The Pen Y Fan Walk: Our hiking trip to Wales
On our recent trip to the Brecon Beacons in South Wales we enjoyed the Pen Y Fan walk. Here’s some shots we captured along the way…
Just so you know, we aren’t experienced hikers. Thought that might set the tone for our take on the Pen Y Fan walk.
We stayed in the local town of Brecon and our B&B was a 15 minute drive to the start of the Pen Y Fan walk. We were super lucky with the weather (as in it wasn’t raining) and as we started our descent up the mountain the sky got bluer but the temps definitely dropped.
Being prepared is the aim of the game with the Pen Y Fan walk…
What is the best way to climb Pen Y Fan?
Pen Y Fan is the highest peak in South Wales, it reaches an impressive 886 metres high and looks over the Brecon Beacons National Park. The mountain is owned by the National Trust and offers popular hiking trails for many different capabilities.
The Pen Y Fan walk is a total must if you visit Brecon Beacons. We weren’t quite prepared for how big and beautiful this mountain was, the views from the top are so breathtaking it makes the trek up totally worth it.
Which walk to the top is best for you?
There are different types of hikes you can embark on to get to the top of Pen Y Fan:
EASY – The walk from Pont ar Daf
Starting height – 450 metres / Distance – 3.25 km / Time – 2 hours to climb up.
It starts a kilometre south of the Storey Arms Outdoor Centre on the A470, you’ll find a car-park there but as it gets very busy people will tend to park on the road. It starts with a small bridge that leads onto a wide path that takes you up the mountain. The views on the way up aren’t as epic, but the route, albeit still on an incline, is the easiest one available.
MODERATE – The walk from the Storey Arms (this is the one we did)
Starting height– 480 metres / Distance – 3.6 km / Time – 2 hours to climb up.
One of the most popular routes, this starts right next to the Storey Arms Outdoor Centre. It was super busy by the time we arrived at 11am so we parked on the road. The incline is fairly steep but you can pause and do it in your own time. The views are insane and the final leg to the top is stunning.
HARD – The walk from the Horseshoe ridge walk
Starting height– 650 metres / Distance – 12.4 km / Time – 6 hours to climb up.
This ascent is a tough one and being prepared is paramount, this precise walking guide should be super helpful if you are up for the challenge.
Watch the sunset from the Pen Y Fan walk
We were lucky enough to witness a beautiful sunset on the walk back. We hiked down the easy route which lead us back to the Pont ar Daf car-park. It’s a lot easier going down than it is up!
We stopped as the sun started to pierce the clouds and sat down to photograph and enjoy the beautiful sunset that was unfolding in front of us. We would definitely recommend timing the walk so your descent was just as sunset was kicking off.
A few tips for climbing the largest mountain in South Wales
Checking the weather is very important, you can use this weather forecast site to help determine what day works best for you. Taking in those epic views from the top is what it’s all about so a clear day is very important.
Be prepared with food and water, we both had backpacks and made sure we had plenty of water and a packed lunch to enjoy at the top. The views are beautiful so we also stopped half way up for a rest and a cheeky sandwich.
Wear layers: we had our Trepass jackets on which are amazing for keeping in heat and combating the change of weather conditions. We also wore hats and gloves and had extra layers in our backpacks.
TOP PICKS FROM TRESPASS
We hope you’ve enjoyed the photographs we shot from our Pen Y Fan experience. We are not professional hikers but we really enjoyed the challenge of this walk. The Brecon Beacons is full of beauty and we can’t wait to go back!
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