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?
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
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.