Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains

The Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains are grassy hills lying a few miles north of Cardiff in South Wales. The Brecon Beacons tend to be characterised by rocky escarpments near to their summits.

There are four Top 500 Summits, three in the Brecon Beacons and one in the Black Mountains. They are:

1  Pen y Fan                2,906ft

2  Waun Fach             2,660ft      (Black Mountains)

3  Fan Brycheiniog     2,630ft                                                                        

4  Waun Rydd             2,523ft

There are a number of other mountains in the area over 2,000ft which should be visited when walking in the area. They all lie in the Brecon Beacons:

1  Fan Fawr   2,409ft                2  Fan Gyhirych   2,379ft                  3  Fan Nedd   2,175ft                   4  Cefn yr Ystrad  2,024ft

Where to Stay?

Abergevenny, Crickhowell & Brecon are the best basis to climb these mountains

Pen y Fan

Pen y Fan is probably the most climbed mountain in the British Isles after Snowdon. From the west side two substantial paths can be seen denoting the four mile circular walk from the Storey Arms.

It is natural to combine Pen y Fan with Corn Du but it can also be combined with Crybyn, a fabulous summit just to the east of Pen y Fan. As the drops to these two mountains are under 500ft, they do not qualify as Top 500 Summits. However, Crybyn qualifies as a HUMP (drop of over 100 metres).


Fan Brycheiniog

Fan Brycheiniog lies at the west end of the Brecon Beacons and tends to be a neglected peak. However, it deserves better and makes for a good half day walk. There is a high start point off a minor road at grid reference 856223. From here a good path leads west to the summit past Llyn y Fan Fawr.

Waun Rydd

Waun Rydd has the distinction of being the most southerly summit in the Top 500 summits and can be combined with Pen y Fan if two cars are available.


Waun Fach

The highest point of the Black Mountains Waun Fach with wonderful views over mid Wales, Herefordshire and the Brecon Beacons.

The peat near the summit has eroded in to a mushroom shape, probably the iconic image of this mountain.