Brecon Beacons

Click here for details of our walks in the area.

The Brecon Beacons are an area of outstanding natural beauty encompassing 519 square miles of wild open moorland, windswept mountains and waterfalls above the Cardiff and Swansea valleys. The national park itself contains bustling market towns, but is predominantly a farming community and a great area for hill walking - the venue for the majority of our Sunday hikes! In the national park there are predominantly three mountain ranges, the Black Mountains in the east, central massif (Brecon Beacons) taking in Pen-Y-Fan, Cribyn and Corn Du and the Black Mountain and Carmarthenshire Fans to the west.

Black Mountain (Mynydd Ddu)

The Black Mountain range lies to the west of the national park between the A40 (Llandeilo to Llandovery road) and A4067 (Swansea to Brecon road). It is a rather bleak range of smooth unpopulated rocky peaks overlooking quiet streams and the twin glacial lakes of Llyn-Y-Fan Fach and Llyn-Y-Fan Fawr.

Pen-Y-Fan

Sandwiched in between Corn Du and Cribin, at 886 metres Pen-Y-Fan is the highest and most popular peak in the national park. It also can be surprisingly easy to climb, with a modest 440 metre climb from the Storey Arms Centre on the A470 (Brecon to Merthyr road).

Black Mountains

Separated from the rest of the park by the river Usk, the Black Mountains are a less remote area of the national park with a scattering of villages in the areas, including Crickhowell and Talybont-on-Usk. Amongst the peaks in the area are Sugar Loaf (596 metres) and Table mountain.

Ystradfellte

Ystradfellte means 'Valley floor of the Mellte'. It's in part of a triangle of waterfall country with the villages of Hirwaun and Pontneddfechan encompassing the head waters of the rivers Nedd, Mellte, Pyrddin and Hepste. The river Mellte passes near the village, through Porth yr Ogof cave and past Blue pool towards Pontneath-Vaughan. Here there are a number of spectacular waterfalls - including one you can walk behind!

Our walks in the area

Highlight

Pen y Fan - Grade C

As featured in Trail Magazine! In my view, the best walk of the year. We go up Brecon Beacons highest mountain. Fantastic and spectacular views reign supreme from this classic Welsh mountain, with one of the UK's finest pubs, The Star Inn, providing refreshments to conclude a great day.

Photos from this walk are available here - For a map covering the walk area click here.

Highlight

Brecon Canal - Grade A,1

The Brecon Canal winds through 35 miles of beautiful countryside from Brecon southwards to Cwmbran. This historic canal passes through a World Heritage Site with industrial landmarks such as the Big Pit Mining Museum. Our short route will allow plenty of time to admire the scenery and possibly spot some interesting wildlife.

Photos from this walk are available here.

Highlight

Fan Fawr - Grade C

Across the road from Pen y Fan is Fan Fawr. While not as high as its neighbour this hill is still makes for a great day out, and will end in the beautiful surroundings of Ystradefellte

Photos from this walk are available here - For a map covering the walk area click here.

Highlight

Usk Reservoir - Grade A

This walk was new in early 2007 with a wander alongside the beautiful Usk Reservoir - the source of Swansea's water - before taking some country lanes to end in Trecastle. It recovers much of the old Red Kite Walk (Grade B).

See photographs from this walk here.

Highlight

Lord Herefords Knob - Grade C

A chance to walk on Lord Herefords Knob - boom boom!! Poor jokes aside, it's a really good walk, and a good opportunity to get into the Black Mountains.

Photos from this walk are available here - For a map covering the walk area click here.

Highlight

Ystradfellte Waterfall Walk - Grade B

This waterfall filled walk, including one we actually walk behind, is a great day out. Expect to get wet and remember a camera for this cracker, only a short distance from Swansea. It has become something of a traditon to do this as the last walk each year as it is probably our best walk!

Photos from this walk are available here - For a map covering the walk area click here.

Highlight

Carreg Cennen - Grade B

Another old favourite. This walk potters around the hills of the Black Mountains and finishes at Carreg Cennen castle. The tea shop serves soup and bottomless mugs of coffee.

Photos from this walk are available here - For a map covering the walk area click here.

Highlight

Bannau Sir Gaer - Grade B/C

Sometimes used as a chance to practice or learn some navigation skills and lead the group on a walk! This walk takes in a remote part of the Black Mountain region. The area is spectacular and is one of the last bits to have patches of snow. Wild and wonderful sums it up well. This walk is changed regularly to make the most of the region.

Photos from this walk are available here - For a map covering the walk area click here.

Highlight

Crickhowell Roundabout - Grade C

Not for the faint-hearted, this 26-mile walk/marathon takes us around some of the best the Beacons have to offer. An early start and late finish, this is a great challenge of endurance, with a recovery day needed after!

Photos from this walk are available here - For a map covering the walk area click here.

Highlight

Pen Alt Mawr - Grade B

A walk in the Black Mountains, and also a good way to see why the SAS do a lot of their training in this area!

Photos from this walk are available here - For a map covering the walk area click here.

Highlight

Sugar Loaf and Abergavenny - Grade A,2

Sugar Loaf is a 596m high peak in the black mountains region. We head up Sugar Loaf, and then reach the summit where very impressive views await! This lovely walk is surprisingly short, not very difficult and definately well worth it!

Photos from this walk are available here.

Highlight

Pontarddulais - Grade A,2

This new walk was first done on a cold, bright, winter's day at the end of 2008. Pontarddulais is a village not too far north from Swansea, for our walk we walk up and around some of the hills, just South West of the Brecon Beacons. There are fantastic views all around, inluding Swansea and the Gower. Last time we even saw a number of red kites.

Photos from this walk are available here.

For a complete list of our hikes planned for this academic year please see our walks programme.

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