Breakfast in the Beacons   11 comments

A sunny day forecast and time for al fresco eating. Taking breakfast stuff on a walk means an earlier start, more chance of a parking space and of course, eating outside is a pleasure.

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One of favourite Beacons route was the choice with a perfect breakfast stop a few minutes walk from the car.

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It was quite chilly when we set off, concerns that it might be a cold breakfast. Luckily that few minutes is very steeply up hill to warm you up.

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This is a walk with plenty of waterfalls, this is one of the one’s on the Nant Bwrefwr (yes, you try and pronounce that one!)

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Superb morning views as we arrived at our chosen spot.

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Perfection – grassy seat (although I brought my own), sparkling stream, warm sunshine and sheltered from the wind.

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Bacon and egg sandwich and a cuppa is a great way to start a hike.

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Repast over it was time to climb the steep path on to the edges above the Caerfanell Valley.

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Sadly we timed it badly, there was (shock) a running event on (there seems to be one every day in. summer) so we shared the path hundreds of sweaty athletes. I remember the days when taking to the hills was to relax and savour the scenery rather than a competition.

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Luckily we only had to put up with the crowds for about 30 mins before we struck off on the Beacons Way. I’ve come to love the path that cuts the corner over towards Fan y Big. It can be soggy, but its quiet and has some oustanding views over the Heads of the Valleys and out to the Bristol Channel.

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You arrive suddenly on the north facing escarpment and this fabulous view over the perfect U-shaped glacial valley of Cwm Oergwn.

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The views back across to Fan y Big, Cribyn, Pen y Fan and Corn Du were also rather grand. We decided against the out and back to Fan y Big, choosing to create a time window for another long food and brew stop. The edge that heads east towards Waun Rydd and Carn Pica is one of my favourites, easy level strolling above a steep drop and spectacular views out into mid-Wales

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We chose the equally fine edges to the south of Carn Pica for our break. Hardly anyone walks this part so we had it to ourselves save for a very pleasant couple and their gorgeous and very friendly greyhound called Biscuit who we met on the top.

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I find cairns make fantastic foreground shots on a sunny day and I never resist the temptation to include them

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This short photo reverie fortified me for the very steep descent down towards the Caerfanell waterfalls.

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Looking up to that very steep descent.

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And up to the edges we walked with the runners earlier in the day.

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Caerfanell valley is stunning with lots of small falls.

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TBF decided a swim was in order although in truth it wasn’t really deep enough. The sun had gone in so I took the role of official photographer.

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The walk has a little sting in the tale, requiring a short and steep climb back up to the car. More waterfalls but they are hidden deep in the forest. One day I must try and bushwhack along the stream and take a closer look.

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A fine view through the trees as we finished the walk. A classic, one of our favourites and all the better for the breakfast by the stream.

11 responses to “Breakfast in the Beacons

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  1. I have to say I’ve never seen a greyhound in the hills! They’re obviously fit dogs but you literally never see them up hills – I’ve seen the odd whippet though – generally freezing and shivering. I wonder if greyhounds are more sprinters than ‘endurance athletes’?

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    • They said it was an ex-racing greyhound no longer required. They were getting him used to hill walking and to people but he was very calm and very affectionate and friendly, gorgeous colours. I wish I’d taken a photo (I was a bit smitten!)

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  2. Waterfalls, food stops, stunning edges, a swim and lots of sunshine and lovely blue skies – can’t be bad!

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    beatingthebounds
  3. I hate all the competition races esp as they don’t contribute anything to the conservation of the area. Would like to see a £1 levy added to every race entry charge and money going back to the area.
    Trying to figure out which way you went up, was it from Blaen Y Glyn?
    I had a good couple of dips in Mynydd Du forest last weekend, one more of a plunge than a swim, the pool by the lower car park good for swimming.

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    • Hi Ruth – not heard from you for a while!
      It marks me out as a grumpy old git but I find this modern trend that everything has to be “challenge” or a race of some kind rather frustrating. Even when I do take on a longer walk its always broken up by several very long stops and numerous other shorter stops to take in the scenery etc. Not to mention the fact that these events crowd out everyone else both on paths and car parks etc.
      We started the route from the Upper Car Park above Blaen y Glyn as it was a shorter walk to breakfast. I’ve often heard people splashing about in the pools below the path there but never actually taken a look to see what they are like. I must give them a look next time as a wild swim or a plunge always adds to a great day!

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  4. I’ve heard you write about the edges to the east of Fan y Big before, they do look superb. Need to head to the Brecons again

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    • It’s one of the best walks in South Wales IMHO. Once you’ve ticked Pen y Fan I’d definitely say there are many better routes in the Beacons. I rarely go back to the top now and even if I do the circuit you did from the south I’ll often skirt around the top to avoid the madness. The rest of the edges going east have all the views and none of the crowds

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  5. Spectacular day!

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