Day 5 of the Brecon Beacons Way - YHA Brecon Beacons to YHA Danywenallt

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

The route continues on the west-to-east Brecon Beacons Way, now over halfway to its final destination at Abergavenny Station. This is possibly the most strenuous day's walking as there are a number of climbs, starting with Corn Du and Pen y Fan. However, on a clear day, the views are spectacular.

Technical sheet
No. 3064008
A Glyn Tarell walk posted on 09/03/20 by El Sud. Update : 31/03/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 11h25[?]
Distance Distance : 29.48km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1053m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1174m
Highest point Highest point : 856m
Lowest point Lowest point : 120m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Brecon Beacons
Location Location : Glyn Tarell
Starting point Starting point : N 51.891568° / W 3.493292°
Ending point Ending point : N 51.876676° / W 3.298262°
Download : -


(D) From YHA Brecon Beacons (formerly YHA Llwyn-y-celyn) take the path out at the back (sign-posted Woodland Path and Reading Circle) down to the Afon Tarell, crossing over near a waterfall and climb up the other side to join the Taff Trail. Turn right and head south along the well marked trail to reach Storey Arms Centre (Canolfan y Bannau).

(1) Ignore the path going left next to the red telephone box, rather keep straight on by the side of the road as it bends to the right. Fortunately, there is a path, through a wooden gate, that runs parallel with the A 470 by the side of a Forestry Commission pine plantation. Keep on this track until you reach the Pont ar Daf car park and the start of the Pen y Fan walk. Take the path through the trees to a wooden gate and the bridge that crosses the Taf Fawr. The trail is easy to follow as this is one of the most popular walks in South Wales and there will almost certainly be other people walking the same route. The path climbs steadily but not acutely, so progress should be easy and without much difficulty. At the crossing of paths at Bwlch Duwynt, head straight on upwards north-east to reach Corn Du.

(2) The path turns right and hugs the crags with great views down to the left of the lake Llyn Cwm Llwch and the headwaters of Nant Cwm Llwch. After a short distance, the route reaches the cairn on Pen y Fan (886m). If there are not too many people up there with you, take time to contemplate the view. If not, head off the summit south-east along Craig Cwm Sere, looking down to the left along the valley of Nant Sere. Ignore the path leading off to the left that goes to Cribyn, unless you want the extra climb as there is a path that comes back to meet the trail at Bwlch ar y Fan.

(3) From the crossing of paths head east up the slopes of Fan y Big. Ignore the first path off to the right but continue until you reach another T-junction of paths and the famous "Diving Board" - a slab of rock that juts out on which you can stand (if you dare). Turn south along Craig Cwmoergwm as it rounds the headwaters of Nant Menasgin until you reach a signpost indicating footpath south-east to a pile of stones and on to Craig y Fan Ddu. At the pile of stones, the path turns north-east to the edge of the escarpment to a waterfall that plunges over the edge, called Blaen Caerfanell Waterfall.

(4) Turn away from the waterfall to head south-east again along the crags, finally descending to Nant Bwrefwr at the edge of a pine forest and a series of waterfalls. The path meets a shale track along a wooden fence at a cattle-grid. The Blaen y glyn car park is on the left with a nice wooden table and bench on the right just after the entrance (there's also a metal kissing gate). However, the route goes right along the track to meet a minor road after about 50m. Go straight across this road to follow the path through the pine forest. This forest track (also cycle track Nº 8) crosses a number of streams but is otherwise devoid of interest apart from the occasional glimpse of the Nant Bwrefwr valley. When a path comes in from the left and crosses the track to head up to the right, follow it through the trees to Pen Rhiw-calch. Keep heading north-east along the top edge of the forest past Bryn-melyn Farm with some stunning views down to the left of Talybont Reservoir. A dry stone wall comes in from the right and leads to a junction of tracks where a footpath sign indicates the route to the right. Go through the wooden five-bar gate towards Bwlch-y-waun farm, heading east over the fields and down to a minor road through a metal gate. Turn left up to the road to reach Pen-y-bailey.

(5) Turn right here to head down past Pen-y-beili Farm and Llwyn-yr-êos Farm to get close to the Afon Crawnon near a waterfall. The path bears left heading for a small wood to find a footbridge over the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. Turn left along the towpath, under the road and follow the canal for a few miles past locks and over footbridges along the Usk Valley Walk. Before reaching Llanddetty Hall the path reaches a bridge over the canal (still on the Usk Valley Walk) at the edge of a pine forest. A track leads right to the main B4558 road and a small church but the route crosses the canal and heads north-west then west to meet a minor road at a cattle-grid. A sign-post clearly indicates the route going left across the fields down to another track crossing. Bear left over a stream then down to the right and into the woods before cutting back on the right to cross the stream again and come out of the woods to see the Talybont Reservoir Dam down to the left. Head straight for YHA Brecon Beacons Danywenallt crossing over the disused railway.(A)

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 307m - YHA Brecon Beacons (formerly YHA Llwyn-y-celyn)
1 : km 2.67 - alt. 444m - Storey Arms Centre (Canolfan y Bannau)
2 : km 6.03 - alt. 847m - Corn Du
3 : km 9.07 - alt. 603m - Bwlch ar y Fan
4 : km 12.19 - alt. 676m - Blaen Caerfanell Waterfall
5 : km 23.68 - alt. 235m - Pen-y-bailey
A : km 29.48 - alt. 177m - YHA Brecon Beacons Danywenallt

Useful Information

The route is pretty exposed on the tops and waterproofs are highly recommended as the weather can change quickly. Water bottles can be filled along the way as there are plenty of streams. If you need food before getting to the YHA then you'll have to go into Llangynidr.

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

Some of the finest views can be had along the route but that will depend on the weather. Take time to enjoy the different landscapes and once past Pen y Fan there should be less people to trouble you and the rest of the species around the area.

Other walks in the area

Pen y Fan
distance 7.49km Vertical gain +457m Vertical drop -451m Durée 3h25 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Glyn Tarell - Powys

A circular hike which allows easy access to Pen y Fan (886 m); the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons and South Wales. A walk through stunning landscapes, surrounded by sheep.
Very busy intinerary in high season.

distance 16.81km Vertical gain +849m Vertical drop -890m Durée 7h15 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Glyn Tarell - Powys

This Powys walk starts from Cwmgwdi and visits Corn Du passing the monument to the Lost Lad before continuing to Pen y Fan, the highest point in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Continuing, the walk then visits the summits of Cribyn and Fan y Big before returning to the start along the western side of Cwm Cynwyn.

Four falls trail
distance 8.29km Vertical gain +226m Vertical drop -233m Durée 3h00 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Ystradfellte - Powys

This trail leads you to Sgwd-yr-Eira, Sgwd y Pannwr, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn and Sgwd Clun-Gwyn.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 28.41km Vertical gain +1035m Vertical drop -903m Durée 11h05 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Talybont-on-Usk - Powys

The route goes from YHA to YHA but essentially follows the Brecon Beacons Way going west-to-east. This section goes through a Site of Special Scientific Interest as it passes Llangorse Lake (Lyn Syfaddan). Formed in the Ice Age, it is one of the few naturally eutrophic lakes in Wales and is of national if not international importance.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 26.13km Vertical gain +863m Vertical drop -768m Durée 9h55 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Tawe-Uchaf - Powys

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.

distance 17.99km Vertical gain +652m Vertical drop -685m Durée 7h00 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Llanddeusant - Carmarthenshire

This is a brilliant linear trail in the Brecon Beacons National Park, incorporating many good viewpoints and one extra-special one. It begins in Carmarthenshire near the village of Llandeusant and ends in Powys in the Glyntawe valley, crossing a mountain ridge that beats Pen-y-Fan in my view, but because it's less accessible is less well-known.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 16.03km Vertical gain +675m Vertical drop -741m Durée 6h30 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Llanddeusant - Carmarthenshire

The route leaves Llanddeusant and heads into the Black Mountains on the third leg of the Brecon Beacons Way. It's generally a walk south along ridges and mountain tops to finally drop down to the Craig-y-nos Country Park on the Afon Tawe river.

For more walks, use our search engine.

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