SDC10836

SDC10836

Corn Du, Pen y Fan. the shortcut path from the col runs left-right

08-Apr-11 • Andrew Murphy

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SDC10845

SDC10845

08-Apr-11 • Andrew Murphy

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SDC10847

SDC10847

08-Apr-11 • Andrew Murphy

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SDC10848

SDC10848

08-Apr-11 • Andrew Murphy

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SDC10849

SDC10849

The way to Waun Rydd

08-Apr-11 • Andrew Murphy

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SDC10853

SDC10853

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08-Apr-11 • Andrew Murphy

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Llyn Cwm Llwch from Escarpment on way up to Corn Du

Llyn Cwm Llwch from Escarpment on way up to Corn Du

SWC Walk 278 Breacon Beacons Horseshoe - Bannau Brycheiniog (Ascent from Storey Arms Car Park)

29-Jul-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Brecon Beacons (Pen y Fan) Horseshoe from Neuadd Reservoir walk

A classic horseshoe walk of the Brecon Beacons (Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Fan y Big) around a glacial valley, with an extension to Waun Rydd

Group Walk Posts

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Like our walks, these posts are copyrighted. You may re-use them for non-commercial events only.

Date # Post
Sun, 30-Apr-17 30

[Brecon Trip] Sunday Extra Walk - The Brecon Beacons Horseshoe – Bannau Brycheiniog

Length: 15.3 km (9.5 mi) or 22.8 km (14.2 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 740m or 1030m; Net Walking Time: 5 hours or 7 hours
Toughness: 8/10 or 10/10
Meet at 09.30 in the south east corner of the Morrison’s car park in Brecon’s town centre, near the four-way road junction opposite the Bus Interchange (drivers: please bring your cars).
The start of the walk is at the remote Neuadd Reservoir car park, map reference SO 036 170, 9 km north of Merthyr Tydfil, when all cars have arrived. Directions: Drive north from Merthyr Tydfil, past Pontsticill, along the west side of the large Pentwyn reservoir. Where the road bends right along the top of the reservoir (near CF48 2UT), go straight on (north) along a single track tarmac lane (the Neuadd Reservoir's access road) and continue to a Brecon Beacons National Park car park.
If we do have more walkers than spaces, the ‘spare’ walkers will have to either…
Take the 10.51 bus T4 (direction Merthyr Tydfil/Cardiff) to Storey Arms, arrives 11.07, and take the alternative start from there up to the ridge (see pdf). The only return bus is at 18.03. Or…
Take one the alternative start routes from Brecon to the ridge (see pdf).
The ridge linking the four table-top peaks traversed on this walk (Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn, Fan y Big) forms the majestic core of the Central Brecon Beacons and contains the three highest tops in South Wales. As a result, this classic horseshoe walk around a steep sided glacial valley is amongst the best ridge walks in South Britain, featuring some spectacular views in all directions.
From a remote reservoir north of Merthyr Tydfil you climb steeply to reach the ridge, from where the gradient is mostly fairly gentle over good engineered paths as you follow a sequence of steep escarpments to Corn Du and Pen y Fan. Pen y Fan is the southern-most mountain in Britain and a large glacial grassy mound with steep glacial sides. Continuing along the ridge up to Cribyn and Fan y Big requires some steep descents and re-ascents, but both tops can be circumvented.
An out-and-back extension further along the ridge – to Waun Rydd alongside an upland bog – offers more superb views, lastly along the Usk Valley. This adds 7.5 km/4.7 mi and 288m ascent.

Route finding is easy (in clear weather), as the whole of the horseshoe route is visible at all times. Despite some steep drops this walk is not scary or dangerous, but it is exceptionally exposed to the elements.

Lunch: Picnic on the ridge.
Tea: lots of choice in Brecon (see pdf) or en route to Brecon in Talybont-on-Usk (see pdf) or in Libanus.

For all walk options, a summary, route map, height profile, photos, walk directions or gpx/kml files click here.T=swc.278
30 today in initially dry but overcast then rainy weather.
The weather turned out not quite as bad as forecast, as it took to 13.30 for the first on and off drizzle to arrive, later turning to steady light rain. This meant dramatic views for the majority of the people for the majority of the walk. 3 had opted for the short ascent from the A470 by the Storey Arms to Pen y Fan, amongst them a dedicated flatland only walker.
27 drove to the remote Neuadd Reservoir. 4 fast ones sped ahead for the main walk plus Waun Rydd extension. 11 did the same long version but much slower, initially staying together with the other 12 that would then avoid tops 3 and 4 to walk the direct shortcut route back to the cars. So plenty of the many options of this walk got tried out today!
Rewarding walk on largely good paths, many engineered to avoid further erosion on this popular route.