A steep descent gives close-up views of the flora and fauna of the nature reserve and then easy paths and green lanes lead north to the National Park Visitor Centre, where refreshments and carriages await.
1. Get to Storey Arms either on one of the buses coming up the A470 in the morning or on the Roundabout service. Cross the A470 and hop over the right-hand of the three stiles directly opposite the outdoor education centre. Head uphill for a few paces and then bear right onto a clear path that climbs easily around the hillside, all the time roughly parallel with the road. Cross a couple of tumbling brooks and pass above the craggy slopes of Craig y Fro. Stay with the path all the way to a fence that defines the boundary of Craig Cerrig-gleisiad.
An ascent of Fan Fawr at the start will add a steep climb and the best part of an hour to the walk. To descend, retrace your steps half way down, then bear left to cross open moorland to Craig Cerrig-gleisiad.
2. Turn left to head uphill and continue around to the right to trace the line of the fence, which in turn traces the top of the escarpment. Continue through a gate and onto the flanks of Fan Frynych where you’ll see a kissing gate on the right (waymarked Beacons Way). Go through this and follow the path down to a stile and cairn. Turn right here and follow the fence, now on your right, down into the valley. Now follow the obvious path over the moraine (following any diversions that may be in place) until you reach a gap in a dry stone wall next to a small brook, where you’ll also see an interpretation board.
3. Bear left here, to follow the wall along, and stay with this path – which can get muddy – all the way to a stile that leads onto a broad track. Cross the stile and turn right, through a gate, to follow a grassy track that runs along the crest of the broad spur. Stay with this to a fence and bear left to follow a narrow path alongside the fence to a stile. Keep the fence to your right and aim for the bottom right corner of the field, where you’ll cross a stream and join the A4215.
4. Cross the road and cross a stile to follow a footpath diagonally over a succession of fields to join a broad grassy track on Mynydd Illtyd Common. Turn right onto this and follow it easily to the National Park Visitor Centre and a welcome cuppa. The Roundabout Bus returns to Brecon via some of the Park’s finest scenery but alternatively you can take the (much shorter) NPVC Shuttle Bus service back. The bus leaves from the access road outside the centre – don’t miss it!
View looking southwest from Cwmdu Evidence suggests that…