Brecon Beacons - 3 days hiking in the National Park. During my time in the Brecon Beacons I did some wonderful day hikes. Here are the 5 walks that I did with simple directions, maps and hiking distances. Walks include Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Blwch, Sugar Loaf and The Blorenge. | Things to do in the Brecon Beacons | Hikes in Brecon Beacons | Walks in Brecon Beacons | UK | Wales

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Brecon Beacons – The best walks (in 3 days)

The Brecon Beacons National Park is one of three National Parks in Wales. The other two are Pembrokeshire Coast and Snowdonia National Park. The Brecon Beacons was the last National Park that I visited in Wales on my UK Hiking Challenge. And if I am honest I didn’t have many expectations for what walks I would do in the Brecon Beacons. But I was in for a pleasant surprise. Walking in the Brecon Beacons took my breath away with its beauty and stunning landscapes.

During my three days in the Brecon Beacons, I first stayed at the Star Bunkhouse in a village called Bwlch, located near the centre of the National Park. Then moved on to the larger town of Abergavenny at the Angel Hotel which is just outside the east boundary of the Brecon Beacons. Both are wonderful places to base yourself for some epic exploring of this National Park and there are plenty of things to do.

Here is the 3-day itinerary of my best walks in the Brecon Beacons. Hope you enjoy too!

Walking in the Brecon Beacons Itinerary

Day 1 walks

Craig Cerrig Gleisiad
Corn Dy, Pen y Fan and Cribyn

Day 2 walk

Llangors Lake

Day 3 walks

Sugar Loaf Hill
The Blorenge

A few facts about the Brecon Beacons National Park*

  • The Brecon Beacons was designated in 1957
  • It is 1,344 sq km/ 835 sq miles
  • And has a population of 32,000
  • The highest point is Pen y Fan at 2,907 ft/ 886 m
  • Each year over 4.1 million people visit the National Park

*Source

walks in the Brecon Beacons: Day 1

Craig Cerrig Gleisiad morning hike

Brecon Beacons National Park Wales - best walks - Craig Cerrig-gleisiad
Views of Pen y Fan mountain from Craig Cerrig-gleisiad

Walk distance: 3.5 km/ 2 miles
Time: 1-1.5 hours
Map: OS Explorer OL12 – Brecon Beacons National Park West
Starting Grid reference: SN 971 222
Parking: Lay-by on west side of A470 (Merthyr Tdfil to Brecon Road)

This is a lovely steep but short circular walk, with some breathtaking views of the Brecon Beacons including Pen y Fan (which I hiked later the day). And demonstrates the fascinating history of the area.

Back in the ice age, a glacier carved out the valley. And as it melted about 18,000 years ago it exposed the steep rock walls of Craig Cerrig Gleisiad. Several years later there were many landslides where rocks cascaded down. Up until 11,500 years ago, there was also a smaller glacier, which has now left a series of small ridges of rocks and debris called moraines. The hollow from the glacier is now a bog! Better to avoid I would say!

After you’ve gone through the gate, you have two choices, right or left.  I took the path on the right which takes a steeper route directly up to the ridge. Alternatively, you can opt for a more gradual walk up on the left. I would rather hike up a steep slope than attempt to walk down it, especially as the paths are muddy and slippy. So take care hiking on the way up (and down!)

Once you’ve reached the top of the ridge there are wonderful views of the Brecon Beacons. This is one of the best walks for looking across to Pen y Fan, the highest point in the Brecon Beacons.

An afternoon Hiking Brecon Beacons three peaks – Corn Du, Pen y Fan and Cribyn

Brecon Beacons National Park Wales - best walks - Pen y Fan hike
Walking in the beautiful Brecon Beacons

Walk distance: 10.5 km/ 6.5 miles
Time: 3-4 hours
Map: OS Explorer OL12 – Brecon Beacons National Park West
Starting Grid reference: SN 988 199
Parking: ‘Pont ar Daf’ lay-by or Story Arms down the road on A470

Pen y Fan is the highest mountain in South Wales and a popular day hike in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Setting off from Pont ar Daf I could see the path leading to the summit straight away. Always a great feeling to see where you are heading (in good weather of course!)

At Pont ar Daf car park, there is a mobile refreshment stand serving hot drinks and food. Then you can begin your hike up the main path. The Pen y Fan walking route I did was a circular walk but you can also hike up and down the same route via this path.

Before you reach the top of Pen y Fan (886 m/ 2,907 ft), the path takes you up to the second highest mountain in South Wales Corn Du (873 m/ 2,864 ft). So it’s two mountains for the price of one!

If you want to shorten your hike, maybe if the weather isn’t good or your legs have given up on you! You can miss out the hike up and down Cribyn (795 m/ 2,608 ft). But I really loved this extra hike, it’s not as high as Pen y Fan or Corn Du but it gives you some gorgeous views looking back.  It’s about 3 km so an extra 45 minutes walk but on a beautiful sunny day, it gives you the best views of Brecon Beacons.

You might like to read – Attempting the Welsh 3000s Challenge in Snowdonia

walks in the Brecon Beacons: Day 2

Llangors Lake circular walk (Bwlch with Altitude)

Brecon Beacons National Park Wales - 3 days hiking - Bwlch hike - Brecon Beacons
Views of Llangors Lake whilst walking

Walk distance: 19 km/ 12 miles (Extended walk – 21 km/ 13 miles)
Time: 5-6 hours
Map: OL13 Brecon Beacons National Park East
Grid reference: 14869 22020
Parking: Street parking (limited options – Darren Road  or by the A40/B4560 junction by The Gate Shop & Bwlch Village Hall)

This circular walk starts from The Star Bunkhouse, with a steep climb up. But within 10 minutes it is all worth it as you reach the top and make your way along the ridge, the views are stunning.

Walk straight along the path, past several bridleways. The path then curves around to the left and you head up to the summit where there’s a very fancy trig point! It takes about 45-60 minutes to reach here.

Continue along the ridge and watch out for wild ponies on the path. A group appeared from the lower slopes but were friendly enough. It’s about 30-40 minutes following the ridge down to reach the road. Of course, depending on how many photo stops you make of Llangors Lake on the way!

This is an easy section of the walk on the road for about 30 minutes. At the next road junction, Green area turn right. Past the Castle Inn until you reach the Church. It’s a short walk across a field fields (5-10 minutes), with the wire fence on your right until the lake comes into view. Shortly followed by the only public toilets on the walking route!



Lunch stop

I went on a little detour here, exploring the boathouse, instead of walking across the field to the footbridge. But it was interesting to look around and only adds a few minutes to your walk!

Across the bridge, there’s a ‘sound machine’! You can listen to Reed Warblers and various other birds. Continue on for 15-20 minutes and you’ll come across a lovely bird hide. It was relatively quiet in autumn but I enjoyed 20 minutes inside whilst eating my sandwiches!

Through a gate and field of cows (they were there when I walked) you’ll reach the church after 15-20 minutes. As you walk towards it be sure to look up as you can see the ridge you walked along in the morning. This is a beautiful building and worth 5 minutes to stop a look inside.

Follow the country lane up for 10 minutes until you reach a right turn signposted to Pennorth 1-mile. After a relatively flat section of the route, you’ll hike back up high again for views back over the lake. Don’t forget to look behind you as you walk at the Brecon Beacon views! This section takes about an hour until you’re back onto the main road taking you into Bwlch. There’s a small section where there’s no pavement and you need to walk on the edge but soon The Star Bunkhouse and The New Inn pub come back into view!

More walks from Bwlch, Brecon Beacons

This is one of three local walks from Bwlch. I picked up the walk leaflet from The Star Bunkhouse where I was staying. Each leaflet costing 20 pence. They include a very detailed map and directions for your walk. I was told this was the best walk out of the three options but maybe you can tell me if you try the other two hikes below!

The two additional walks are:

1. Bwlch with Fortitude (12 km/ 7.5 miles)
2. Bwlch with Magnitude (10.5 miles)

You might like to read Why is the West Highland Way an amazing trail (plus tips)?

Walks in the Brecon Beacons: Day 3

Hike 1 – Sugar Loaf

Brecon Beacons National Park Wales - 3 days hiking - Sugar Loaf - Brecon Beacons
Hiking up Sugar Loaf Hill in the Brecon Beacons

Walk distance: 5 km/ 3 miles
Time: 1.5-2 hours
Map: OL13 Brecon Beacons National Park East
Starting Grid reference: 269 167
Parking: Sugar Loaf Car Park (nearest postcode NP7 7LA)*

*This postcode doesn’t take you directly to the car park. Please use as a guide. Follow the signs for Sugar Loaf Vineyard and then continue 1.5 miles uphill

There are many routes up and down Sugar Loaf. I opted for a slightly more challenging walk up. Taking a downhill path off the main path into some woods with very cool twisted trees. Before then had a steep uphill climb.

However, you can opt for a steadier incline and decline if you opt for the wider paths. On a clear day, you can see dots in the distance of people making their way up and down to the summit. This is a very popular Brecon Beacon walk at the weekend.

The great thing is you can go up and down different routes but still end up at the same start point without going on too much of a detour. The picture shows one of the main paths leading to the summit. You can then walk along the top and come down the other path on the left. Both paths join at the point where I took the photo.

Hike 2 – The Blorenge walk

Brecon Beacons National Park Wales - 3 days hiking - The Blorenge - Brecon Beacons
Best short walk in the Brecon Beacons – The Blorenge

Walk distance: 10 km/ 6 miles (shorter options available)
Time: 2-3 hours
Map: OL13 Brecon Beacons National Park East
Starting Grid reference: 263 108
Parking: Foxhunter Car Park – (nearest postcode NP4 9SR)*

*There is no postcode for the car park, this is the nearest one. If you follow it all the way it will take you past the turning. My best advice is when you are close look out the radio masts you can see from the main road.

The hike takes you there and back on the same path. Perfect as you can design how long your walk is. On leaving the car park there’s a path that takes you straight to the trig point. And on a clear day, you should see this from the Foxhunter car park. Make sure you stop here for a few photos.

Then continue along the path on the other side of the trig point. This is where it starts to get a bit muddy. Mini-detours or some good jumps are required to get you round (without getting too dirty – unless you like that kind of thing!) Keep walking for about 30 minutes until you are met with beautiful views across the Brecon Beacons (again on a good day!) You should be able to see across to Sugar Loaf.

This is definitely one of the best shortest walks in the Brecon Beacons, with awesome views!

You might like to read Ben Nevis Walk in Scotland – Hiking solo up UK’s highest mountain!

Extended option

At this point, you have the option of returning back to the car park or continuing. If you keep walking, it is downhill now. Fantastic you might think, but do remember that you will need to walk back up again. Yes, I didn’t factor this into my walk!

Take the path down until you reach a road and a cattle grid. To the left of the cattle grid there’s a gate and after 100 metres another gate on your left. Take this down through the woods until you reach a pond. It’s very peaceful at the pond, a few ducks and sheep to keep you company. And this is your turnaround point. It took me about an hour to do reach the pond.

And now the easy (or maybe difficult bit) retrace your steps, back uphill to Foxhunter car park. I’m a fast walker so managed to get back in an hour but for a more leisurely pace allow 1.5 hours.

What to wear for your day hike in the Brecon Beacons?

The weather can quickly change when you are hiking in the Brecon Beacons (or anywhere in the UK). It’s best to be prepared with warm and waterproof gear. Also, good hiking boots are essential to make sure you have a great day out and enjoy your walk.

Read my full guide on what to pack for your day hike including what to wear.

Further information about the Brecon Beacons

Brecon Beacons best walks - Pen y Fan hike summit in the Brecon Beacons
Pen y Fan hike summit in the Brecon Beacons

More things to do in the Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons is a huge playground if you love the outdoors, with plenty more adventurous activities that you can take part in. Here are a few other things you can do in the Brecon Beacons:

  • Rock climbing and abseiling
  • Mountain biking
  • Horse riding
  • Exploring caves underground
  • Watersports – sailing, windsurfing



Where to stay in the Brecon Beacons?

The Star Bunkhouse bwlch

I stayed for my first two nights at The Star Bunkhouse in Bwlch. A lovely bunkhouse with six rooms and a shared lounge and kitchen. Perfect for groups, families and solo travellers (like me!). And they allow dogs too. Great if you are travelling on a budget as it’s self-catering so you can save money by not eating out. To find out more about The Star Bunkhouse read my full review here.

The Angel Hotel Abergavenny

My third night was spent in the town of Abergavenny at The Angel Hotel. Perfectly matched my name so I had to stay there! A luxury boutique hotel, with popular in-house restaurant The Oak and everyone’s favourite The Angel Bakery. Situated on Abergavenny High Street, so close to local shops and restaurants. And a great place to base yourself for exploring the Brecon Beacon hills close by. Read my full review of The Angel Hotel here.

Or for more options check out what deals you can find here:



Booking.com

More information

For further information when you’re visiting the Brecon Beacons. Pop into their National Park Visitor Centre:

  • Brecon Beacons Visitor Centre, Libanus, Brecon, LD3 8ER

Have you visited the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales? Let me know if you have any questions about my 3-days best walks in the Brecon Beacons in the comments below

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Day hikes Brecon Beacons - best walks 
Day hikes Brecon Beacons

*Becky the Traveller contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for reading!

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