The Sunday of my Brecon Beacons weekend couldn’t have been more different to the Saturday. The blue sky turned grey and the sun was nowhere to be seen. Still, we set out for a shortish walk around Cerrig Edmwnt before heading back to London.
A lot of this walk was about braving the elements. As we set out on a steep ascent along Craig Y Fan Ddu (683m) from one of the Talybont parking lots (second when driving from Talybont reservoir) it started snowing. If anyone of us was cold when we were leaving the car, by the time we were half-way up we faced the opposite problem. Up on the ridge we cooled down again as the wind picked up speed.
The path along the Graig Fan Las ridge was covered in snow and ice and the view over the edge into the depth of the valley was slightly stomach churning at times. As with all the Brecon Beacons hills, the ridge snakes around in a big U shape. We followed the U and turned off the main path at the apex.
From now on the walk wasn’t marked on the map. We followed the path to a memorial of a World War 2 plane crash (complete with some fuselage wreckage) and then returned back to the cold and windy Cwar y Gigfran. At pace, wishing to be out of the cold wind, we found a cairn at the head of the ridge and started descending back to the valley zigzagging down the grassy hill until we found the Caerfanell stream.
Snow was a distant memory by the time we got to the stream. Instead it was mud all round. … And we put in a couple of spectacular slides.
The stream cuts and curls along the side of the hill and drops down a few times at a series of small waterfalls. The bigger waterfalls come at the end of the walk once you cross Caerfanell and walk into the surrounding forest. There are three of them. Then it’s just a short walk back to the car park.
Start – end: Talybont forest parking lot (second if driving from the Talybont reservoir)
Ascent/ descent: 330m / 330m
Getting there from London: 3hrs drive mostly on the M4
Accommodation: ‘The Loft’ in Llangorse (35 mins drive to the parking lot)