Wilderness Wales


Mynydd Du

Llyn y Fan Fawr The most westerly area of the park is Mynydd Du, a large expanse of open moorland with a dramatic escarpment in its north-eastern corner. Pitted with shake holes and rock strewn hills, this is the wildest part of the Beacons, and the most remote. You can get further from roads in the centre of this area than any other part of the park. While the highest peaks can be quite popular with walkers, most of the area is usually deserted. It's an easy place to get lost when the mist comes down.

Often referred to as the Black Mountain, I've stuck to the Welsh name of Mynydd Du to avoid confusion with the Black Mountains to the east.


Fan Brycheiniog 802m
A steep-sided ridge with an east-facing cliff dropping to Llyn y Fan Fawr, the highest lake in the Beacons. This summit sits at the centre of the five mile long Mynydd Du escarpment and is well placed for views of the sunrise. A small, open shelter at the summit gives protection from the wind.

Fan Hir 761m
A long ridge with an extensive cliff running throughout it's length. This is the south-eastern end of the escarpment, the whole of which makes an excellent walk. The summit is rather indistinct but I believe there's a small pile of stones marking the spot nowadays.

Bannau Sir Gaer 749m
A classic Beacons summit flanked by precipitious northern cliffs dropping to nearby Llyn y Fan Fach. This is the northwestern end of the escarpment, and the cliffs here are the steepest, the highest and the most dramatic of the whole escarpment.

Waun Lefrith 677m
An insignificant grassy tump. Although appearing impressive in this photograph, Waun Lefrith is merely a small rise on the Bannau Sir Gaer ridge, and should properly be considered part of Bannau Sir Gaer rather than a separate summit in it's own right. This marks the north-western end of the escarpment.

Garreg Las 635m
A long, flat ridge, rocky underfoot, with many crags and boulders along it's western flank. It's main claim to fame are two large burial mounds at the summit. These can be seen from a considerable distance. Relatively remote, few walkers visit this area, making it a good place to find solitude.

Garreg Lwyd 616m
A rounded grassy hill with a flat, stony summit. This does have one redeeming feature however, one of the largest cairns of any Welsh summit. This mitigates the dullness somewhat, and provides good shelter from wind. One of the easiest summits to ascend from the nearby road.

Foel Fraith 602m
A rounded grassy hill with a large, flat, featureless summit. In fact, it's very difficult to determine where the highest point actually is. It's very similar in size and shape to Garreg Lwyd, but without the cairn. The only variety comes from some small crags on it's north-east face, and some interestingly shaped limestone thereabouts. From a peak baggers point of view, this is one of the most tedious summits around, but at least solitude can be virtually guaranteed.

For more details on summits in this area, go to Mynydd Du Summits.