20.5 km (12.8 mi). Cumulative ascent/descent: 741m. For a shorter walk, see below Walk options.
Time: 5 ¾ hours walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 12 hours.
8 out of 10
|Start & Finish||
Llanvihangel Crucorney, Skirrid Inn Bus Stop
Skirrid Inn Bus Stop, map reference SO 325 206, is 7 km north east of Abergavenny, 200 km west northwest of Charing Cross and 144m above sea level and in Monmouthshire, Wales.
OS Landranger Map: 161 (The Black Mountains/Y Mynyddoedd Duon)
OS Explorer Map: OL13 (Brecon Beacons National Park – Eastern Area)
This walk in the south eastern corner of the Brecon Beacons National Park combines two more-than-a-kilometre long unchallenging ridge walks, offering fantastic views of the surrounding Black Mountains’ hills and the Monmouthshire plain, with some quiet pastures with views as well as scenic wooded valleys, gushing spring-fed streams and a Michelin-starred lunch pub.
From Llanvihangel Crucorney you cross the Honddu River and ascend through pastures half-way up a hill to re-cross the river and ascend the three-topped Bryn Arw on narrow paths through its bracken-covered slopes. The ridge itself is straight as an arrow and the three tops hardly distinguishable, but the views are superb. Descend steeply into the Cwmbrynarw and follow a spring-fed stream to the Gavenny River and go up along the flanks of The Skirrid to its southerly base. Comparatively, The Skirrid isn’t a massive mountain, but it rises high above the surrounding plain and offers one of the most rewarding ridge walks in South Britain along its 1 km spine to the highest point of the mountain, with its trig point and remains of an Iron Age hillfort and a Roman Catholic chapel. From here you have fantastic panoramic views of most of the Brecon Beacons’ Central and Eastern hills.
Descend along the grassy hill flank and through pretty tumbling pastures past the listed medieval Llanvihangel Court back to Crucorney and The Skirrid Inn.
Shorter walks, starting from or finishing in Abergavenny, are possible.
Start (map-led) from Abergavenny Station direct to the bottom of The Skirrid (cut 5.3 km/3.3 mi), or to the lunch options Copper Kettle Tea Room (cut 6.2 km/3.9 mi) or The Walnut Tree Inn (cut 7.1 km/4.4 mi).
Have picnic lunch, cut out the out-and-back to both lunch places (cut 3.3 km/2.0 mi).
Finish (map-led) in Abergavenny direct from the bottom of the ascent of The Skirrid (cut 600m), or from the lunch options the Copper Kettle Tea Room (cut 1.5 km/0.9 mi) or The Walnut Tree Inn (cut 2.5 km/1.5 mi).
Car Drivers can walk an easy – if initially steep – out-and-back to the top of The Skirrid from the Skirrid Car Park on the B4521.
Llanvihangel Crucorney is served by line X3 (Cardiff - Abergavenny – Hereford) with 7 buses a day Mon-Sat only. Fares from/to Abergavenny are £3.20 single/£5.40 return (10/19).
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.
The Copper Kettle Tea Room Em-Lee Llanddewi Skirrid, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 8AP (01873 851 929). The Copper Kettle is located 11.5 km/7.1 mi into the walk. Closed Wednesday. Open 09.00-17.00 Thu-Tue.
The Skirrid Mountain Inn Skirrid View Llanvihangel Crucorney, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 8DH (01873 890 258). The Skirrid Inn is located at the end of the walk. Open 17.30-23.00 Mon, 11.30-14.30 and 17.30-23.00 Tue-Fri, 11.30-23.00 Sat and 12.00-22.00 Sun. Food served 12.00-14.30 (not Mon) and 18.00-20.00 (not Sun). Wales’s oldest Inn.
|Welsh Glossary||aber: estuary, confluence, river mouth; afon: river; allt: hillside, cliff; aran: high place; bach: small; ban/fan/bannau (pl): peak, beacon, crest, hill, mountain; big: peak; blaen: source of river, head of valley; bod: dwelling; bre: hill; bron: hill-breast; bryn: hill; bwlch: gap, col, pass; cadair: chair; cae: field; caer/gaer: stronghold, fort; capel: chapel; carn/garn/carnedd/garnedd: cairn/heap of stones, tumulus; carreg/garreg: stone, rock; cefn: ridge, hillside; castell: castle; celli: grove, copse; cerwyn: pot-hole; cist: chest; clwyd: hurdle, gate; clog/clogwyn: cliff; clun: meadow; clydach: torrent; coch/goch: red; coed: wood; craig/graig: rock; crib/cribyn: crest, ridge, summit; crug: mound; cul: narrow; cwm: hangingvalley, corrie, bowl, dale; cyfrwy: ridge between two summits (saddle); ddinas: fort; dibyn: steep slope, precipice; diffwys: precipice, abyss; dim: no; din: hill-fortress: disgwylfa: place of observation, look-out point; dôl: meadow; du/ddu: black, dark; dwfr/dŵr: water; dyffryn: valley; -dyn: fortified enclosure; eglwys: church; eisteddfod: meeting-place, assembly; esgair: ridge; fach: small; fawr/mawr: big; fechan: smaller; ffald: sheep-fold, pound, pen, run; ffordd: road; ffridd: pasture; ffrwd: stream, torrent; ffynnon: spring, well; gallt: wooded hill; ganol: middle; garth: promontory, hill, enclosure; glan/lan: river-bank, hillock; glas: green, when referring to grass, pasture or leaves; or blue, when relating to the sea or air; glyn: deep valley, glen; gors: bog; gorsedd: tumulus, barrow, hillock; gwyddfa: mound, tumulus; gwylfa: look-out point; gwyn/gwen: white; gwynt: wind; hafn: gorge, ravine; hafod: summer dwelling; hen: old; hendre(f): winter dwelling, old home, permanent abode; heol: road; hesgyn: bog; hir: long; is: below, lower; llan: church, monastery; llawr: level area, floor of valley; llech: slab, stone, rock, rock; llethr: slope; lluest: shieling, cottage, hut; llwch: lake, dust; llwybr: path; llwyd: grey, brown; llwyn: bush, grove; llyn: lake; llynwyn: pool, puddle, moat; isa(f): lower, lowest; maen: stone; maes: open field, plain: mawn: peat; mawnog: peat-bog; melyn: yellow; merthyr: burial place, church; moel/foel: bare, bald/bare hill; mynydd: mountain, moorland; nant: brook, stream, dingle, glen; neuadd: hall; newydd: new; ogof/gogof: cave; pant: hollow; parc: park, field, enclosure; pen: head, top, end, edge; penrhyn: promontory; pentre(f): homestead, village; perfedd: middle; perth: bush, brake, hedge; plas: hall, mansion; pont/bont: bridge; porth: gate, gateway, harbour, bay, landing-place, ferry; pwll: pit, pool; rhiw: hill, slope; rhos: moor, promontory; rhudd: red, crimson; rhyd: ford; sarn: causeway; sgwd/rhaeadr: waterfall; sticill: stile; sych: dry; tafarn: tavern; tâl: end, top; talar: headland (of field); tan/dan: below; tarren/darren: escarpment; tir: land, territory; tor: break, gap; tre/tref: settlement, hamlet, town; twlch: tump, knoll; twll: hole, pit; tŵr: tower; tŷ: house; twyn: hill; uchaf: upper, highest; uwch: above, over; waun/gwaun: moorland, meadow; wen/wyn: white; y, yr, ‘r: the; ynys: island, holm, river-meadow; ysgol: ladder, formation on mountain-side/school; ysgwydd: shoulder (of mountain); ystafell: chamber, hiding-place; ystrad: wide valley, holm, river-meadow.|
The Black Mountains/Y Mynyddoedd Duon
Brecon Beacons National Park
Honddu River/Afon Honddu
Gavenny River/Afon Gafenni
Ysgyryd Fawr/The Skirrid
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National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk