Pen-y-Fan
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At just under 3,000 feet, this is the highest mountain in South Wales and the jewel in the crown that is the Brecon Beacons National Park.
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  • explorer-beans
    Southampton, United Kingdom33 contributions
    Such a great visit.
    Lovely part of the country. Walk up to the summit was manageable, and they’ve made sure the path is maintained (they ask you not to walk on the grass) to reduce slipping and accidents. My fitness levels are so-so, and I got a little winded at first but once I got into the rhythm it was fine. On the day of our visit, the weather was pretty rubbish, rain & wind etc, but that can’t be helped. Still had a really enjoyable time. Make sure you wear / take comfortable and warm clothing and footwear. Despite the rain, the temperature was mild at the bottom, but as expected, as you walk up, it becomes colder and the wind picks up. At the summit the wind was blowing at about 70mph (and I genuinely thought I was going to blow over the side. Not actually sure that’s possible though) and it was raining sideways. So I would urge caution. Sadly we couldn’t see anything at the top, because of the cloud cover. But that’s fine, we’ll just go again and hope for the sun is out. Walking back down was difficult because of the weather and I was starting to get cold. There was a car park with plenty of spaces and some portaloos - not the cleanest of loos, but much better than at a festival. I’m not sure if they’re working to install a visitor centre or something, but there was work going on around the car park. There was no where to buy refreshments, but we took our own water anyway. Please note, this is part of nature and FREE; therefore there are no safety rails/ attendants/ gift shops. It feels silly having to say this, but I heard people complaining about it. If you want all the mod-cons, go somewhere else. It took us about 1hr 30 to walk up, and about 45 mins down, but we were hampered by the winds/ rain. Really pleased I did this, and would definitely go again.
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 January 2023
  • Inwanderment
    Herefordshire, United Kingdom1,791 contributions
    Views 10/10 - busyness 10/10
    Well its a few years since we first did Pen Y Fan and we are now much fitter! We can get up to the top in about 45 mins and a gentle pace and whilst we do LOVE the views we always find it a little too busy for our liking and prefer the cats back, dragons back and those lesser known peaks which are not as far into Brecon. Every time we have been (about five times now) it is just so so busy that it takes away from the enjoyment of the views and the nature aspect but thats just our opinion. If you can ignore that you will love it, if you want a quiet oasis then go elsewhere!
    Visited January 2023
    Written 9 February 2023
  • Clive T
    Haverfordwest, United Kingdom205 contributions
    View’s well worth the walk
    After many years of saying we would walk Pen Y Fan we’ve eventually done it. Wife has rheumatoid but managed going up to 700 Mtrs before deciding to go back down. After reaching to summit I did a circuit which brought me back down to the Storey Arms Outdoor Centre.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 February 2023
  • Shin T
    9 contributions
    Breathtaking scenery once there!
    What an amazing scenery! We parked at Pont Ar Daf car park, ascended from this car park and down to the Storey Arms. My daughters are 9 and 13 years old and journey including picnic lunch took us 3 hours. 1 1/2 hour up and 1 hour down. I would think it would be quicker if you go down on the same route 30-45 min to the Carpark instead of to the storey arms. The parking is free at the moment but will be chargeable from April when the building work is finished according to the National Trust volunteer we met today. It’s a little windy and cold at the peak and make sure u have hats and gloves ready despite it was very sunny today. Definitely recommend to bring a picnic lunch and hot coffee to enjoy the picturesque view! I was quite surprised there aren’t any roaming sheep about and the whole trailis very clean with no animals dropping like other National parks we’d been to. Definitely will come back!
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 13 February 2023
  • josephrayner15
    Neath, United Kingdom28 contributions
    Exhilarating
    Taking the slightly harder route from the storey arms was well worth the challenge for me and my seven year old. We set off at 0 centigrade which meant a good pace would keep us warm. Spectacular scenery as we climbed above 600 metres. One hour and twenty minutes later we reached the summit. With a wind chill of minus 8 it was a little uncomfortable so a quick photo and an immediate descent seemed sensible. Although my granddaughter is tough I would recommend slightly warmer weather for young children, perhaps 10 degrees or above. Well worth it.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 February 2023
  • Dinohippo12
    Cardiff, United Kingdom7 contributions
    Great
    Went up Wednesday morning for sunrise, started at Pont ar Daf car park at about 3:10am, got to the summit at 4:40am after a few stops. Definitely worth it for the views. Much quicker coming down than walking up (45 mins).
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 27 May 2023
  • Jennifer J
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom104 contributions
    Unfit couple coped, and worth it!
    We did the most straight forward trail - as two reasonably unfit people we found it naturally hard going as it is obviously all uphill, however we managed with a lot of breathers to compose ourselves and take in the scenery. Absolutely worth every step. The views are spectacular and we spent some time sat at the top with a picnic to truly take it in. It was quite overcast when we went, however this didn’t take away from the views. Beautiful. Would recommend.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 June 2023
  • iamface
    Cardiff, United Kingdom1,517 contributions
    weekday not so crowded
    famous hill of Brecon, and from corn-du to here would be more flat and easily, weekday not so crowded and i so enjoy from here to watch back corn-du and the other two hill. so lucky on sunny day in spring. i believe that would be quite hard in winter or rainy time for climbing up this 4hills
    Visited May 2023
    Written 3 July 2023
  • Samantha E
    77 contributions
    Climb up Pen Y Fan to see the Red Kites.
    Climbed this mountain with my husband on a dull Thursday afternoon in the height of summer! Was a little worried as my fitness isn't to his level. He has walked the Whole of the south West Coast Path and climbed Ben Nevis so was a little worried that he would bound up and i'd be left behind. They say the trail is moderate and I would agree. The beginning is more difficult I would say as it was a little steeper and many rocks form the path. The higher you climb the easier it becomes but I did puff my way to the top! Saying that it only took an hour. The entire up and down with time to explore the two peaks was only 2 hours 15 mins. The Red Kite pair were flying at the top of Corn Du which was amazing. Beware the loos as the bottom were closed by 4.30pm although I believe the disabled loos were still open. It's a national trust car park that you have to pay for and even though I had stupidly left my card at home on this trip the lovely ladies wrote me a ticket bypassing the ticket machine. there was a chap selling teas from a van at 2pm but again was gone by 4.30pm. Great achievement climbing this last did it aged 10 on a school trip. I remember it being easier back then!
    Visited July 2023
    Written 18 July 2023
  • Pitchaya T
    1 contribution
    Breathtaking view but we went on Rainy Day
    The experience was pretty great. Once we go up higher , the better of the view is. I would not recommend the extreme route(15-19km walk) to a complete beginner tho. The route was pretty hard and very wet.Because we went on the rainy day so we have to walk through clouds and not having that great view up there Bare in mind that the extreme route has got very steep stairs and stone steps (the maximum degree is 31 and another one is 21 which is very strep. Not recommend for those who has got knee injuries. The fitness actually required for the route. Please check the weather and take a proper shoes with you. Otherwise, you might slip or broke your shoes. The view is still breathtaking even we went on the rainy day.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 24 July 2023
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5.0
997 reviews
Excellent
844
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Clare A
Morecambe, UK194 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
A brilliant walk over a 10.5mile loop. Fantastic views, well worth the hike up! Walked with the U3A with a good guide. Can be large gaps if you are looking for a comfort stop 😉!
Written 11 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PRS48
Brisbane, Australia166 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Didn't make it to the top but still an outstanding climb with perfect views on a sunny day. An easy drive from Brecon through dramatic scenery.
Written 5 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Caroline G
Cheltenham, UK5 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Pen y Fan was a must do for our short break in the Brecon Beacons. I had climbed the mountain as a child 45 years before and I wanted to touch the sky again at this beautiful place. It is fair to say the the ascent was tough and I had to catch my breath (or admire the view) many times on the route from the Pont ar Daf car park. The path is clearly marked and even on a Wednesday in September there was alot of visitors. Walking boots and poles are essential and dress for the weather and be prepared for rapid changes. Take food and drink with you, there are toilets in the car park and a helpful guide who will explain the various walking routes opinions.
This is a beautiful place and the views are breathtaking. It is definitely worth the time and energy to get to the top before winding back down via Corn Du and via the Storey Centre.
Parking is free for National Trust members but £7.50 for others. There is also parking available in laybys off the main road for free.
Written 24 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Georgina R
3 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
The views at the top were definitely worth the tough climb up. It was one of the hottest days, so it took us a fair few stops with plenty of water breaks to make it to the summit, but we’re so glad we did it.
We walked the direct route up and back down which took us 2 and a half hours (that’s including stopping for photos and having lunch at the top)
Written 9 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lorenzogP2464JO
Stratford-upon-Avon, UK8 contributions
Sep 2023 • Couples
Amazing experience. Great views. Would recommend to anyone. Our dog also loved it. We went up the difficult route but you can also go up the easy route.
Written 5 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kam-Haider
London, UK401 contributions
Aug 2023 • Solo
A breathtaking experience. This is about a 45 minute drive from Newport. There is a car park which costs £7.50 for an all day charge. Good facilities at the car park area, wifi, toilets, refreshments.

As with any mountain hike be prepared, although it was August and dry still pretty cold. It takes about an hour to get to the top. Saw a runaway horse which was a big suprise.

You need a reasonable level of fitness to climb up, as with any mountain hike going down is taxing on the knees and slippery so wear proper hiking boots.

Lovely views all-around - the cloud broke up at times.
Written 30 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Desislava Andreeva
Portsmouth, UK15 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
We took the horseshoe trail, got to one of the car parks nearby the mountain railway and we started the hiking from there. The hiking in total takes about 6hrs, but we needed toilet, so we went down to the main car park for toilet and then up again to the first summon, then we reached Pen Y Fan and then the rest. The whole journey was about 8hrs with breaks. It was a great hike! The crowd is on the main route, and after Pen Y Fan it was quiet. Be aware to dress well as the weather is rapidly changing and it was very windy up there even in august! A recommendation, there could be more detailed forecast about the weather around the summon like there is for Ben Nevis in Scotland…
Written 28 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

spark0906
Dover, UK79 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
Myself and my teenage son started around 6:30pm at the Pont-ar-Daf car park and walked the fairly steep path up to Corn-du then on to the summit of Pen-y-Fan. We're both reasonably fit and this took just over an hour. We had it fairly clear and the views get more and more stunning the higher you go. Worth the effort. The parking is decent with toilet facilities and a snack bar (closed at the time we visited). Also, wi-fi available near the NT building.
Written 13 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Betherina
Billingshurst, UK6 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
Relentlessly uphill climb; no switchbacks to provide level ground. Like stairs all the way up and then again all the way down. But we were determined and we are so glad we conquered it!
Written 5 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pitchaya T
1 contribution
Jul 2023
The experience was pretty great. Once we go up higher , the better of the view is.

I would not recommend the extreme route(15-19km walk) to a complete beginner tho.
The route was pretty hard and very wet.Because we went on the rainy day so we have to walk through clouds and not having that great view up there

Bare in mind that the extreme route has got very steep stairs and stone steps (the maximum degree is 31 and another one is 21 which is very strep. Not recommend for those who has got knee injuries. The fitness actually required for the route.

Please check the weather and take a proper shoes with you.
Otherwise, you might slip or broke your shoes.

The view is still breathtaking even we went on the rainy day.
Written 24 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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PEN-Y-FAN: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Pen-y-Fan