GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Pen y Fan Horseshoe Walk

8 miles (12.6 km)

This fantastic horseshoe ridge walk visits Pen Y Fan, Corn Du and the Cribyn in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It's a challenging hike but you will be rewarded with some simply stunning views over the surrounding peaks and reservoirs.
The walk starts from the car park in Taf Fechan Forest and heads north to the beautiful Lower Neuadd Reservoir. You then climb west onto the Craig Fan Ddu ridge and head north with fantastic views toward Pen y Fan and Corn Du.
The route climbs to the summit of Corn Du at 873 m (2,864 ft). Here you will find a well structuredBronze Agecairnand views to theBlack Mountain range andFforest Fawr.
You continue a short distance to the 886m (2,907ft) summit of Pen Y Fan which is the highest peak insouth Wales. There's more panoramic views here to theBristol Channel, Carmarthen Bay,Swansea Bay, theGower Peninsula, theBlack Mountains, theCambrian Mountains,Exmoor and theClee Hillsin South Shropshire can be seen.
After taking in the views the route descends along Craig Cwm Sere to the Cribyn, standing at a height of 795m (2,608ft). The impressive views include Mynydd Epynt,the town of Breconand theCambrian mountainsbeyond. Look out for mountain birds including peregrine falcons,common buzzardsand thered kite in this area.
You continue the descent along Craig Cwm Cynwyn toward Bwlch Y Fan and Fan-y-Big. The final section descends past Tor Glas and the Upper and Lower Neuadd Reservoirs to the car park.
To continue your walking in the area you can try our shorter alternative route to Pen Y Fan. It starts from the Pont ar Daf car park to the west of the mountain and is not quite as challenging.
Also nearby is the climb to Fan Y Big and the Cribyn which starts from the lovely Blaen y Glyn Waterfalls.

Pen y Fan Horseshoe Walk OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Pen y Fan Horseshoe Walk Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Head north from the mountain car park and you can visit another highlight of the area at Llyn Cwm Llwch. It's a beautiful place and considered the best preserved glacial lake in South Wales.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Brecon Beacons Walks page.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby

Photos

Lower Neuadd Reservoir - geograph.org.uk - 754096

Lower Neuadd Reservoir. Merthyr Tydfil Corporation constructed Lower Neuadd Reservoir in 1884. To facilitate its construction, a temporary railway line was constructed from Torpantau halt on the Brecon & Merthyr Junction railway. The top water level at 1413ft. In the background is Craig Fan Ddu.

Path on Graig Fan Ddu - geograph.org.uk - 1113725

Path on Graig Fan Ddu.
This is the path that follows the edge of Graig Fan Ddu and ultimately leads up on to Corn Du.
Peak can be seen in the centre left background of this photograph.

Llanfrynach, UK - panoramio (5)

Llanfrynach, UK

Rhiw yr Ysgyfarnog - geograph.org.uk - 1113748

Rhiw yr Ysgyfarnog

Corn Du and Pen y Fan - geograph.org.uk - 1115634

Corn Du and Pen y Fan. The nearest peak, Corn Du, can be bypassed by taking the right hand path directly to Pen y Fan.

Corn Du and Pen y Fan from Bwlch Duwynt - geograph.org.uk - 1040962

Corn Du and Pen y Fan from Bwlch Duwynt. Corn Du on the left and Pen y Fan on the right. Once you have reached one summit, it is an easy task to walk down and up again to the other one. These are the two highest peaks in the Brecon Beacons. Pen y Fan means the top peak, a fitting name since it is the highest point in South Wales.

Cribyn with Pen y Fan behind - geograph.org.uk - 461664

Cribyn with Pen y Fan behind

Bwlch ar y Fan - geograph.org.uk - 1109939

Bwlch ar y Fan

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

Pen Y Fan Horseshoe Walk.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Pen Y Fan Horseshoe Walk.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)