A lengthy hike to Allt Forgan, a 513m hill in the Brecon Beacons. The route takes in many waterfalls, a mountain, dramatic ridgeways and offers spectacular Beacons views.

A couple of the many waterfalls that make this walk worth doing even if you didn’t summit a hill. | Pentax K SMC 28mm f3.5 @ f11.

There is a small car park at the start of this walk that is marked on OS maps. It only has room for 6 or 7 cars so on busy days it is likely to be full unless you get in early. There is a larger car park further up that you pass on this loop, so you could park there instead. This route is much longer than it needs to be because I wanted to ascend a mountain at the same time, making it quite an extended loop. You could just walk Allt Forgan and then head back to the car if you want.

You cross a small bridge to get a good angle here. | Pentax K SMC 28mm f3.5 @ f11.

Head down from the car park to the road, cross the road bridge and then take the footpath up alongside the stream – which was more like a river on the day I walked it after prolonged and heavy rain. This is a good, clear and well-walked track, but it can get very muddy and has plenty of stony sections so care is needed along with good walking boots.

Some rapids. You could spend a long time photographing this stretch of water. | Pentax K SMC 28mm f3.5 @ f11.

There are many waterfalls and interesting rapids on this route, so it makes it one of the best early approaches to any hill you could walk. Eventually the path starts to fade and you’ll see a right turn that takes you steeply up to the first ridgeway.

Gwalciau'r Cwm
Once you ascend to the ridgeway you’ll have this cairn high up on your left. Allt Forgan is behind you. | Pentax K SMC 28mm f3.5 @ f8.

Once you get to the top you can see Allt Forgan on your right, head towards the gate and hop over it (it does not open) and then head towards the next gate. This gate is on the other side of a fence, but a section of barbed wire has been remove enabling you to get over it without trouble (shorter people might find this more of a challenge though). Hop over the gate (again, it does not open) and you’ll head towards the high point of the hill.

Beacons View
The view from Allt Forgan gives you sense that you’re sheltered by the higher mountains around you. | Pentax K SMC 28mm f3.5 @ f8.

There is nothing marking the summit, just some plain and featureless grass. The views are impressive though, looking East towards Tor y Foel and Monmouthshire, South towards some Beacons foothills and then West / North to see that you are almost enveloped by the next elevation.

Allt Forgan
Views East towards Tor y Foel and, in the distance, the Sugar Loaf. | Pentax K SMC 28mm f3.5 @ f8.

At this point I followed my footsteps back to the point at which I ascended and picked up a decent path taking me up to the Cairn via a steep walk that brings you up onto the next ridgeway. 

Gwalciau'r Cwm
Allt Forgan is the low hill on the left, in front is the Cairn that you ascend to. | Pentax K SMC 28mm f3.5 @ f8.

I followed this around to Cairn Pica for some more wonderful views and followed the path to summit Waun Rydd, an official mountain, before looping around and back down a different ridgeway taking me back to the car park via a steep and muddy forest path. You could just as easily follow the road back as it would be easier.

Cairn Pica
Cairn Pica. | Pentax K SMC 28mm f3.5 @ f8.
Allt Forgan
Allt Forgan, taken from the walk back down the final ridgeway. | Pentax K SMC 28mm f3.5 @ f8.
Different rapids on the way back to the car. | Pentax K SMC 28mm f3.5 @ f8.