Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk
The Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk is an exceptional adventure in Brecon Beacons National Park that will take you up to the summit of the highest and most well-known peak in Wales, Pen-y-Fan. While out walking the trail, you will climb up the mountainside along well-traversed paths, traversing the summit of Corn Du before taking in the breathtaking views atop Pen-y-Fan. While the terrain along this route is fairly rugged, this is arguably the most popular route in the park and is often undertaken by casual walkers and families with children.
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Route Description for Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk
While the Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk is well-trodden and fairly easy to navigate, it can be easy to lose one’s way when exploring the Brecon Beacons in general. Be sure to come prepared for this walking adventure by bringing a map and compass. Additionally, you will want to make sure that you wear proper boots, particularly after or during periods of wet weather. Lastly, you will want to arrive early to secure parking and enjoy a bit of solitude on this journey.
Although it will likely be a bit busy, this is a spectacular walking route in Wales that will truly showcase the rugged beauty of Brecon Beacons National Park. The walk features panoramic views of numerous mountains, reservoirs, and far away regions from the highest peak in Southern Britain, Pen-y-Fan. This is an excellent opportunity to get out in the mountains for some fresh mountain air!
Setting out from the car park, you will make your way to the southeast along A470 for 0.4 km, before turning right in order to pass by the Storey Arms Outdoor Education Centre. Keeping to the left of the buildings, you will pass by a red phone booth and pick up the footpath on the right immediately after it. From here, you will pass through a kissing gate and begin climbing up the hillside to the northeast, passing by a dense swathe of woodland terrain on your right while traversing the lower slopes of Y Gyrn.
After passing through a gate and briefly heading downhill into a valley, you will cross over the banks of Blaen Taf Fawr and continue on for 1.1 km to climb up the slopes of Corn Du, one of the minor summits of Pen-y-Fan. Here, you will reach a series of junctions, passing straight through the first and turning right at the second to quickly arrive at the summit of Corn Dun for some spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
Don’t linger too long here, as the next summit of Pen-y-Fan will offer even more spectacular views from the highest peak in Southern Britain. From the summit of Corn Du, head northeast along the trail and keep left to reach the top of Pen-y-Fan in 0.6 km. Here, you will experience panoramic views of South Wales that stretch out across the Bristol Channel to the south and towards the Cambrian Mountains in the north.
After taking in the jaw-dropping views, you will backtrack to Corn Du and head southwest along the trail, descending the mountainside over the next 2.6 km in order to arrive at the Pont ar Daf car park. Heading to the northwest, you will pass by the car park and its toilet facilities, following the trail past the Storey Arms Outdoor Education Centre and along the A470 to return to the car park where you began the Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk.
Located within the boundaries of Brecon Beacons National Park, Pen-y-Fan (meaning “the top peak”) is a part of the Brecon Beacons range of mountains. At 886 m above sea level, it is the highest peak in South Wales and Southern Britain, as well as the 20th highest in Wales as a whole. Views from the summit stretch south across the Bristol Channel to Exmoor, and north towards the Cambrian Mountains.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need walking boots for Pen-y-Fan?
While it may be okay to wear trainers during periods of dry weather, it is recommended to wear proper walking boots when climbing up Pen-y-Fan.
Are dogs permitted on Pen-y-Fan?
Yes, dogs are allowed to walk the trails leading up Pen-y-Fan; however, they must be kept under control the entire time.
Insider Hints for Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk
- Make sure to wear proper walking boots with good support.
- Arrive early to secure parking and beat out the other walkers on the way to the summit.
- Storey Arms Refreshments across from the outdoor education centre is a great place to grab a snack before/after your walk.
- Although the route is well-laid out, it is recommended to bring a map and compass when exploring the Brecon Beacons.
Getting to the Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk Trailhead
The trailhead for the Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk can be found at the car park on A470, just 0.5 km west of the Storey Arms Outdoor Education Centre.
Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk Elevation Graph
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Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk Reviews
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