Day 3: Crickhowell to Llangynidr
Finish point: Llangynidr (SO 152201)
Distance: 19 km / 12 miles
Ascent: 750m / 2460ft
Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Facilities at start point: Pub, Cafe, Car Park, Restaurant, Accommodation, Bus Stop, National Park Information, Shop, Toilets, Post Office
Day three is less arduous than the previous two. The climb out of Crickhowell and onto the edge of Pen Cerrig-calch is gentle. Although the route here is not particularly elevated, the views of the meandering River Usk and the rural landscape are very pleasing.
You will descend to Cwmdu village and up to Blaen-y-cwm along narrow, quiet lanes before climbing once again onto Cefn Moel and the open hill. Here you will see Llangorse Lake below you. It was formed in the Ice Age and is entirely natural. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest as one of the few naturally eutrophic lakes in Wales and is of national if not international importance.
The day can be finished either at Bwlch or Llangynidr, where the route crosses a splendid ancient, narrow bridge.
Leave Crickhowell by the lane on the north-western edge of town that follows the stream up from the ornate bus shelter. Head past one farm and along tracks to the next (avoiding it through fields on the right). Continue to follow a walled track to the left, up between the fields to reach the open hill.
The route now winds its way along the side of the hill, around Cwm Mawr (where you can find John Sansom’s memorial stone) before heading down to the village of Cwm Du via farm tracks and country lanes. The village is today’s halfway point and boasts both a café and pub to help you refresh and refuel.
Carefully cross the main road by the pub and follow the lane opposite a short distance, then use the path to cut up through the fields to the next lane. This is followed uphill before taking a path onto the open hill at the second farm. This leads steeply to the top of Cefn Moel with great views over the magnificent Llangorse Lake. From here, you can follow obvious tracks along the ridge to the left that lead you down into Bwlch which has pubs and accommodation.
Carefully cross the busy main road and follow the lane at the side of the pub, then the path on the left that leads through fields to the road junction. The road to the right takes you down to and across the ancient road bridge - one of the best in Wales – into Llangynidr which has two pubs but limited accommodation. The bus or a taxi can easily take you to Talybont where there is much more available.