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Circular Autumnal Walk in the Black Mountains

A 3-hour circular autumnal walk in the Black Mountains from the village of Cwmdu, to Mynydd Llangorse via the Pen Tir ridge.

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An autumn walk in the Black Mountains

I am still not sure whether I prefer a perfect spring day or a perfect autumn one. Do you like the spring for the promise it holds for the rest of the year, or the autumn as you may not see a better day for some months?

All I know is that when Sunday dawned sunny and still, I knew I had to get out and enjoy the countryside. Susie and I had a short chat as to where we should go. We both prefer the Black Mountains to the Brecon Beacons; less crowded, prettier because of the presence of more trees, and much closer to Gliffaes.

We decided to approach Mynydd Llangorse by climbing the steep ridge of Pen Tir from Cwmdu before coming back to Cwmdu via the very quiet back lanes.

Cwmdu is a good place to start and finish for three reasons:

  • It’s easy to park in the village hall car park.
  • The village hall car park is no more than a 5-minute drive from Gliffaes
  • It has a pub (the Farmers Arms) and a cafe.

The Pen Tir ridge has a wonderful approach up through sunken lanes which then veers off sharply north, off the road and up an ancient track boarded by some very old ash trees which once upon a time must have been part of a cut and laid hedge. Breaking through the trees the path climbs steeply through the bracken.

As you get higher the surrounding countryside reveals itself slowly – first the Cwmdu valley and all the trees, fields and hedges, then the bulk of Pen Alt Mawr ridge behind you. As you get to the top you can see Pen-y-Fan and the central Beacons in the distance. It’s a really glorious climb – well worth the effort on such a wonderful autumn day.

From here it’s possible to take so many routes back to Cwmdu – we took about two and three-quarter hours to complete our circle but this can be lengthened or shortened as to your wishes.

If you’re interested in doing this walk while at Gliffaes we shall be delighted to mark up your maps, make you a packed lunch and send you on your way.

Book your Brecon Beacons escape

Gliffaes Country House Hotel is nestled in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park. We’ve created a useful guide of local attractions and activities here, containing information on walks, things to do, local shopping and places to visit, which you can use to help map out your visit to the Brecon Beacons.

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a fresh, locally-sourced lunch, dinner or afternoon tea, or somewhere comfortable to stay the night, our friendly country house hotel is the perfect base for your Brecon Beacons break.

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