5.Henllys Vale Miners' Walk, Black Mountain range – audio trail

Start / Finish points: Ystradgynlais
Distance: 1.61 km / 1.0 miles
Difficulty: Easy

This audio trail takes you along an almost level path from Bryn-henllys Bridge to the former colliery at Henllys Vale with its imposing chimney and limekilns. The footpath offers a smooth and continuous surface along the majority of its length. However, short and moderately steep natural inclines either side of stop four can be avoided by following the path alongside the river.

Stop 1 OS Grid Ref: SN 756 126

Explorer Map or Landranger Map 160

1. Lower Brynhenllys Colliery

Henllys Vale is just off the A4068 at Ystradowen between Ystradgynlais and Brynaman. The start of the walk can be reached by turning off by the bus stop on the corner of the main road (A4068) in Ystradowen. Follow this road past the park and down a hill to the stone bridge (Brynhenllys Bridge). Cross the bridge and listen to track one besides the large boulders near the kissing gate.

2. Hole in the wall

With the river to your left, head through the kissing gate and along the path upstream. Within two minutes you will see a stone wall to your right. Listen to track 2 when you see an arched hole in this wall.

3. Flashy Floods & Sparky Rivers

Continue along the path and soon the river will pull away to the left. Listen to track 3 when you reach a large stone slab overhanging the tramway above, and to your right.

4. You are now going to leave the main path and head up the grassy track on the right. Listen to track four when the weir, in the river below, is directly to your left.

5. Opencasting & Rotten Eggs

Continue along the path, over the brow and back down to rejoin the main path. Listen to track 5 approximately 20 metres before the grassy area on the right gives way to woodland.

6. Ice Age Boulders & Rotten Stones

Carry on along the path and as you pass another weir see if you can work out how high it would have been. Listen to track 6 at the second bridge you encounter.

7. Wild Boars & Runaway Trams

Listen to track 7 after crossing the bridge onto the other side of the river.

8. Geological layers

Follow the path alongside the river (and not the path through the gate to the left), go through a bridle gate and listen to track 8 by the exposed rock face a further 20 metres ahead.

9. Henllys Vale Colliery

Follow the path ahead, keeping the fenceline on your left and listen to track 9 when you have a full view of the chimney from base to top.

10. Limekilns

Head towards the stone structure built into the bank and listen to track 10 by the interpretation panel.

Return to Lower Brynhenllys Colliery

Return back to the car park along the same route you came.

Henllys Vale

An audio trail to highlight the important industrial heritage and wonderful geology of the Henllys Vale area within the westren area of the Brecon Beacons National Park. This audio trail will take you back in time to learn about the period when this area was a hive of industrial activity. Learn of the days when miners slaved underground in the coal mines and when women took panniers up into the Black Mountain to carry silica sand.

Download the audio trails below:

01 Lower Brynhenllys Colliery                 Listen l Download

02 Hole in the wall                                Listen l Download

03 Flashy floods and sparky rivers           Listen l Download

04 Upper Brynhenllys Colliery                 Listen l Download

05 Opencasting and rotten eggs              Listen l Download

06 Ice age boulders and rotten stones      Listen l Download

07 Wild boars and runaway trams           Listen l Download

08 Geological layers                             Listen l Download

09 Henllys Vale Colliery                        Listen l Download

10 Limekilns                                       Listen l Download


Map and Directions                       Download


We value your feedback! Please let us know what you think of these audio trails by using the online feedback form. Thank you!