Brecon Circular via Y Gaer Battle and Pen Y Crug walk
Lowland walk along rivers, via a Roman Fort and a low ridge to an ancient hill fort
|Length||18.1 km (11.3 mi), of which 6.8 km (4.2 mi) are on tarmac or concrete. Cumulative ascent/descent: 455m. For a shorter or longer walk, see below Walk options.|
|Toughness||6 out of 10 Time: 4 ½ hours walking time.|
Brecon Bus Interchange is served by lines
Saturday Walkers’ Club: This walk is doable as a daywalk from London, especially if you have motorised transport, but also if taking trains to Cardiff, Abergavenny or Neath/Swansea to connect to above buses.
|Map||OS Landranger Map: 160 (Brecon Beacons) OS Explorer Map: OL12 (Brecon Beacons National Park)|
This short excursion from the heart of the busy market town of Brecon leads out along the Promenade along the Usk River and then through fields and woods to the remains of Y Gaer (CICVCIVM Roman Fort), built around AD 75 and established as a Roman cavalry base for the conquest of Wales. Rebuilt in stone during the 2nd half of the 2nd century AD, it still features interesting remains of walls, gatehouses and turrets. Follow the Ysgir River north up the valley and onto Battle Hill, a modest grassy ridge from where you nevertheless have extensive views of all the spectacular mountain areas around Brecon. A descent through woods and across pastures leads to the remains of Pen-y-crug Iron Age hillfort, with its up to five surviving ramparts, located on The Crug (pronounced cree-g), a hill overlooking Brecon. Despite its modest height, it has extensive views of the central Brecon Beacons, and also views to a number of neighbouring hillforts.
A shortcut cuts the long ascent to Battle Hill and the remaining short walk still provides an interesting introduction to the area with its rivers, woods and views from the Pen-y-crug hillfort site.
An extension through the Priory Groves Woodland Gorge, starting from the cathedral, and going up the Honddu valley, is a fascinating excursion up this lovely gorge, which – in parts – is almost alpine in character, despite being only a stone’s throw from the town centre. This can also be done as a (very short but rewarding) standalone walk.
A Shortcut from Battle to Pen-y-crug (entirely on tarmac) cuts out 4.7 km/2.9 mi and 156m ascent/descent (rated 3/10).
An Extension at the end through the Priory Grove Woodland Gorge and along the River Honddu adds 4.3 km/2.7 mi.
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
Jul-20 Thomas G
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk