving late and leaving early, making no noise and leaving behind absolutely no evidence of you ever being there.
The Brecon Beacons wild camping locations we’ve selected aren’t specific, simply because we can’t go sending everyone to the same spot, can we? You should be able to pick a decent location for yourself within each area. To do this, look at a map and check for a place that’s out of sight from houses and roads, that’s sheltered from the wind, that’s flat and won’t be likely to flood.
Will Copestake has given us some brilliant winter wild camping advice if you’d like to learn more about the ins and outs of it, plus we’ve also put together this useful guide on what to take camping.
1. Pen y Fan
Camping on South Wales’s highest mountain itself isn’t a great idea as you can be very exposed in bad weather. Your best bet is to keep low and pitch on one of its lower slopes. Stay away from the A470 side as a lot of people tend to walk around there, and look for somewhere flat and sheltered on either the southern, northern or eastern approaches.
2. The Black Mountains
The Black Mountains area offers some of the Brecon Beacons’ wildest terrain. It’s a range made up of a number of long and wide ridges that run parallel to each other with deep valleys lying in-between them. The mountain tops can leave you very exposed here in bad weather so pitch high only when the forecast looks safe. Most of the valleys have enclosed land but there are some wilder ones that have subtle, unobtrusive spots.