A circular, full-day mountain (above 600m) walk in national park Brecon Beacons (Wales) starting at Hay-on-Wye, Powys, about 18km (roughly 12 miles) long and unsuitable for families with children, prams/pushchairs, wheelchairs. The northern reaches of the Brecon Beacons offer some great, lower-level routes. This walk, from Hay-on-Wye to Twmpa - also known as Lord Hereford's Knob - via Hay Bluff combines some easy walking along the Offa's Dyke Path with a sharp climb up to the northern tip of the Black Mountains in the east of the park. Regular buses to Hay-on-Wye, and it's a good base for a longer stay (especially if you like books). Start: Hay-on-Wye, OS Grid: SO229424 Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres) Start: Hay-on-Wye, OS Grid: SO229424 Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres)
Gain (+/- 10%): 918m (3014ft)
Total (+/- 10%): 1838m (6031ft)
Loss (+/- 10%): 919m (3017ft)
Max. Elevation: 680m (2230ft)
Start your day in Hay-on-Wye. Head for the castle in the centre of town, and look for the sign pointing to the Offa's Dyke Path. Head south along it.
Follow the ODP away from Hay-on-Wye and through the Welsh countryside. Lovely. Keep going past Tack Wood, and enjoy the views of Hay Bluff and Twmpa ahead.
The ODP crosses a narrow road and heads towards Hay Bluff. It's a steep but simple climb up. Pause at the top to enjoy the view back towards Hay-on-Wye.
Having gained the height, make the most of it! A path runs along the edge of Hay Bluff and, via a short dip, on to Lord Hereford's Knob (stop sniggering), which is known as Twmpa in Welsh.
Drop down from Twmpa on the western side. From here, it's a case of picking your own route back through the maze of footpaths and farms. A good opportunity to practise your low-level navigation skills.
Hopefully your skills will lead you safely back to Hay-on-Wye, where a cup of tea or a pint awaits. And plenty of books; make sure you don't leave before browsing some of the dusty tomes that fill the many bookshops in the town.