A Perfect Winter Wonderland Hike in Brecon Beacon

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Crazy in love…. with the nature?

Come along Romantic souls and be mesmerise with it’s magnificent beauty.

Let me capture the awesomeness of  these natural sights!

Tag along with me for the perfect winter wonderland hike

and let’s explore Brecon Beacon…

 

 

The Brecon Beacons is a lovely mountain range in South Wales. I used to live in Swansea Wales, I have drove passed the area numerous times. The landscape is so fascinating, but never had a chance to go hiking in Brecon. Finding out that www.themountaincoach.com was organising a Weekend Winter Hike in Brecon Beacon. I didn’t have to think twice! I signed up and joined the hike.

Early Saturday morning about 10 am when I set off for Brecon. It was not busy in M50 so reaching Brecon Beacon National Park plenty of time. Driving passed a road track nestled amidst the lush green forest and surrounded by the mighty Brecon Mountain. A feeling of sudden surge of peaceful tranquillity such a rare moments to cherish, I even stopped to breathe some fresh air.

Then snow flakes started to fall so I quickly jumped-in the car to continue to the meeting place. To my surprise the road ahead was covered with snow. I noticed some cars parked by the roadside, at this point I was praying that I won’t skid on the icy road. I carefully drove and I’m glad I got to the carpark safe!

The group was already at the assembly point and having the briefing. I quickly put on my hiking boots and run to catch up with the group.  We followed the four falls trails  passing through the woodlands, with the dirty tracks and muds along the way. The sounds of the stream on the background flowing forcefully, connecting to the River Mellte rushing below. You easily get acquainted with widely diverse landscapes, the serenity by the woodlands, listen to the sounds of the waterfalls and streams.

The trail is about 5.5 miles leads to Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr and Sgwd-yr-Eira on the River Mellte in the heart of Waterfall Country.

Before  reaching  the first waterfalls, we were welcome with the thundering roaring sounds of the  forcefall flowing water of Sgwd Clun-Gwyn. Also known as the “Fall of the White Meadow” about 40ft high over two ledges.

 

After our group photo and selfies,  we continued our walk heading towards the Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn a series of beautifully cascading through the narrow gorge that flows to the main waterfall.

Sgwd y Pannwr also called the “fall of the wollen washer“. There’s something surreal magical feeling about the torrent of water plunging off a cliff and into a crystal clear pool.

Sgwd-yr-Eira  or the “falls of snow”. Reaching this waterfalls is a bit tough with all the steps, but it’s worth every step. A very unique waterfalls thats plunges over a sandstone that  falls forcefully, people can even walk under the falls. If you don’t mind getting soak or better yet wear a waterproof jacket.

Finally after our three hour hike, chasing and passing through the stunning waterfalls. The group headed towards Ebbw Vale, were we stayed for the night. We had a group meal booked at the restaurant for 7 pm, just next to our hotel, and just after the meal. I have call it a night, I needed an early night sleep for tomorrows hiking adventure.

The alarm woke me up at 6:30 am, had a quick shower to freshen up. I had porridge for breakfast with blueberry toppings, just what I needed to get ready for the all day hike. Quickly packed my day bag with snacks and water, about 8 am together with the group we set off toward Merthyr Tydfil. The shower  forecast and snow on the highlands sounds a murky start, but that didn’t stop our eagerness to hike around Brecon Beacon.

As we approached the parking area, the thin snow flakes was falling settling to the icy grounds. Finding car space is a bit more tricky than usual, and parking the car without skidding needs lots of concentration. Slowly reversed to the space, thinking that it will be easier to set of later. We had a quick briefing and with my gloves, waterproof jacket and hat, I was eager for my first ever winter hike!

The patches of snow along the footpath and as we walk further the snow continues to fall. The wintery feel of the icy cold air caressing my cheek, sending a chill to my spine.  The feeling as  if we were trekking the Alps. As we continue our ascend the rocky footpath is covered with ice, so we stopped to put our crampons. Walking with crampons on icy and snowy patched footpath is a lot easier to walk and more sturdy.

The wintery backdrop of the glittering layer of ice that dusts amongst the leaves, twigs, and grass after a freeze. With the struggle to hike or even to walk every inch of a step, while listening to the echoing whisper of the  strong wind. Reaching the Pen Y Big summit was a relief, after fighting the strong wind carrying damp snow and some gush of sleet. Pen Y Big is 719 metres high, it has a flat rock and also known as the “Diving Board”. Braving the strong wind  for a photo opportunity at the flat rock, a great smile painted my face relishing the moment of glory but inside me I’m petrified!

We trek down not following the footpath but instead having fun walking down the grass area covered with fresh snow. The crunchy feel as you walk down was a sheer amusement. At times even with the walking pole, keeping myself steady isn’t enough, as the strong wind tries to blew me away. My clumsiness landed me on my bum a couple of times, but the joy and laughter shared with the other hikers was fun!

The weather was getting worst but the group continued  heading off towards the second summit the Cribyn with elevetion 795 meters, that connects to the peak of Pen Y Fan on the west ridge line.  Captivated by the echoing and howling winds and the effects of altitude, feels like a soundtracks in a horror movies. The weather was not good to carry on trekking towards Pen Y Fan.

So instead we headed towards the Talybont Reservoir”, for more scenic route and winter photography opportunities. Talybont Reservoir is the largest still water reservoir found in central Brecon Beacon. Walking at the lowlands with the view of those imposing mountain high, rugged cliffs and ridges in a foggy background was fascinating. Enjoy greatly in the thrill of a hike in every footstep forward, passing the fine woodlands along side the reservoir. We quickly had our snack break before headed towards the carpark.

 

Insider’s Tip:

Striving for the summit even in a bad weather condition, if the odds are in your favour, reaching it is an immensely rewarding challenge.

  • If you are a newbie in winter hike, I highly suggest join an organised winter hike group. The organiser will decide route depending on the weather conditions, and will make sure the safety of every hiker.

  • Keeping warm is the main key. Wear proper hiking boots, globes, hats don’t forget to bring crampons and hiking poles.

  • Great attitude and determination will highly contribute to the outcome of your summit attempt even the middle of snow storm.

Anneklien
Hi Im Meanne Anneklien, a part time traveller and photographer. I love solo travelling and through this blog I would like to inspire others to travel more. Lets explore and experience first hand the different cultures, customs and sample the world cuisines, and meeting amazing people along our wonderful journeys.

49 thoughts on “A Perfect Winter Wonderland Hike in Brecon Beacon

  1. I LOVE hiking! I have never hiked in really cold weather like that though. Were you cold the whole time or at some points did you get hot? I know when I went hiking a few years go in October it was probably in the 40-50’s to me that is cold. Well it started out cold, but I quickly removed layers not long after walking. It looks like a beautiful hike. It has everything waterfalls and a bridge.

    1. It’s my very first time too hiking in this kind of weather, I kept warm all throughout the hike just my face sometimes when the wind blew on our directions with snow,it was a great fun though 🙂

  2. What an adventure, you’ve captured it beautifully with your photos. We used to go on holiday to Wales when we were children but it’s years since I’ve been to the Brecon Beacons. Do people swim in the waterfall in Summertime?

  3. I don’t mind a hike when it’s warm but I don’t think I would have had a much fun in that cold! It looks freezing – beautiful – but freezing! The waterfall is stunning too – the guy in the green under the falls get soaked?!

    1. It looks cold but as long as you wear your proper gears/clothing it’s fine, I only feel cold on my face coz that’s the only part exposed. Yes the waterfalls was beautiful- you can walk underneath the waterfalls without getting soak just spray so I suggest wear waterproof jacket.

  4. Wow your pictures are so beautiful! I’ve only been to Cardiff for two nights so I definitely need to get to Wales and see a lot more. This just makes me want to go sooner!

  5. I have been in the National park in the spring. It is an amazing place to hike. I didn’t have any idea there is a winter hike group. It is good to go with the group since they choose the route based on
    on the weather conditions and it feels safer.

  6. Loved your post, could almost feel the chill winds blowing in my face and hear the sound of ice being crushed underneath my boots. It was fascinating how the trek started with gentle snow flakes and the elements got more difficult as you ascended the summit. Quite an adventure, I am sure you had a wonderful time.

  7. Fantastic winter pictures. I am fan of hiking and I would love to visit this area by myself but with the weather that you had (that picture at the edge of the cliff looks very scary!) I would prefer to stay at home drinking hot tea. Maybe Brecon Beacon in spring time for me? 🙂

  8. Congrats on getting to the summit – that’s some pretty hardcore hiking against the wind and snow – kudos! The Diving board photo atop the Pen Y Big summit has me a little petrified for you lol! But it sounds like a very rewarding hiking experience all round 🙂

    1. Thank you. Yes it was a struggle reaching the summit coz of the bad weather but I was so rewarding. I was petrified too in that diving board photo- that’s why I got the guide with me.

  9. This looks like an amazing experience. The scenery with all the snow looked stunning. Looked way too cold though. It seems like you enjoyed it very much,.

    1. It was my very first time to hike in Brecon but definitely not the last, I need to experience the different season hikes there should be fun and great photo opp.

  10. What an amazing place! I love the look of the waterfalls. I’m going to Wales for the first time this summer but just to Cardiff so I don’t think I’ll get here. I think you’re very brave for doing this in all that snow as well!

    1. The four falls trails was a lovely and easy hike, but the following day with snowfall and strong winds – you lots of determination does help you focus on reaching the summit.

  11. Crazy in love with nature? Yes… and absolutely crazy about it. My blog is mostly about nature photography too. Brecon Beacon seems to be such a perfect hiking/trekking destination. We have one place over hear near Mumbai, called Tungareshwar which would not match the beauty of Brecon Beacon but the experience is similar because it’s trail has a zig-zag flowing water stream which you have to cross on foot at least 7 times to reach a Shiva temple.

    Loved the way you have captured all the natural beauty. It’s giving me an experience as good as actually being there. Lovely!!

    1. Thank you for visiting. Yes I love nature photography and love outdoors, so if I got a chance to go hiking I always tries my best to capture the place.

  12. Delightful trek and equally delightful images! I love winter hikes. The cold does take some getting used to but eventually the views are worth it. It is good to see the waterfall with, well… water. In some cases I have ended up with completely frozen waterfalls in winter but that is a different pleasure too.

  13. I loved this trek, but tell me wasn’t it scary on that flat rock! I mean you both waving so fearlessly too. 🙂 Winter hiking any day more adventurous than summer ones right?

  14. Wow, it looks FREEEEZING but absolutely breathtaking. I’d love to visit. Also must admit that I was struggling to read these names in my head – particularly Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn – not even sure where to start! Haha! Sounds like a great hike, must add it to the list!

  15. Your photos look like you’re in a movie with surreal effects. I like the views too especially in a falls. You guys look very happy whilst hiking despite the negative temperature. I’m pretty sure you find this worth it.

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