Pen y Fan

A circular hike which allows easy access to Pen y Fan (886 m); the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons and South Wales. A walk through stunning landscapes, surrounded by sheep.
Very busy intinerary in high season.

Technical sheet
No. 173955
A Glyn Tarell walk posted on 10/11/15 by osiris130. Update : 25/01/18
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h15[?]
Distance Distance : 4.65mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1499ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1480ft
Highest point Highest point : 2825ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 1444ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Brecon Beacons
Location Location : Glyn Tarell
Starting point Starting point : N 51.87253° / W 3.480085°
Download : -
Moorland & sky Sheep on the moorland Magnificent Reaching the Pen y Fan


Start the hike from the car park opposite Storey Arms Centre (on the A470, 15-20 minutes from Brecon).

(D) Cross the road, pass the gate and make your way uphill due north-west keeping the forest on your right-hand side.

After thirty odd minutes you'll start to see the Corn Du (873 m), the first peak of the day. However, you'll need to head downhill over 5 m and cross a ford in order to reach it.

(1) From the stream, the slope is steeper but is not difficult (wide track).

(2) Approximately 30 minutes later, you'll come across a large ridge overlooking a vast cirque and the outskirts of Brecon laying at the back of the fields. You can spot a beautiful lake further down to your left, Llyn Cwm Llwch, and to your right, behind Corn Du, Pen y Fan. You'll also notice sheep climbing on impressively steep slopes that would make even ibexes jealous!

The path continues to the right heading south-east up the ridge reaching Corn Du.

(3) At the top of Corn Du, keep going along the ridge due north-east. The trail goes down a few metres reaching a pass then heads up again reaching Pen y Fan.

(4) The view must be breath-taking from Pen y Fan... unfortunately, we were surrounded by fog so didn't get that chance to see it...

(5) You'll get to another pass by an intersection. Follow the main path which heads down the mountain side due south-west. It's a quick descent which leads you to the initial forest to the left.

(6) After crossing a bridge over the stream, you'll get to a car park on the edge of the A470. Head up the track which goes along the forest (north-west) reaching your starting point within a few minutes.

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0
1 : mi 0.89 - alt. mi 0.89 - Fording stream
2 : mi 1.66 - alt. mi 1.66 - Ridge
3 : mi 1.9 - alt. mi 1.9 - Corn Du
4 : mi 2.23 - alt. mi 2.23 - Pen y Fan
5 : mi 2.77 - alt. mi 2.77 - Pass
6 : mi 4.12 - alt. mi 4.12 - Southern car park
D/A : mi 4.65 - alt. mi 4.65

Useful Information

No water points.

Beware weather conditions can shift rapidly and wind can get rather strong. Remember to bring warm clothes.

The hike follows a large trail throughout most of the route, but don't forget good hiking boots.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Beautiful landscapes with lots of sheep... but also lots of hikers!

Stunning 360° panoramic view at the top, depending on weather...

Other walks in the area

distance 10.44mi Vertical gain +2785ft Vertical drop -2920ft Durée 6h50 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Glyn Tarell - Powys

This Powys walk starts from Cwmgwdi and visits Corn Du passing the monument to the Lost Lad before continuing to Pen y Fan, the highest point in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Continuing, the walk then visits the summits of Cribyn and Fan y Big before returning to the start along the western side of Cwm Cynwyn.

Four falls trail
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This trail leads you to Sgwd-yr-Eira, Sgwd y Pannwr, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn and Sgwd Clun-Gwyn.

distance 11.18mi Vertical gain +2139ft Vertical drop -2247ft Durée 6h40 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Llanddeusant - Carmarthenshire

This is a brilliant linear trail in the Brecon Beacons National Park, incorporating many good viewpoints and one extra-special one. It begins in Carmarthenshire near the village of Llandeusant and ends in Powys in the Glyntawe valley, crossing a mountain ridge that beats Pen-y-Fan in my view, but because it's less accessible is less well-known.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.