Wild walking, waterfalls and a welcoming group in the Brecon Beacons...
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty LevelsMultiple options available
1 - 3
There are few better ways to explore the countryside than with a day in the Brecon Beacons followed by a day exploring the woods and waterfalls of the valleys with a group of new friends!
The hills of South Wales, with their heart in the Brecon Beacons National Park, are a range of rolling peaks, with steep grassy slopes, wild valleys, and streams that have cut dozens of waterfalls into the underlying limestone. The area is known as a Dark Sky Reserve, where you’ll have an exceptional chance to see thousands of stars once the sun has gone down.
We’ll be within a stone’s throw of Pen y Fan, the highest peak in southern Britain, with views that stretch from mid-Wales all the way south past Cardiff and the Severn Estuary to Exmoor, in England.
We’ll be staying at a bunkhouse that sits alongside a working farm, deep within the National Park. As usual, there will be two days of exquisite walks, with a choice on Saturday for a shorter or longer day out. Whatever walk you choose, you’ll get a great introduction to this hillwalking gem of a landscape.
In a nutshell:
- Feel exhilarated after reaching the summit of the highest peak in South Wales, Pen Y Fan, with an experienced Mountain Leader.
- Be amazed at the beauty of the Brecon Beacon waterfalls, and try to avoid getting wet as you walk under them!
- Notice a new spring in your step after a weekend of good companionship and camaraderie.
- Sit back and relax we we provide advice on equipment, lots of freshly prepared food, and a special insight into the local area.
Brecon Beacons Dates
- Friday 4th – Sunday 6th October 2019
- Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th April 2020
- Friday 12th – Sunday 14th June 2020
- Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd August 2020
- Friday 23rd – Sunday 25th October 2020
We’ll be staying at the 4 star Coed Owen bunkhouse nestled right next to the highest hills in the area, a fantastic place to stay for the weekend. Your Large Outdoors host will be there to greet you and introduce you to your fellow walking companions.The evening is then yours to relax, as we cook and serve dinner and give you an introduction to the adventures to come.
We usually find that many of the group gravitate towards the kitchen, which ends up with a lot of banter before we sit down to devour the famous Large Outdoors cheese-board, and possibly a glass or two of wine!
After a hearty breakfast, we set out to tackle South Wales’ highest peak, Pen-y-fan, which translates as ‘summit of the beacons’.
Depending on the size of the group, for this walk we’re offering two guided routes – a more strenuous, challenging option and a more straightforward leisurely route.
The challenging option – Pen y Fan from Coed-Owen
This fantastic walk from the south of Pen y Fan takes in three of the central Beacons. We begin from our accommodation and head up the forested Nant Ddu valley before gaining the ridge of Graig Fan Ddu and heading north over a wide easy ascent to reach the top of Corn Du. From here it’s a quick journey along the summit ridge to reach Pen y Fan (886m) and then a longer ‘down and up’ to reach our final peak of Cribyn. After Cribyn we drop down to the Neuadd Reservoirs along an easy track before a final steep ascent and descent to return to the bunkhouse.
For the whole traverse, the views both north and south are spectacular, down to the Welsh valleys and the Severn Estuary and north to the rolling lowlands of mid-Wales. Although there are one or two steep sections, none of the walking is technical or exposed.
The gentler option – Pen y Fan from The Storey Arms
This shorter and less strenuous walk also involves the ascent of Pen y Fan, Corn Du and Cribyn, so you’re not missing out on the famous peaks. We drive a short distance north to near the Storey Arms, walking straight up to Corn Du via a well-used upland path before completing ascents of the other peaks. After Cribyn, instead of dropping down to the valley, we return via a path that traverses beneath the peaks, keeping us high until the descent back to the road.
We’ll have great views and the same summits as the longer hike, with more time to stop and appreciate the scenery!
On returning to the hostel there will be a chance to chill out and relax before we host the evening meal.
Today we’re going to prove why people don’t have to travel right across the World to see beautiful waterfalls, as today will have an abundance of them!
After our final breakfast we’ll pack up and leave the hostel. This morning’s more gentle walk will aim to take 3-4 hours and get to the pub for lunch and a relaxing afternoon – or a drive home if you have a long way to go.
This morning we’ll pass by some of the most spectacular waterfalls in Britain, and certainly the most beautiful, situated in natural broadleaved woodland, with a feeling of being far away from the trials of the working week.
There are a few route options, and our leaders will decide what to do depending on the group and the weather. We could head down the Afon Mellte, visiting three waterfalls before the grand finale of the Sgwd yr Eira on the Afon Hepste, the waterfall you can walk behind. From here it’s another hour or so on scenic upland paths to Pontneddfechan and the pub.
Or, a longer route will complete the whole waterfalls circuit, starting and finishing in Pontneddfechan. We’ll visit 6 or more waterfalls, and include a walk along the Nedd Fechan, as well as the other two rivers visited by the shorter route.
Whichever walk we go on it’ll be a day to remember, and as you head home later in the day we’re pretty sure you’ll have a whole new appreciation of the beauty of South Wales.
Coed Owen Farm
Our venue for this weekend is a converted barn on a traditional Welsh hill farm.
- 2 nights hostel accommodation, please note bedding is supplied but you will need a towel
- 2 days of guided day walks – please note any excursions or other extra activities will incur an additional charge.
- Welcome meal on the Friday plus Saturday night evening meal. Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and then a packed lunch for Saturday.
- As well as meals, we also provide a variety of complimentary soft drinks and beverages – tea & coffee which includes herbal, fruit and decaffeinated options and fruit squashes.
Arriving by Public Transport:
Nearest Train Station: Merthyr Tydfil
Taxi: A taxi from the station to the hostel is roughly £10.
Car shares / taxi share or travel buddy: If you are attending this trip then please use the Large Outdoors Facebook Members page to request or look for travel buddies.
Age Limit: You must be over 18 to attend this trip, there is no upper age limit.
Dogs: I am afraid dogs are not allowed on this trip, unless they are registered assistance dogs.
Arrival Time: You are welcome to arrive any time from 5pm onwards and settle in before we serve an evening meal at about 8pm. Please let us know if you intend arriving after 10pm.
Solo Travellers: This trip is perfect for solo travellers and although couples and small groups of friends are always welcome the majority of people do attend on their own.
Rooms: This venue has a mix of twin, double, 6 & 8 bedded rooms and we only ever offer these on a same sex basis. Please note bedding is provided but you will need to bring a towel.
Alcoholic Drinks: We do not supply any alcohol for this trip but you are welcome to bring your own drinks to enjoy over the weekend.
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What our members have to say...
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018