Brecon Beacons Four Peaks Walk
The Brecon Beacons Four Peaks Walk is a fun, albeit very popular, walking route in Brecon Beacons National Park that will take you on the most direct route over these famous mountains. While out walking the trail, you will climb uphill through the rugged, mountainous terrain in order to traverse the summits of Corn Du, Pen-y-Fan, Cribyn, and Fan-y-Big. Even though it is a well-travelled route, the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains are an ample reward for having to deal with the crowds.
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Route Description for Brecon Beacons Four Peaks Walk
The Brecon Beacons Four Peaks Walk is the most direct and arguably the most popular route leading up through the central beacons to Pen-y-Fan, so you will need to arrive early enough to secure parking and beat out the crowds if you are looking for some solitude in the mountains. While the route is well-trodden, you should still wear proper walking boots with good support in order to better traverse the rugged mountain terrain.
Although this is a popular adventure in Brecon Beacons National Park, it is for good reason, as you will be able to climb up to Pen-y-Fan, the highest point in Southern Britain, and enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and the Welsh landscape further afield. If you don’t mind sharing the trail with other intrepid travellers looking for the most direct route into the Brecon Beacons, then you will certainly be rewarded with some breathtaking scenery.
Setting out from the trailhead to the left of the Storey Arms Outdoor Education Centre, you will pass by the red phone booth and head right at the fork in the path in order to pass through a kissing gate. From here, you will keep right at the fork that immediately follows and work your way uphill to the northeast alongside a dense stretch of forest.
From the edge of the trees, you will continue uphill along the slopes of Y Gyrn for 0.9 km, where you will arrive at a gate along the path. After passing through the gate, the path will descend into a valley that is dissected by the waters of Blaen Taf Fawr. Once you have crossed the stream, you will climb up the steep mountainside to the east for 1.0 km, gaining access to increasingly better views as you work your way up to the summit of Corn Du. Towards the top of the peak, you will come to a series of junctions, passing straight through the first and heading right at the second in order to complete a brief climb up to the summit of Corn Du.
This is a great place to catch your breath and enjoy the beautiful views after making the long uphill climb. Once you feel nice and rested, continue along the trail to the northeast to climb slightly further uphill to the highest summit in Southern Britain, that of Pen-y-Fan. If you have the good fortune of completing this walk on a clear day, you will be able to enjoy some breathtaking views across the Bristol Channel to Exmoor in the south from this mountaintop perch.
After taking in the views, you will make your way to the southeast along the mountainous terrain in order to traverse the summit of Cribyn and the Cribyn Plateau, before arriving at another memorable destination at the summit of Fan-y-Big. Here, you will be able to sit atop a precarious rock formation known as “the diving board”, while taking in some more gorgeous views across Brecon Beacons National Park.
Fan-y-Big marks the terminus of the Brecon Beacons Four Peaks Walk, so once you have revelled in the scenery, you will begin making your way back along the same route that you followed in. While traversing Cribyn, Pen-y-Fan, and Corn Du, take some time to appreciate the final views of the mountains, before carefully making your way back downhill on the return to the car park where you began your adventure.
Pen-y-Fan (meaning “the top peak” in Welsh) is located within Brecon Beacons National Park and is a part of the Central Brecon Beacons mountain range. It is the highest peak in Southern Britain and the 20th highest in Wales, with an elevation of 886 m above sea level. Thanks to stunning views from the summit that extend south across the Bristol Channel to Exmoor, and north to the Cambrian Mountains, Pen-y-Fan is known to be one of the best walking routes in Wales.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need walking boots for Pen-y-Fan?
While some people do wear trainers, it is highly recommended to wear proper walking boots when climbing Pen-y-Fan, particularly during or after periods of wet weather.
Are dogs allowed to walk Pen-y-Fan?
Dogs are permitted on the trail leading up Pen-y-Fan; however, you should always make sure to respect other walkers and keep them under control the entire time.
Insider Hints for Brecon Beacons Four Peaks Walk
- Proper walking boots with good support are recommended for this walk.
- Be sure to arrive early in order to secure parking and enjoy some solitude in the mountains.
- Storey Arms Refreshments (located across from the outdoor education centre) is a good place to grab some pre/post-walk snacks.
- It is always recommended to familiarize yourself with the terrain and bring a map, as well as a compass when exploring the Brecon Beacons.
Getting to the Brecon Beacons Four Peaks Walk Trailhead
The trailhead for the Brecon Beacons Four Peaks Walk can be found along A470 at the Storey Arms Outdoor Education Centre.
Brecon Beacons Four Peaks Walk Elevation Graph
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Brecon Beacons Four Peaks Walk Reviews
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