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The wilder side of Corn Du

Everybody knows Corn Du: it’s the slightly smaller twin of Pen y Fan, and the first summit that’s encountered on the most popular route onto the National Park’s highest peak. But few wander off onto the mountain’s western and northern ridges, which have a completely different flavour to the main trade routes. This walk, a moderate outing, reaches parts other walks don’t reach. It also visits a moving memorial. Not a good walk for poor visibility.
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 stile next to the telephone box outside the outdoor centre, and walk up the clear track for a few metres until a vague peaty track can be seen breaking off to the left. This runs parallel to the main track to the top of the plantation on the right, then starts to break away left to cross the featureless ground atop of Y Gyrn. Follow it to a gate on the top of the hill and cross the stile to the right of this to continue down into the boggy hollow at the head of the Taf Fechan.
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From the memorial, climb Corn Du and Pen y Fan before continuing. Or, a really strenuous outing could be had by following Walk 3 to Twyn Mwyalchod, and then reversing route 7 to Corn Du and dropping from there to the memorial.
2. Keep ahead to start climbing again and bear right at a fork so you’re swinging around towards Corn Du, which can now be seen clearly above. The track eventually joins a clearer path that runs along the top of the Craig Cwm Llwch escarpment, close to the Tommy Jones Obelisk which tells its own story.
3. Head downhill from the obelisk, and drop to a fork, where you keep left, to continue along the hilltop rather than down into Cwm Llwch. The path eventually widens and zigzags down into pasture below. Keep ahead and the field narrows to a gate by a National Trust sign. Go through this and along the tree-lined track to pass the buildings at Clwydwaunhir. Follow the drive out to the road and turn right and immediately left to drop to Libanus Mill. Turn left over the bridge and take a stile on the right. This leads to the A470 opposite the Tai’r Bull public house. If there is time, stop here for a pint and a bite or catch the Shuttle Bus to the Visitor Centre for a cuppa (see Walk 2). Alternatively catch it on its return to get back to Brecon. If returning on the Cardiff, Bridgend or Porthcawl services, these pass by on their way home.


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