Glyn Tarell – The Brecon Beacons

I completed this walk in the summer of 2019. Before visiting, please check the current COVID-19 government guidance and local advice about which facilities are open and available to use.

Glyn Tarell is a valley within the Brecon Beacons National Park.  Situated south of Brecon, the area covers 24 square miles and includes views of Pen y Fan and Corn Du.  It is accessible from the National Park Visitor Centre.

There are many different walks within the area.  This is a brief description of the highlights of the route I followed and does not provide step by step instructions.  As with any walk, careful planning is advised.  Various detailed routes with full instructions and maps are available on the internet.

This particular walk began by following the road down from the Visitor Centre in the direction of the A470.  After approximately a mile, the road reached Cwmclyn Isaf Farm.  This is a public right of way so it is signposted and accessible for walkers.

The route then crossed the busy dual carriageway, passed through a second farmyard and started to ascend on the other side of the valley.

After walking through several fields, we entered a woodland area and descended once more.  The foliage here was overgrown suggesting that the path had not been well used throughout the summer.

Eventually, the descent ended at a footbridge over the Afon Tarell.  This river runs parallel with the A470 and is renowned for woodland birds.

On the far side of the river, the footpath ascended very sharply alongside a steep gully.  This was the most challenging section of the route.  Despite the proximity to the edge, there was a fence clearly marking the way.

When the path emerged from the woodland, the walking became easier as the route followed a lane to the cottages at Old Glanrhyd.  This is part of the Taff Trail, a walking and cycling route which runs for 55 miles from Cardiff to Brecon.

As the road reached Blaenglyn Farm, the views opened up across the valley towards Craig Cerrig-gleisiad.

The view towards Craig Cerrig-gleisiad

Blaenglyn Farm is now owned by the National Trust.

Shortly after passing the farm, the route left the Taff Trail and crossed through a field and over a footbridge near a small waterfall.

A small waterfall

There was then another steep ascent to reach a lay-by alongside the A470 and the entrance to the Craig Cerrig-gleisiad a Fan Frynych National Nature Reserve.

In this area there is an assortment of rare plants and wildlife including arctic-alpines and approximately 80 species of birds.  With its steep sides contrasting with the exposed ridges, care must be taken when walking within the reserve.

Craig Cerrig-gleisiad a Fan Frynych National Nature Reserve

Another short ascent led to a stone gateway where the footpath turned right and climbed up the hillside to pass Fan Frynych.  Eventually, the route reached a gate and a wide stony footpath which descended to reach the road that led back to the Visitor Centre.

This walk was approximately nine miles long and included a variety of terrains.  Glyn Tarell is a beautiful area providing some of the best scenery the National Park has to offer.


A version of this article first appeared in ‘Bwrdd’ – The Newsletter for Mensa Cymru, October 2019.

If you are interested in other walks within the Brecon Beacons National Park, please visit the outdoors category of my blog.