Fan Foel, in the shade

SWC Walk 279 The Black Mountain - Y Mynydd Du (Glyntawe Circular)

11-Oct-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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The Afon Giedd winds its way towards Sinc Giedd (Swallow Hole)

SWC Walk 279 The Black Mountain - Y Mynydd Du (Glyntawe Circular)[Alternative Ending via Shake Holes Route]

31-Jul-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Weather-beaten tree on Limestone Field

SWC Walk 279 The Black Mountain - Y Mynydd Du (Glyntawe Circular) [Alternative Ending via Shake Holes Route]

31-Jul-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Bannau Sir Gaer from Descent to Llyn y Fan Fach

SWC Walk 279 The Black Mountain - Y Mynydd Du (Glyntawe Circular)

11-Oct-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Glacial Moraine at the bottom of Picws Du

SWC Walk 279 The Black Mountain - Y Mynydd Du (Glyntawe Circular)

11-Oct-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Pen y Fan and Corn Du, from Llyn y Fan Fawr

SWC Walk 279 The Black Mountain - Y Mynydd Du (Glyntawe Circular)

11-Oct-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Sgwd Ddu (Black Waterfall) on the Afon Haffes (the Haffes River)

SWC Walk 279 The Black Mountain - Y Mynydd Du (Glyntawe Circular) [Alternative Ending via Shake Holes Route] (Sgwd Ddu Diversion)

12-Oct-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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The Black Mountain (Y Mynydd Du) from Glyntawe walk

A spectacular ridge walk to Fan Brycheiniog, Fan Foel and Waun Lefrith. Return via a glacial valley below the ridge, or remote moorland, shakeholes and a waterfall


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
Sat, 29-Apr-17 36

[Brecon Trip] Saturday Walk - South Britain’s best ridge walk: The Black Mountain – Y Mynydd Du (Glyntawe Circular)

Length: 21.9 km (13.7 mi) [shorter walk options available]
Ascent/Descent: approx. 1000m; Net Walking Time: 7 hours
Toughness: 10/10
Meet at 08.50 in the south east corner of the Morrison’s car park in Brecon’s town centre, near the four-way road junction opposite the Bus Interchange (drivers: please bring your cars). We’ll then allocate walkers to cars. The start of the walk is in Glyntawe at the bus stop by the bridge over the River Tawe. This is on the A4067, south west of Brecon, Grid Reference SN 846 167.
Both publicans in Glyntawe have expressed their strong preference that walkers who spend all day on the hill, do NOT park their cars in the pub car parks. Please use one of the few side roads off the A-road (and not the small lay-by by the church either).
In the case of more walkers than spaces, the ‘spare’ walkers will have to…
Take the 09.10 bus T6 (direction Abertawe/Swansea) to Glyntawe (Tawe Bridge), arrives Glyntawe 09.43. [Missed the bus? Take the 10.10]. Return buses run at 16.23, 17.23 and 19.23.
In any case, the walk will not start before the bus has passed through.
The Black Mountain (Y Mynydd Du in Welsh), in the Western Brecon Beacons, is often referred to as the last wilderness in the Brecon Beacons National Park and a walk along it as South Britain’s best ridge walk. It traverses a series of high peaks along a sequence of steep dramatic escarpments and features some of the most spectacular upland scenery in Britain. The route involves remote and rugged terrain, with a couple of glacial lakes and superb mountain views and leads almost entirely through open country.
From the Tawe Valley you rise steeply up a grassy hillside onto the first ridge, Fan Hir, and soon follow its edge with some far views to the two famous peaks in the Central Beacons: Pen y Fan and Corn Du. After dropping into a saddle you re-ascend to Fan Brycheiniog and then onto the northerly top Fan Foel. The views of the moorland and open country to the north are spectacular, and reveal the isolation of the range. Turn west through a deep saddle to conquer the even more spectacular ridge of Bannau Sir Gaer.
The return route along the bottom of the steep escarpments, past some glacial lakes and moraines, reveals a different and fascinating perspective of the high buttresses and some steeply carved valleys below.
Shorter circular or out-and-back options, as well as a start from near the northerly end, are described on the webpage and on page 2 of the pdf.
An alternative return route from the last top initially leads through open pathless, sometimes boggy, moorland, then through a veritable moonscape of shake holes, swallow holes, pot holes and limestone pavement before dropping back into the Tawe Valley (Cwm Tawe in Welsh).
Lunch: Picnic on the ridge.
Tea: Tafarn Y Garreg pub or The Gwyn Arms (note: this latter pub has somewhat conflicting policies regarding walkers: no walking boots, but no socks only either).
For all walk options, a summary, route map, height profile, photos, walk directions or gpx/kml files click here.T=swc.279
About 25 people had arrived early enough on Friday to partake in the group dinner at The Bank, kindly initiated and organised by Stargazer, our thanks go out to her.
One car's engine had given up the ghost en route, and a late leaver from London got stuck in some horrible traffic in West London before even getting out of town, else everyone got to Brecon w/o hiccups.
36 walkers (incl. one first timer, courtesy of a tip by Blackheath Ramblers) then met this morning in the town centre to find out whether we had enough cars for all of us to drive to the start. We did. 5 of us opted for the alt. start and short walk from the North at Blaenau Car Park, the rest drove off to Glyntawe.
So we got started at 10.00 and to the first proper top around noon. The weather was dry all walk with sunny breaks and blustery on the tops. This provided for.some.astonishing far views: Bristol Channel, Exmoor, Cardigan Bay, Pembrokeshire, Pen y Fan, etc.
Later on any walker intended on taking the shortcut off Fan Foel was convinced/coerced into believing that the 10/10 main walk was indeed what they really wanted to walk. And so they did, with no regrets.
We bumped into the alt. start walkers on the ridge at some point and met them again later in one of the Glyntawe pubs.
A very challenging but rewarding day out. Thanks to all the drivers.
There are also another 3 SWC regulars in town, but they spent today in Brecon.
Oh, 3 of the 31 main walkers followed the alt. ending via the Shakeholes route, through a veritable moonscape of limestone pavements and upland bogs, incl. the diversion to the Sgwd Ddu waterfall. Their only slight disappointment was that the stream that disappears into a Swallowhole at Sinc Giedd was just a dry streambed, as the winter here hasn't been all that wet (reservoir levels look very low as well).
Fri, 28-Apr-17

May Bank Holiday Weekend - The Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons – Up to 5 Days of Walking
Book trains now, cheap Advance tickets are available now for both legs (13/02/17)!
For Abergavenny: to get the cheapest possible Advance tickets, you have to book split tickets London - Newport and Newport - Abergavenny, due to different operators on those lines.
More detailed postings for the individual walks will follow…

Arrive in Brecon anytime on Friday 28 April, 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) plus Bus Line T6 from Neath Bus Station [5 mins away]).
If you arrive early in the day, check out the Tourist Information, they have brochures for whiling away the afternoon (a town map and guide, a town walk, a couple of woodland walks etc.), as well as some useful stuff for the days ahead, should you want to opt out of below group walks (a 'Mountain Walks by Bus' brochure, Maps, Commercial Walking Guide Books etc.). 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 and also an alt. start for the walk on Day 2 and 4) or anywhere else in the area if you have a car.
Preliminary proposed schedule, based on the current bus schedules (picnic lunch on all but one of the walks):

South Britain’s best ridge walk, an exhilarating expedition into ‘the last wilderness’ in the Brecon Beacons, featuring some of the most spectacular upland scenery in Britain.
09.15 Bus T6 from Brecon Interchange to Glyntawe (Tawe Bridge), arrives 09.46.
21.9 km (13.7 mi), 1000m ascent, 10/10, or 15.6 km (9.7 mi), 720m ascent, 8/10, or even shorter/easier versions, just out-and-back to one of the first tops on the ridge or 20.6 km (12.8 mi), 760m ascent, 9/10 (Alternative Ending via Shake Holes Route). Return buses: 15.25/16.25/17.25/19.25. There are two pubs in Glyntawe to while away the time...

Ridge walk linking four distinguished table-top peaks (Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn and Fan y Big), best started from a remote car park, then it’s: 15.3 km (9.5 mi), 740m ascent, 8/10; else with a choice of 8 (!) different approach routes to the ridge, adding some distance and ascent to the core horseshoe walk, some busable (10.51 bus T4 to Storey Arms, arrives 11.07), one starting from the Youth Hostel mentioned above, others starting straight from Brecon; we’ll decide the evening before, based on weather forecast and appetite for distance and height, which route people prefer, and may well split up right at the start (the write-up is in the usual detailed SWC-style, so that no one should fear getting lost if they walk a different route than the main group).
There is also the option of doing the horseshoe plus an extension loop along the Waun Rydd upland peat bog, of course, the possibilities are endless…
An idyllic Country Park on the River Tawe, a clifftop stretch above the river, a spectacular wooded ravine up to South Wales’ highest waterfall, and back via lanes, fields and bridleways, with a very good lunch pub and a proper tea stop. 08.50 or 10.55 Bus T6 from Brecon Interchange to Craig y Nos (alternative start: Glyntawe, same bus), arrives 09.27/11.37 respectively. Last return bus: 16.03! 13.4 km (8.3 mi), 270m ascent, 3/10.
Want more distance and height? Join me in exploring a variation of the morning route by climbing up to the Cribarth plateau first to pick up the route in Ynyswen.
Want still more distance and height? Walk SWC 279 again, but with the other ending (08.50 bus, but last return bus is 16.09, so no dawdling…)
· Tue 02/05 As you wish, any walk from any walking book or just anything else we fancy, but I would suggest to try SWC 278 again, but chose one of the 8 ascent routes we haven’t walked on the Sunday, spend some time on the ridge w/out doing the full horseshoe and walk down a different descent route. The weekday bus schedule also brings into play a Talybont-on-Usk start of finish (line 43/X43 Brecon – Abergavenny, as above).
· Wed 03/05 As you wish, Sugarloaf maybe?
p.s. if the suggestions for the Saturday and the Sunday sound too tough for you, why not try the ‘Tourist Versions’ of the two walks, as featured on our website: SWC 86 and SWC 85 ?
p.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, under the tab 'Mountain', or try the ever reliable Mountain Weather Information Service (funded by the Scottish Government) 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.p.s. your options for getting out of Brecon by bus on the Sunday or the Bank Holiday are fairly limited: either take the T6 to Neath or Swansea (15.37 and 17.37 straight from the waterfall walk ending in Craig y Nos, or at 15.00/17.00 from Brecon after going back there first to fetch your luggage), or the 16.51 T4 from Brecon to Merthyr Tydfil.
accomodation booked, 4 nights from Friday
I booked a room in the YHA it seems to have bunk beds & I'm open to sharing with anyone who wants a cheap place to stay

I will probably drive there and could offer a lift to two or three people with fairly compatible music tastes or good earplugs.

Leave me a comment if you're interested in either / or offer
Four nights booked the room costs appear to be going up so suggest any others that are going book soon...

I've just booked x4 nights accommodation at the Markets Tavern.
Hi JuneT, I'm interested in sharing, you didn't say if you are a male or a female?

And did you book for two?

I also have to be back to London on Tuesday by 12pm on Tuesday.

Please email me:


I have sent an email to all walkers known to me as having booked accomodation to establish an email list (just now primarily for car sharing, but later also other organisational stuff). If anyone else is intending to go, but has not received a mail from me, can they please contact me? Don't have my email or mobile number? Send a mail to '', replacing 'at' with '@'... Ta
Hi everyone,

I've cancelled the room in the YHA as my plans have changed. Sorry about this


Evening all
Following a discussion on yesterday's walk, I'm up for this. I've provisionally booked into a B&B but if anyone has a spare space in a cottage or something, that would be great. I'm house trained and know the Beacons quite well
at least 5 people are staying until Wednesday 3rd of May afternoon or evening, to get in 5 days of walking
acc. to the info available to me, we'll have enough cars out there to get everyone to and from the walks w/o using buses, which is great for our flexibility, especially on the Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday
Hi Thomas I would like to come along. Can you contact me my email to discuss. Thanks

try Beacons guest house
Ranjna: Please send a mail to '', replacing 'at' with '@', so that we do have your email address. Ta
Further to the individual walk posts for the first three days:
8 walkers stayed on for Tuesday and Wednesday, all of whom joined up on Tuesday to walk a Forest Fawr Traverse (Craig y Nos to Llwyn y celyn Youth Hostel or to Storey Arms Outdoor Centre). As tough as the Black Mountain walk and as rewarding, if in a different way: lots of changing scenery, if not as dramatic as the Black Mountain, but still with three big ascents, some quarries, tramways, far views, a standing stone, and some birthday cava on the top of Fan Gyhirych. It will be a very good SWC walk.
6 then opted for an easier walk on Wednesday, seeing that 3 still had to drive back to London the same day, with the other 2 doing a short woodland walk through the Priory Groves along the Honddu River. The 6 did a Brecon Circular via Pen y Crug Iron Age hillfort (from where ALL the previously walked hills of the weekend were visible) and Y Gaer, an old Roman Camp by the banks of the Usk River. This would make a very good, short opening walk on arrival day, if ever there were another Brecon trip.

Thanks to everyone for attending, and I hope all got home ok.