Pen y fan horseshoe

Pen y Fan Horseshoe Walk

5 hours, 9 miles

After a short walk from the Forestry Commission car park  we reached the old pump house at the Lower Neuadd Reservoir, from here a steep walk up to Craig Fan Ddu ridge got the blood pumping. We had been blessed with clear skies and views far across the land. The glacial valleys looked spectacular in the bright sunshine as we made our way round to Corn du.

From the summit of Corn du, the views across the Cwm Llwch valley stretched as far as your eye could see. From there we dropped down into the saddle and up across to Pen y Fan. The path so far had been almost empty, only passing a couple of other walkers. Pen y Fan, of course, was a different story. The summit was bustling with families and hiking groups all enjoying the views from the highest point in the south of the UK.

After lunch we continued, leaving the crowds, and headed down to Craig Cwm Sere. Looking back at Pen y Fan we saw the near vertical north-east face dropping into the valley below. A steep climb took us to the top of Cribyn, and from there the route continued down to the Gap Road, a stoney road which was the first track to enable horse-drawn carriages to cross the mountain range, which must have been quite a bumpy ride.

After a climb up a zigzag path and a walk across it’s grasses top, we reached our final summit of Fan y Big. After I scared myself looking down at the sheer drops off the rocks on the summit, it was time to make our way back down the valley and return to the car.

Throughout our walk the scenery just seemed to get better and better. 360° views of rolling green valleys, empty pathes ahead and sunshine on our faces made for an amazing day of hiking in the beautiful Brecon Beacons.

Cribyn Summit, Pen y Fan horseshoe

Summit of Cribyn into the valley




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