Geocaching and Orienteering – Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

Geocaching and orienteering

If you love to explore, you’ll love geocaching, the world’s treasure hunt for the whole family. To take it to the next level, you can join an Orienteering Adventure or improve your navigation and wilderness skills on a bushcraft and survival course, see details on Orienteering, Navigation and Wilderness Skills at the bottom of this page.

Get started with geocaching

Geocaching is a fun way to explore the Brecon Beacons. It will take you to great places that may have brilliant views or historical significance, for example, a WWII bomber crash site or the monument to Little Tommy Jones.

There are over 180 geocaches in interesting locations in the Brecon Beacons National Park, all waiting to be found. All you need to begin your quest is a portable Global Positioning System (GPS) device and access to the geocaching website, www.geocaching.com. You can even try without GPS, using an Ordnance Survey map and compass.

What is a geocache?

A geocache is a kind of treasure chest, ranging in size from a small canister of film to a larger plastic container or an old ammo box. The person who placed it recorded its precise location as a grid reference and GPS landmark and entered this information online at www.geocaching.com or one of the other geocaching websites.

Each geocache contains a logbook, pencil and treasure stash. Don’t expect gold doubloons! You can find a trackable geocoin or a travelbug, but most geocaches contain geoswags, random items of minimal value that previous players have placed there for others to find. It is important that they are family-friendly and non-perishable (so, no sweets!)

Your goal is to place something in the cache in hopes that someone will later move it somewhere else and record its path. You can also take geoswag from the cache as long as you add something of equal or greater value (a geocoin does not count).

How to start?

Search the geocaching website, www.geocaching.com, for geocaches in an area you would like to explore.

If you are using an Ordnance Survey map, note the grid references.

If you are using a handheld GPS device, enter the waypoint for each location as follows (these instructions apply to Garmin devices):

  1. To light up
  2. Press the page button four times to reach the menu page
  3. Press Enter to select Mark, which takes you to the Mark Waypoint screen
  4. Press the up button twice to scroll to the musical note symbol on the screen and press enter
  5. Press the down button and enter to choose the image symbol you want to use to identify the geocache
  6. Scroll to the number below and press enter twice to give the cache a name or number of your choice
  7. Press Enter to return to the Mark Waypoint screen
  8. Scroll down the screen and press Enter to access the Edit Location screen where you can edit the grid reference
  9. When finished, press enter again to return to the Mark Waypoint screen
  10. Scroll to OK? and press enter to return to the Menu screen
  11. Scroll down to Waypoints and press Enter
  12. Scroll down to find and select your cache by name
  13. Press Enter to access the Review Waypoint screen
  14. Choose GOTO and hit enter and you are ready to search for the cache!

The GPS device, which uses satellites to determine your location within 15m, will guide you there. That’s when the real hunt begins. You will have to use your eyes and your initiative to find the hidden cache!

Once you locate the geocache, place your geocoin, token, or item in the cache and sign the logbook. The next time you’re online, log your visit to the geocaching site.

geocaching tag

There aren’t really many rules and they are very simple.

  • Make sure you are not observed by others when you find the cache
  • If you take an item from the cache, please leave an item of similar or greater value (items must be safe and suitable for children)
  • Sign the logbook
  • Have fun and save your find to the geocaching site when you get home!

Caches and coordinates in the Brecon Beacons National Park

Choose a cache from the list below and you’ll see the grid reference, nearest bus route and a code number. Log on to www.geocaching.com, enter the cache’s unique code number, and you can learn more about the cache, view photos, and discover other clues to help you find it.

Be aware that some of the routes to the caches can be quite strenuous and as always you should ensure that you are wearing appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather and terrain.

For specific information on bus routes and timetables, contact Traveline Cymru.

All years Esgair GCM9E4

SO 12569 24391
N51°54.668 W003°16.349

Nearest bus stop: All Saints, Bwlch

Brecon View GCIJZNP

SO 06855 22702
N51°53.702 W003°21.304

Nearest bus stop: Royal Oak, Pencelli

Panoramic views GCIBHGP

SO 05606 28346
N51°56.822 W003°22.493

Nearest bus stop: Brecon Interchange

Fantastic y-pen GC5250

SO 01211 21591
N51°53.044 W003°26.205

Nearest bus stop: Storey Arms

Tommy Jones GCGJHW

SO 0069221266
N51°52.863 W003°26.651

Nearest bus stop: Storey Arms

Ystradfellte – Fan Fawr GCI9B36

SN 96355 18959
N51°51.572 W003°30.389

Nearest bus stop: Storey Arms

Dingley Dell GCI4XKT

SN 9220028434
N51°56.634 W003°34.186

Nearest bus stop: Sennybridge Post Office

Clara’s Craig-y-nos Caper GCT9JI

SN 84334 15789
N51°49.721 W003°40.794

Nearest bus stop: Craig-y-nos Country Park

The Sleeping Giant GCIFG3V

SN 82819 14216
N51°48.853 W003°42.081

Nearest bus stop: Abercraf Post Office

Crawshay Bailey GCIENXO

SO 20459 12263
N51°48.198 W003°09.300

Nearest bus stop: The Bridgend Pub, Brynmawr

Bryn Bach Park Two GCXZGN

SO 13072 09889
N51°46.851 W003°15.691

Nearest bus stop: The Crown, Tredegar

Orientation and navigation course

Another great way to explore the Brecon Beacons countryside is to take part in an orienteering challenge – finding your way around a course using just a map and compass. Several activity companies organize it. They can also provide training in map reading and basic or advanced navigation.

Dino J. Dotson