Fan Llia to Fan Gyhrirych

May 30, 2009 at 9:17 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment
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This was a long trek across Fforest Fawr, a place of serene isolation. I followed the Nuttall route across four peaks – Fan Llia, Fan Nedd, Fan Fraith and Fan Gyhrirych – with a long loop back through the path of an old railway, a nature reserve and Sarn Helen, the Roman Road. A total of 16 miles. It was a beautiful warm day that really felt like early summer but the long stretch back took a toll on stiff muscles.

I started from the attractive Afon Llia car park – leaving the car-bound picnickers to enjoy the river – and climbed steadily up over grassy slopes to the summit of Fan Llia, with its views across the valley to Fan Nedd and back east to Fan Fawr and the Brecon Beacons. After dropping down into the valley, to the ancient standing stone of Maen Llia, there is a much tougher climb up to Fan Nedd. The summit is hard won but gives wonderful views over to Fan Gyhrirych, the Carmathen Fan and back across Fan Fawr to Pen y Fan and Corn Du.

The next stage descends from Fan Nedd to Bwlch y Duwynt and then follows a clear track with a detour for Fan Fraith and then up the slope to Fan Gyhrirych. From the summit it’s a steep descent down the grassy slopes to the road.

There is then a gentle walk along the trace of an old railway line on the Cnewr Estate until you come to quarry works. You then cross the Ogof-Fynnon-Ddu Pant Mawr National Nature Reserve. This was a lovely return leg on a fine late spring evening but by now my leg was aching badly and I was regretting not bringing more water. The final stretch was along Sarn Helen, the ancient Roman road, and thoughts of soldiers marching this same path almost two millennia ago provided a welcome distraction as I hobbled back to the car, 8 hours after starting, tired, sore and thirsty but very happy.

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