In the Brecon Beacons National Park is the beautifully situated mountain of Pen y Fan.
Pen y Fan mountain is the highest peak in South Wales, at 886 metres above sea-level. It’s no wonder that many people from all over the world come to Wales to climb the terrain of Pen y Fan.
The ease of the walk
There are 6 routes up Pen y Fan, and it depends what level of fitness you are, and what you feel like you can do. Each walk offers a scenic view of the surrounding Welsh countryside. The most popular route for Pen y Fan walkers is from the Pont ar Daf carpark – which is free, by the way. The path is wide, yet cobbled. It takes about an hour to walk up this route, if you’re relatively fit, and offers you a great view as you walk closer to the summit. Other routes include the route from the Storey Arms, which is one of the shortest routes. You don’t have to worry about being a seasoned hiker for Pen y Fan. There are enough easy routes to get you to the top.
When you have made your way up your chosen route, and come to land that is a little flatter, you are greeted with sweeping views of luscious green. On a clear day, you might be able to see the Bristol Channel, as well as Carmarthen Bay and Exmoor.
Owned by the National Trust, Pen y Fan has become a mountain that is thriving. The National Trust realised they needed to protect Pen y Fan, because over 350,000 years walkers tread the slopes every year. This has created erosion over the years to the footpaths and wildlife. Their help has allowed them to make sure water runs safely down the mountain, as well as keeping plants alive for wildlife to graze.
Climbing Pen y Fan is a great activity to do with friends, partners, family or on your own. The walk is an hour or so up, and then, of course, it takes the same amount to walk down. On a sloping gradient, the walk is great for your health and fitness. You’re exercising whilst enjoying the views!
Reaching the top
It’s very rewarding when you’ve made the steep walk to the top of Pen y Fan, and you get to see the sign that pinpoints how high you are and how far you’ve come. From the top, you can get the best views over the Welsh countryside. That is, of course, if the weather isn’t raining!
Tips for the climb:
Despite the hike being relatively straight forward and easy, you must be responsible with your walk. Plan ahead, to ensure you are safe.
If the weather is hot, make sure you wear sun lotion, as you are exposed to the weather. If it is overcast or raining, dress appropriately. The wind can be strong, and the rain can be tough to walk through. Visibility may be low on rainy or snowy days.
Consider wearing comfortable clothing, such as leggings or activewear. If the weather is chilly, wear fleeces or a coat, to ensure you don’t get too cold.
Pack water and plenty of it, to keep yourself hydrated. It may even be worth packing some food for energy, too! Wear approximate footwear, and you should be good to go!
Pen y Fan may seem daunting, but it’s a great walk, and totally rewarding!