Walk in the Brecon Beacons: The majestic mountains & serene lakes of Llyn y Fan Fach

Views of Llyn y Fan Fawr and the Brecon Beacons

The Llyn y Fan Fach walk features majestic mountains, peaceful lakes and breathtaking views. Llyn y Fan Fach is a well-known lake in one of the most remote and serene parts of the Black Mountain range in the Brecon Beacons. Partly enclosed by the sheer side of the mountains, the shimmering lake presents a wild and arresting scene and is a sight for sore eyes.

The hike first explores the peaceful lakes of Llyn y Fan Fach and Llyn y Fan Fawr at the foot of the majestic mountains, before ascending them and leading you along the ridge. From there, you can enjoy spectacular views of the two lakes, the Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, the Gower, South Wales and the Bristol Channel. Throughout this circular walk, you can fully admire the wilderness and magnificence of the Brecon Beacons mountains.

Location: Llangadog, Brecon Beacons, South Wales

Walk difficulty: Challenging

Time: 4 ½ to 5 ½ hours

Distance: 9 miles (15 km)

Wild moorland and peaceful lakeside

The walk starts at the Llyn y Fan Fach car park in the hamlet of Llanddeusant, east of Llangadog. To begin with, the hike takes you along the bubbling River Sawdde. As you walk uphill along a delightful country path, you first glimpse the majestic shape of the Brecon Beacons.

Bubbling stream and mountains on the Llyn y Fan Fach walk
The bubbling River Sawdde

The country path leads you to the peaceful lakeside of Llyn y Fan Fach at the foot of the sleeping giants. The shimmering waters of the lake reflect and heighten the sheer stature of the mountains and take your breath away.

The walk then takes you across wild moorland and along the base of the mountains. Next to the sleeping giants, you feel small and a little daunted at the prospect of climbing them. As you turn one corner, you’re awe-struck by the spectacular scenery lying at your feet. The dazzling lake of Llyn y Fan Fawr in the foreground and the wild mountains of the Brecon Beacons in the background offer the most breathtaking of scenes.

Llyn y Fan Fawr lake in the Brecon Beacons
Llyn y Fan Fawr lake

Rocky peaks and spectacular views

After circling the shimmering waters of the Llyn y Fan Fawr lake and taking in the spectacular scenery, the hike leads you up the mountains to the ridge of Fan Brycheinlog. The ascent is steep, but from the top, the scenery is dazzling. Don’t forget to catch your breath regularly on the way up and admire the increasingly splendid view the higher you climb.

The Llyn y Fan Fach hike then takes you along the ridge to the Picws Du and Bannau Sir Gar peaks. From the ridge and the peaks, you can admire spectacular 360° views of the two lakes, the Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, the Gower, South Wales and the Bristol Channel. From the top, the sheer drop of the mountain is even more impressive.

Note: Be cautious and stay away from the edge of the ridge.

Views of the Brecon Beacons on the Llyn y Fan Fach hike
Views of the Brecon Beacons from the ridge

As you follow the man-made path across wild moorland, you circle Llyn y Fan Fach and can admire the lake from all angles. You can also truly appreciate the shape of the sleeping giants and gape in awe at their splendour. The walk then leads you along the ridge and down to the foot of the mountains and the lakeside, before taking you back to the car park.

To view the walk itinerary, please visit discovercarmarthenshire.com (PDF file).

Notes on the Llyn y Fan Fach walk itinerary

I would recommend following the walk in an anti-clockwise direction and going the opposite way from the one suggested in the walk itinerary. As detailed in this guide, you would first walk round the foot of the mountains and the lakes, before climbing the sleeping giants and enjoying the breathtaking 360° views.

The walk is easy to follow: keep to the foot of the mountains, and after the Llyn y Fan Fawr lake, climb the sleeping giants. On the ridge, keep to the right side and you’ll reach Llyn y Fan Fach once again. This walk can be boggy in wet weather, so be prepared.

Llyn y Fan Fach: The Lady of the Lake legend

While the Brecon Beacons are made up of wild mountains and shimmering lakes, Llyn y Fan Fach is one of the most well-known lakes in the region. The lake’s peaceful waters and breathtaking setting in the heart of the Brecon Beacons account for that.

Llyn y Fan Fach lake in the Brecon Beacons
Llyn y Fan Fach lake

Llyn y Fan Fach is also known for the Lady of the Lake legend. The four corners of Wales and its outstanding scenery are steeped in folklore and the peaceful lake is no exception. Legend has it that a fairy princess emerged from the lake and married a local farmer. In time though, the farmer struck her three times and she disappeared back into the lake, leaving the farmer and her sons behind. To read the full story, visit folklorethursday.com.

Explore the Brecon Beacons further

The picturesque town of Llandeilo

On your way to or from the walk, you should stop in Llandeilo. This picturesque town is the western gateway to the Brecon Beacons and features stunning Georgian and Victorian town houses, colourful streets, delightful shops, medieval castles and breathtaking views of the Welsh hills.

More Brecon Beacons walks

The Brecon Beacons National Park is filled with arresting mountains, wild moorlands, shimmering lakes, peaceful woods and enchanting waterfalls. From the Horseshoe Ridge hike exploring the four peaks of Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn and Fan y Big to the Four Waterfalls walk in the Waterfall Country, find the best hikes with the Brecon Beacons walk guides by A Dragon’s Escape.

Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn waterfall on the Four Waterfall Walk in the Brecon Beacons
Four Waterfalls walk

Llyn y Fan Fach walk details

Location: Llangadog, Brecon Beacons, South Wales

Walk difficulty: Challenging

Time: 4 ½ to 5 ½ hours

Distance: 9 miles (15 km)

Ascent: Steep

Itinerary: Llyn y Fan Fach walk (PDF file)

Trail condition: Good, but the trail can get muddy in wet weather.

Accessibility: Not suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs or bikes.

Parking: Llyn y Fan Fach car park (SA19 9UN)

Facilities: Nearest toilets and small shop in Llangadog

Notes: Please be careful on cliff edges and on slippery riverside trails.

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Reference: Discover Carmarthenshire

Featured image: Views of Llyn y Fan Fach and the Brecon Beacons

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