Via an easily accessible glacial ridge to the largest natural lake in South Wales and an ancient hillfort
|Length||21.6 km (13.4 mi), of which 5.5 km (3.4 mi) are on tarmac or concrete. Cumulative ascent/descent: 816/820m. For a shorter or longer walk, see below Walk options.|
|Toughness||10 out of 10 Time: 6 hours walking time.|
|Travel|| Bwlch is served by line X43 (Abergavenny – Brecon) with 7-8 buses a day Mon-Sat and 5 on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Saturday Walkers’ Club: This walk is doable as a daywalk from London, especially if you have motorised transport, but also if taking a train to Abergavenny to connect to above bus service.
|Map||OS Landranger Map: 160 (Brecon Beacons) OS Explorer Map: OL12 (Brecon Beacons National Park)|
This is a varied walk from the small settlement of Bwlch (‘pass’ in Welsh), starting from a low col high above the Usk Valley onto the rolling moorlands of Cefn Moel and Mynydd Llangorse. The following long ridge walk along this outlying peak’s plateau – and the subsequent optional ascent to Mynydd Troed – command panoramic views across to many of the much higher giants of the Brecon Beacons National Park: across the Rhiangoll valley to the south-western flanks of the Black Mountains massif, west to the Central Beacons and south to Mynydd Llangynidr and Mynydd Llangattock.
A road descent leads to Llangorse village for lunch and around its iconic lake, of glacial origin and the largest natural lake in South Wales, with its watersports centre – and the only crannog outside of Scotland and Ireland. This is a busy touristic site in season. Leave the crowds behind to further circumvent the large lake to a remote bird hide and an even more remote church-with-views in Llangasty-Talyllyn and then up the Allt yr Esgair ('wooded slope of the ridge' in Welsh). It is crowned by an Iron Age hillfort and a Roman road and overlooks the valley of the River Usk to the west and south and Llangorse Lake and the Black Mountains to the northeast. You then follow the Roman Road back down to Bwlch.
Cutting out the steep out-and-back up to Mynydd Troed makes this a 7/10 walk.
Cut out the steep ascent to Mynydd Troed (2.2 km/1.3 mi and 260m ascent/descent) for a 7/10 walk.
Cut out the ascent to the Allt yr Esgair Iron Age Hill Fort site near the end by contouring around the hill’s flank and along the ruined Paragon Tower folly.
An easterly route from the summit of Mynydd Troed along the ridge and down into the Cwm Sorgwm and back up over Pen Tir to the Cefn Moel and to Bwlch adds 800m distance and 245m ascent.
|Lunch and Tea||
The Castle Inn B 4560, Llangors, Brecon, Powys, LD3 7UB (01874 658 819). The Castle is located 11.9 km/7.4 mi into the walk.
Lythic Brewing Tynewydd Farm, Llangors, Brecon, Powys, LD3 7UA (07542 425 408). Lythic Brewing is located 12.1 km/7.5 mi into the walk.
|Tea (Pen Tir Route)||
Mynydd Ddu Tea Rooms Cwmdu, Crickhowell, Powys, NP8 1RU (01874 730 289).
The New Inn As above.
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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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