GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Dragons Back

7 miles (11.5 km)

Climb the Dragons Back on this challenging circular walk in the Black Mountains, Wales. The route runs for just over 7 miles and includes a visit to the highest point of the Black Mountains at Waun Fach. The views along the ridge are breathtaking in all directions.
The walk starts from the parking area near Pengenffordd. Head north from here toward the village where you can pick up a trail heading east to Castell Dinas. This Iron Age hillforthas the highest castle in England and Wales. A Norman castle was built here in the 11th century. What remains now are crumbling walls mainly covered with earth and the outlines of ditches and ramparts from the original Iron Age fortifications, commanding extensive views up into theBlack Mountainsand overTalgarthtowardsBrecon.
After exploring the fort the route continues east to Y Grib and Pen Y Manllwyn. Here you turn south to Waun Fach which stands at a height of 811 m (2,661 ft). From here there are views over the Brecon Beacons including Rhos Fawrand theRadnor Forest.You may also see some wild ponies wandering around the area.
The walk then descends to the south west toward Pen Trumau. Soon after you turn west along Rhiw Trumau and Cwmmfforest. The route then returns to the car park. You can enjoy well earned refreshments at the Castle Inn in Pengenffordd after your exercise.
For a shorter walk you could try the climb to Waun Fach from the Castell Dinas car park.

Dragons Back OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Dragons Back Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Pubs/Cafes

Head to the appropriately named Dragons Back pub for some well earned refreshments after your walk. The pub is notable as being the highest pub in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The relaxed pub does very good food and also provides accommodation if you need to stay over. It's also dog friendly if you have your canine friend with in tow. You can find the pub at Pengenffordd with a postcode of LD3 0EP for your sat navs.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

To extend your walking in the area you could head to the nearby Grwyne Fawr Reservoir for some nice waterside trails. Also nearby is the Mynydd Du Forest where there are miles of walking trails and mountain bike trails to try.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Brecon Beacons Walks and the Black Mountains Walks pages.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby

Photos

The Castle Inn, Pengenffordd - geograph.org.uk - 552933

The Castle Inn, Pengenffordd

Castell Dinas - geograph.org.uk - 962599

Castell Dinas. The remains of the northern gate tower of this castle which dates from Norman to early Middle Ages period. There are extensive earthworks ariound the flanks of the hill. Public access to this impressive site is by way of a permissive footpath provided through the Tir Gofal agri-environment scheme.

Stone cairn on Y Grib - geograph.org.uk - 1741902

Stone cairn on Y Grib. Looking west, back down this lovely stepped ridge towards Mynydd Troed.

Walkers on the northern escarpment of the Black Mountains - geograph.org.uk - 1741984

Walkers on the northern escarpment of the Black Mountains. As part of the 2010 Crickhowell Walking Festival, walkers head for Twmpa along the escarpment footpath.

Path passes the head of Twyn Mawr - geograph.org.uk - 540081

Path passes the head of Twyn Mawr

Waun Fach Summit - geograph.org.uk - 1691685

Waun Fach Summit. In the far distance the conical shape of Sugarloaf Mountain

Looking back down the Rhiw Trumau bridleway - geograph.org.uk - 743297

Looking back down the Rhiw Trumau bridleway. On the ascent of the bridleway towards Pen Trumau, turn round from time to time to see the view back down into the Rhiangoll valley.

Bridleway to Rhiw Trumau - geograph.org.uk - 743264

Bridleway to Rhiw Trumau. This is the start of the bridleway up Rhiw Trumau, to the col between Pen Trumau and Mynydd Llysiau. Above the farmland, the open access land on the western side of Mynydd Llysiau can be seen.

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

Dragons Back.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Dragons Back.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)