|Fan Brycheiniog from
|Estimated net time||3-3½ hours.|
|Drinking water||The water in the river by trail head is potentially OK to drink.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route, except by trail head (April 2013).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at car park by trail head.|
|Start height||212 metres|
|Vertical metres||680 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||11.6 km|
|GPS-file||X (descent only)|
Assume your starting point is the round-about where roads A40 and A470 intersect, west of the town Brecon in southern Wales. Drive road A40 west, approximately 12.0 km and turn left onto road A4067, signed for Swansea. Drive approximately 15.4 km and turn right onto a car park just as you enter the flat section of the valley. Park at the large car park.
Start your hike by walking towards the foot bridge that crosses the river running parallel with the road. Follow small signs for public footpath around the farm, on the east and north sides, and then follow the path as it climbs north-west towards Fan Brycheiniog's south ridge. Follow this path all the way to the summit, which is marked by a concrete cairn.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
13. April 2013
I had driven to Brecon the night before and was eager to start the week-end's pursuit of the 50 most prominent tops in Wales, and get going immediately after Saturday breakfast. After a traditional British breakfast I set off south to Glyntawe, with the knowledge that the grey sky wasn't going to get any better the next hours.
I located the planned trail head, but after 100 metres along the path I concluded that this wasn't a route that would take me to the summit, so returned to my car and started to look for alternative trail heads. After messing around for a while I ended up at the camp site a little further south, and after some messing around from this trail head I eventually got myself in the right direction.
As I made my way up the gentle slopes of Fan Brycheiniog the weather gradually got worse and worse, with the wind picking up and the rain changing from light to heavy, and the visibility got down to a few tens of metres. I was therefore a little surprised when I met two soldiers coming up from the valley, and I assume they were just as surprised to meet a hiker.
My summit stop was short, as there wasn't much to be seen, and the fine slate shelter close to the summit was definitely the highlight in terms of views.
As I was descending I decided to see where the path I had followed in the second half of my ascent would take me, and my suspicion was that it would take me down to my original trail head. And when I got below the clouds, after having met a group of 6-7 hikers, I got my suspicion confirmed. This gave me a boring 1.3 km walk along the road and back to my car, but was worth the cost since I was happy to have found the correct trail head. Next on the agenda was to get back to the hotel for some lunch (ended up getting fish&chips from the local chippy), and plan the next wet hike.