The Sugar Loaf

The Sugar Loaf, Monmouthshire

The Sugar Loaf mountain dominates the skyline of the surrounding countryside and provides a spectacular backdrop to the market town of Abergavenny in South Wales.

An iconic peak

Peering between the ridges of the Llanwenarth, Deri and Rholben hills, the Sugar Loaf is one of the highest peaks in the heart of the Black Mountains. It stands at 596m high and offers glorious panoramic views across South Wales, the Brecon Beacons, and into south-west England.
 
Its conical shape is reminiscent of a volcano, but the mountain is made of the same old red sandstone as the rest of the Black Mountains.
 

Escape to the open hill

The gentle, rounded heather and bracken-clad shoulders of the mountain are criss-crossed with paths and provide an exhilarating place to walk and take in the landscape’s rugged wilderness, throughout the year.
 
The main access point onto the Sugar Loaf is from the car park on the Llanwenarth. From here you can head for the summit, or if you prefer a gentler pace, there are plenty of paths to choose from across the mainly flat Llanwenarth.
 

Watching wildlife

The mountain is a haven for upland wildlife. Singing skylarks soar into the sky, housemartins and swallows flit to and fro and red grouse skulk in the heather, while buzzards and the occasional red kite soar overhead.
 
The three finger-like ridges of the Llanwenarth, Rholben and Deri are formed from the slopes of the Sugar Loaf and create two deeply wooded valleys – St Mary’s Vale and the Cibi Valley. The oak woodlands that start on the top of the Llanwenarth run for several kilometres through these valleys and are a spectacular place to discover nature at any time of year.
 

Common land

The open moor land of the Sugar Loaf is a registered common spanning two counties. The largest part lies in Monmouthshire, with the rest in Powys.
 
Common land is privately owned land, which local farmers have a right to graze livestock on. This means the mountain plays a vital role for the surrounding farms which hold grazing rights on the Sugarloaf.