Twyn Brynbychan is a 411m hill above Mountain Ash that offers great views in every direction, and one of the best short-ish ridgeway walks I have done. The route above takes in Mynydd Gethin and Mynydd Aberdare, which will be covered in separate blog posts.
The start is inauspicious as you park in a layby off the busy A4059 and are greeted by quite a strong smell of urine as some drivers must have recently been caught short. However, the walk takes you on quickly ascending, zig-zagging footpaths and you’re soon in dappled sunlight on a classic woodland walk and the road noise is soon left behind.
I perhaps followed a wrong turn soon after, ending up in a weird shack that someone is possibly sleeping, or it is a place for people to hang out. Either way, I think I should not have turned right into this place and should have carried on the original path, or even taken a different path entirely from the layby. I had to pick up the path by scrambling through some overgrowth, but once back on the right track – literally as the path soon picks up one of the forestry tracks – the rest of the walk goes smoothly.
You can zig zag up numerous forestry tracks and take short cuts made by mountain bikers to find your way to the summit. I walked North past the summit on a lower forestry track and then took an ascending path South that took me up to the trig point, this was a good route up and probably the one marked on the OS map.
The summit is marked by a trig point and a weather or communication tower / station. It offers great views in every direction and I know I got it on a great day, but this was one of the best summits I’ve done in South Wales.
You can head North from here on a path that places you on the middle of the ridgeway pretty much all the way to Mynydd Aberdare, and it is a great walk taking in Woodland, meadows, tracks and gentle patches of ascent and descent. This is definitely a gem of a walk in the South Wales Valleys and highly recommended.