Pen-y-Fan via Cribyn, Brecon Beacons
A picturesque walk through the Brecon Beacons
The Pen-y-Fan via Cribyn walking route in the Brecon Beacons offers a testing climb in parts to walkers but also provides a very scenic and enjoyable amble. This is a fine walk to test out your leg muscles, as well as your navigation skills.
Name and location of walking route: Pen-y-Fan via Cribyn, Brecon Beacons
Walking distance: 7.5 miles (12km)
Total ascent of walk: 0.46 miles (740m)
Duration of walk: Five hours
Terrain of this walk: Well trodden footpaths offer the novice hill walker a great opportunity to practice their navigation skills. Much of the route is over fairly easy ground apart from the short but very steep slog up Cribyn but the views from the top are more than worth the effort.
Description of walking route
Pen-y-Fan is on of the most famous peaks in Britain, but this route will take you up some of the less well trodden paths and offer some stunning scenery. From the car park a short traverse around Allt Ddu will drop you into Cwm Sere where the walking route takes you alongside the rushing waters of Nant Sere and a series of cascading waterfalls. The whole time you wall have the spectacular sights of your walking objectives, Cribyn and Pen-y-Fan towering over you. At the highest waterfall it is time for the strenuous climb to summit Cribyn and then a short descent and re-ascent to Pen-Y-Fan itself. Once you have rewarded yourself with a rest and some lunch the walking descent to the car park is down gentle slopes.
- Like many walking routes, the hardest part is getting started and people often take the wrong path out of the car park here. Make sure you leave the car park (SO 025 248) from the southern stile (next to a big sign board).
- Walk across the field and find the stile at the SW corner.
- From here traverse around Allt Ddu until you pick up the well trodden path heading south-west into Cwm Sere.
- Walk along the path until you exit the woodland and from here slowly descend until the path crosses the highest of the waterfalls.
- Take a deep breath for a hard slog up to the saddle of Bryn Teg followed by the short but steep climb to summit Cribyn.
- Descend from Cribyn towards Pen-y-Fan where another short climb will leave you reveling in the views.
- From the summit cairn walk the obvious track north east back towards the car park.
Tips for this walking route: Check the weather before you leave. One of the best reasons for doing this route is to enjoy the spectacular views from the top of Pen-y-Fan. If this is your aim then don’t go if there is a chance of mist or fog.
If you are feeling fit or ahead of schedule a little detour from the summit of Pen-y-Fan to Corn Du and back onto your original walking route is well worth the effort for the stunning views.
Facilities on route and in the local area:
- Hollybush Camping — a short drive away at Hay-on-Wye you can relax and enjoy some great pub food at this campsite offering stunning views and great facilities. For more information see realbuzz.com’s top 20 campsites.
- There is a great campsite at the north end of the Talybont Reservoir offering walkers stunning scenery so long as you don’t mind basic facilities.
- The nearby town of Brecon offers a vast array of options for accommodation and eating out.
- Talybont-on-Usk offers a quieter setting than Brecon to relax and unwind after a day on the hill — visit the White Hart Inn and bunkhouse, famous for its real ales and superb food.
- Brecon Youth Hostel Tel: 0870 7705718
- LLywn y Celyn Youth Hostel Tel: 0870 770 5936
OS map required: OS Explorer (1:25 000) OL12, OS Landranger (1:50 000) 160
Other walking information here:
- Circular Walks in the Brecon Beacons National Park by Tom Hutton, published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch