Weather can change very rapidly in this area of the National Park. Protective clothing should be taken and walking boots are a necessity. The map above is intended for information only and you can zoom and move around the map. It is highly recommended that you take a compass and OS map OL12 with you on the walk.
NB Path closures. The Self-Guided Walk The Towy Valley Walk on the BBPS website will also need to be amended to take account of the path closure. The notice says there is no diversion on the rights of way network, but Pen Arthur forestry is Open Access so you could continue up the main track, bearing in mind that contractors are working there. To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend trying to go to Ysguborlan any more, as directed for the Towy Valley Walk, because it is so overgrown and boggy, and the buildings are very dangerous, with lots of signs up telling you of the danger. At the end of the day it is only a derelict building with no historical significance, so there’s no point going there just for the sake of it. The path closure goes from:
Start from the Coed Pen Arthur Forestry Picnic Site [not named on the OS map but it is on the FC sign board] approx 2 miles south of Llangadog on the A4069 Llangadog to Brynamman road [Grid Reference: SN 7174-2555]. There is parking here for about ten vehicles.
Walk uphill from the rear of the site next to the Forestry Commission Information Board, along a woodland path with masses of bluebells in the spring. When the path emerges on to a forestry track turn right uphill, heading south-west initially, then swinging round to the left to head East South East. At the first track junction keep right, at the next keep left.
The ascent is gentle with views of the Mynydd Ddu and the Carmarthen Fans to your left through the trees.
After 1.6km at cross tracks (where the forestry track goes right) keep straight along a narrower older track for 500m to the unmarked green track on your right leading into the trees. This track is 20m before the main forestry track which swings right alongside another track leading to Lletty. Continue on the green track uphill through the conifers to the ruined farm of Ysgubor-lan [7153-2374]
Walk to the left of the ruin (do not explore the ruins as they are unsafe) to a small culverted stream and when you reach the end turn right uphill between conifers. This track takes you to the crest of the ridge of Banc Carreg-Foel-Gam (the Rock of the Bare hill) above the Towy valley with great views over to mid Wales and your first gate [7077-2365] at the highest point of the walk at 350 metres. Alternatively if you take the right fork at [7105-2352] and walk through the gap in the blocks of trees, you will come out in a clearing at the end of a forestry track [7097-2364].Take the path to the left with the red footprint and you will then come out at a high point which is a good place to stop for a break as it has views of both sides of the ridge. Turn left and walk downhill to rejoin the path at the gate.
Go left after the gate, cross the stile and continue along the way-marked ridge path below Pen y Bicws.
Here you will have views west to the castles of Dinefwr (the ancient stronghold of the Lords of Deheubarth), above the town of Llandeilo and further along the Towy to Dryslwn Castle.
After 1.6km, where there is a finger post marking the Beacons Way, bear left along a track heading south, to the gap in the ridge at Bwlch y Gors (the Pass of the Marsh) at 336 metres [6942-2260]. The Bwlch is where you reach a stile, a track on the left downhill and a forestry track to the right.
The track which heads south is the ancient route from the Castle of Carreg Cennen which can be seen to your left and the Castle at Llandovery .There is some excellent dry stone walling at the Bwlch in Red Sandstone boulders which is in contrast to the river boulder walling seen later on in the walk
Turn right at the road and after 700 metres, turn right again at a T-junction. 200 metres on bear right again to a wicket gate [6811-2423] and cattle grid at the western end of the hill-fort complex of Garn Goch (the Red Hill ) you are now on a Common and Open Access Land.
From here to the end of the fortress area you are on the route of ‘The Beacons Way’ long distance footpath which runs from Abergavenny to Llangadog and was pioneered by the Brecon Beacons Park Society. On Garn Goch there were three Iron Age forts built around 4000 years ago and form one of the largest such complexes in the United Kingdom.
Walk up the track to your left after the wicket gate and looking down the Towy valley the site of the first fort can be seen on the lower hill. You should be able to make out the outline of its ditches. From the summit of the smaller fort you will be able to see the remains of the walls of the larger fort to the east. These walls would originally have been twenty feet high.
Keep to the main track down to the small depression between the forts and then, keeping outside the wall remains, walk in a southerly direction around the walls to one of the main entrances, situated where there is a large heap of stones.
This would have been the remains of an inner defence wall or “clavicium”.
Turn left, heading north-east, along the track though the site of the entrance and follow the track through the fort passing a large burial cairn on your left. Just past the cairn bear right, heading south east, along a faint track to the remains of the “postern gate” [6922-2428].
The huge stones are those originally placed to line this passageway and were so placed to prevent any attackers wielding their weapons effectively. The Victorians with ropes and crowbars replaced some of the fallen ones. Certainly this spot evokes the spirit of the Celts of 4000 years ago.
Rejoin the main grass track through the fort, walking north-east, and pass through the remains of the eastern gateway. Exit the fort complex and follow a well defined track down to a surfaced lane [6966-2433]. At the lane turn left and walk some 500 metres in a north-easterly direction, to a small wood.
Note the new dry stone walling on the left of the road rebuilt with the original river boulders.
At the wood, and a bend in the road, look for a footpath sign. Leave the road, turning right, and take the footpath heading east to walk into the woods.
Follow the path past the entrance to a mushroom farm to a stile with many old ruined farm buildings nearby (the remains of a small hamlet) in the wood at Talylan. Cross the next stile and walk carefully down through the woods until you reach a stone wall on your left. Cross the wall at the ladder-stile and skirting the cottage head north to reach a lane which will take you past the farm of Llysbrychan (the site of a Roman Villa) to a metalled road [7038-2559].
Bear right here and walk along the road for 1.3km to meet the main A4069 Llangadog to Brynamman road. Turn right at the junction and walk carefully along the main road for 400 metres to bring you back to the starting point picnic site.
The Brecon Beacons Park Society hope that you have enjoyed your outing in a part of the Park not often visited by walkers, and that you will want to visit the western area of the National Park again.
At the Bwlch turn right on to the forestry track heading south-west through a gate and follow this around the hill for 700 metres until you meet another track coming in from the south-west [6879-2265]. Turn sharp right here and descend downhill for 200 metres to a gate with a stile on the right and a ruined farm beyond [6886-2281].
This is the halfway point of the walk and a good place for a break.
Pass through the gate and over the stile to your left. The avenue of trees downhill would have marked the track to the ruined farm but as it is now a stream take to the field to your right and walk downhill along the trees, heading north-west, over three stiles to a marshy field. Follow the way-markers across the field, downhill, to a third stile and eventually to the road [6817-2347] to the left of a cottage alongside the Nant Cwm-Ddu stream.