Walking in the Brecon Beacons National Park

Sugarloaf Mountain Near Abergavenny 

This rewarding walk takes you up the distinctive Sugar Loaf Mountain.Viewed from some directions it has the shape of a sugar loaf or even a volcano (which it isn’t!). It is a short climb to the summit and on a clear day it is possible to see hills as far north as Shropshire and as far south as Somerset as well as many of the major mountains in the Brecon Beacons. Below Sugar Loaf, Abergavenny is an interesting market town with a castle and market hall and lots to explore.

Information
Where is it?
Explorer Map OL 13 or Landranger Map 161 Grid reference: SO 268 167. Start at car park on Mynydd Llanwenarth below Sugar Loaf. Please see pg 2 for more directions. Distance 3 miles/ 5km. 268m of ascent.
Time Allow up to 2-3 hours Terrain There are wide grassy paths on the slopes- a steady ascent /descent. It will be steeper near the summit. Rocky, uneven terrain around the summit. It can be slippery in wet weather so take care and keep to paths. There are no gates/stiles but is not suitable for a wheelchair or scooter.
Grade Strenuous

The Route
From the North Heading towards Abergavenny along the A40 take the first left after the Lamb and Flag public house up a narrow road signposted Sugarloaf Vineyard.
From the South Follow the A40 (signposted Brecon) out of Abergavenny, passing Nevill Hall Hospital on your left. Shortly after the hospital; take the narrow road to the Sugar Loaf Vineyard which is on your right.
Next Follow the signs for the vineyard and take the next left, and the next left again. You will pass the vineyard on your right. NP7 7LA.Carry along the road heading up a steep hill.After a sharp hairpin bend to the left the road will fork.Take the right-hand road with the ‘P’sign. After approximately 1km you should see a large car park on your left.This is the starting point. On your way home you may find it preferable to carry on past the vineyard and not turn right. Instead, follow the road until you reach a junction with Chapel Road.Take a right turn here and follow Chapel Road back until it joins the A40.You will come out nearly opposite the Railway Inn.

The Route
1. Grid Ref: SO 268 167.At the northern edge of the car park there should be a large NationalTrust sign with some walking and nature information. From there the very noticeable path heads away left as you look at the sign (due north). ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
2. Grid ref: SO 266 172.The path passes the corner of a drystone wall.As you approach, Sugar Loaf should become visible (on a clear day) to your right. If you continue on, the path then passes another corner of the dry stone wall. Shortly after the path will fork.Take the right-hand path and continue on your journey.
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••3. In front of you (still due north), you will be able to see a raised embankment heading up towards the summit. Heading towards the embankment, a smaller path will intersect with the path you are on.Continue straight ahead. Soon you will see another larger path crossing with the path you are on. Take the left-hand path and head towards the embankment.
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4. Grid Ref: SO 265 181.This is the point that the path you are on will meet with the embankment. Follow the embankment up the hill eventually reaching the summit close to the trig point. The last 500 metres on this path becomes increasingly steep, uneven and with some loose footing so take care.
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5. Grid Ref: SO 272 188.This is the summit of Sugar Loaf 596m above sea level.At the southern edge of the summit (you are looking back towards the car park), is a clear path leading down. Be aware that it is steep and the ground can be loose in places. The path will fork – keep to the right-hand path. Head straight over when another path intersects with the path you are on. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••6. Grid Ref: SO 266 179. Eventually you will link back up with the path you originally started on at another intersection. You can follow this back towards the corners of dry stone wall that you passed earlier and finally back to the car park.
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••Variation

To shorten Distance: 2.1 miles /3.5km.At 4, Grid Ref: SO 262 181 rather than following the embankment up the hill take the path heading right as you look at the Sugar Loaf (easterly).At the next intersection, head right again and follow the path back to the start. To lengthen If using public transport it is possible to do a longer walk starting from Abergavenny (9 miles/14.5km) Walk here
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Information
Parking The car park is free and there is space for a minibus. It can get busy at peak times.Access lanes are narrow so any vehicle larger than a minibus would have difficulty.

Refreshments and toilets The Lamb and Flag Public House is closest to the start point or there are numerous pubs/cafés in Abergavenny town centre. There is a shop and café situated in the Tithe Barn open Monday –Saturday 9am -4pm. The National Park and Tourist Information Centre is also situated in the Tithe Barn (open Monday-Saturday 10am -2 pm)Tel: 01873 853254  The nearest toilets are at the Lamb and Flag public house if you are stopping there for refreshments.The nearest public toilets are in Abergavenny at the bus station on Monmouth Road and also at the car park in Castle Street and at Frogmore St/Queens St junction.

Public Transport www.traveline.cymru The start point is not accessible by public

 Visit Abergavenny

Credit: Visit Abergavenny

transport. However there is a railway station in Abergavenny and all buses terminate at the main bus station. (See longer route option). It is also possible to get a bus to Nevill Hall hospital near the Vineyard turnoff.

Nearest Towns Abergavenny. All facilities.

Websites www.breconbeacons.org www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sugarloaf-and-usk-valley www.abergavenny.org.uk www.visitabergavenny.co.uk www.sugarloafvineyard.co.uk/sugarloaf

Dogs Suitable for dogs. Dogs are permitted but should be on leads near stock and between 1st March and 31st July on Open Access Land.

Sample Itinerary
10.30 Arrive at car park and complete walk.
12.30 Picnic lunch or head into Abergavenny for refreshments.
1.30 Explore the local history centre and exhibitions at the Tithe Barn info here  or Abergavenny castle and museum 

Find the full PDF here


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One Response to Walking in the Brecon Beacons National Park

  1. Pingback: Walking Wednesday: Dog Friendly Brecon Beacons | Brecon Beacons Tourism Blog

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