Walking Wednesday-Twyn y Gaer

The remains of an Iron Age hillfort can be seen on the grassy mound of  Twyn y Gaer. Though little remains of this ancient structure, it’s easy to see why our ancestors picked this naturally defensive spot to settle.

On a clear day there are stunning views all around; the peaks of Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du; the Black Mountains; the River Usk; as well as a patchwork pattern of farmland stretching out towards mid Wales.Image result for Twyn y Gaer

Where is it? Follow the signs for the National Park Visitor Centre close to the village of Libanus. The Centre is signposted from theA470 at Libanus 5 miles/9km south of Brecon LD3 8ER.Explorer Map OL 12 or Landranger Map 160 Grid ref SN 977 262.

Distance 4½km (2½ miles) return Time Allow 1½-2 hours.

Terrain Grassy paths, gentle slopes with one steeper climb (70m of ascent) toTwyn y Gaer. Paths onto the Common are fairly level but are grassy and can become boggy in wet weather so may not be wheelchair/scooter accessible.

Grade Moderate.

Please Note. Trails can become slippery due to adverse weather conditions. Please take extra care when walking. Suitable footwear, sturdy shoes or boots with a good grip, are best worn at all times. Mynydd Illtud can become very wet in winter.

Activities suitable on this route Geocaching Mynydd Illtyd GC3C98Q, Xenoposeidon:Watch your step GC4AMZJ, journey sticks, colour palettes, bird watching, and photography.


The Route
1. Arrive at the National ParkVisitor Centre (SN 977262), also known as the Mountain Centre.The Centre is situated on Mynydd Illtud Common, one of several commons purchased in 1984 by the National Park Authority to protect and conserve the open landscape. Local farmers have the right to graze their sheep and cut bracken here. Look out for red kites and other birds of prey, along with sky larks and wheatears. The Common takes its name from St Illtud, a Celtic Christian missionary and teacher of St David,Wales’s patron saint.

2. Go through the gate next to the disabled parking by the main building.Cross the road and follow the grassy track leading away from the road on the opposite side (north westerly). Follow this path for approximately 5 minutes to reach a standing stone which was placed here about 5000 years ago in the Bronze Age. It is believed it acted as a calendar – if you stand near this standing stone on the shortest day of the year, you will observe the sun rising between the twin peaks of Pen y Fan and Corn Du.

3. At the standing stone, bear right and follow the grassy track that runs parallel with the road for about 20 minutes.You will see the hill ofTwyn y Gaer appearing to your left. It has a white pillar (trig point) on the summit.When you arrive at a white marker for an underground pipeline and the road starts to drop downhill, cross the road, head downhill for a short distance then cross another road. 3 Follow the path to the trig point on the summit of Twyn y Gaer 367m. (SN 989280).This is a short,steep climb but well worth the effort.You can see evidence of an Iron Age Hillfort from about 2000 years ago.There are the remains of the defensive ditches which surrounded the Celtic village and a gateway to the north east side (nearest Brecon)

4. To return, walk down the grassy path which leads back across the road and retrace your route.There are a number of alternative paths to choose from here-as long as visibility is good and you keep Pen y Fan to your left, you should be able to see theVisitor Centre after walking for about half an hour.

To shorten Walk to the standing stone and back only. There are a number of shorter /longer walks on Mynydd Illtud.Check websites listed.

Parking Please use the Visitor Centre car park whenever possible. £1 for 2hrs £2.50 for over 2 hours. Free parking for disabled badge holders. There is a wheelchair available for use at the Centre.

Toilets A tea room and toilets are on site. Open every day except Christmas day, 9.30-4.30(winter), 9.30- 5.30 (summer).Tel: 01874 623366 http://www.breconbeacons.org/national-park-visitor-centre

Public Transport http://www.traveline.cymru By Bus-T4Traws Cymru.This bus only goes to Libanus and there is an uphill walk of 1.5 miles/2.4 km from the village.

Nearest Towns Libanus, Brecon.

Websites http://www.breconbeacons.org     http://www.Geocaching.comhttp://www.fforestfawrgeopark.org.uk/understanding/archaeologyand-industrial-heritage/the-iron-age/      www.breconbeacons.org/explore/things_to_do/walking/where_ to_walk/short_walks/mynydd_illtud_from_the_visitor_centre

More info on this route can be found here. 

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