Tarell valley walk

Storey Arms, Brecon Beacons

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Remember to keep looking behind you to admire the views © Becky Parton

Remember to keep looking behind you to admire the views

This old road has seen centuries of traffic, both human and animal © Simon Rutherford

This old road has seen centuries of traffic, both human and animal

The River Tarell in the Tarell Valley near Brecon. © National Trust

The River Tarell in the Tarell Valley near Brecon.

Glanrhyd Cottages an old tavern. © N.McAllister

Glanrhyd Cottages an old tavern.

Route overview

Follow this glaciated valley down the 18th-century metalled track that was once the main road from the Midlands to Cardiff. Then cross the valley and follow the river Tarell, where you'll pass the remains of farmsteads that were once inhabited during the heyday of the coach road.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Trail map
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Storey Arms, grid ref: SN982203

  1. Start the walk by crossing the road from the car park to be outside the Storey Arms (once a coaching inn, Storey Arms in now an outdoor education centre run by Cardiff Council). Take the track to the left of the centre down the valley towards Brecon and pass through a kissing gate and cross a stone bridge.

    Show/HideDramatic views

    Once you start walking down the coach road, be sure to look behind you at the dramatic view of Craig Cerrig Gleisiad, the glacial hollow overlooking the A470. It's now a National Nature Reserve looked after by NRW.

    Remember to keep looking behind you to admire the views © Becky Parton
  2. Continue downhill along the coach road, on your left next to the river below the new main road you will see stone built sheep pens. These pens were used to wash the sheep before taking them to market. Pass through a large gate and continue until you reach a stile on your left signposted for the youth hostel.

    Show/HideVeteran trees

    Many of our veteran trees are visible from the old coach road running north from Storey Arms. From a distance they look like any other tree, but up close they’re hollow, gnarled and full of life. Alder, Birch, Rowan and Oak are just a few of the species of trees in the valley.

    This old road has seen centuries of traffic, both human and animal © Simon Rutherford
  3. Once you have crossed the stile, walk down to the river and cross it by the wooden bridge. Just above the bridge are the remains of an Bronze Age burial chamber. Turn right and follow the fence above the river until you reach another stile.

  4. You now want to follow the path beside the fence along the river valley. You will cross several stiles and fields. Keep your eyes open as you are surrounded by wildlife as well as farm animals.

    Show/HideRiver Tarell

    The river is home to otters and dippers. Salmon and sewin (sea trout) have been known to swim up this river, quite some feat as the River Tarell flows into the River Usk which travels all the way to the sea at Newport. Look out for red kites, as they are also around.

    The River Tarell in the Tarell Valley near Brecon. © National Trust
  5. Keep the river and fence on your right until you come to the end of the fields. Go over the stile across the bridge and onto the tarmac road, turn right leading up and past the cottages called Old Glanryhd. Keeping straight ahead, the tarmac road will end at Blaen Glyn farm and the National Trust office. You are back on the metalled track of the old coach road, follow this all the way back up to Storey Arms.

    Show/HideOld brewery and tavern

    Glanryhd cottages used to be a tavern and brewery serving the old road back in the 18th century. Drovers would leave their sheep, guarded by their sons, close to the river (in an area marked by pine trees in a circle) and go to the tavern for the evening.

    Glanrhyd Cottages an old tavern. © N.McAllister

End: Storey Arms, grid ref: SN982203

In partnership with

Cotswold Outdoor logo © Cotswold Outdoor
  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 5 miles (8km)
  • Time: 3 hours
  • OS Map: Landranger 160; Explorer OL12
  • Terrain:

    A mix of walking surfaces from stone tracks, grass tracks, and tarmaced road. There are a few steep slopes and several stiles to cross. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads. The stiles are dog friendly.

  • How to get here:

    By foot: The Beacons Way passes through Storey Arms

    By bus: X43 and 470 alight Storey Arms, Information from Traveline Cymru

    By train: Merthyr Tydfil 10 miles (16km)

    By car: A470 Merthyr Tydfil to Brecon. Post Code LD3 8NL

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