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Car/Walk combo

Sydney
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Car/Walk combo

Hello all,

Our family will be in the area for at least four days during late July. We will have a car but also like and intend to do a bit of walking (we're inexperienced at true compass and map orienteering but are pretty fit, have hiked short distances before and can definitely read a map).

Are all or most of the paths well sign-posted? I'm getting contradictory information on this online,

Is the area very crowded during summer and might we face some parking difficulties when setting out on some of the walks?

I've seen 2 guidebooks on short walks (4-8km) and on circular day walks (mostly 15-20 km) but I've yet to find a guidebook or an internet site that can provide clear and updated information on short/medium length circular walks (up to approx. 12km) that will bring us back to our vehicle without having to backtrack along the same path.

As our days in the area are limited and we have a car, we'd prefer to see as wide a variety of countryside/waterfalls/lakes as possible.

We'd greatly appreciate it if somebody would be able to provide input on the best way to both drive AND hike the Brecon Beacons or advice on a drive/hike guidebook that I have yet to locate.

Opinions on 'not to be missed' walks (and drives, for that matter) - though obviously highly sujective - would also be helpful.

Thanks in advance,

CP

Suffolk, United...
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for Cephalonia
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1. Re: Car/Walk combo

Hi CP,

As you are inexperienced in map and compass work I would suggest you keep to lowland walks.

Most public footpaths are well signposted from the road and also at many field boundaries (where there are stiles and gates through hedges and walls). However once you get above cultivated land the footpath signs disappear.

Note that "public footpath" in Welsh is "llwybr cyhoeddus"

If you buy an Ordnance Survey map with a scale of 1:25000 then it will have all public footpaths and most other paths marked. For the Brecon Beacons you would need map number OL12 and possibly OL13.

These maps are widely available at bookshops and outdoor pursuits shops. You can also get them on line and Ordnance Survey have a good website

There is a famous "waterfall walk" starting from a carpark just outside Ystradfelte that you could make into a circular walk. There are leaflets available for the walks but not having been there for about 3 years I am not sure where they are available this year.

Enjoy Wales

Bob

Sydney
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2. Re: Car/Walk combo

Thanks Travelbob.

Re. the pathways at higher elevations: official signage disappears but aren't these well trodden paths pretty apparent to the eye? As I said, it's not as if we can't read - and basically orient ourselves - with a topographical map. Not being argumentative, by the way. Just trying to ascertain how likely we'll be to get lost on the shortish circular routes we'd like to do.

As regards maps for the area, I've asked further questions on the best maps in a separate post. I'd find it helpful if you and other forum members could provide input on this matter also.

Cheers,

CP

Bucks, UK
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3. Re: Car/Walk combo

www.breconbeacons.org/shop/product.php…

I wouldn't worry about a compass unless the visibility is poor. The Beacons can be somewhat featureless but it is not that difficult to follow footpaths and tracks down the mountain if the weather deteriorates. The weather should be half-decent in late July and there will be plenty of walkers about. In Jan/Feb it would be a different story.

Suffolk, United...
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for Cephalonia
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4. Re: Car/Walk combo

Hi again CP,

In more frequently used areas then you will find evidence on the ground of footpaths at higher levels, especially around the Pen-y Fan area of the Beacons. However there is sometimes a problem in that sometimes people "make" a footpath going to a particular feature that is not on a recognised footpath but is somewhere nice to go. This unofficial footpath may start as part of a recognised footpath and then diverge.

There is a great higher level walk that will not be too crowded in the West of the Beacons" going round Llyn y Fan Fach and Llyn y Fan Fawr. The description I wrote for someone else and have sent it you as personal message because it is quite long.

As for the OS maps, I first remove the cover, then I fold it wherever I want ignoring the official folds making it small enough so that it fits in my waterproof map-case (about 25cm each way). With a bit of thought I rarely have to refold en-route. Just remember to put it in the cover when you get home so that you know which map is which!

Hope this helps

Bob

Blackwood, United...
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5. Re: Car/Walk combo

If you can read a map and relate where you are on the ground to the map then unless it's foggy then you should be OK on most of the tourist areas. There is a couple of circular walks you could do ( not necessarily in any guide books though).

Starting from the Storey Arms on the A470 walk up the side of the forestry and follow the path, it will veer left towards the obelisk (memorial to Tommy Jones a 5 year old who died there) and upward to Corn Du, (you can then walk to Pen-y-Fan and back) from Corn Du descend and take the left path towards the left side of the forestry you started from, this will bring you back down to the A470 about half a km from where you started, most likely during the summer there will be plenty of people about.

If you want a waterfall walk you could go to Pontneddfechan, park by the visitor centre, walk up the track when you get to a fork take the right fork and follow the path you'll pass a number of waterfalls, once you reach the last one keep walking and you'll come to a car park/picnic area from there you can either follow the road right after 1km at the junction turn right and follow the road back to your starting point, alternatively there are a couple of signposted paths which will bring you back to the start.

Suffolk, United...
Destination Expert
for Cephalonia
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6. Re: Car/Walk combo

The waterfall walk suggested by Kevr39 is great and could be combined with the one I suggested in my first post by cutting across from the "main" road after the carpark and joining the waterfalls in the other valley.

Bob

7. Re: Car/Walk combo

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