Adventure, Advice, Inspire

5 Wild Mountain Walks in the Brecon Beacons

There are some amazing Wild places in the Brecon Beacons that are accessible yet quiet. You just have to know where to look. All 5 of these walks are mountain days on the OS Explorer 12, incorporating at least 1 peak and avoiding the main tourists routes. You will need at minimum, basic navigation skills and mountain kit. All times are calculated on a 4km per hour pace, we recommend planning out the routes on your own map before setting out.  Mountains can be volatile and fast changing places, even those in the Brecon Beacons. Ensure you are well equipped before setting out and turn back should the weather or conditions become problematic. Check out our post on the basics if you want some more guidance.

1. Fan Fawr from the Beacons Resevoir

Terrain Difficulty – Easy-ish

Navigation Difficulty – Need to know how to read an OS map and compass.

Distance – 6km

Time needed – 2-3hrs

Parking Grid Ref – SO988181

Route Description

From the Car Park, make your way up through the woods to the style, over the style and follow the path going N/N-W. This follows the ridge and is not marked on the map. A gentle climb along the rugged path takes you to the peak. Descend to Bryn Du and the edge of the woodland and then follow the bridleway back to car park.

2. Pen Y Fan from Taf Fechan Forest

Terrain Difficulty – Moderate with at least 1 steep incline

Navigation Difficulty – Easy, but you should have a map and know how to use it.

Distance – 13-15km

Time needed – 4-6hrs

Parking Grid Ref – SO037170

Route Description

You can incorporate Corn Du and Cribyn into this route for a longer mountain day. From the car park, walk N/N-W along the road/track to the reservoir, cross the footbridge and the dam and follow the path through the gate on the west side of the reservoir. Take the, at times, boggy footpath up the steep incline to the ridge. Follow this beautiful ridge North for approximately 3km until you get to the path junction, take the left hand path, straight ahead if bagging Corn Du too, and follow this to the top of Pen Y Fan. From the top, follow the Beacons way down a small scramble, S/S-W toward Cribyn, remaining on the right hand path at the junction for the easier route, or heading off to the left if you fancy the challenge of another peak. When you reach the bwlch/pass you can simply follow the path south back to the car, we however recommend the lesser trodden route down to the old Upper Neuedd Reservoir where you can get a closer look at the old dam before following small paths south and back to the start of your route.


3. Craig Y Fan Du and Cwar Y Gigfran

Terrain Difficulty – Off piste

Navigation Difficulty –  Hard – You will need to be able to read the features of the land on your map as you will not be on a path for a good part of it.

Distance – 6km

Time needed – approx 2.5 – 3hrs

Parking Grid Ref – SO056176

Route Description

Walk north out of the carpark, following the Beacons Way up the steep incline to the top of Craig Y fan Du. Follow the ridge along to the path junctions at SO057056 for a great alternative view of the Beacons main peaks. Follow the well worn yet unmarked path to the memorial at SO062200 and spend a few moments here before heading up another worn yet unmarked path on the far left of the craggy escarpment. follow this ridge line S to the Cairn, before a steep descent S/SE to cross the river at SO060185. Follow yet another worn unmarked path South to a style and clearing in the woods at SO060182. Enjoy the footpath through Narnia, turning right at the track junction to find yourself back in the carpark.

4. Fan Frynich

Terrain Difficulty – Moderate, some off piste, some small stream crossing

Navigation Difficulty – Hard – You will need to be able to read the features of the land on your map and know how to walk on a bearing.

Distance – 6-7km

Time needed – 2.5-3hrs

Parking Grid Ref – SO941234

Route Description

Follow the track South to a T junction, taking the Right hand turn that continues South. Turn left onto the track at SO943215, following this up until it ends. Continue to follow the small stream, using the lightly worn tracks, crossing the stream as needed. Scramble up the right hand side of the waterfall to reach the main fork in the stream at GR SO952219. Follow the Left hand stream to it’s source, using a compass bearing to gain either the top or the fence to the East. Once on the top, follow either the Westward track back to the car or the more exciting steep descent path to the North before joining the old Drovers road that will lead back to the car.

5. Pen Y fan Via Cwm Sere, Cribyn descending the North Ridge

Terrain Difficulty – Hard, some off piste, steep Ascent and Descent. Be confident moving on steep, grassy terrain.

Navigation Difficulty – Hard – You will need to be able to read the features of the land on your map and know how to walk on a bearing.

Distance – 7km

Time needed – 4-5hr

Parking Grid Ref – SO038237

Route Description

Out of the car park, follow the track South toward Cribyn. After the gate, follow sheep tracks along the boundary going S/SW, continuing to follow the tracks and the stream South into Cwm Sere. After the ‘waterfalls’ cross the river and scramble West up the steep face to gain the footpath that will lead you to the final rocky scramble and the summit of Pen Y Fan. Be sure to scramble up to the footpath before the terrain gets too steep! Descend the SE path towards Cribyn, ascending at the saddle to reach your second peak. Carefully scramble down the path on the North face and continue to descend North-Westward back to the car park.


Happy Walkies!


    1. admin_hev

      28th April 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks Stuart!

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