Hiking Craig Cerrig Gleisiad in the Brecon Beacons is a wonderful way to connect with nature and explore a quieter part of the popular Brecon Beacons National Park.
The Craig Cerrig Gleisiad circular ridge and valley walk is a roughly looped walk with the option of taking a short detour to the trig point on Fan Frynych.
It’s a moderate walk around a craggy, glacier-carved valley with steep cliffs and rocky outcrops.
Hiking Craig Cerrig-gleisiad
Many of the popular Brecon Beacons hiking routes have become really crowded, especially Pen-y-Fan.
Thousands of visitors descend on the well-trodden route of the highest mountain in South Wales and it can get extremely crowded at times.
Pen y Fan alternative hike
Hiking Craig Cerrig Gleisiad and is a brilliant alternative to Pen-y-Fan. It’s a quieter walk with equally stunning views and far fewer visitors. This 1200 acre reserve also has a multitude of plant life and over 80 species of birds.
Discover rocky trails strewn with colourful mosses, lichen, hawthorn, and bilberry as you hike through the craggy remnants of ancient glaciation.
It’s a moderate and remote circular walk with no real facilities. You’ll need to bring everything you need with you, including lunch, hiking equipment and a reusable water bottle.
Be sure to check the Refill Wales App to find locations near the Brecon Beacons, where you can fill your water bottle with tap water, for free.
Pack a small rubbish bag in your day pack to put your litter in, as you do not want to drop any rubbish in this incredibly scenic part of Wales.
Guided walk of Craig Cerrig-gleisiad
If you are new to hiking and lack confidence in map reading, why not book a hike Craig Cerrig-gleisiad on a small group hiking experience with Wild Trails Wales?
Let qualified Mountain leader Nia guide you through this remote trail and take the hassle out of trying to navigate yourself.
I recently hiked Craig Cerrig-gleisiad with Nia on a private guiding experience and was really impressed with her skills, knowledge and expertise. She also makes mean flask of coffee!
For those looking to tackle the trail themselves, here’s my guide to walking Craig Cerrig-gleisiad.
- Distance: 2.7 miles
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Facilities: The nearest toilet is Pont ar Daf Car Park
- Grid Ref: SN 9606 2179
- OS Map: OL12 – Brecon Beacons National Park
- Free car parking in the lay-by at SN 972223
- Highlights: glacier-carved valley, Red Kites and varied plant life
- Guided hikes: Book with Wild Trails Wales
Brecon Beacon National park
The route is pretty typical of the Brecon Beacons National Park with heather-covered moorlands, rocky outcrops and steep trails.
It feels like a more remote and secluded walk here though, as you won’t find many walkers in this glacial valley in the off-season.
We saw only a handful of walkers on our circular trek. It was so serene and peaceful to be alone in nature.
Be warned, the weather can be unpredictable so make sure to bring waterproof hiking gear. Also, wear proper hiking boots as the trail can get very muddy and slippery.
Make sure you also take the OS OL12 – Brecon Beacons National Park Map with you, so you don’t veer off-course on your walk.
Start of Craig cerrig gleisiad walk
This walk starts near a small parking area and picnic benches off the west side of the A470.
If you are driving to the start of the walk, arrive early to make sure you get a parking spot. The Beacons can get very busy, so the earlier you start your walk, the better.
Upon arrival, start your day with a hot coffee and a cereal bar to get you pepped up for the walk ahead.
Look out for a small gate next to the car park, walk through it and you’ll see an information board.
Walk through the muddy and wooded section, find the small stream, cross it and begin your ascent upwards.
Remote walks in the Brecon Beacons
It’s a steep climb up a fence lined ridge, so be extra careful here as parts are super slippy. You might have to do some scrambling at this point of the walk.
As you ascend, you’ll be treated to sweeping views of the National Park with only the faintest of engine hums from the A470 below. The higher you climb, the quieter it becomes.
Fan Frynych trig point
Once you reach the top of the ridge, you can take a short detour to the Fan Frynych trig point for your hiking photo op for Instagram.
At 629m, Fan Frynych is classed as a subsidiary summit of Fan Fawr and makes up half of the Craig Cerrig-gleisiad and Fan Frynych National Nature Reserve along with its sister peak Craig Cerrig-gleisiad.
Grab a snap and then pay careful attention to your map so that you don’t stray off route at this point. You want to be heading back towards the starting point of the walk.
View of Pen y Fan
One of the benefits of this hike is that it offers you beautiful views of Pen y Fan on a clear day.
Make your way through the bowl-shaped, glacier-carved valley and you’ll see the popular peak in the distance.
Sometimes, you can even faintly see walkers along it’s steep and shadowy ridges.
Descend into the valley, keeping an eye out for the Red Kites and Peregrine falcons that dramatically hover and swoop around this area.
There are a number of rough paths are in this area, stick to the most obvious to avoid trampling the fragile plants and pretty mosses.
Here, you can appraise the stillness away from the crowds, walk through rocky outcrops with colourful rare arctic-alpine plants such as purple saxifrage and mossy saxifrage.
Be careful to follow signage regarding the glacial moraines, as you are likely to be directed around them to preserve the ecology of this special area.
Follow the path down, checking your map to stay on route and you’ll end up back at the start point, by the information board and the parking layby.
It’s a great feeling to complete this loop walk through uncrowded scenery and moderately challenging terrain.
Wild Trails Wales
If you are a little unsure about hiking in the Brecon Beacons, why not book a guided trip of Craig Cerrig Gleisiad with Wild Trails Wales?
They offer private and group hiking experiences all over Wales including Dawn on Cader Idris, Brecon Beacons Frost Moon walk and Wye Valley walks.
Expect sunsets, sunrises, night walks, quiet places, ancient trails, and incredible hiking memories on these unique hiking experiences in Wales.
Prices and locations vary, see their upcoming events here and get inspired to explore the great outdoors in Wales.
Transport links to Craig Cerrig-gleisiad
- Car – via the A470, free car parking in the lay-by at SN 972223
- Train – the nearest stations are at Llandovery, Merthyr Tydfil and Abergavenny, see Traveline Cymru
- Bus -see Traveline Cymru; T4 service between Cardiff and Brecon
- Guided tour transport – Book with Wild Trails Wales
Brecon Beacons Accommodation
The Brecon Beacons and surrounding area has a brilliant range of accommodation if you’re looking to extend your trip in the national park?
Choose from local hotels, self-catering cottages, traditional B&B’s, quirky AirBnb’s and camping sites.
You can find a hotel to suit your budget and length of time by using online price comparison sites such as Booking.com to find the best hotel deals in the area.
Places to stay in Brecon Beacons:
- Decent hiking boots
- Pack a travel first aid kit
- Download Refill Wales App
- Bring a reusable water bottle
- Download what3words location app
- Carry an OS Map OL12: Brecon Beacons National Park
Thanks to Wild Trails Wales for supporting this content. Are you planning to hike the Craig Cerrig Gleisiad circular ridge and valley walk? Let us know in the comments below.
Wales Travel Planning
- Join our Wales Travel Planning Facebook Group
- Book an Airbnb and have £34 towards your first booking
- Search for Wales hotel deals on Booking.com
- Get recommendations from TripAdvisor
Awesome pics Pip!
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