logo Walking Britain

Brecon Beacons Walk
Hay Bluff & Twmpa, Black Mountains

Nat Park - Brecon Beacons - Brecon Beacons East

County/Area - Powys

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 6.0 miles / 9.8 km

Ascent - 1390 feet / 421 metres

Time - 4 hours 20 minutes

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SO239373
Lat 52.028869 // Long -3.110622
Postcode HR3 5RJ (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Hay Bluff & Twmpa, Black Mountains Photo from the walk - Hay Bluff & Twmpa, Black Mountains Photo from the walk - Hay Bluff & Twmpa, Black Mountains Photo from the walk - Hay Bluff & Twmpa, Black Mountains Photo from the walk - Hay Bluff & Twmpa, Black Mountains Photo from the walk - Hay Bluff & Twmpa, Black Mountains
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The Black Mountains form the eastern sector of the Brecon Beacons National Park and provide excellent walking with high ridges and superb edges. This walk starts from the parking area (grid ref. SO239373) at the foot of Hay Bluff and in a relatively short distance offers a taste of what can be achieved in this area.

Hay Bluff & Twmpa, Black Mountains Hay Bluff & Twmpa, Black Mountains Hay Bluff & Twmpa, Black Mountains 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

From the parking area the first objective, Hay Bluff a steep escarpment, can be easily seen. The ascent begins across grass aiming for the rising path that can be seen on the face of the escarpment. The going is steep in places but you gain height surprisingly quickly with ever improving views over the Wye Valley to the hills and mountains of mid-Wales. Reaching the transverse path turn left and continue until you locate another path that goes sharp left. This leads without any problem to the summit of Hay Bluff, which is marked by a trig point.

After taking in the view head south west following the clear path along the edge. It is boggy in places so good footwear is essential. Ahead and across the intervening col you can see the next objective, Twmpa or Lord Hereford's Knob. Descending to reach the road at Gospel Pass you climb steeply at first before the gradient eases for an easy ascent to the summit of Twmpa. A small cairn marks the top and there are good views in most directions.

Descend from Twmpa's summit southwest towards to Rhos Dirion, the next peak along the edge. As soon as the path levels off look out for a clear path that comes in from the left. Turn down this path descending onto the grassland at the bottom of the edge. Continue to the boundary fence (grid ref. 220356) where you join a clear track. This track heads northwest before swinging southeast to join a metalled lane. Turn right along this quiet lane to cross a ford and continue northeast to reach the parking area after just over a mile.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers. Travel restrictions for exercise in Wales and Scotland will be lifted in early July.

Covid 19 Update for Walkers

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL13Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL13Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 161Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 161Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

GPS files - right click or option-click the button and choose "Save As..." to download this file.


Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking on the Brecon Beacons

Walking on the Brecon Beacons45 circular day walks are described in this guidebook to the Brecon Beacons National Park. From west to east, Mynydd Du, Fforest Fawr, the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains these mountain and valley routes offer many options, highlighting the natural features. The walks described explore dramatic waterfalls, wooded gorges and upland valleys.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

Walking - Covid 19 update

Regular updates on how Covid 19 will impact on walking in the UK More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.