Pen Y Fan and Corn Du from Storey Arms walk

A classic, and very popular, short walk climbing up to the two highest peaks in the Brecon Beacons along an engineered path.

History

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.

Updated: Fri, 07-Dec-18

Date # Post
Mon, 07-May-18

[Brecon Trip] [Easy Walk] Bank Holiday Walk - Pen Y Fan and Corn Du from Storey Arms Centre

Length: 7.6 km (4.7 mi) [longer option available]
Ascent/Descent: 530m; Net Walking Time: 3 hours
Toughness: 5 out of 10
Take the 10.51 bus (line T4) from Bus Stand 1 at Brecon Bus Interchange. Arrives Storey Arms Centre 11.07. The only return bus runs at 18.03 (arrives 18.20). So, unless you have or can share a car or are willing to hitch-hike, you have a long day on that ridge so you might as well walk one of the longer options…
This classic short walk is to the summit of Pen Y Fan (886m, 2,864ft), the highest peak in South Wales and the Breacon Beacons National Park. It is very popular, especially on sunny weekends.
It involves a steep climb at the start to reach the ridge, but then continues fairly gentle on good paths for a short but very scenic section along a U-shaped ridge around a steep sided glacial valley, with stunning views over South Wales, and the Bristol Channel. From Pen y Fan you walk back to the second prominent top, Corn Du, with fantastic views down into the Cwm Llwch (valley) with its scenic lake. Form there descend on a different route along a less populated route involving a minor re-ascent to the car park by the Storey Arms Outdoor Centre on the A470 and make your way back along the road. The entire route is over well-maintained paths, the drops are steep only on one side, so none of it is scary, or needs a head for heights. Route finding (in clear weather) is easy. The summits are very exposed however, so this is a walk for a clear sunny day, with little wind or rain.
Longer Walk Options: Either continue along the ridge out-and-back along the route of SWC 278, or even walk the full horseshoe, just make sure you get back to base in time for the bus! Or walk from the Storey Arms Centre to the Llwyn-y-celyn Youth Hostel (food and drinks) and board the bus there (200m up to the road). You need page 15 of the pdf for SWC 278 for that option.
Lunch: Picnic lunch.
Tea: ----
For walk directions and options, route map, height profile or gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.85
Fri, 04-May-18

Brecon Beacons Trip - The Schedule

The Brecon Beacons – 4 Days of Walking (with up to 4 extra days for the keen ones)

Arrive in Brecon anytime on Friday 4th of May, either by car, or by train and bus:
· Paddington – Abergavenny plus Bus Line 43/X43 from the bottom of Station Road,
· Paddington – Merthyr Tydfil or Cardiff plus Bus Line T4,
· Paddington – Neath (or Swansea) and Bus Line T6 from Neath Bus Station [5 mins away]).
For Paddington – Abergavenny, please be aware that – to get the best prices – you have to book separate tickets Paddington – Newport (South Wales) and Newport – Abergavenny, as these lines are run by different operators. Also make sure that you arrive in good time to catch a bus to Brecon.

Stay either in Brecon (lots of B&B’s, some hotels), or in the Llwyn-y-Celyn Youth Hostel (some distance away, but on Bus Line T4) or anywhere else in the area if you have a car.
The Schedule (picnic lunch on all but one of the walks):
· Friday 4th of May
Arrival Day Walk!!!: meet at 15.00 hours for this gentle introduction into the area.
The Usk and Ysgir rivers, a Roman Fort, a low ridge, woodlands, an ancient hillfort site and a covered well (and a cathedral and an optional woodland gorge), 4 ½ hours of walking, then straight to the group dinner. Too long? Too early? Start an hour later for the short version of the walk (cuts out the low ridge), or start two hours later and just walk the woodland gorge loop (details in the pdf).
· Saturday 5th of May
Easily accessible ridge walk leading to and around South Wales’ largest natural lake then up to an Iron Age hillfort site. Great views of The Black Mountains, the Central Beacons and Llangynidr and Llangattock Hills; pub lunch. Easily accessible, but not easy, that is the main walk (10/10), but cut out the 260m ascent to Mynydd Troed, and it’s only 7/10. There is another option to cut out some of the ascent to the Iron Age hillfort site near the end. Tougher Option: head east from Mynydd Troed via its ridge and down and up Pen Tir and down and up Cefn Moel (picnic lunch). Bus 43/X43 from Brecon to Bwlch.
· Sunday 6th of May
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. 10/10, tough, no shortcuts unless you want to call a taxi to the one road that’s being crossed 2/3 through (there is some phone reception on the descent to that road).
8 of us reccied this last year on the first extra-day. Any of those people may want to join me in exploring a variation of the route, by following 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 (see route map on the webpage).
For those that want an easier walk:
The first one was a great success last year, with loads of bluebells (and also mud) and a nice lunch pub and a café at the end. Same start point as the tough walk above.
The second one is the short out-and-back walk up to Black Mountain, a longer version of which we walked last year. Same bus line as the other two walks.
· Monday 7th of May
From Brecon up to the ridge (takes about 3 hours), east along the less frequented tops and the upland peat bog plateau of the Waun Rydd (past the airplane memorial) and down into the Usk Valley to Talybont (2 pubs, but no buses on the Bank Holiday, so taxi back or follow the Monmouth & Brecon Canal).
Not so tough option: descend from Fan y Big back to Brecon, still a full day…
(infrequent bus service though on the Bank Holiday).
· 8th May to 11th May· Bus-based recce walking:

Tuesday - Llangynidr to Bwlch (up Cwm Cleisfer to source of river, across Mynydd Llangynidr shakeholes area past the Chartist Cave; descend through the Dyffryn Crawnon Nature Reserve and then over or around Tor Y Foel and past Llangynidr to Bwlch (no late buses from Llangynidr). [easier option: rtn from river source or from Chartist Cave the way you came] Bus 43/X43: out 08.56; rtn 16.28 from Llangynidr or 16.34/17.29/18.19/19.19 from Bwlch.
Wednesday - Three Cocks to Talgarth (via Felindre and Three Rivers Ride to Gospel Pass; [optional out-and-back up Hay Bluff] up Twmpa/Lord Hereford's Knob and over Rhos Dirion, descent via Sychnant Farm). Bus 39/X4: out 09.10, arrives 09.35; rtn 17.02 (arrives 17.23) or 17.20 (arrives 17.41), then the 17.58 to Abergavenny (last direct bus).
Thursday - Pandy to Llanvihangel Crucorney (up along Offa's Dyke Path across Hatterall Hill and ridge; descend to Llanthony [priory, pub, hotel restaurant]; through Vale of Ewyas to Cwmyoy [crooked church with leaning spire]; then either valley route via Stanton or hill route over Twyn Y Gaer hillfort). Bus X3: out 09.35, arrives 09.50; rtn 17.10 or 18.07.
Friday - Abergavenny Circular via Sugarloaf (various routes and lengths). No bus needed.
Evening: train from Abergavenny to London via Newport.
p.s. for a mountain weather forecast for the area we’ll walk in, either check our very own website on the respective walk’s page, for example here, or try the ever reliable Mountain Weather Information Service and their forecast for the Brecon Beacons here. There are also live webcams at the Brecon Beacons National Park’s Visitor Centre, available here.
p.p.s. your options for getting out of Brecon by bus on the Sunday or the Bank Holiday Monday are fairly limited.
Still available on the BBC iPlayer for a couple more weeks: "The Brecon Beacons with Iolo Williams" (2 parts)
I am open to other suggestions from the cognoscenti, but this is my likely schedule for recce walks, assuming bus schedules as currently valid [all are about 20 km long, tough and mostly with options to lengthen or shorten]:
Tuesday Llangynidr to Bwlch (up Cwm Cleisfer to source of river, across Mynydd Llangynidr shakeholes area past the Chartist Cave; descend through the Dyffryn Crawnon Nature Reserve and then over or around Tor Y Foel and past Llangynidr to Bwlch (no late buses from Llangynidr). [easier option: rtn from river source or from Chartist Cave the way you came] Bus: 43/X43.
Wednesday Three Cocks to Talgarth (via Felindre and Three Rivers Ride to Gospel Pass; [optional out and back up Hay Bluff] up Twmpa/Lord Hereford's Knob and over Rhos Dirion, descent via Sychnant Farm). Bus: 39/X4.
Evening: transfer to accomodation in Abergavenny. Bus: X43, last at 17.58.
Thursday Pandy to Llanvihangel Crucorney (up along Offa's Dyke Path across Hatterall Hill and ridge; descend to Llanthony [priory, pub, hotel restaurant]; through Vale of Ewyas to Cwmyoy [crooked church with leaning spire]; then either valley route via Stanton or hill route over Twyn Y Gaer hillfort). Bus: X3.
Friday Abergavenny Circular via Sugarloaf (various routes and lengths). No bus needed.
Evening: train from Abergavenny to London via Newport.

Abergavenny to Crickhowell over the Sugar Loaf is also an excellent walk, bus schedules permitting. When staying near Crickhowell I had time for a fry up in Abergavenny first.
Calling all Breconites...for those interested in the group kick off dinner on the Friday night, the venue this year will be the Clarence Inn (http://clarenceinn.co.uk/), starting about 7:30pmish.....In due course, please drop me an email at goepfertkarenATyahooDOTcom to let me know if you plan to attend so that I can finalize the numbers...See you there!

Hi, I am just wondering if someone want to share a room with me. Barbara(Hungarian :)

Thx


Hi Thomas,
Can you please confirm whether the planned schedule for Tuesday 8 May Friday 11 May is still valid?

Best Regards,
Balaji
Yep, still valid as laid out above.
Hi Thomas,
Thank you for confirming. You have said that you would be based out of Crickhowell or Abergavenny during the period 8th 11th May. Unfortunately, I am unable to find YH accommodation in Crickhowell for this period. If I am able to get suitable accommodation, I would join in. I intend to arrive in Brecon on the afternoon of 4th May and have confirmed accommodation until 8th May.


Best Regards,
Balaji
Is anyone driving back on Monday evening and has a safe seat in the car? Would be grateful for car journey back if possible, as expect trains infrequent on bank holiday Monday. Many thanks Catherine (red wellies)

Sorry meant spare seat (predictive text, grrr)

Hi Thomas,
Could you please share your contact number? As I arrive late on Friday evening in Brecon, it might be too late for me to join the introductory walk on Friday afternoon. I would be staying in the youth hostel. Please let me know the starting point for Saturday's walk.

Best Regards,
Balaji
There will be a group dinner on the Friday and details of that and the meeting points and times for the group walks will be made clear in the walk posts I will put up as soon as I get my WiFi working again.
Just in case anyone else is interested in coming along and is OK with sharing a room, I have booked a twin room for the 3 nights commencing 4th May at The Beacons Guest House. Please contact me on john c powellAThotmailDOTcom if interested.
Hello Thomas,
I just observed that the last bus out of Brecon towards the Llwyn y Celyn YH is at 18:27 and so I would not be able to join the group dinner on Friday. So, I would meet you all at the Brecon Bus Interchange on Saturday morning.

Could you please share your contact number? You could email me at balajiDOTsrinivasATgmailDOTcom (balaji.srinivas@gmail.com).

Best Regards,
Balaji

Best Regards,
Balaji
I am now unable to come on the trip and have cancelled my room at 6 Bridge Street, Brecon so if anyone is still looking for accommodation do contact them. I had a small double booked. See http://www.6bridgest.com/en GB/homepage
@sp2k: done
There has been a short term announcement of trackworks on the Newport Abergavenny line this week (electrification and all that), meaning bus replacement service between Newport and Cwmbran, leading to about 20 minutes longer journeys, which may or may not mean you will only catch a later bus than thought from Abergavenny to Brecon. For a timetable of the bus service from Newport to Cwmbran, check here and click on the Timetables/Newport link about half way down the page: https://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/south wales mainline modernisation/
Hi, if anyone need a lift I’m leaving London around 7pm on Friday and coming back Monday evening after the walk. I have another passenger, but two seats are still available. Leaving from Kensington Olympia.
Brecon Beacons Mountain Forecast for the next three days: light winds, foggy start with at least 60% chance of cloud free summits, temps on the tops: 6 rising to 12 deg, likely dry. http://www.mwis.org.uk/english welsh forecast/BB/
[Legal Disclaimer: This is a forecast only, always be prepared for the weather turning out worse.]
Hi Barbara
Is the lift still available?
This is a last minute decision so if it is I will book accommodation straight away.
Are you staying in Brecon?
thanks
My name is Ana, I had to make it anonymous, sorry
Hi Ana, yes it is. I think Angela is looking for a roommate, to share, talk to her. She is in a former post. Email me your number: redchylly@hotmail.com



Barbara, thanks for your message.
The email link did not work, my phone is 07428797014.
I will leave a message for Angela now, I cannot find anything in Brecon...
Angela
Are you still looking for somebody to share the room? I am interested
Ana, 07428797014
Thank you

Hi Barbara
Do you still have space in your car for the return journey back on Monday?
Catherine
Bus replacement from Newport: leave platform at front of train, turn left out through station building, bus stop on left, helpful staff about. 20 mins to Cwmbran.
Just wanted to say that the Brecon weekend was excellent. There were walk options catering for all tastes, so we all got to see the beautiful countryside. All the logistics went smoothly due to the meticulous planning and attention to detail for which Thomas is well known (despite Network Rail doing its upmost to throw a spanner in the works with engineering works/electricification/bus replacements and all round bank holiday travel hideousness etc). The ascents were something to endure in the heat but so worth it in the end for the fabulous views. The company was interesting, stimulating, friendly and convivial what more could you ask. Thanks Thomas
Well put, Monique. Completely concur!
In summary: 30 on the walk on Saturday (1 other had to stay in town), 1 arriving Sunday afternoon for 2 days of walking, 1 other arriving on Monday for 2 days of walking, so in total 33 in town at some point. That number is slightly down on last year (39), which comes as little surprise, as there was an overlapping Greece trip on, attended by 16 I hear, and only 2 of those made it to Brecon as well agt some point. 20 minutes of rain (on Friday afternoon). Attendances on the 4 recce walks: 13/3/2/2. Some fascinating new walks are in prospect from those 4 days.
Thanks to everyone for coming along.