Pen Tir Walk
This walk is approx 4 miles long. It has some steep stretches and one steep
descent. A compass is necessary especially if the weather is changeable. Allow 3
hours to complete the walk comfortably.
Pen Tir is one of the most westerly of the Black Mountains with beautiful views
across high heather moor land west towards the Brecon Beacons and east towards
the highest of the Black Mountains, Waun Fach at just over 810m..
This walk starts at the Community Hall in Cwmdu to the west of Crickhowell. Take
the A40 westwards out of Crickhowell. After approx 1.5 miles take the right turning
onto the A479. Cwmdu is a small village approx 2.5 miles up the road. The
Community Hall has a small car park on the right hand side of the road at Grid Ref:
SO180240. The car park is at the start of a small single track lane which runs
parallel with the main road until it branches off up the Cwm Sorgwm. Start walking
up the lane. It crosses the Rhiangoll stream. After a few hundred yards a path leaves
the road steeply up to the left and turns back slightly on your previous direction,
behind the land attached to the small cottage which fronts the lane on the left hand
side. The path heads in a south westerly direction diagonally up the hill. The path
eventually forks. The lower fork goes off the the remains of the ancient hill fort (Coed
y Gaer Grid Ref: SO176241). Take the upper fork which continues a little further up
and goes round the end of the hill to the west.
The path you need next heads off to the right steeply up the shoulder of the hill in a
northerly direction. It is not signed posted and the OS map suggests more than one
path. Take the first clear path through the bracken. It is a good idea to start taking
compass bearings at this stage. Essentially you want to head almost due north. The
views quickly open up and you are soon walking on the top. The summit of Pen Tir
will stay on your right.
You now need to head for the cairn at Grid Ref: SO166262. It is a little tricky to spot
as you approach from the south because it lies below the horizon and is therefore a
little indistinct. You might want to take a compass bearing towards the grid reference
point of the cairn. At the cairn take the path which leads off the hill to the east. Take
a compass bearing on Grid Ref: SO170253. The descent once you get to the lip of
the hill is fairly steep, but the path is clear. The lane you join at the bottom is the
same lane you started out on from the car park. Make sure you don't mistakenly
cross the bottom of the valley to Blaenau draw but stay on the same side as Pen Tir.
Head along the lane towards Pencaeau Farm and beyond back to the start point. .