The Brecon Beacons (Welsh: Bannau Brycheiniog) is a mountain range in South Wales. In a narrow sense, the name refers to the range of popular peaks south of Brecon, including South Wales' highest mountain, Pen y Fan, and which together form the central section of the Brecon Beacons National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog). The name is also commonly used to refer more broadly to the entire national park which includes ranges both to the east and the west of the central Beacons.
The Brecon Beacons range, in its truest sense, is a series of mountains to the south ofBrecon. There are six main peaks: from west to east these are: Corn Du (873 m or 2864 feet), Pen y Fan, the highest peak (886 m or 2907 feet), Cribyn (795 m or 2608 feet), Fan y Big (719 m or 2359 feet), Bwlch y Ddwyallt (754 m or 2474 ft) and Waun Rydd (769 m or 2523 ft). 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 south-east. 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, or more recently to commemorate public and national events such as coronations or the Millennium.
The round of the Taf Fechan skyline forms a popular ridge walk commonly known as the 'Beacons Horseshoe'. Many other fine walks exist in this part of the National Park