Walking Pen y Fan in The Brecon Beacons
Q. Hello, I wondered if anyone could advise me. I am organising a group walk up Pen y Fan for my husband's birthday. It sounds as if the most scenic route begins at Neuadd reservoir, however as at least 20 people will be travelling from Bristol, and I can't find a postcode for that location, I would like an easy to find starting point for an approx 7 mile walk (or a walk that takes about 5 hours for a group of walkers with mixed levels of fitness). The Storey Arms seems the obvious place to begin if we are looking for an easy place to find, although several sites say that the walk up Pen y Fan from there is a very busy and route, and less spectacular . . .
Any advice appreciated!
Abbie Dubicki, Bristol
A. Pen y Fan is the highest point in The Brecon Beacons. It is the 19th highest mountain in Wales and the 31st highest mountain in England and Wales. Pen y Fan is on Ordnance Survey Map OL12 and Landranger Map 160.
Pen y Fan can be approached from several different directions with the route from Pont ar Daf on the A470 between Brecon (Aberhonddu in Welsh) and Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful) - Walk po101 Pen y Fan from Pont ar Daf being the shortest most direct route. Sadly, this route is much used and can get very busy though there is a large car park at the bottom.
Just along the A470 is The Storey Arms Outdoor Centre with another large car park. From here, Walk po158 Pen y Fan from The Storey Arms Outdoor Centre too gets very busy though Walk po107 Y Garn and Pen y Fan from The Storey Arms Outdoor Centre takes a less walked route to bag Y Garn on the way up before rejoining the hoards on the upper slopes of Corn Du.
To find a less busy route you can tackle Pen Y Fan from the South West starting at Neuadd Reservoir. There is a large car park which is pretty easy to find. If you have a Sat Nav in your car, select the Latitude/Longitude screen (Lat/Lon) and enter: Lat = N51.8431 and Lon = W3.3987.
Walk po100 Pen y Fan from Neuadd Reservoir is the classic Pen Y Fan Horseshoe walk and Walk po127 Fan y Big, Cribyn, Pen y Fan and Corn Du from Neuadd Reservoir is an extended version that takes in a few of the nearby peaks.
Finally, you could approach Pen y Fan from North (using Walk po104 Pen y Fan and Cribyn from Nant Gwdi, Walk po136 Corn Du and Pen y Fan from Nant Cwm Llwch near Brecon and the longer Walk po169 Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn and Fan y Big from Nant Cwm Llwch nr Brecon but the car park is harder to find and down some pretty narrow roads.
For details of all the routes up Pen y Fan and loads of photos see Pen y Fan.
For an interactive walk selection map showing all the routes up Pen y Fan see Walk Routes on Interactive Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL12 Brecon Beacons National Park - Western & Central areas. Pen Y Fan is on the right-hand side picked out in Blue Capitals.
If you follow the above walk links and then click on the 'Locate the start of this walk using Google Maps' link in each individual walk page it will show you what to enter into your in car Sat Nav to take you straight there.
Hope this helps and have a great time . . .