The Grange is perfectly situated to allow you to access all of the great walking in the Central Beacons. We have everything from challenging hill walks, trails through Waterfall country and more sedate walking along the Taff Trail.
Whatever you decide to do, we strongly recommend you read the “Safe Walking” section at the bottom of this page. People underestimate the Beacons as it’s renowned for having easier walking than the likes of Snowdonia, however the changeable weather conditions in the area can create challenges for the most experienced of walkers. Taking the time to make sure that you’re prepared and if thing go wrong you’ll be better equipped to deal with them.
Be aware that the popular routes get very busy at weekends and during school holidays – make sure you have a back up plan as car parks get full and you may not be able do do the walk you had planned. We have Ordnance Survey maps and guidebooks with suggestions for lesser-travelled (but still fantastic) routes available in our library and guests are welcome to borrow them.
Most people come to the area to walk Pen y Fan and the surrounding 3 peaks of Corn Du, Cribyn and Fan-y-Big. There are two ways to do Pen-y-Fan depending on how much time you’ve got and how far you’re comfortable walking. Both routes involve significant climbing and a reasonable degree of fitness but the paths are well marked and you won’t be scrambling over rocks .
There are two car parks at the start of this walk, both just off the A470 and a 15 minute drive from The Grange. We actually recommend doing the circular walk in the link in the reverse direction, starting from the iconic red phone box next to the main Storey Arms building. Allow 2.5 hours for this route although more experienced walkers will take less.
Whilst this is a longer walk at around 5 hours, it’s by far our favourite way to experience these hills. Not only do you get to see more of the beautiful scenery, it will be much less busy than than doing the Storey Arms route.
You’ll often see uniformed soldiers appearing when you’re walking in the Beacons. It’s a popular training ground for the armed forces and the most famous exercise is the SAS “Fan Dance”. This is a particularly challenging route march of 22km that prospective recruits need to complete in under 4 hours (whilst wearing a 30lb pack!) to progress. Several companies run the “Fan Dance” as organised events for civilians but if you want to walk it yourself at any time you can do.
The area behind the village of Penderyn, home to Wales first whisky distillery, is home to some great waterfall walks. The “Four Waterfalls” trail does exactly what you’d expect and takes you past three fabulous waterfalls before finishing at the fourth – the beautiful Sgwd-yr-Eira – where the rock underneath it has eroded so much that you can walk behind. If you’re feeling brave you can even swim in the natural pool at its base.
This is a 3-4 hour walk. The trails are well marked but there’s a lot of rock which can be slippery during or after rain, so make sure you have appropriate footwear. The car park costs £5.
if you don’t have time for the long walk, it’s possible to reach Sgwd-yr-Eira from the village of Penderyn, which is a round trip of 1.5-2 hours.
There’s a lot to be said for the Scouts motto of “Be Prepared”. Walking in the Beacons is hugely rewarding with fabulous scenery and some breathtaking views. A few simple things will help you get the best from your walks and keep you safe in the unlikely event of something going wrong.
Check the weather
The Mountain Weather Information Service provides a detailed 3 day weather forecast for the Beacons. Factor in that the mountain tops in the Beacons can be 5-10C colder than here at The Grange – and feel much colder due to the wind-chill factor.
Take the right gear
Make sure you have layers to cope with sudden changes of weather as well as colder, windier conditions the top of the mountains. Make sure your footwear can cope with wet conditions as feet getting wet and cold can lead to hypothermia, especially if you’re a long way away from the end of your walk. Have water and food with you, especially for walks longer than two hours. Think about whether your gear is going to be enough to cope if you or one of your group gets injured and you have to spend longer than expected on your walk.
Take a map & compass and know how to use them. We strongly recommend that you don’t rely on your phone for navigation but we also recommend taking out a battery pack and charge lead just in case your phone battery dies whilst you’re out
Tell us where you’re going
If we know your proposed route and what time you plan to be back, we can agree to raise an alert if you’re not back by a certain time. We strongly recommend this for solo walkers. We can track your progress using location sharing on WhatsApp if you feel comfortable doing this – please ask us for more details.
If you get into trouble
Call 999 and ask for Mountain Rescue if you are able. If you have no signal, try to have one of your party move uphill to find one if its safe to do so. Make sure you make the location of the person having issues. Using What3Words before you move away from them will give you an accurate location to allow you to get back to the rest of your party and for Mountain Rescue to find them.
In the unlikely event that you end up needing their services the volunteers at the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue team would definitely appreciate a donation.
The information provided on this page is provided in good faith. The links are to 3rd party sites, and we take accept no responsibility for the content. If you use this information, please ensure you have the ability to follow the routes and are capable of walking them. Ask us for advice if you’re not sure. If any of the links are broken, please let us know