Highest Peaks of the Brecon Beacons

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.

Technical sheet
No. 293128
A Glyn Tarell walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 14/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 7h15[?]
Distance Distance : 16.81km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 849m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 890m
Highest point Highest point : 860m
Lowest point Lowest point : 251m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Brecon Beacons
Location Location : Glyn Tarell
Starting point Starting point : N 51.913754° / W 3.419149°
Ending point Ending point : N 51.916282° / W 3.418283°
Download : -


(D/A)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.

(1)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.

(2)From Corn Du 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.

(3)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.

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 306m - Start: Cwmgwdi car park
1 : km 3.52 - alt. 309m - Cwm Llwch
2 : km 6.5 - alt. 851m - Corn Du
3 : km 9.99 - alt. 694m - Fan y Big
A : km 16.81 - alt. 273m - Finish: Cwmgwdi car park

Useful Information

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.

Accommodation is available at Danyfan Bed & Breakfast (http://www.danyfan-brecon.co.uk) (grid ref. SO026262) where you can start this walk directly.

Contributors Website or Email - http://www.danyfan-brecon.co.uk

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

Other walks in the area

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 29.48km Vertical gain +1053m Vertical drop -1174m Durée 11h25 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Glyn Tarell - Powys

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