Day 4 of the Brecon Beacons Way - Craig-y-Nos to YHA Brecon Beacons

This walk is part of the trek The Brecon Beacons Way from Llangadog Station to Abergavenny Station.

We're now well into the Brecon Beacons Way and this route begins with a walk through the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu National Nature Reserve, designated to protect its limestone pavements, associated flora and caves beneath. Then it heads north to climb up to Fan Llia and follow the crags over to Storey Arms. It then takes the Taff Trail to YHA Brecon Beacons.

Technical sheet
No. 3063928
A Tawe-Uchaf walk posted on 09/03/20 by El Sud. Update : 31/03/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 9h55[?]
Distance Distance : 26.13km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 863m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 768m
Highest point Highest point : 624m
Lowest point Lowest point : 193m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Brecon Beacons
Location Location : Tawe-Uchaf
Starting point Starting point : N 51.82584° / W 3.684259°
Ending point Ending point : N 51.891601° / W 3.493095°
Download : -


(D) From the car park at Craig-y-nos Country Park, head through the gate to cross the footbridge over the River Tawe and bear left to follow the path upstream, through the woods until you meet another path just before another bridge. Turn right to go up through the woods to another path with an information panel. Turn right along the path and enjoy the stroll through the woods to eventually come out next to a farm, Rhongyr-uchaf with a walled garden. Go through a metal gate, with a new house in view straight ahead and follow the road for about 50m until you reach another metal gate. The road swings right but the route goes through the gate and starts to climb uphill. Go through the woods until you reach a wooden gate into Brecknock Wildlife Trust’s Nature Reserve (Allt Rhongyr). The route is less wooded and continues to climb until you reach another wooden gate next to a minor road.

(1) Keep heading upwards along the road passing some cottages and ignoring the path off to the right and the style on the left. When you reach the quarry "Beware Working Quarry" bear right along the shale track between boulders. before reaching some out buildings on the other side of a corpse, the path leads off left through a wooden kissing gate. The path now weaves its way up across the moorland until you reach a fork. Choose the right hand path with the stoney surface (leaving the straight Disused Tramway). This path takes us through the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu National Nature Reserve, famous for the major cave system beneath your feet and its rare limestone pavement, heading first north-east then almost due east across open moorland. The path then bears south-east through the heather to meet a dirt track with a wooden signpost indicating the route going right along this track. Head gently downhill as far as some sheep pens on the left, coming off the track over a wooden style.

(2) The route now turns again north-east, through a metal gate, following the track to head down to the river. Just before you reach the river, go through another metal gate and along the track to a wooden footbridge over Nedd Fechan. Go through a metal gate and follow the track up the other side. This will eventually take you onto the Roman Road Sarn Helen. The track runs alongside some pine forest and goes past a monolith called Maen Madoc on the right, a superb standing stone marking an early Christian burial. Go over a cattle grid to be enclosed by the pine forest and trudge along for about a mile until you reach the road. Turn right here and then left after about half a mile along another track going down to the river, signposted Blaen Llia.

(3) Leave the Blaen Llia car park to the right and cross the footbridge over the Afon Llia, heading up the other side north-east. The path climbs steadily alongside the river then bears right to go over a wooden style and begin the climb up the slopes of Fan Llia and on to Fan Dringarth. The path heads north off the high ground only to switch north-east when you reach the crags of Craig Cwm-du. Follow the path to the head of a stream and turn right along a wire fence to Craig Cerrig-glaisiad. Keep next to the wire fence for a while then bear right to Gorllwm and follow the path along the high edge of Craig y Fro. The A 470 is clearly visible down to the left. Follow the path down to a wooden kissing gate just opposite the Storey Arms Centre.

(4) Cross over the A 470 and head north-west along the Taff Trail that starts at a wooden kissing gate next to a red telephone box. Bear left along the trail that stays more or less on the level than dropping slightly alongside the stream heading for some woods. Just before the second woods, the path leads off to the left towards a waterfall then bears right to cross the stream and head for the woods where you will find YHA Brecon Beacons (Llwyn-y-celyn).(A)

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 205m - Craig-y-nos Country Park
1 : km 1.83 - alt. 307m - Penwyllt
2 : km 8.97 - alt. 358m - Blaen-nedd Isaf
3 : km 12.62 - alt. 359m - Blaen Llia
4 : km 23.46 - alt. 445m - Storey Arms Centre
A : km 26.13 - alt. 305m - YHA Brecon Beacons

Useful Information

There are not many places offering food and refreshment until you get to the Storey Arms Centre, so make sure you have enough food. Filling up your water bottle shouldn't be a problem. Good navigation is necessary, especially in misty and low visibility weather. Waterproofs and warm clothing are recommended if the weather forecast suggests a wet or cold day. This walk is best in the spring or summer but with the right clothing can be done at any time of the year.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Great views on the tops but also great walking on the lower slopes, through woods and crossing rivers. A real mix and contrasting landscapes. The wildlife on the route includes Buzzards and Peregrine Falcons above, while sheep and ponies can be seen grazing leisurely on the upper pastures. The Roman Road and other vestiges of times gone by are included in the route with indications of how the water has been utilised over the centuries.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.