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This Week's Walks - Archive

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This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Monday, 7 May 2018

[Brecon Trip] Bank Holiday Walk - A Beacons Traverse: Brecon to Talybont-on-Usk (via Cribyn, Fan y Big, Waun Rydd) [New Walk Option]

Length: 22.6 km (14.0 mi) [shorter option available]
Ascent/Descent: 928/942m; Net Walking Time: 6 ½ hours
Toughness:  10 out of 10         

Meet at 09.30 in the south east corner of the Morrison’s car park in Brecon’s town centre, next to the Markets Tavern and near the four-way road junction by the Bus Interchange.

This route is one of the many variations described in the pdf for the Brecon Beacons Horseshoe and following the write-up will require frequent shuffling of paper within the 19 page document (we start on page 11, immediately go to page 9, then back to 11, etc. pp.).
The route rises from the centre of Brecon up to and then across the majestic core of the Central Brecon Beacons over the two least frequented of its four table-top peaks (Cribyn and Fan y Big). You follow a clear path around a steep sided glacial valley, part of one of the best ridge walks in South Britain, featuring some spectacular views in all directions in good weather. It is exceptionally exposed to the elements though and also requires one steep descent and re-ascent, but this can be circumvented. The route then continues further along the ridge – to Waun Rydd alongside an upland bog – offering more superb views, and past a WWII airplane memorial and lastly down into the lush Usk Valley to Talybont and its pubs.

Shortcuts: Either descend from the ridge off Fan Y Big direct back to Brecon (this has only little overlap with the outward route), cuts less than a km and hardly any ascent, but spares you the journey (or walk) back from Talybont (see below); or turn right along the ridge from Cribyn to Pen Y Fan and pick up the descent route of SWC 85 (see separate walk post today) to the bus stop by the Storey Arms Centre.
Note: Unless we can get a clever car-shuttle arranged, the return from Talybont to Brecon will have to be by taxi or on foot along the Monmouth & Brecon Canal (11.7 km), due to the 43/X43 bus not running on the Bank Holiday.

Lunch: Picnic lunch.

Tea: The White Hart or The Star Inn. There is also the Talybont Stores and The Travellers Inn, although that is off route in the wrong direction.

For walk directions and options, route map, height profile, photos or gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.278.a

4 comments:

Thomas G said...

12 left Brecon, 7 took cars to the Upper Blaen y Glyn car park to ascend Fan y Big from there, 3 got a taxi to the end of the road up the valley nearest to Cribyn. N=22 in w=hot-and-sunny weather with a welcome breeze.
On the full walk, for the first two hours of ascent, there was plenty of shade from trees and hedged paths, and for the remaining hour plus the breeze helped with the hot temperatures. We had lunch just below the top of Cribyn and one of us then turned right to descend via Pen y Fan to the Youth Hostel where he is staying. The rest mastered the descent to the pass and re-ascent to Fan y Big better than feared. On that ascent we met the Blaen y Glyn starters on their descent. One of us then descended from there to Brecon to catch the 17.00 bus to Neath for a train.
On along the escarpment with fantastic views, past the WWII airplane memorial and onto the bogland plateau. Then the scenic and steep descent to Talybont where most of the others were ensconced in the garden of The Star Inn. 17.30 finish, although 4 hardcore walkers then walked on along the canal to Brecon, with dinner at The Three Horseshoes en route.
Bluebells, celandine, dandelions, tadpoles, lizards and hang gliders (not all in the same place). Pleasingly for the walk writer, plenty of the many options of this walk got tried out.
A rather fantastic day out.

Sandy said...

While I'm on a roll I might as well comment on this one too. I was very grateful to the driver for his offer of a lift to the car park, enabling a more relaxed pace on this hot day with no bus to catch. I diverted to the top of Waun Rydd (not on the main path!) and then rejoined the group. I distinctly remember there being a tea room on the road back to Talybont but we couldn't find it so ended up in the Star, to meet most of the other groups as described.

Thomas G said...

...that tea room is - from memory - on the stretch of road between the car park you were at and the car park for the main walk, by the Neuadd Reservoir, somewhere around where it says 'Ystradgynwyn' on the OS map, I think.

Sandy said...

Well that would explain why we missed it!