A different perspective on The Beacons   4 comments

Me and TJS had the day to ourselves. Being a lazy sort I couldn’t be bothered to make us breakfast so I treated us to the best of the Waitrose cafe in Abergavenny. I need to big up Waitrose here for introducing me to worlds best toast – sourdough bread – awesome.

Always on the look out for a new route we took a Brecon Beacons walk from Llanfrynach in the NE to bag one of a couple of ridges we’d yet to set foot on. Llanfrynach is a pretty place with the largest graveyard in the area and the only community run public toilets in Wales!

11 Miles

11 Miles

We were heading across to Cribyn and the Nant Sere valley to start with, more on that later

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

The first section takes you through woods by the side of the Nant Menasgin and its lovely, a mix of woodland, stream and grassy flower filled meadows. Interestingly they have diverted a tiny section of stream that runs parallel to the main stream before disappearing under a large farmhouse. The map shows a water feature behind the house so no idea whether it’s a private diversion or a water supply for the village. Interesting village is Llanfrynach

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

The route took us through grassy fields and quiet lanes before a somewhat tedious green lane, overgrown and oppressive with bracken, brambles and nettles delivered us to the lower slopes of Cribyn. Most people then head up the ridge as I’ve done many times but today I had a different agenda. After my swim the previous weekend I’ve become taken with the idea of wild swims on walks. As such I’ve the UK version of the well-known Wild Swimming series of books. Great read and some great new places to explore and get wet. Today I was off to explore the Nant Sere

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

Right on cue as we reached the water, the sun went in and the wind blew cold. Not to be deterred I went for a short and sharp swim in the pool below. Cold and refreshing but at least the water was clear rather than brown.

IMG_9955

Further up the waterfalls and swimming pools were even better, none especially large or deep but enough for nice dip on a warm day. Well worth coming back for a picnic some time if summer ever arrives

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

TJS wasn’t keen on all this wild stream bashing without a path even though I was in my element. Reluctantly we bashed up a few hundred feet of steep grass back to the path.

As we climbed I noticed some pony trekkers enjoying the surroundings. It too me back to a gloriously sunny day back in the 70’s (yes I’m that old) when we took a trip from school to go Pony Trekking in the Brecons and I’m pretty sure we went up this valley. I still remember it now as a great day out. Strange to think that over 30 years on these hills would become my local stomping ground

The weather had really taken a turn though. The summits vanished into the clouds and drizzle filled the air. The NE ridge of Cribyn is brutally steep so we decided we’d give it a miss this time.

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

We took the faint path that contours under Cribyn and then climbed up to Fan y Big. We’d planned on taking the fine path that skirts the edges that overlook Cwm Oergwm but the weather was cold windy and damp so just headed off down the NE ridge of Fan y Big as the weather was looking most unpromising. Right on cue as we descended the weather stuck two fingers up at us and the sun came out again, bloody typical.

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

Still, I’ve never descended this ridge before and it was fine and peaceful walk, delivering us back to our route in across fields and down by the river back to the village. Just as well we cut it short, it was already a long enough day at 11 miles for an old bloke with dodgy knees!

 

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4 responses to “A different perspective on The Beacons

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  1. Gosh, you mention dodgy knees right at the end….mine have not been behaving of late!

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    • I’ve had two ops on my right knee and the left knee is starting to fail. Sometimes (like this day) they hurt like hell, other days not at all. I can live with it for now though but chances of completing the Pacific Crest Trail are fast diminishing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the stream and little waterfalls!

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    • Nice little secret area, no paths and lots of bracken to bash through but well worth the effort. Nice spots for a summer picnic, pity we did’t have much of a summer here in the UK 🙂

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