logo Walking Britain

Brecon Beacons Walk
Fan y Big from Torpantau

Nat Park - Brecon Beacons - Brecon Beacons West

County/Area - Powys

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 8.5 miles / 13.8 km

Ascent - 1850 feet / 561 metres

Time - 6 hours 10 minutes

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SO056176
Lat 51.848986 // Long -3.371869
Postcode CF48 2UT (approx. location only)
what3words start corner.airports.lordship

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Fan y Big from Torpantau Photo from the walk - Fan y Big from Torpantau Photo from the walk - Fan y Big from Torpantau Photo from the walk - Fan y Big from Torpantau Photo from the walk - Fan y Big from Torpantau Photo from the walk - Fan y Big from Torpantau
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The Brecon Beacons provide miles of excellent walking. Despite appearances, the weather can soon change making the moors and escarpments difficult to navigate. This route starts with a steep climb but the way ahead soon levels off with excellent views for most of the route.

Fan y Big from Torpantau Fan y Big from Torpantau Fan y Big from Torpantau 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

There is a small car park (Grid ref. SO056176) at Torpantau which can be reached from Merthyr Tydfil to the south and Talybont-on-Usk from the east. From the car park take the path that climbs alongside the waterfalls. The way ahead is clear and the path climbs steeply onto the moors to follow the Craig y Fan Ddu escarpment north. The views are already good especially to the east and south.

Stay on the clear path with a drop into the valley on your right. The path meanders along the escarpment gaining height almost imperceptibly as you continue along the top of Graig Fan Las to reach the northern edge of the main east-west escarpment of the Brecon Beacons (Grid ref. SO 057206). Turn left along the edge path with a grand view north to Brecon and beyond on your right.

The route is now almost level and ahead you can see Fan y Big with other peaks of the Brecon Beacons beyond. Fan y Big's summit is a pleasant place to rest a while before beginning the walk back to the start.

From the summit continue westwards descending steeply to Bwlch ar y Fan (Grid ref. SO 032206) where you turn south (left) along the 'Bwlch Road'. This track allows good progress with the Neuadd Reservoirs to your right. Looking back there is a good retrospective view to the Beacons. Where the track turns sharp right (Grid ref. SO 034182)continue ahead on a path, which skirts a plantation to reach a tarmac lane.

Do not follow the road instead fork left along the Taff Trail, which continues through the Taf Fechan Forest. After approximately one mile you reach another road. Turn left and follow this uphill back to the start.

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL12Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL12Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 160Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 160Digital 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

Walking in Carmarthenshire

Walking in CarmarthenshireGuidebook to 30 walking routes (2 to 10 miles) in Carmarthenshire, south Wales, including sections of Carmarthenshire Coast Path. Walks for all abilities, including coastal, river, forest and hill walks in Cambrian Mountains, Tywi Valley, Y Mynydd Du (Black Mountains) and Brecon Beacons. Easy access from Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea.
More information

Map and Compass

Map and CompassAn instructive guidebook explaining map and compass techniques, to help readers enhance their outdoor experiences. Whether you are experienced in map-reading, or have never used a compass before, this guidebook will sharpen your skills and have you exploring new areas in no time. There are also tips for GPS and digital mapping technologies.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

CBD For Walking & Hiking

Discover the benefits of CBD for walkers and hikers. 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.