This is a hard walk, so best left until you’ve completed a few others. It starts in the village of Libanus, a few miles south of Brecon, and climbs onto the foothills of the Fforest Fawr mountain range, visiting the dramatic National Nature Reserve of Craig Cerrig-gleisiad along the way.
The best way to walk this route is to use the bus to get to the start and from the finish, but if this doesn’t prove possible, it’s best to park at Craig Cerrig-gleisiad and follow the A470 north for a few minutes to catch the bus from outside the Youth Hostel.
1. Head up the lane next to the church (Glan Tarrel) and keep straight ahead towards the Mountain Centre at the junction with Pen y Fan Close. Now follow this road, which soon becomes a rough track, all the way up to the very top, where a gate leads onto open common land close to the Mountain Centre.
2. Keep ahead and then turn left to walk around the Mountain Centre (unless of course you are popping in), and then continue along the access road to a t-junction, where you keep straight ahead on a clear grassy track. Follow this along the edge of the common for nearly 1km until you see a kissing gate on your left.
Look out for…
The north-facing cliffs of Craig Cerrig-gleisiad were formed by the action of glaciers during the last ice age. The ice scoured out the deep hollow that you see in the hillside and deposited the rocks it picked up into the large banks at the foot of the cliffs, which are known as moraine. The cool conditions created by the constant shade of the north-facing cliffs, have enabled a selection of arctic-alpine plants, including saxifrages and roseroot, to continue to grow here where they thrive on the lime-rich soil. Over 80 species of bird and 16 species of butterfly have been recorded in the reserve.
3. Go through and across the field to another, and then continue in the same direction through a succession of fields until you reach the main road. Cross with care and cross a stile opposite to follow a waymark post down into a dip and then up again to follow the edge of the field steeply uphill.
4. Continue to the top left hand corner, where a stile leads onto a narrow path. Turn left onto this and then follow it around to the right, where it continues uphill on an airy ridge top with fantastic views. Continue to a gate on the left.
5. Go through this to pick up a narrow path that leads down to a wall and continue around the hillside, dipping cross two streams before you eventually meet a main path at a gap in a wall next to another stream. The walk takes the path left to drop back down to the A470, but the path to the right leads into the nature reserve, if you’d like a closer look.
View looking southwest from Cwmdu Evidence suggests that…