Twyn Y Gaer Hillfort walk from the Mountain Centre, Libanus
The remains of an Iron Age hillfort can be seen on the grassy mound of Twyn y Gaer. Though little remains of this ancient structure, it’s easy to see why our ancestors picked this naturally defensive spot to settle.
On a clear day there are stunning views all around; the peaks of Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du; the Black Mountains; the River Usk; as well as a patchwork pattern of farmland stretching out towards mid Wales.
Follow the signs for the National ParkVisitor Centre close to the village of Libanus. The Centre is signposted from the A470 at Libanus 5 miles/9km south of Brecon LD3 8ER. Explorer Map OL 12 or Landranger Map 160 Grid ref SN 977 262.
Distance: 41⁄2km (21⁄2 miles) return
Time: Allow 11⁄2-2 hours.
Terrian: Grassy paths, gentle slopes with one steeper climb (70m of ascent) toTwyn y Gaer. Paths onto the Common are fairly level but are grassy and can become boggy in wet weather so may not be wheelchair/scooter accessible.
Twyn y Gaer walk directions
1.Arrive at the National Park Visitor Centre (SN 977262), also known as the Mountain Centre. The Centre is situated on Mynydd Illtud Common, one of several commons purchased in 1984 by the National Park Authority to protect and conserve the open landscape. Local farmers have the right to graze their sheep and cut bracken here. Look out for red kites and other birds of prey, along with sky larks and wheatears. The Common takes its name from St Illtud, a Celtic Christian missionary and teacher of St David,Wales’s patron saint.
2. Go through the gate next to the disabled parking by the main building. Cross the road and follow the grassy track leading away from the road on the opposite side (north westerly). Follow this path for approximately 5 minutes to reach a standing stone which was placed here about 5000 years ago in the Bronze Age. It is believed it acted as a calendar – if you stand near this standing stone on the shortest day of the year, you will observe the sun rising between the twin peaks of Pen y Fan and Corn Du.
3.At the standing stone, bear right and follow the grassy track that runs parallel with the road for about 20 minutes.You will see the hill of Twyn y Gaer appearing to your left. It has a white pillar (trig point) on the summit.When you arrive at a white marker for an underground pipeline and the road starts to drop downhill, cross the road, head downhill for a shor t distance then cross another road.
4.Follow the path to the trig point on the summit of Twyn y Gaer 367m. (SN 989280).This is a short, steep climb but well worth the effort.You can see evidence of an Iron Age Hillfort from about 2000 years ago.There are the remains of the defensive ditches which surrounded the Celtic village and a gateway to the north east side (nearest Brecon)
5.To return, walk down the grassy path which leads back across the road and retrace your route.There are a number of alternative paths to choose from here-as long as visibility is good and you keep Pen y Fan to your left, you should be able to see the Visitor Centre after walking for about half an hour.