The Highest Peak of the Black Mountains
DISTANCE: 9.1 MILES, ASCENT: 510 METRES
Includes picnic lunch, expert guiding by a mountain leader/geologist, and pick up from Abergavenny station or your local accommodation
Duration: 10am - 6pm
Number of places: 1-6 (or more if using your vehicle)
£56 PER PERSON
(Based on 2 people, price is reduced with more people. We will run the tour with only one person for £84. Full pricing info is on our Booking and Prices page)
The Black Mountains form the north-eastern part of the Brecon Beacons National Park and are the National Park's second highest area. This is a superb walk that takes in the highest point of the Black Mountains via Castell Dinas, the highest Norman castle in Wales and built on top of an Iron aged fort, and the spectacular Dragon's Back ridge . The walk has stunning panoramic views on its descent.
Ruined masonry of Castell Dinas (Dinas Castle) in the foreground with the Dragon's Back ridge in the background
The view as Pen Trumau is descended, looking towards the Sugarloaf and the Bristol Chanel in the far distance
The summits of Pen Trumau and Waun Fach
The walk starts in a place called Pengenffordd. After a short steep climb we reach the remains of Castell Dinas (Dinas Castle). This is a very important historical and archaeological site. Firstly it is an Iron Age fort and may have been King Brychan's capital of the ancient Kingdom of Brychieiong from which the name Brecon is derived. It was also the site of the highest Norman Castle in Wales. With the commanding views down the Rhiangoll Valley to the south and over Mid Wales to the north it is easy to see why this was a place of ancient fortification.
The route then leads up a spectacular ridge known as the Dragon's Back or Y Grib in Welsh. The ridge has three sections with short descents and climbs to the separate summits. The top of the ridge is crowned by a magnificent cairn. The path then crosses a broad plateau before climbing steeply again to reach the summit of Pen-y-Manllwyn. From here you are on the summit of the highest Black Mountain ridge and it is only a gentle climb to the highest point - Waun Fach. The summit itself does not have great views because it is a broad flat area, but as we descend to Pen Trumau we reach a magnificent viewpoint. It is possible to see the Shropshire Hills in the east, the Bristol Channel in the south and the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountain in the west. The path then descends back to our starting point via arocky track.