Torpantua to Fan Y Big Hike

Torpantau in the Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons provide miles of excellent walking. Despite appearances, the weather can soon change making the moors and escarpments difficult to navigate. This route starts with a steep climb but the way ahead soon levels off with excellent views for most of the route. I recommend waterproofs, map (OS Explorer OL12), compass, warm clothes as well as some food and drinks. Mobiles don’t work on the ridge so don’t rely on them in an emergency, ensure you can read a map and use a compass.

There is a small car park (Grid ref. SO056176 – nearest Sat Nav is CF48 2UT) at Torpantau which can be reached from Merthyr Tydfil to the south and Talybont-on-Usk from the east. From the car park take the path that climbs alongside the waterfalls. The way ahead is clear and the path climbs steeply onto the moors to follow the Craig y Fan Ddu escarpment north. The views are already good especially to the east and south.

Stay on the clear path with a drop into the valley on your right. The path meanders along the escarpment gaining height almost imperceptibly as you continue along the top of Graig Fan Las to reach the northern edge of the main east-west escarpment of the Brecon Beacons. Turn left along the edge path with a grand view north to Brecon and beyond on your right.

The route is now almost level and ahead you can see Fan y Big with other peaks of the Brecon Beacons beyond. Fan y Big’s summit is a pleasant place to rest a while before beginning the walk back to the start.

From the summit continue westwards descending steeply to Bwlch ar y Fan where you turn south (left) along the ‘Bwlch Road’. This track allows good progress with the Neuadd Reservoirs to your right. Looking back there is a good retrospective view to the Beacons. Where the track turns sharp right (Grid ref. SO 034182) continue ahead on a path, which skirts a plantation to reach a tarmac lane.

Do not follow the road instead fork left along the Taff Trail, which continues through the Taf Fechan Forest. After approximately one mile you reach another road. Turn left and follow this uphill back to the start.

If you’d like to join me for some mountain training in the summer or winter please get in touch on 07534 387152 or use the links below,

Torpantau in the Brecon Beacons
Torpantau in the Brecon Beacons

Published by Diving & Mountaineering Instructor

I am a passionate adventurer, loving being in the mountains walking, climbing, scrambling as much as I love being under the water exploring shipwrecks, mines and caverns, or in search of treasure in the depths. I am a Mountain Instructor (MIA), a Winter Mountain Leader, a Scuba Diving Instructor (BSAC, TDI, SDI, IANTD), a skipper for CAT3 waters up to 25mtr and as I’ve built this experience over time, I have written about it and published those works. In addition I am a Chartered Manager with CILT, a member of the institute of Engineering & Technology, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. I help people fulfill their goals in the Mountains (Worldwide), Scuba Diving (Worldwide), provide location support worldwide for the media and assist with technical and safety support whenever requested. For a full picture of me please check out my linkedin profile - https://www.linkedin.com/in/marklewisfinstlm

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