Mountains of the British Isles > Wales >

Brecon Beacons | VR Tour

Come and explore the mountains of the Brecon Beacons.

Starting in the west lie the beautiful and less visited Black Mountain and Carmarthen Fans. Moving eastwards you reach the empty peaks of the Forest Fawr, and then the more popular eastern area with its high peaks including Pen y Fan at 886m.

Across these mountains, usually traversed from east to west run two trails. The Beacons Way, and the longer Cambrian Way. The Beacon Way first dipping its toes in the Black Mountains to east, the Cambrian Way making close to a full traverse of these eastern ridges.

Whilst mostly empty, these hills bear the scars of former habitation and industry. The great reservoirs are an obvious more modern and necessary intrusion. But there are quarries, some ancient, some in use until relatively recent times. Many of the peaks are crowned by ancient burial mounds, Pen y Fan included. Where ever you walk here, it is with a ghost at your side.

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Carmarthen Fans & The Black Mountain
Start from Garreg Las.
Start from Carreg Yr Ogof.
Start from Blaenau.
Start from Waun Lefrith
Start from Picws Du
Start from Fan Brycheiniog
Start from Fan Hir
Start from Tafarn-y-Garreg.
Forest Fawr & Central Peaks
Start from Penwyllt
Start from A4067 Layby
Start from Fan Gyhirych
Start from Fan Fraith
Start from Fan Nedd
Start from Blaen Llia Car Park.
Start from Fan Llia
Start from Fan Frynych
Start from Craig Cerrig-gleisiad
Start from Fan Fawr
Start from Storey Arms.
Eastern Brecon Beacons
Pont ar Daf
Corn Du
Pen y Fan
Fan y Big
Bwlch y Ddwyallt
Lower Neuadd Reservoir
Torpantau Station
Cefn yr Ystrad
Chartist Cave
Llangynidr Car Park

Route Legend:

Red and white routes are VR tours supported by most modern browsers, including those on tablets and mobile phones and are Google cardbard compatible.

List of Peaks:




Bwlch y Ddwyallt, Eastern Beacons754m13.18
Cefn yr Ystrad, Eastern Beacons619m13.21
Corn Du, Eastern Beacons873m13.14
Craig Cerrig-gleisiad, Forest Fawr629m13.11
Cribyn, Eastern Beacons795m13.16
Fan Brycheiniog, Carmarthen Fans802m13.04
Fan Fawr, Forest Fawr734m13.12
Fan Foel, Carmarthen Fans781m HPoC
Fan Fraith,Forest Fawr668m13.07
Fan Frynych,Forest Fawr629m13.10
Fan Gyhirych, Forest Fawr725m13.06
Fan Hir, Carmarthen Fans761m13.05
Fan Llia, Forest Fawr632m13.09
Fan Nedd, Forest Fawr663m13.08
Fan Y Big, Eastern Beacons734m13.17
Garreg Las, Carmarthen Fans635m13.02
Pen y Fan, Eastern Beacons886m13.15
Picws Du, Carmarthen Fans749m13.03
Waun Lefrith, Carmarthen Fans668m13.22

The Carmarthen Fan:

The Carmarthen Fan Bannau Sir Gaer is a beautiful and remote area of the Brecon Beacon National Park by comparison to the well known and higher peaks of Pen-y-Fan and Cribyn to the east. Expand Icon

I visited with my two sons in the summer of 2013, parking at the roads end just south of Blaenau, then followed the gravel track along side the foxgloved banks of the Afon Sawddle towards Llyn y Fan Fach. On route we passed the old waterworks filter beds, now cunningly used for the farming of brown trout, and stopped for a break by a pool below which stepping stones forded the stream. We rested again at Llyn y Fan Fach, now dammed, but originally created by glaciation, it was once home to the ledgenary Lady of the Lake.

Foxgloves and Trout Farm by the banks of the Afon Sawddle

Having explored the bothy by the lake's outlet, we struck westward, climbing the cwm edge to our first peak of the day, 668m Waun Lefrith, marked by a cairn a little way from the path that makes up part of the Beacons Way. The Beacons Way is a long distance traverse which we followed for much of the day along the grand escarpment bagging Picws Du, Fan Foel, and finally Fan Brycheiniog. Fan Brycheiniog was the highest point of that day's tour. From here we retreated to the bronze age cairn on Fan Foel, and descended the slope northwards to a crossing of paths. Here we turned south-westward, contouring below the escarpment on a faint path not marked on all revisions of the Ordnance Survey map. On crossing Afon Sychlwch we followed the stream's southern bank until we emerged above the pool where we had taken our earlier break. Passing the trout farm, we were soon back at the car park very satisfied with our day's walking.

Llyn y Fan Fach
Llyn y Fan Fach, bothy, and the Camarthen Fan

The photos for this section of the virtual tour were taken on my iPhone 4S using Microsoft's Photosynth app. Expand article