Revisiting the Neuadd Horsehoe in the Brecon Beacons

I had been scrutinising the weather forecast for a few weeks, looking for a convenient period of dry clear weather in order to reprise a walk. Yesterday promised, and turned out to be that day. I persuaded Mrs D to join me on a trip to the Neuadd reservoirs for a walk around the Neuadd Horseshoe. The Brecon Beacons are about a 90 minute drive for me, so the walk, and others around about, are very do-able on a day trip. This particular trip was motivated by my previous visit in February, when I did the walk with DC but missed just about all the views due to low cloud and mist.( It was also rather an arduous walk with bitingly cold, strong winds. After that day I promised myself I would return when conditions were more agreeable and I could see the views on offer.

Yesterday, the drive there was fairly uneventful, barring getting tangled up with a herd of lively, bucking and kicking cows and calves on Cefn Bryn. They seemed to be convinced that the road was built for them to walk, run, and defecate on; the latter in prodigious amounts.

We parked at the Forestry Commission car park and walked along the road to the reservoir exchanging pleasantries with a couple from Newport who had the same intent. But they were walking more quickly and we parted company before we reached the reservoir. We crossed the holding wall of the lower reservoir and climbed up to the ridge. The well worn route brings you out close by the trig point of Twyn Mwyalchod. But the ridge path turns swiftly left and at this point the trig is just out of view. This is quite a climb but this picture looking down and back to the lower reservoir hardly does it justice.

View from ridge looking back down "path"

View from ridge looking back down “path”

We met several groups of squaddies during the day, including two groups that ran and slithered down the path as we were climbing up. I don’t think they were enjoying themselves quite as much as we were!

Once up on the ridge, the walk is fairly undemanding unless you choose to take in all four peaks on the way round. I opted for 2 peaks and Mrs D took in the main one Pen y Fan. I found two geocaches on the walk including one near the site of a wrecked Spitfire from WW2. It was quite cool on the top but the views were glorious.

The path to Corn Ddu and then Pen y Fan

The path to Corn Du and then Pen y Fan

The descent path from Pen y Fan is almost all graded now; a very impressive achievement. Later we met a National Trust warden who told us the path had taken 5 years to complete at the rate of about 1 metre a day, with teams of volunteers.

We took the Beacons Way path across the face of Cribyn and then descended on the bridleway. It took us about just over 5 hours and very enjoyable it was too.

View back from bridleway, Cribyn, nearest, then Pen y Fan and Corn Du

View back from bridleway, Cribyn, nearest, then Pen y Fan and Corn Du

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2 Responses to Revisiting the Neuadd Horsehoe in the Brecon Beacons

  1. DC says:

    Delighted that you’ve made the reprise in such benign conditions! The shot of Corn Du and Pen Y Fan shows very well how much of a “blind man’s buff” experience we had last time, leading to us ‘mis-identifying’ the former!! I’ve promised to take M along on this one as soon as he’s finished his exams to help him limber up to his 24 km challenges in Iceland… We’ll see!

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