Walk in the Brecon Beacons: The Skirrid Mountain

Located near Abergavenny, the Skirrid Mountain is an arresting peak to the east of the Brecon Beacons. Cut off from the rest of the mountain range by a valley, the rocky peak appears tall, imposing and dramatic. Ysgyryd Fawr in Welsh, the Skirrid Mountain is also known as the Holy Mountain, owing to either the ruins of the medieval church at the top of this mountain or the legend that the landslide to the west of the mountain happened when Christ was crucified.

The Skirrid Mountain walk first takes you through peaceful woodland round the base of the mountain before a steep hike to the top of the rocky peak. From there, you can admire spectacular and varied 360° views that stretch for miles from Sugar Loaf and the Brecon Beacons mountains to Abergavenny, the Gavenny Valley, the Herefordshire Hills, the Malvern Hills, the Wye Valley, the Bristol Channel and even as far as Somerset. This circular walk is easy to follow and is well signposted.

Location: Llanddewi Skirrid, Abergavenny

Walk difficulty: Challenging

Time: 2 to 2 ½ hours

Distance: 4 miles (6.4 km)

Strolling through lush woodland

Located near Abergavenny, the Skirrid Mountain hike first takes you up a very steep path through Caer Wood. Stopping to catch your breath, you can admire the peaceful and lush woodland. When the path finally levels out, you continue walking through woodland, initially following a moss-covered stone wall.

Views of Sugar Loaf on the Skirrid Mountain walk
Views of Sugar Loaf

This Brecon Beacons walk leads you round the base of the Skirrid Mountain following the contour of the hill. Through the trees of Pant Skirrid Wood, you can catch a glimpse of Sugar Loaf and other mountains. Then, the trees start to thin and the scenery unravels before your eyes. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the Brecon Beacons mountains and the Herefordshire Hills.

Walking across open moorland at the base of the Skirrid Mountain
Walking across open slopes

You briefly walk across open slopes, too mesmerised by the amazing views to fully take in the craggy peak of Skirrid Mountain. Standing out against the sky, the Skirrid Mountain seems intimidating, even menacing from its open and green slopes.

Hiking to the rocky peak of Skirrid Mountain

The Skirrid Mountain walk then climbs steeply through a sea of fern and along the mountain flank to the rocky peak. If you’re unsure which path to choose, any uphill path will take you to the top. As you hike further up the sharp incline, the awe-inspiring views unravel at your feet.

Walking up Skirrid Mountain and enjoying views of the Herefordshire countryside
Hiking up Skirrid Fawr

From the windy peak standing at 486 meters, you can marvel at the spectacular and varied 360° views. Stretching for miles from Sugar Loaf to the Black Mountains, Abergavenny, the Gavenny Valley, the Herefordshire hills, the Wye Valley, the Malvern Hills, the Usk Valley, the Forest of Dean, the Bristol Channel and even Somerset on a clear day, the scenery will take your breath away.

The rocky peak of Skirrid Mountain
The rocky peak of Skirrid Mountain

At the top of the Skirrid Mountain, you can spot the ruins of the medieval St Michael’s Church and two Iron Age hill forts. You then walk along the narrow and rocky ridge, where you can enjoy the incredible scenery further. This circular walk then leads you steeply downhill and loops back to the steep path through Caer Wood and to the starting point.

Find the walk itineraryThe Skirrid walk on nationaltrust.org.uk

Download the walk GPX fileThe Skirrid Mountain walk on my.viewranger.com

Skirrid Mountain walk details

Location: Llanddewi Skirrid, Abergavenny

Walk difficulty: Challenging

Time: 2 to 2 ½ hours

Distance: 4 miles (6.4 km)

Ascent: Very steep

Trail condition: Muddy on certain sections of this walk

Accessibility: Not suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs or bikes

Parking: The Skirrid National Trust car park off the B4521 (NP7 8AP – coin-operated pay and display, free for National Trust members)

Facilities: Closest toilets and pub in Llandewi Skirrid; closest shops in Abergavenny

Explore the Brecon Beacons further

The Brecon Beacons are filled with majestic mountains, arresting ridges, wild moorlands and enchanting waterfalls waiting to be explored. From Sugar Loaf Mountain to Rhos Dirion & Twmpa, find more walks in the Brecon Beacons to melt your heart and soothe your soul.

The enchanting valley of Ewyas and the quaint village of Capel-y-ffin from the Darren Llywd ridge
Views on Rhos Dirion & Twmpa hike

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