Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales: Black Mountain

Trek through the far western heights of Brecon Beacons National Park, a landscape steeped in Arthurian legend, on this 11-mile route that starts in Llanddeusant.
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Trek through the far western heights of Brecon Beacons National Park, a landscape steeped in Arthurian legend, on this 11-mile route that starts in Llanddeusant.

With 519 square miles of rolling grassland and massive mountains pocked with caves, waterfalls, lakes, and wooded gorges, Brecon Beacons National Park contains some of the wildest and least-traveled high country in Wales. The Beacons Way, a 101-mile hiking path, connects widely varied topography, dips into centuries-old villages, and climbs to several of the park’s tallest summits. Explore one of its most spectacular segments on this 11-mile route.
Starting in Llanddeusant, the path meanders along farm lanes before climbing steeply to Llyn y Fan Fach (“Lake of the Small Peak”), famous for its Lady of the Lake, a powerful figure in Welsh mythology. According to legend, she gave King Arthur the sword Excalibur. From here, the path climbs onto the long, steep ridgeline of Fan Brycheiniog, with its four 2,000-foot summits.
Walk along the gabled top for 3.3 miles, with dizzying views a thousand feet down into lake-filled cirques, then drop back down to Llyn y Fan Fawr (“Lake of the Big Peak”). Follow the outlet stream for 2.5 miles as it cascades through dozens of rapids and waterfalls to emerge at the old Tafarn y Garreg pub. You’ll find another pub, the Gwyn Arms, as well as a campground, in the village of Glyntawe, a quarter-mile south.
-Mapped by Steve Howe

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 17.7

Waypoints

BLK001

Location: 51.903725, -3.783964

Start from Llanddeusant Village "Church of the Two Saints". Follow the road to the northeast.

BLK002

Location: 51.900948, -3.750699

Bear right/south around the farmstead. Look for the ruined walls south of the road.

BLK003

Location: 51.900254, -3.748415

Turn right at the T-junction, heading east.

BLK004

Location: 51.884227, -3.741311

Turn right and leave the road as it approaches Llyn y Fan Fach. Cut south on the trail, then turn right at the intersection with the wide trail that travels west (away from the dam).

BLK005

Location: 51.882546, -3.727816

Summit of Picws Du, with dramatic views down into northern cirques.

BLK006

Location: 51.881795, -3.72094

Streamlet descends to the north off ridgeline.

BLK007

Location: 51.887127, -3.713889

Summit of Fan Foel.

BLK008

Location: 51.882306, -3.708025

Concrete marker post atop Fan Brycheiniog.

BLK009

Location: 51.882087, -3.707761

Stone circle shelter atop Fan Brycheiniog.

BLK010

Location: 51.878329, -3.69761

Llyn y Fan Fawr "Lake of the Big Peak". Continue northeast to start a loop around the lake.

BLK011

Location: 51.878337, -3.697656

After rounding the lake, continue straight at the 4-way trail junction, heading due south along outlet stream.

BLK012

Location: 51.863105, -3.692634

Campsite

BLK013

Location: 51.854083, -3.679037

Pass through gate in stone fence. Continue southeast.

BLK014

Location: 51.840988, -3.67247

Finish at Tafarn y Garregg pub. The village of Glyntawe is just down the road to the right/southwest.