Steve Eddy takes in sweeping views and mixed terrain on a walk up Mynydd Troed – or ‘Foot Mountain’ – in the Brecons.
This varied walk combines tree-lined paths between moorland and rough grazing, frequent lake views, a steep climb up Mynydd Troed (‘Foot Mountain’, 609m), and relatively level walking on top of Mynydd Llangorse. Much of the time you’ll enjoy sweeping views of beautiful Llangorse Lake, often glimpsed through hazel and ash bordering field edges, and the distinctive peak of Pen y Fan on the western horizon. You’ll certainly see gorse, as the name Llangorse suggests, as well as plenty of bracken on the lower slopes and heather on top, and very likely a few red kites. The broad, grassy paths on top of Mynydd Llangorse are also favoured by horse riders.
In addition, there’s a tiny shepherd’s cottage to look out for, perfectly restored in memory of Kevin Thomas, an outdoor pursuits leader who drowned whilst going to rescue a child. The seat outside is a perfect place to have lunch, or just sit and enjoy the view of the lake. A surprising feature nearby is a large walnut tree. Perhaps the shepherd liked walnuts!
Words and images: Steve Eddy
Mynydd Llangorse & Mynydd Troed: route guide
Start/finish: B4560 at Cathedine (GR: SO144250) | Distance: 7.6 miles/12.2km | Ascent: 1,825ft/556m | Duration: 5 to 6 hours | Maps: OS Explorer OL13 – Brecon Beacons National Park Eastern Area (1:25k)
1. SO144250: Walk up the narrow lane to Treholford. Just after the lane steepens and bends to the right, and before a gate to the track to Pen yr Heol cottage, go through the gate by a bridleway sign. Follow the little-used path uphill to Pen yr Heol (with a blue letterbox and a seat). Cross the track diagonally and pass through a wooden gate straight ahead (not the one to the right, which is where you’ll emerge on the way back).
2. SO148251: Head north-east, initially via the moor edge, along a leafy path through bracken and birch trees. After another couple of bridlepath gates, pass through a broad, blue-waymarked metal gate by a small stream and hazel trees. Follow the path gently uphill over pastureland, and through an open blue-waymarked gateway to Cwm-Shenkin farm.
3. SO150255: After another marked gate, a pleasant section of path descends gently by a stone wall, with frequent views of Llangorse Lake through the trees. Continue through another marked wooden gate and past a sign for ‘Treholford Silviculture’. The path then descends a little more steeply to cross a wide forestry track that heads uphill to the right. The continuation of the footpath is clearly marked on a blue-capped bridleway post (Three Rivers Ride). Follow the path through a metal bridle gate and slightly uphill, through bracken with trees and scrub close to the path.
4. SO152266: To explore the restored shepherd’s hut, go through the metal gate on the right. The hut is a short distance uphill in the corner of the enclosure. Back at the gate, be sure to take the clear but unmarked path leading gently uphill on the right, not the marked sunken path on the left, which brings you to a lane. Then continue on the path along the moor edge, which stays more or less on the same contour, finally descending to the lane in
the pass between Cockit Hill and Mynydd Troed.
5. SO160283: The ascent of Mynydd Troed is an optional there-and-back climb, but it is literally the high point of the walk, and commands great views. Go through a gate and follow the obvious path to the top and back. On returning to the lane, head due south up the occasionally rocky spine of Cockit Hill, passing the site of a fort, and eventually some small pools on Mynydd Llangorse. Pass the trig point on the summit (505m) and descend on a broad, grassy path, eventually reaching a clear crossroads by cairns and a forestry fence.
6. SO159250: Turn right, heading west along a narrow path through bracken. After about 600m turn left by an old lichen-covered footpath sign towards Cathedine. Follow the path downhill, making a zig-zag left and right before passing through another wooden gate to emerge at Pen yr Heol cottage, passed near the start of the walk. Then simply retrace your steps downhill to the gate back onto the lane and to the starting point.
Transport: Trains to Abergavenny; X43 bus from Abergavenny
Information: Brecon Beacons National Park
Nearest YHA: Brecon Beacons Danywenallt