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    Torpantau, Corn Du, and Pen-y-Fan Circular Walk

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    22.0 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    1,183 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Torpantau, Corn Du, and Pen-y-Fan Circular Walk

    The Torpantau, Corn Du, and Pen-y-Fan Circular Walk is a long and challenging outdoor excursion in Brecon Beacons National Park that is utilized by special forces for training in rugged mountain terrain. While out walking this 22.0 km trail, you will traverse the undulating terrain of the mountains to visit the summit viewpoints of Corn Du and Pen-y-Fan, before making the return along an elevated position above the valley. This is a very challenging trail that should only be undertaken by seasoned walkers.

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    Route Description for Torpantau, Corn Du, and Pen-y-Fan Circular Walk

    While there are plenty of easier routes leading into the Brecon Beacons, walkers should not underestimate just how much of a challenging adventure the Torpantau, Corn Du, and Pen-y-Fan Circular Walk is. Featuring a long overall distance and nearly 1200m of elevation gain, this tough walk is used in training exercises for the special forces, so you will certainly want to come prepared. Be sure to bring a GPS, compass, and trail map so as not to lose your way, in addition to plenty of water/snacks and proper walking boots.

    Although it is a fairly tough challenge, this walking route is perfect for seasoned adventurers looking to test their mettle while taking in the picturesque views of Brecon Beacons National Park. This route will take you to the popular summit Pen-y-Fan, the highest peak in South Wales; however, it will do so along less-walked trails, allowing you to fully experience the beauty of the Welsh landscape while avoiding at least some of the crowds.

    Setting out from the car park next to the Torpantau railway station, you will head to the northwest and cross over C0151 to pick up the footpath on the opposite side. From here, you will keep right at the first junction and follow the path along the edge of the treeline for 0.7 km, where you will take the path on the left at the next junction.

    Continuing along the trail to the northwest, you will pass through a series of four gates and eventually arrive at the edge of a lane, following it for a few paces before picking up a track that branches off to the right. After climbing gradually uphill along the edge of the forest for another 0.8 km, you will turn left at a junction and make your way southwest for 0.13mi, where you will turn right onto another track.

    After following this track for 0.9 km, you will continue straight onto a footpath that will lead you briefly through the cover of the forest, before taking you on an uphill climb towards Pen-y-Fan and the Central Beacons. Keeping left along this path for the next 3.1 km, you will continuously gain elevation as you make your way into the mountains for a spectacular view above the valley.

    Arriving at a fork in the path, keep left for the next 1.1 km in order to traverse the lower slopes of Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du, which you will summit later on the back half of this walk. Reaching another junction, pass straight through and follow the trail downhill to the southwest for the next 2.3 km, taking some time to appreciate the views of the surrounding mountains and hills, before arriving at the edge of A470 next to the Pont ar Daf car park.

    Turn right along the roadway and follow it to the northwest for 0.9 km, where you will arrive at the Storey Arms Outdoor Education Centre. Across the road you will find Storey Arms Refreshments if you are in need of any mid-walk snacks before continuing your adventure. Picking up the footpath to the left of the education centre, you will follow it past a red phone booth and keep right at the first two junctions to begin making your way back uphill.

    Continuing straight for the next 2.6 km, you will climb up the steep mountainside and arrive at a junction, turning right in order to make the brief walk to the summit of Corn Du. From here, you will continue on to the northeast for a brief distance to reach Pen-y-Fan, the highest peak in South Wales. Here, you will enjoy sweeping views across the rugged expanse of Brecon Beacons National Park and further afield to the Bristol Channel in the south.

    After taking in the views, you will make your way to the southeast to traverse the rugged terrain of Jacob’s Ladder, eventually heading left at a junction after 1.2 km. Here, you will make your way towards Fan-y-Big, but will stop short of the summit when you reach the edge of a track. Turning right here, you will follow the track south for 2.5 km to descend the mountainside, eventually turning left onto a footpath. Continue along this path to the southeast as it cuts through the forest, eventually meeting up with your initial trail that will bring you back to the car park where you started the Torpantau, COrn Du, and Pen-y-Fan Circular Walk.

    Trail Highlights


    Situated in the rugged expanse of Brecon Beacons National Park, Pen-y-Fan (Which means “the top peak” in Welsh) forms part of the Brecon Beacons mountain range. With an elevation of 886 m above sea level, it is the highest peak in Southern Britain and the 20th highest in Wales. From the summit, walkers will enjoy views that stretch out across the Bristol Channel and Exmoor to the south, as well as the Cambrian Mountains to the north.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do you need walking boots for Pen-y-Fan?

    While some of the shorter routes leading up Pen-y-Fan can be done with trainers, this long and challenging adventure will require proper walking boots with good support.

    Are dogs permitted on Pen-y-Fan?

    Dogs are permitted along the trails leading up Pen-y-Fan; however, you must keep them under control the entire time.

    Insider Hints for Torpantau, Corn Du, and Pen-y-Fan Circular Walk

    • Make sure to bring a map, compass, and GPS to ensure that you do not get lost in the mountains.
    • Wear proper walking boots to traverse the steep and rugged terrain.
    • Arrive early to secure parking, or alternatively, take the train into the Torpantau railway station.
    • Storey Arms Refreshments at roughly the halfway point of the walk is a great place to pop in for a mid-walk snack.

    Getting to the Torpantau, Corn Du, and Pen-y-Fan Circular Walk Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Torpantau, Corn Du, and Pen-y-Fan Circular Walk can be found at the car park next to the Torpantau railway station along C0151.

    Route Information

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