Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau walk

Llangattock Escarpment with surreal slag heaps, quarries and cliffs, optional caving and a raised bog. Then lush pastures along the Usk Valley with Black Mountains views.

The Lonely Shepherd and Sugar Loaf and The Skirrid SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau

The Lonely Shepherd and Sugar Loaf and The Skirrid

SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau

04-Aug-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Llangattock Escarpment, from Cwm Onnau SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau

Llangattock Escarpment, from Cwm Onnau

SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau

08-Sep-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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The Lonely Shepherd with Gilwern Hill and Blorenge/Blorens SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau [taken by Jenny P]

The Lonely Shepherd with Gilwern Hill and Blorenge/Blorens

SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau [taken by Jenny P]

27-Sep-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Quarries, spoil heaps and scarps: Darren Cilau SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau

Quarries, spoil heaps and scarps: Darren Cilau

SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau

04-Aug-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk370 50366638478

The Chwar Mawr SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau

The Chwar Mawr

SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau

04-Aug-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk370 walkicon 50366637093

Table Mountain and Pen Cerrig-calch, from near Penffawyddog SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau

Table Mountain and Pen Cerrig-calch, from near Penffawyddog

SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau

04-Aug-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk370 50366634603

The Waun Ddu Raised Bog SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau [taken by Jenny P]

The Waun Ddu Raised Bog

SWC Walk 370 Crickhowell Circular via Mynydd Llangatwg and Craig y Cilau [taken by Jenny P]

27-Sep-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk370 walkicon 51535387606

Length

18.9 km (11.7 mi), with 680m ascent/descent. For a shorter or longer walk see below Walk Options.

Toughness

6 out of 10, with 6 hours walking time.

Walk Notes

From the centre of the rightly popular town of Crickhowell, the route leads across the Usk River and the Monmouth & Brecon Canal up steeply through quiet pastures-with-views up to the easterly end of the Llangattock Escarpment and the fascinating limestone pinnacle of the Lonely Shepherd, overlooking the Clydach Gorge. From there you follow the escarpment westwards, past ex-quarries, surreal looking grassy spoil heaps, a couple of raised bogs and some extensive cave systems leading deep into the underlying limestone layers.
The natural amphitheatre of the Craig y Cilau escarpment with its spectacular high limestone cliffs and extensive cave systems, is negotiated with some easy walking along a former tramroad contouring the dramatic grassy ledge with some superb sweeping views across the Usk Valley to The Black Mountains, from the Mynydd Llangorse and Mynydd Troed via Table Mountain and Pen Cerrig-Calch to Sugar Loaf. You continue through the Craig y Cilau National Nature Reserve, where the Eglwys Faen cave system allows for some optional caving and down the slope to the raised bog of the Waun Ddu.
A very scenic descent and re-ascent leads through the beautiful Cwm Onnau and across into the very lush Usk Valley, from where you contour through more pastures with extremely fine views of the Central Black Mountains back down to the canal and via Llangattock village to Crickhowell with its many tea options.

Walk Options

A bus stop of line 43 at Hillside Road, Llangattock enables a start there (cut 1.0 km).
A Morning Shortcut cuts 1.5m and 40m ascent.
A rougher version of that shortcut, up a long and steep bouldery track, cuts another 1.4 km.
Cut out the out-and-back to the Lonely Shepherd limestone pinnacle with views: cut 1.4 km.
Caving (for beginners) can be done in the Eglwys Faen complex. Bring your headtorch and an extra layer! Good profile soles necessary, scrambling experience reassuring. And mind your head!
An Afternoon Shortcut, cutting the ascent out of the Cwm Onnau and into the Usk Valley,cuts 2.8 km.
An Extension of the route, higher up the Cwm Onnau adds 2.0 km and 35m ascent. This starts with 20 minutes along the grassy verge of a busy road though.

Maps

OS Explorer: OL13 (Brecon Beacons National Park – Eastern Area)
OS Landranger: 160 (Brecon Beacons)
Harvey Superwalker XT25: Breacon Beacons East/Bannau Brycheiniog Dwyrain
Harvey British Mountain Map: Breacon Beacons/Bannau Brycheiniog

Travel

Crickhowell Square Bus Stop, map reference SO 218 183, is 221 km west northwest of Charing Cross, 89m above sea level and in Powys, Wales. It is served by lines 43/X43 (Abergavenny – Brecon) with 12 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.

Lunch

Picnic. Best location: on the grassy ledge below the Llangattock Escarpment, with views across the Usk Valley.

Tea

The Old Rectory Hotel Ffawyddog Road, Llangattock, Powys, NP8 1PH (01873 810 373). The Rectory is located 1.2 km from the end of the walk.
The Horseshoe Inn Hillside Road, Llangattock, Powys, NP8 1PA (01873 268 773). The Horseshoe is located 200m off route and 1.2 km from the end of the walk.
The Vine Tree Legar, A4077, Llangattock, Powys, NP8 1HG (01873 812 277). The Vine Tree is located 100m off route and 700m from the end of the walk. Open all day Wed-Sun.
The Bridge End Inn Bridge Street, Crickhowell, Powys, NP8 1AR (01873 810 338). The Bridge End Inn is located 450m from the end of the route.
The Dragon Inn 47 High Street, Crickhowell, Powys, NP8 1BE (01873 810 362).
The Britannia Inn 20 High Street, Crickhowell, Powys, NP8 1BH (01873 810 553).
The Bear Hotel Crickhowell, Powys, NP8 1BW (01873 810 408).

Several Cafés in Crickhowell, see the walk directions for details.

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Start Crickhowell, Wales Map Directions

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Help

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Sep-21 Thomas G

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

Walk Directions  

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