The Beacons Way Day 6: Craig-y-Nos to Llanddeusant


 
Start / Finish points: Brecon Beacons
Distance: 14km
Difficulty: Hard

Time:  5 hours
 
Day six starts from Craig y nos Country Park, once owned by the opera singer Dame Adelina Patti.  The route takes you to Lyn y Fan Fawr, the highest natural lake in south Wales.  A short, step ascent takes you above the lake and onto Fan Brycheiniog, the highest point in the western Brecon Beacons at 820m.  From here you can see Llyn y Fan Fawr nestling in the bottom of the escarpment and, on a clear day, you can see Pen y Fan in the east and the Bristol Channel and Somerset/Devon coast in the south.  Another short, steep climb to the summit of Bannau Sir Gaer rewards you with views of Llyn y Fan Fach.

Directions:

Starting from Craig-y-nos Country Park, follow the bridleway north towards Pwllcoediog Farm but turn left onto a footpath to pass to its west. Turn left at the road, right at the Outdoor Centre, then across fields to the main road and the Tafarn y Garreg pub. Carefully cross the fast road and take the path to the left of the car park to the footbridge, passing east and north of Ty Hendry.

If the weather is poor, particularly in high winds, consider taking the variant path north from here.
From here, ascend to Allt Fach. There are numerous, potentially confusing, sheep tracks on the way so you may want to follow a compass bearing. Follow the obvious ridge of Fan Hir to Fan Brycheiniog and Fan Foel, with huge views into the Beacons and Mid Wales above the steep slopes. If conditions deteriorate, you can leave the ridge at Bwlch Giedd and follow the variant to Llanddeusant. Continue west, high above the cwm of sparking Llyn y Fan Fach, before following the path north off the Hill.
Cross the footbridge and then turn left onto the road to the Youth Hostel. This is the only accommodation or place to eat within walking distance so you may need a taxi if it is full.

According to the Mabinogion, a farmer married a beautiful woman with magical powers who he met sitting on rocks near Llyn y Fan Fach.  Their sons became the famous Physicians of Myddfai – the village nearby.  Some believe that this myth gave rise to another famous tale – the Arthurian legend of the Lady of the Lake and Excalibur.

In the event of poor weather (particularly strong winds), day 6 can be difficult and dangerous, so do consider this poor weather alternative. 

POOR WEATHER VARIANT
CRAIG-Y-NOS
TO LLANDDEUSANT
Ascent 600m
Distance 14.5km
Time 4 hours 30 mins
 
In the event of poor weather (particularly strong winds), day 6 can be difficult & dangerous, so do consider this poor weather alternative.
From Ty Hendry, follow the contours north, keeping the steep ground on your left and crossing the stream near the waterfalls. When you reach Llyn y Fan Fawr, walk along its eastern side but then return to the base of the hill and round the base of Fan Foel and Picws Du.  Follow the small stream north west to the dam diverting its flow into Llyn y Fan Fach.  Head west to the Llyn (formerly a water supply reservoir) and then north down the obvious track which, after turning into a public road, joins the main route to Llanddeusant.