Walking in the Brecon Beacons

THE BEACONS CIRCUIT
The big one!

Gear up for this epic, big-view walk, which takes in the main summits and ridges of the central Brecon Beacons all in one go.

Need to know

Length: 11 miles (17.7km)
Time: Around 4–6 hours
Start and finish: Storey Arms, on A470 between Brecon and Merthyr Tydfil
OS map ref: SO 982203
OS map: Explorer OL12 (1: 25 000 series)
Facilities: Car park at Storey Arms. Toilets are located at the next car park, a few hundred metres to the south.

Along the way

Storey Arms
This famous landmark is an understandable honeypot, located as it is on the A470 smack in the central Beacons. But don’t come expecting a pub.  Storey Arms was named after landowner Storey Maskelyne and was never, as its name implies, an inn. It’s now an outdoor pursuits centre.
Tommy Jones obelisk
Little Tommy, aged just five, became lost on the night of 4 August 1900 while walking to the remote farmhouse of Cwmllwch. The obelisk, on the high ridge above Llyn Cwm Llwch, marks the spot where he collapsed and died of exposure.
Cwm Llwch
The deep hollow beneath Corn Du is another of the Brecon Beacons’ many textbook geological features. This cwm, or cirque, was scooped out by grinding glaciers during the last Ice Age. Its glacial lake is another classic Ice Age feature.
Pen-y-Fan
You could play football up here – well, almost. The distinctive flat-topped summit of Pen-y-Fan is a Welsh icon. At 886m it’s the highest mountain in South Wales and Southern Britain (although just a mere 13m taller than neighbouring Corn Du), and a place of pilgrimage for many. The views are sensational, commanding much of the National Park, its hills and mountains rolling across the landscape like a green, petrified wave. Almost all of what you see in the central Beacons is owned and managed by the National Trust.
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Lewis Phillips-Central Beacons

‘The Gap’ and Roman road
Bwlch ar y Fan is better known as ‘The Gap’ – and, if somewhat prosaically, it’s well named. This pronounced break in the mountains is an obvious north–south route through the central Beacons.  The unsurfaced road that cuts through The Gap may well be Roman in origin.
Neuadd reservoirs
Created over a century ago to provide a reliable source of water for the industrial valleys to the south, these scenic reservoirs have over the years settled into the landscape beneath a wild mountain amphitheatre.

DIRECTIONS

Way to go
1
Set off from the car park opposite Storey Arms Outdoor Education Centre. Cross the A470 and head for the gate and stile to the left of the centre. Ignore the stone path and take the less obvious track off to the left (it’s the right of way marked on the OS map). After about 250m cross the remains of an old stone wall and continue on up.
2
At the top of Y Gyrn (619m) cross the stile over the fence and stop to admire the superb view of Corn Du (ahead) and Pen-y-Fan (left). The track here becomes harder to see. Follow it down a gentle slope before curling up and around to walk along Craig Cwm Llwch ridge, passing Tommy Jones’s obelisk on the way. Watch out for unexpected gusts of wind along these exposed edges.
3

Continue to the summit of Corn Du (873m) then bear north-east, dropping down into a saddle and back up to Pen-y-Fan (886m). Soak up the panoramic views before leaving the summit in a south-easterly direction down Craig Cwm Sere before climbing up to the top of Cribyn (795m). Follow the gentle decline off Cribyn along Craig Cwm Cynwyn to meet the wide, stony track at Bwlch ar y Fan, otherwise known as ‘The Gap’.

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Credit: Crown Copyright (2016) Visit Wales

4
Turn right and follow the track downward for about 1¼ miles (2km) towards the Neuadd reservoirs. Above the deep cutting in the track opposite the lower reservoir turn right and go through a metal field gate into the reservoir complex. Bear right here, continuing along the track; when you reach the Tarmac road turn left down the hill towards the old filter house. Cross the Lower Neuadd reservoir’s dam wall and go through a metal field gate back onto the open hill.
5

Climb for 200m alongside forestry in the direction of a trig point at 642m – it’s a steep and often muddy path. Once at the top turn right and walk along the length of the ridge. At Bwlch Duwynt, a junction of the paths below Corn Du, turn left down towards the forestry at Pont yr Daf. At the bottom cross the bridge over the Taff Fawr and once in the car park turn right and walk along the road back to Storey Arms.

Find more Walking routes here 

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Things to do this Bank Holiday Weekend

There are so many things going on in the Brecon Beacons this Bank Holiday Weekend! Get your taste buds tingling at the Beer and Chilli Festival, have some family fun at Llangynidr Show, enjoy a adventure with Hawk Adventures Open Weekend or why not have some fun at the World Bog Snorkeling Championships?

Friday 26th-Monday 29th-Tawe Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Annual Exhibition 10 am – 5 pm Admission Hibbert Room, Education Centre, Craig y Nos Country Park.


Saturday 27th-Monday 29th- Brecon Beacons Summer Fayre 
10:00 -17:00

Family fun, local food, craft and artwork. If you’re a fan of food, music, or the arts, the National Park Visitor Centre Libanus, near Brecon is the only place to be this August Bank Holiday weekend for the Tenth annual Brecon Beacons Summer Fayre.

Come rain or shine join the fun at this celebration of Welsh food, drink, arts & crafts from 29th to 31st August. You’ll discover over 70 stands to explore, children’s activities and live entertainment set to spill on to the front lawn and surrounding fields.
While you browse through an endless array of local food, arts and crafts, your littles ones will be kept entertained by a range of inspiring activities including willow sculpting, badge-making, face-painting, pottery turning, a bouncy castle, and guitar and folk

FYI Brecon

dancing lessons. Also at the fayre will be Cotswolds Tent Show where you can pick up a bargain!

The selection of local produce on offer at this year’s Summer Fayre includes organic meats, dressings, fresh fruit and vegetables, jams, chutneys, smoked foods, honey, bread, ciders, beers and wines, cheeses, biscuits cakes, chocolates, ice creams and more.

It’s a great family day out supporting local Welsh producers. It’s free entry and only £2 to park for the full day. The festival runs from 10am to 5pm each day.

Saturday 27th- Talybont on Usk Village Show and Sports

 

Sunday 28th – Local Garden Centre Warming Up for Annual Beer & Chilli Festival

The Old Railway Line Garden Centre in Three Cocks is getting into the festivaBeer & Chilli Festival @ The Old Railway Linel spirit this month as they warm up for their annual Beer and Chilli Festival on Saturday 27th August. Last month they announced the return of Mariachi band, Los Squideros who have gone down a storm the last 2 years. They are a lively bunch who have played at Glastonbury no less than five times! The challenging Chilli Eating Challenge will also return for adults alongside fun for the children including Piñata game at 1.30pm, bouncy castle and Jelly and Ice Cream Mexican Flag activity throughout the day. There will also be plenty of local beer and chilli themed foods to taste and a bar for people wanting to try a full bottle or two!

Sunday 28th-World Bog Snorkelling Championships 

Sunday 28th August 2016 sees the 31st World Bog Snorkelling Championships held annually in Llanwrtyd Wells, an event that Lonely Planet described as one of the top 50 “must do” things from around the world in 2014. Hundreds of participants from around the world and plenty of spectators are expected once again.

In 2015 the bog snorkellers included participants from France, Holland, Poland, Sweden, Eire, Czech Republic, Australia, Japan, USA, and Canada, making this a truly international world championships.

The event takes place at Waen Rhydd bog on the outskirts of the town, getting underway at around 10am. The site is signposted from the town for those who don’t mind about a mile walk, and there is also a shuttle bus running from the town square to the bog and back, beginning as soon as we can manage between 9 and 10 am. There are food and drink stalls, crafts, a bouncy castle, live music and a bar on the site, so it’s a great day out even if you don’t fancy taking the plunge.

Sunday 28th-Llangynidr Show

We pack a lot into this one day event. From agricultural, horticultural and craft comptetions, to cookery demonstrations, sheep sheering and family activities, we are sure you’ll be kept busy just deciding what to do next!!

Sunday 28th-Blaenavon Heritage Railway-Classic Transport Show

Don’t forget that as well as running our steam trains all weekend, it’s our Transport Rally this Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday.

 

Saturday 27th-Sunday 28th-Talgarth Festival of the Black Mountains

  • Annual Candlelit Concert Talgarth Festival of the Black Mountains would like to invite you to our Annual Concert held in St. Ellyw’s Church, Llanelieu, Saturday 27th August, 7.30pm.
  • Talgarth Festival Dog Show – Saturday 27th August – 10.30am – Talgarth Primary School Sports Field Show Classes: Under 16s’ Obedience, Over 16s’ Obedience, Best Costume, Best Character, Prettiest Dog, Best in Show
    Rosettes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in each class.
    Sash for Best in Show
    Judge: Sgt. Neil Furniss Royal Air Force Police Dog Inspector
    Obedience and Welfare Tips between classes
    Hay Vets stall with information on pet welfare
    £1 entry fee per class.
    For more information please contact Sue Lewis, Chairperson, 07891 890099

 

  • Talgarth Festival Annual Duck Race – Sunday 28th – 3pm @ River Ennig
    Ducks are sold in shops in Talgarth and in the Talgarth Information and Resource Centre prior to the Festival. These will be also available to buy from the Information Point over the weekend and from stewards walking around the venues.
    Cash Prizes are available for the first eight ducks home, plus a booby prize is on offer for the last duck home.
    Winners will be announced at the Information Point on the Sunday afternoon.
    If you need to speak to someone regarding the duck race, please contact us on our website, our facebook page, or call our chairperson Sue Lewis: 07891 890099

 

Join Hawk Adventures for their Open Adventure Weekend, where you can join them for an adventure with up to a 60% discount!!

Keep an eye out for our whats on in September blog that will be posted soon!

 

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Monmouthshire and Brecon Canalathon

Saturday September 10th 2016

A 35 Mile Team Endurance Challenge following one of the most scenic canal routes in Britain.

Yes, it’s back! After the success of the 2014 and 2015 events it has been decided that the event will run again in 2016. The Canalathon celebrates over 200 years of one of the most scenic canal routes in Britain by organising a challenge that will take you on an historic journey through the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Important Updates for Canalathon 2016

The Canalathon is essentially the same logistics as 2015 but with a few tweeks and clarifications.

The Canalathon is not a race but a challenge! The Canalathon is very much a team event and as such your team is required to stay together! Consequently you will not be allowed to leave transition areas or cross the finish line until all four team members are present.

If a team should withdraw before July 31th 2015 a 90% refund will be issued (10% admin fee). There are no refunds after July 31st 2016. SeeCancellations & Refunds for further details.

All entries will be processed online HERE!

Event Details

Teams of four are invited to complete this epic challenge in under twelve hours. Teams consist of four people and a team manager! Team entry cost is £160 per team.

A good team needs a good team manager! You as a team are responsible for making sure that you can get to the start of the event, drop, collect bikes at transitions. Further details of exactly where and how to get to transitions will be released closer to the event.

  • Competitors under 18 years of age may take part with parent / guardian permission.
  • Competitors over 12 and under 16 years of age must be accompanied by one adult per minor.
CANOE:

canoeThe challenge starts at Pontymoile Basin with a six mile open canoe stage to Goytre Wharf. There will be two persons per boat which will be open “Canadian” style. Canoes, buoyancy aids and paddles are included in the entry fee.

BIKE:

bikeThe eighteen mile cycle section is generally flat and takes places along the canal tow path from Goytre to Llangynider. The path surface is mixed but generally hard packed gravel.

However expect some bumpier sections in places and the possibility of mud in limited sections if the weather has been damp! Most types of bike would be suitable but we would suggest sturdier tyres than normal road ones to cope with some of the ungraded sections. A mountain bike is ideal but suspension is not necessary.

You are required to use your own bikes but there is the option to hire bikes at an additional cost if required.

RUN/WALK/HIKE:

runThe eleven mile Run / Walk / Hike is flat and follows a beautiful section of the canal to finish in Brecon where you will be greeted by rapturous applause, entertainment at Brecon Theatre. All entrants who complete the event will be awarded a commemorative medal as recognition of their achievements.

Whilst teams are expected to look after themselves during the challenge, there will be opportunities for additional refreshments and food during your journey.

A good team needs a good team manager! You as a team are responsible for making sure that you can get to the start of the event, drop your bikes off at transition and collect them again afterwards. Further details of logistics can be found here

  • Competitors under 18 years of age may take part with parent / guardian permission.
  • Competitors over 12 and under 16 years of age must be accompanied by one adult per minor.

The Canalathon is a partnership event supported by MBACT, Glandwr Cymru The Canal & River Trust in Wale and the Inland Waterways Association.

Apply here!

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Enjoy this Birds Eye View of Cradoc Golf Club

Cradoc Golf Club is one of the most scenic Golf courses in Wales and they have now created a flyover video tour of all 18 holes, so you can have a birds eye view of the course before you visit!

Cradoc Golf Club  is 2 miles north of Brecon, has 18 holes and a friendly clubhouse, and is possibly the most scenic course in Wales. Cradoc Golf Club is recognised as one of the finest parkland courses in Wales and is situated in the rural tranquillity of Penoyre Park
– just two miles away from the centre of Brecon. The Club offers a challenging yet enjoyable 18 hole golf course, enjoyed by a thriving membership of 400+ members and revered by thousands of visitors, many who return year after year citing ‘Cradoc’ as one of their favourite venues. The Club also has a 10 bay floodlit driving range which is open to non-members, alongside which is a short game area where any member of the public can access it FREE of charge 7 days per week. Find out more here 

Their new flyover video tour lets you see the golf course from a whole new perspective! Check out the first hole video from the Golf club below. View the rest of the videos here. 

 

 

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Walking in the Brecon Beacons

TALYBONT RESERVOIR AND FOREST
This scenic, 3km long reservoir is surrounded by steep hill, forestry and farmland.

talybont-reservoir-dark-skies.jpg

Set in the central Brecon Beacons, this is a popular place to visit with a road crossing the 380 metre long dam to forestry walks on the far side. The wide tracks in the Talybont Forest on the eastern side of the reservoir join up with the Brinore Tramroad and Taff Trail to give longer walks with no barriers.

The Brinore Tramroad runs for 8 miles (13 km) from Talybont-on-Usk to Trefil, within the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. It was operational between 1815 and 1865 and linked the Tredegar iron works and Trefil limestone quarries to the Monmouth & Brecon canal at Talybont. Its route passes through the dramatic and scenic valleys of Talybont and Dyffryn Crawnon before reaching the uplands of Trefil mountain.

Its importance today is not only as anexample of industrial archæology but also as a well used public right of way (bridleway status). Its hedgerows form a valuable wildlife corridor and it is frequently used by walking groups and lovers of the countryside because of the quality of its natural environment.

Visitors to the area can most easily access the Tramroad at Talybont village, although access is also possible at other points, including Trefil village and Talybont Reservoir dam.

 The Taff Trail: The Talybont-on-Usk section of the Taff Trail runs mainly through an expanse of fields along the B4558 through Pencelli and on to the penultimate area, Llanfrynach. Talybont-on-Usk is where you will find the highest point of the Taff Trail, some 439m (1440ft) above sea level. It is here you can expect the most breathtaking views on the trail. By this point, travelling northwards, the River Taff is some way behind and the finishing line is rapidly approaching.

Most of the forestry tracks near the reservoir are level but get steeper further up the hill you go. Lay-bys and car parks alongside the Talybont to Pontsticill road offer good views of the reservoir and surrounding hills. There is one bird hide suitable for the disabled.

nigel-forster-talybont-reservoir.jpg

Nigel Forster: Talybont Reservoir 

 

How to get there: The reservoir is 1.5km south of Talybont-on-Usk, which is 8km south east of Brecon on the A40.

Nearest town or village: Talybont-on-Usk.

OS Grid Reference: Explorer Map OL 12 / OL13 or Landranger Map 160 / 161 – SO 104 205.

Distance: From a few metres to several kilometres.

Contact: Welsh Water on 01495 769281 or Natural Resources Wales on 0300 065 3000.

Facilities: There is a shop and Post Office with National Park information and several pubs in Talybont-on-Usk.

Parking: There are lay-bys and car parks alongside the Talybont to Pontsticill road and on the other side of the dam.

Toilets: Basic public toilets are located next to the White Hart Inn in Talybont-on-Usk. The nearest disabled access toilets are at Llansantffraed lay-by on the A40.

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Llandovery Sheep Festival is nearly a month away!

Llandovery Sheep Festival 2016 – Adventures in fun, food & woolLlandoverySheepFest
Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th September 2016

Celebrating all things sheep, in the ancient drover’s town of Llandovery.  Wool Crafts, Food, Sheep Racing, Sheep Dog Trials, Music, Entertainment, Cookery demonstrations, something for everybody to enjoy…

Llandovery Sheep Festival celebrates droving, sheep farming & the wool industry. All weekend the town of Llandovery will be celebrating its farming routes and connection to the drovers trails of old. Highlights of the weekend will include the sheep dog trials, sheep shearing demonstrations.  There will be competitions and music.

Location: Llandovery Market Square and Castle Fields.

View our guide to the town of Llandovery here

Why not go to a country show to get you in the mood for the Sheep Festival. Head to Sennybridge Agricultural Show 2015 on Sep 3, 2016

The agricultural show, known as The Sennybridge Show, run by the Devynock Agricultural Society is a one day event and is held on the first Saturday in September each year.Horse, sheep and cattle classes are held during the day, including an expanding dog show.

Craft, Domestic and Horticulture tents together with Trade stands, Members tent and Bar surround the ring giving the show an intimate and friendly atmosphere. Show attractions including bands, various displays competitions and an evening BBQ combine to make our show well worth a visit and a good day out.


Continue reading

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Walking in the Brecon Beacons National Park

Llandovery River Walk
Town and the Tywi.

Here’s a short, easy walk along the lush banks of river Tywi from the centre of historic Llandovery, a Walkers are Welcome town.

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Need to know

Length: 2 miles (3.2km)
Time: Under an hour
Start and finish: Llandovery town centre
OS map ref: SN 767343
OS map: Explorer OL12 (1:25 000) series
Facilities: Visitor centre, car parking, shops, cafés and pubs in Llandovery
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Along the way

Llandovery Tourist Information and Heritage Centre
As its name implies, it’s more than a standard visitor centre. As well as supplying a wealth of information on the western and central areas of the Brecon Beacons National Park the centre also contains displays on the area’s history, culture, myths and legends. Learn all about Twm Siôn Cati (the Welsh Robin Hood), famous Welsh hymn writer William Williams Pantycelin, the medieval Physicians of Myddfai and the ‘Lady of the Lake’ at Llyn y Fan Fach.

St Mary’s Church
Though its origins date back to the 12th century, this Grade I listed church is not the oldest building to stand at this spot – the mound on which the church now sits was once occupied by a Roman fort. The earthen remains of the Roman construction are still visible to the careful observer, while bricks from the fort were even used to build the church’s east wall.
Dolauhirion Bridge
Stretching 30m across the river Tywi in a single elegant arch, the 18th-century bridge at Dolauhirion is an inspiring sight. There has been a crossing here linking Llandovery and Cilycwm since 1170, but the current version was constructed in 1773 by architect William Edwards – responsible for a number of other single-arch stone bridges across Wales, notably at Pontypridd.
River Tywi
Rising in the Cambrian Mountains and flowing out into Carmarthen Bay, the 75-mile (121km) Tywi is the second-longest river located entirely in Wales. Its crystal-clear waters are a breeding ground for big sea trout – sewin in Welsh –making the river a popular spot with anglers. The Tywi’s fertile waters also attract another type of fish fan – a growing population of otters call the river home.
Castle mound
The remains of 12th-century Llandovery Castle overlook the town centre from a prime vantage point on a steep, grassy hill. They share this spot with a more recent addition – a shimmering stainless steel sculpture of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd-Fychan. The Carmarthenshire landowner was executed in Llandovery in 1401 by Henry IV for supporting Owain Glyndŵr’s rebellion against English rule.

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 Route description

1. From the Tourist Information and Heritage Centre turn right for a short distance along the main road (A40), then turn left and walk northwards up Stone Street. This meets the A483 road, which you cross and walk north along the Cilycwm Road. On a prominent rise to the right you’ll see St Mary’s Church, which stands on a mound that was once the site of a Roman fort.

2. After a mile, turn left to Dolauhirion Bridge. Just before the bridge, turn left onto the path alongside the river Tywi and walk with the river at your right-hand side.
3. When you reach the main road, turn left and return to the centre of town. However, if you’d like to extend the walk a little, cross the road and continue following the path downstream. After a mile, you’ll go under the railway track. Soon afterwards turn left past Llwyn Jack Farm and continue until you reach the road, before turning left and heading back towards town.
Posted in Llandovery walks, Uncategorized, walk wednesday, Walking, Walking Festival, Walking Wednesday, walks | Tagged , , | Leave a comment
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