Walking Tours on Pen-y-Fan

Pen-y-Fan Grade (a)

'STOReY Arms', Distance: 5.5 miles, Ascent: 563m

£52 per person if 2 participants, click here for full price information and how to book
Includes a picnic lunch and expert guiding by a Mountain Leader and Geologist
Pick up and return from Abergavenny station or your local accommodation (depending on location)
The view of Cribyn from the summit of Pen-y-Fan
The summit of Pen-y-Fan viewed from Corn Du
Looking back at the summit of Pen-y-Fan from the summit of Corn Du.
Decending the ridge from above Llyn Cwm Llwch
Decending the ridge from above Llyn Cwm Llwch
The path to Corn Du
The path that we descend back to the road from Corn Du

Route

This is the easiest way up to the top of the highest mountain in southern Britain, Pen-y-Fan, at 886m.  The views at the top are superb. However it must be noted that because it is the easiest way up, it is also the busiest way up. If you are seeking a more isolated feeling and are fit enough to do it I strongly suggest taking routes (b) or (c). However if your mission is to get to the top but you know you are less fit then this is the way for you to  go.

We start and finish at Storey Arms on the main A470 road between Brecon and Cardiff. Our ascent is up a very popular route nicknamed 'The Motorway'. This route is a relatively easy plod that continuously climbs. Eventually we reach Bwlch Duwynt where we get great views looking down on to the Neuadd Resevoir and the southern horseshoe  that is walked on walk grade (c). We then continue by passing Corn Du to reach the summit of Pen-y-Fan. Here the views are amazing. Looking north it is possible to see Brecon, Llangorse Lake, the Black Mountains, the Cambrian Mountains and in the far distance the Malvern Hills and on exceptional days Cadair Idris in Snowdonia! Looking south it is possible to see the Bristol Channel, Mumbles Lighthouse in Swansea and even the coast of Devon. On the summit there are also the remains of an iron age cairn.

We then move on to the slightly lower peak of Corn Du, which again as superb views. We then climb down the ridge of Craig Cwm Llwch and get great views looking down on to the glacial lake of Llyn Cwm Llwch and its impressive moraines. Our next stop is the Obelisk of Tommy Jones. Here we learn the sad story of Tommy who died aged 5, lost and looking for his grandparents farm house. Finally we descend all the way back down to Storey Arms on the main road.

Pen-y-Fan Grade (b)

The North Face, Distance: 7 miles, Ascent: 727m

£50 per person if 2 participants, click here for full price information and how to book
Includes a picnic lunch and expert guiding by a Mountain Leader and Geologist
Pick up and return from Abergavenny station or your local accommodation (depending on location)
Ascending the beautiful and secluded valley of Cwm Sere.
The route we use to ascend the north face of Pen-y-Fan, via Craig Cwm Sere at the head of the Cwm Sere valley.
On the steep slope of Craig Cwm Sere on the north face of Pen-y-Fan
Arriving onto the ridge of Craig Cwm Sere

Route

This is my personal favourite way up Pen-y-Fan. It is not very long but is steeper and harder than route (A). It is also much quieter than routes (A) or (C) which can both be reasonably busy. Normally you will not see another sole in Cwm Sere which is in contrast from the peaks which can be quiet busy.

We start the walk at the National Trust car park at Cwm Gwdi. The first stage of the walk is on fairly flat ground that can be quite muddy in places and we pass the Iron Age Fort of Plas-y-Gaer.  We then ascend one of the most spectacular and wildest valleys in the Brecon Beacons: Cwm Sere. The lower reaches of the valley are well wooded and lead into an amphitheater created by the steep northern slopes of Cribyn and Pen-y-Fan, the two highest peaks in the Beacons. We then climb up the very steep northern head wall of Craig Cwm Sere, however, the path has a good angle and it is not as difficult as it looks.

From the lowest point between Cribyn and Pen-y-Fan, we climb the main path up to the top of Pen-y-Fan (886m). Here the views are amazing. Looking north it is possible to see Brecon, Llangorse Lake, the Black Mountains, the Cambrian Mountains and in the far distance the Malvern Hills and on exceptional days Cadair Idris in Snowdonia! Looking south it is possible to see the Bristol Channel, Mumbles Lighthouse in Swansea and even the coast of Devon. On the summit there are also the remains of an iron age cairn.

After gaining the summit, we descend via Cefn Cwm Llwch and have great views down into Cwm Llwch which has a beautiful glacial formed lake (Llyn Cwm Llwch) and moraines. Our path leads us all the way back to Cwm Gwdi where we started.


Pen-y-Fan Grade (c)

The Southern Horseshoe, Distance: 9.5 miles, Ascent: 834M

£50 per person if 2 participants, click here for full price information and how to book
Includes a picnic lunch and expert guiding by a Mountain Leader and Geologist
Pick up and return from Abergavenny station or your local accommodation (depending on location)
Looking down on to the Neuadd Reservoir from Craig Cwm Sere on the eastern ridge of Pen-y-Fan
Pausing for a snack on Corn Du enroute to the summit of Pen-y-Fan
Pausing for a snack on Corn Du enroute to the summit of Pen-y-Fan
Looking down to Cribyn from Pen-y-Fan
Looking down to Cribyn from Pen-y-Fan

Route

It is difficult not to understate the beauty of this walk. It is a classic route that takes in all the highest peaks of the Brecon Beacons. The walk is deceptively long but well worth it.

We start at the Taf Fechan car park and take a short steep climb on to the ridge to our right. We then walk along this ridge to our first summit, Corn Du. From here we have supberb views. We then continue to our highest point, the highest mountain in southern Britain, Pen-y-Fan.

Here the views are amazing. Looking north it is possible to see Brecon, Llangorse Lake, the Black Mountains, the Cambrian Mountains and in the far distance the Malvern Hills and on exceptional days Cadair Idris in Snowdonia! Looking south it is possible to see the Bristol Channel, Mumbles Lighthouse in Swansea and even the coast of Devon. On the summit there are also the remains of an iron age cairn.

After climbing Pen-y-Fan we descend Craig Cwm Sere and then climb Cribyn and once again have superb views. After Cribyn we follow the main ridge of the Brecon Beacons and descend to a point where a Roman road crosses our path. We then ascend our 4th peak that of Fan-y-Big. From here we make our descent back to our starting place.