Wales – Brecon Beacons, South Wales
Distance: 19km/12 miles
Where: Circular walk from Nant Cwm Llwch via Lower Neuadd Reservoir, Cribyn, Pen y Fan and Corn Du.
Start/End: Cwm Llwch parking area – at end of road (SO006244).
Terrain: Clear, well-worn mountain paths and tracks (some repaired by pitching), both grassy and stony over bare hills. Not recommended in poor visibility.
Maps: OS Explorer OL12; Landranger 160.
The Brecon Beacons National Park comprises four separate ranges. From west to east: the Black Mountain (singular), Fforest Fawr, Central Beacons and Black Mountains (plural). The name ‘Brecon Beacons’ is used to refer to the whole of the Central Beacons area, although, strictly speaking, it applies only to the ‘big three’: Corn Du, Pen y Fan and Cribyn. Corn Du and Pen y Fan’s decapitated tops are the most popular peaks in the whole national park, and on sunny weekends there can be quite a crowd up there. The most popular routes to their summits are those from the A470 in the west. This walk approaches from the north, using one of the most attractive of the various ascents to the main northern escarpment. But instead of heading directly over the big three, it continues south along an impressive ridge and down to the Lower Neuadd Reservoir. This leaves a good deal of uphill work again for the latter part of the walk, but by bagging Cribyn, Pen y Fan and Corn Du late in the day, you should find them a lot quieter – if not have them entirely to yourself! In fine weather the views throughout are splendid.
Click below to see a route profile and view the route on an Ordnance Survey map