Hiking in the Brecon Beacons National Park

I decided to avoid the Coronation festivities and taking advantage of the extra Bank Holiday by spending 3 days in the Brecon Beacons national park, or Bannau Brycheiniog as it is now called.

I don’t have anything against the Royals but sitting around watching TV and street parties are not my thing. I’d rather be up and about doing something.

The weather forecast wasn’t that great but as I’d booked the accommodation and I wanted to get away from it all I persevered. The MetOffice mountain weather warned about rain and low cloud cover leading to poor visibility up on the tops. I decided to do a route around the Black Mountains that I’ve done quite a few times before, a big loop starting in LLanthony Abbey and taking in Haybluff.

First day in the mountains. Click on image for the full details.
LLanthony Abbey
LLanthony Abbey

I had brought my FujiFilm XE-3 and Ricoh GR II for digital and Reto Wide and Lomo LC-A for film. As the weather was so poor most of them bar the Ricoh stayed in my backpack. The Ricoh is so small it easily fits in a waterproof jacket pocket which makes it really easy to take out when on the go. I find in bad weather I just can’t be bothered with the stop starting of getting other equipment out. Besides, the APS-C sensor provides more than enough quality .

Wild Ponies on Hatterrall Ridge.

As the weather was so bleak I decided to try and capture the sheer ruggedness of the environment, which I thought suited Black and White.

Poor visibility at a trig point.

There are quite a lot of wild horses on the Black Mountains, they are used to people so you can get quite close to them. Although they are still pretty aloof. I saw the below emerging quietly through the clouds and managed to get this image that I was pleased with.

Wild horses emerging through the clouds.

It was a long old day and pretty much all of it was in the clouds with pretty limited visibility. The below sums in the day, endless path disappearing into the mist.

Misty path.

The next day’s weather was a fair bit better. No rain was forecast but the cloud cover at the start of the day was low again with poor visibility.

Second day in the mountains.

I started at the Dinas Castle Inn car park, the route went steep uphill from the very start. Right into the clouds!

Hikers in the distance heading to Dinas Castle.
Reaching the top.
Cutting the lawn.

Once on the top there was quite a lot more climbing and then it was pretty flat for the next few miles.

Windswept tree.
It’s a tough environment.

The third day’s forecast was the worst of my time here, low cloud cover and loads of rain. I didn’t fancy being in the clouds again and to be honest my legs were starting to feel it. So I found a low level route that started on the Monmouth canal and a possible ascent up to The Blorenge if the conditions, the weather and mine allowed.

Day three.

At least the start today was flat.

Monmouth Canal
More cloud cover.
Should I go up?
The Sentinel. Trig point on the summit of The Blorenge.
The Punchbowl.
The Punchbowl.
Gravestone in Llanfoist church.






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