Pen y Fan

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.

Technical sheet
No. 4098642
A Glyn Tarell walk posted on 10/11/15 by Tamtraductions. Update : 25/01/18
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h25[?]
Distance Distance : 7.49km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 457m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 451m
Highest point Highest point : 861m
Lowest point Lowest point : 440m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Brecon Beacons
Location Location : Glyn Tarell
Starting point Starting point : N 51.87253° / W 3.480085°
Download : -
Moorland & sky Sheep on the moorland Magnificent Reaching the Pen y Fan


Start the hike from the car park opposite Storey Arms Centre (on the A470, 15-20 minutes from Brecon).

(D) Cross the road, pass the gate and make your way uphill due north-west keeping the forest on your right-hand side.

After thirty odd minutes you'll start to see the Corn Du (873 m), the first peak of the day. However, you'll need to head downhill over 5 m and cross a ford in order to reach it.

(1) From the stream, the slope is steeper but is not difficult (wide track).

(2) Approximately 30 minutes later, you'll come across a large ridge overlooking a vast cirque and the outskirts of Brecon laying at the back of the fields. You can spot a beautiful lake further down to your left, Llyn Cwm Llwch, and to your right, behind Corn Du, Pen y Fan. You'll also notice sheep climbing on impressively steep slopes that would make even ibexes jealous!

The path continues to the right heading south-east up the ridge reaching Corn Du.

(3) At the top of Corn Du, keep going along the ridge due north-east. The trail goes down a few metres reaching a pass then heads up again reaching Pen y Fan.

(4) The view must be breath-taking from Pen y Fan... unfortunately, we were surrounded by fog so didn't get that chance to see it...

(5) You'll get to another pass by an intersection. Follow the main path which heads down the mountain side due south-west. It's a quick descent which leads you to the initial forest to the left.

(6) After crossing a bridge over the stream, you'll get to a car park on the edge of the A470. Head up the track which goes along the forest (north-west) reaching your starting point within a few minutes.

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 443m
1 : km 1.43 - alt. 551m - Fording stream
2 : km 2.67 - alt. 742m - Ridge
3 : km 3.06 - alt. 853m - Corn Du
4 : km 3.58 - alt. 861m - Pen y Fan
5 : km 4.46 - alt. 799m - Pass
6 : km 6.64 - alt. 440m - Southern car park
D/A : km 7.49 - alt. 443m

Useful Information

No water points.

Beware weather conditions can shift rapidly and wind can get rather strong. Remember to bring warm clothes.

The hike follows a large trail throughout most of the route, but don't forget good hiking boots.

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

Beautiful landscapes with lots of sheep... but also lots of hikers!

Stunning 360° panoramic view at the top, depending on weather...

Other walks in the area

distance 29.48km Vertical gain +1053m Vertical drop -1174m Durée 11h25 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Glyn Tarell - Powys

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.

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.

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distance 26.13km Vertical gain +863m Vertical drop -768m Durée 9h55 Average Average
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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.

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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.

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