Perhaps the hardest part about this day out is finding the car park; pass YHA Llanddeussant – a remote, volunteer-run hostel and the perfect base for exploring the hills – and you know you’re close.
Parking up in the small, gravel car park, you’ll already be aware of the solitude of this part of the Brecon Beacons – it’s the quiet understudy to the neighbouring central peaks of Pen y Fan, Corn Du and Cribyn, yet certainly no less spectacular.
River to llyn
From the car park, head east along the lower Beacons Way, veering south as you meet Afon Sawdde. Follow the torrent upstream, passing grazing sheep to meet the source of the river at Llyn y Fan Fach.
Life by the lake
Llyn y Fan Fach sits beneath the precipitous ridgeline of Bannau Sir Gaer. It’s an epic scene, the remnants of the landscape’s glacial past clearly visible in all directions.
The lake is a real wildlife haven. Look out for fish as they flip on the water’s surface, while up in the sky, riding the thermals, you’re likely to see red kites, buzzards, carrion crows and kestrels.
Walk west and follow a path steeply uphill to the Bannau Sir Gaer ridgeline.
Kestrels are one of many bird species that live in the Brecon Beacons ©Getty
Black Mountain view
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can walk east along the entire ridge, crossing the Black Mountain to Fan Hir. Otherwise, descend north, stopping from time to time to absorb the view.
The way drops into farmland to meet a small road. Turn right and return to the car.
Click on the map below for an interactive version of the route.