Fforest Fawr traverse : Craig Y Nos to Llwyn Y Celyn walk

Remote mountain traverse: limestone scenery, Fan Gyhirych, a glacial escarpment, great views all around. Bus travel.

Walker on Dismantled Tramway through Gash in Limestone Wall SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn)

Walker on Dismantled Tramway through Gash in Limestone Wall

SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn)

02-May-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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The Black Mountain (Y Mynydd Du) SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn)

The Black Mountain (Y Mynydd Du)

SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn)

02-May-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Forest in Bowl below Fan Gyhirych SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn)

Forest in Bowl below Fan Gyhirych

SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn)

02-May-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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View from Bwlch y Duwynt SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn)

View from Bwlch y Duwynt

SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn)

02-May-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Pen y Fan and Corn Du beyond Fan Dringarth SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn)

Pen y Fan and Corn Du beyond Fan Dringarth

SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn)

02-May-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk307 walkicon 28245004179

Crossing of the Nedd Fechan SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn) [Beacons Way Route]

Crossing of the Nedd Fechan

SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn) [Beacons Way Route]

06-May-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Maen Madoc SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn) [Beacons Way Route]

Maen Madoc

SWC Walk 307 - Fforest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn-y-celyn) [Beacons Way Route]

06-May-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Length 21.4 km (13.3 mi), with 989/872m ascent/descent. For an alternative finish at the Storey Arms Outdoor Centre bus stop see below Walk Options.
Toughness 8 out of 10, with 6 ½ hours walking time.
Maps OS Explorer: OL12 (Brecon Beacons National Park)
OS Landranger: 160 (Brecon Beacons)
Harvey Superwalker XT25: Breacon Beacons West/Bannau Brycheiniog Gorllewin
Harvey British Mountain Map: Breacon Beacons/Bannau Brycheiniog

Walk Notes

This is a traverse of the dramatic massif of the Fforest Fawr (‘The Great Forest’, with ‘Forest’ here denoting a former Royal Hunting Ground, rather than an area full of trees), one of the least frequented parts of the Brecon Beacons National Park, linking the Black Mountain to the west with the Central Brecon Beacons to the east.
From the Craig y Nos Country Park, an idyllic spot on the banks of the Afon Tawe (River Tawe) with its Victorian Gothic building, the route follows the Tawe Valley for a short stretch to rise steeply up a hillside to the Penwyllt Quarry, from where you follow old tramways up through the limestone terrain of the Ogon Ffynnon Ddu National Nature Reserve, a large area of shakeholes and caves. You rise further along a good track and then trackless on up the slopes of Fan Gyhirych to its summit, the highest point of the walk, from where you have stupendous views of the surrounding upland moorland, the giants of the Beacons, the Black Mountain and of the Tawe Valley.
Follow a steep glacial escarpment above the Senni Valley down to a saddle and ascend Fan Nedd and then Fan Dringarth, from where the route turns to another dramatic glacial bowl in the Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad a Fan Frynych National Nature Reserve for a descent to the A 470.

An alternative finish at the Storey Arms Centre bus stop follows the Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad in a southerly direction and then the Craig y Fro escarpment high above the A 470.

Walk Options

An alternative route through the high plateau (adds 1.1 km) follows the Beacons Way between Penwyllt Quarry and Fan Dringarth, through the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu National Nature Reserve of Shake Holes and caves and along Sarn Helen (an old Roman Road) past an ancient standing stone (Maen Madoc) and an old Roman Camp.
A 1 km out-and-back from the main route leads to Maen Llia, an impressive Bronze Age standing stone.
The main walks’ finish links up with one of the alternative starts for SWC 278 (Brecon Beacons Horseshoe).
An alternative finish at the Storey Arms Outdoor Centre bus stop adds 800m and cuts out the very steep descent of the main route and links up with the start of SWC 85 (Pen Y Fan and Corn Du from Storey Arms) and with one of the other alternative starts for SWC 278 (Brecon Beacons Horseshoe).

Maps OS Explorer: OL12 (Brecon Beacons National Park)
OS Landranger: 160 (Brecon Beacons)
Travel

Craig y Nos bus stop, map reference SN 840 153, is 249 km west of Charing Cross, 209m above sea level and in the Tawe Valley (Cwm Tawe), Llwyn-y-celyn bus stop, map reference SN 972 226, is 15 km north east of Craig y Nos, 10 km south west of Brecon and 326m above sea. Both are in Powys, Wales.
Craig y Nos Bus Stop is on line T6 (Swansea- Neath - Ystradgynlais – Brecon), with 11 buses a day Mon-Sat and 5 on Sundays and Bank Holidays, with a journey time of 40 mins from Neath (and 37 mins from Brecon). The journey time by train from London to Neath is from 2 ¾ hours. The Llwyn-y-celyn and Storey Arms bus stops are on line T4 (Cardiff - Pontypridd – Merthyr Tydfil – Brecon – Newtown), with 6 buses a day Mon-Sat and 5 on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Saturday Walkers’ Club: This walk is not recommended as a daywalk from London, but when based in the area for a longer stay. Accommodation is available in Craig y Nos, nearby in Glyntawe or Pen y Cae, and further along the bus lines in Ystradgynlais and Sennybridge or Brecon and Merthyr Tydfil.

Lunch

Picnic

Tea

YHA Brecon Beacons Llwyn y celyn, Libanus, Brecon, Powys, LD3 8NH (01874 622 485). The Youth Hostel is located 200m down a lane opposite the bus stop at the walk’s finish and serves hot and cold drinks all day every day. It is licensed. Meals are served in the evening.

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Start Bus Stop, Craig y Nos, Powys, SA9 1GL Map Directions

Finish Llwyn Y Celyan YHA, Libanus, Powys, South 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

Nov-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