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Brecon Beacons Walk
Highest Peaks of the Brecon Beacons

Nat Park - Brecon Beacons

County/Area - Powys

Author - Per Cunningham

Length - 11.0 miles / 17.9 km

Ascent - 2800 feet / 848 metres

Time - 8 hours 20 minutes

Grade - mod/hard

Start - OS grid reference SO024248
Lat 51.913149 // Long -3.420349
Postcode LD3 8LE (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Highest Peaks of the Brecon Beacons Photo from the walk - Highest Peaks of the Brecon Beacons Photo from the walk - Highest Peaks of the Brecon Beacons Photo from the walk - Highest Peaks of the Brecon Beacons Photo from the walk - Highest Peaks of the Brecon Beacons Photo from the walk - Highest Peaks of the Brecon Beacons
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This is a moderate but long circular walk of around five hours duration that takes in all four majestic peaks of the Brecon Beacons. There are excellent views along the main ridge of the Beacons, and north to the Usk valley. The walk begins and ends with sections along paved lanes. On the hills the going is generally along good and well defined paths. Boots are recommended.

To reach the start drive west on the B4601 from Brecon town centre. Turn south on to Ffrwdgrech road at grid ref. SO035283. Take the left fork (grid ref. SO028272) and passing Danyfan on the right continue a further 0.8 miles to Cwmgwdi car park (grid ref. SO 024248).

After parking return to the car park entrance, cross the cattle grid and turn left along the lane. After crossing the bridge over Nant Cwm Llwch river turn left and head south into Cwm Llwch. Continue on the west side of the river, initially on road then pathway, skirting closely around to the right of Cwm-Llwch farm.

The pathway now climbs steeply up the beautiful Cwm Llwch valley, with Pen y Fan and Corn Du coming into view. After crossing a stile into National Trust land a short detour can be made to take a closer look at the picturesque waterfall to the east of the route. Take care on the steep ground adjacent to the watercourse.

The main route continues to the right of a small lake (hidden until close) and up to the ridge. Continue past the poignant obelisk in memory of young Tommy Jones (the story is written on the stone) and on to the top of Corn Du. On a clear day you will have commanding views of all the tops of the Beacons. From here it is a short distance to the broad summit plateau of Pen y Fan, at 886m the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons and Southern Britain.

If a shortened walk is desired you can leave the summit towards the north and return more directly to the beginning of the walk. However, it is well worth continuing to get the best views of Pen y Fan, and to enjoy the less busy tops of Cribyn and Fan y Big.

From the top of Fan y Big return to the saddle between Fan y Big and Cribyn, and take the well-defined track (an old Roman road) northwards, steadily descending along the western side of Cwm Cynwyn. Where the paved road begins take the left route. After crossing the bridge over Nant Sere river, take the second small lane (grid ref. SO040245), then bear right on the footpath across fields to skirt around to the right of Plas-y-gaer farm. Continue through gates to rejoin a lane. Take the next left, then either right to return to Danyfan or left to Cwmgwdi car park.

Accommodation is available at Danyfan Bed & Breakfast (grid ref. SO026262) where you can start this walk directly.

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Ordnance Survey Explorer OL12Sheet Map1:25kBUY
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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.
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