logo Walking Britain

Brecon Beacons Walk
Pen y Fan from Cwmgwdi near Brecon

Nat Park - Brecon Beacons - Brecon Beacons Central

County/Area - Powys

Author - Rhydian Williams

Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km

Ascent - 2000 feet / 606 metres

Time - 4 hours 30 minutes

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SO024248
Lat 51.913149 // Long -3.420349
Postcode LD3 8LE (approx. location only)
what3words start should.wants.resources

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Pen y Fan from Cwmgwdi near Brecon Photo from the walk - Pen y Fan from Cwmgwdi near Brecon Photo from the walk - Pen y Fan from Cwmgwdi near Brecon Photo from the walk - Pen y Fan from Cwmgwdi near Brecon
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The Brecon Beacons offer many opportunities for walking and this route onto the highest summit in the range makes a pleasant half day excursion into this National Park. The start is the car park (grid ref. SO024248), which can be found about half a mile south of Cwmgwdi, a small hamlet easily reached from Brecon.

After parking walk south from the car park taking the well defined path leading to Cefn Cwm Llwych. The path soon climbs steeply for half a mile before the gradient eases. Quite early in the walk you are rewarded with improving views over the Wye Valley to the north. Ahead you can see the main objective of this walk, Pan y Fan (886 m.) with its sister peaks of Corn Du (873 m.) and Cribyn (795 m.) to its right and left respectively.

Having gained the ridge of Cefn Cwm Llwych you lose a little height before making the final climb onto Pen y Fan. This section of the route is steep but it offers a spectacular view of the north facing cliffs of the Brecon Beacons something which cannot be appreciated when approaching from the south.

It is unlikely you will be alone on Pen Y Fan as it is a very accessible summit especially from the west. Having gained all this height it might be worthwhile extending the walk either turning west to visit Corn Du or east to Cribyn. However do remember that the latter summit entails a stiff climb back onto Pen y Fan.

To return to the start retrace your steps to the start. Caution is needed on the initial descent from Pen y Fan's summit especially after rain or in winter conditions. With the route downhill all the way back to the start you can enjoy the superb panorama ahead with the hills of mid-Wales rising above the Wye Valley.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers.

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

The National Trails

The National TrailsThis inspirational guidebook looks at each of the UK's 19 National Trails, with information that allows ease of comparison and contrast, inspiring you to find out more and to take up a long-distance challenge. Some Trails are short and easy, others much longer, many have strong themes - they may follow a coastline, or traverse ranges of hills.
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.