Llanvihangel Crucorney Circular via Bryn Arw and The Skirrid walk

Two easily accessible ridge walks south east of the Black Mountains, quiet pastures with views and a Michelin-starred lunch pub


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Option Post # Weather
Sat, 25-Sep-21 Saturday Walk - Bryn Arw and The Skirrid: Easily accessible ridge walks SE of the Black Mountains, quiet pastures with views and a Michelin-starred lunch pub [Abergavenny Trip] 10 autumnal start summery finish
Length: 20.5 km (12.8 mi), with options to shorten
Ascent/Descent: 783m
Net Walking Time: 5 ¾ hours
Toughness: 7 out of 10
Take the 09.15 (Line X3 from Stand 2 at Abergavenny Bus Station,) to Hereford, arrives Llanvihangel Crucorney, The Skirrid Inn at 09.26.
Return buses: 17.01 and 18.57 (a taxi won't cost the earth).
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.
Walk Options
Have picnic lunch, cut out the out-and-back to both lunch places (cut 3.3 km/2.0 mi).
Have lunch at The Copper Kettle Tea Room, cut out the out-and-back to The Walnut Tree Inn (cut 2.3 km/1.4 mi).
The Copper Kettle Tea Room in Llanddewi Skirrid. The Copper Kettle is located 11.5 km/7.1 mi into the walk. Open 09.00-17.00.
The Walnut Tree Inn in Llanddewi Skirrid. The Walnut Tree is located 12.6 km/7.8 mi into the walk and is a Michelin-starred inn with 6 tables of 2 in a tiled bar area, perfect for walkers. Set lunch menus are available.
Tea: The Skirrid Mountain Inn in Llanvihangel Crucorney. Wales’s oldest Inn. Open all day, food served from 18.00.
For walk directions, maps, height profiles and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.347
  • 25-Sep-21

    The walk started with an autumnal feel to it, with low clouds still hanging in the valleys and on the hilltops, mist rising out of the woods and dew present in the pastures. Once we got onto the first ridge, onto Bryn Arw, this all changed as the sun broke through, clouds lifted or dispersed and mountain tops became visible. Perfect.

    Pleasingly for the walk author, the headache ascent of Arw through the bracken-cover with a hard to find path, had improved tremendously due to the presence of a new fence line and clear track following exactly the ascent route. On the plateau we found out what that was about, as the man being a very large reforestation scheme on the hill was just there, in his Land Rover. More than 3 km of fencing had been put in around the plateau, with 130,000 saplings planted, all project managed by the Stump up for Trees charity.

    Down off the ridge into the lovely valley below with a raging stream and across pastures with views to the base of The Skirrid. The Walnut Tree lunchers had pulled away by now to meet their booking and had a very pleasant 2 1/2 hours there. On up The Skirrid with now phantastic far views and a following scenic descent back to Crucorney. The final highlights were the timer-framed barn at Llanvihangel Court and the Court's flock of peacocks.

    Time for a drink at The Skirrid Inn before the short journey back to Aber.

    10 autumnal start summery finish