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A view of Corn Du mountainside in the Brecon Beacons showing the steep slope and footpath erosion.
The footpath between Corn Du and Pen y Fan | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Pen y Fan and Corn Du circular walk

A strenuous, circular mountain walk on well-made footpaths to the summit of Pen y Fan and Corn Du in the Brecon Beacons. If weather permits, you can enjoy views of the town of Brecon and on a good day, the summit of Cadair Idris.

Prepare for unpredictable weather

A map and compass, waterproofs, and a whistle and torch are all essential for this walk, as the weather is very changeable in these mountains.

Total steps: 5

Total steps: 5

Start point

Pont ar Daf car park, grid ref: SN988199.

Step 1

Take the footpath at the southern end of the car park, pass through the kissing gate and cross the wooden footbridge over the river. From here, follow the footpath uphill towards Bwlch Duwynt.

Step 2

Once you reach Bwlch Duwynt (which means 'Windy Pass' in Welsh), take the footpath at about 11 o'clock which leads across the southern slope of Corn Du. You'll soon reach the saddle between Corn Du and Pen y Fan. From here there are spectacular views to the south, down the Neuadd Valley to the reservoirs that are above Merthyr Tydfil. Continue along the footpath for the last push to the summit of southern Britain's highest mountain – Pen y Fan – at 2,906 feet (886m).

Walking in the Brecon Beacons National Park, South Wales.
Walking in the Brecon Beacons National Park, South Wales | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Step 3

Once you've finished taking in the views, retrace your steps to the saddle in between Pen y Fan and Corn Du, and bear right, making your way up the pitched footpath to the summit of Corn Du. The footpath on your left would take you back to Bwlch Duwynt and onto the car park. Once you've reached the summit of Corn Du, descend and take the footpath to your right, following the ridge.

Step 4

Leave Corn Du from the northern end and climb down the steep section to reach the pitched path below which heads towards the obelisk. Re-trace your steps back from the obelisk to where the path divides. Take the permissive path that heads down towards the stream, Blaen Taf Fawr. Once across the stream, head upwards, following the path to the gate on Y Gyrn.

Step 5

Keep following the path and descend towards Storey Arms. Follow the tarmacked footpath in front of the Storey Arms Education Centre, leading to a kissing gate, taking you onto a track that leads back to the car park.

Beginning of the Beacons Way path from Pont ar Daf leading to Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales.
The Beacons Way path from Pont ar Daf | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

End point

Pont ar Daf car park, grid ref: SN988199

Trail map

Pen y Fan and Corn Du circular walk map, Brecon Beacons
Pen y Fan and Corn Du circular walk map, Brecon Beacons | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

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