Fan y Big

Fan y Bîg (/væn ə ˈbɡ/ is a subsidiary summit of Waun Rydd in the Brecon Beacons National Park, in southern Powys, Wales. It is 716.6 m (2,351 ft) high and is often hiked as part of the Horseshoe Walk, a traverse of the four main peaks in the Brecon Beacons.

Fan y Bîg
Fan y Bîg with Gwaun Cerrig Llwydion (behind) from Cribyn
Highest point
Elevation716.7 m (2,351 ft)
Prominence28.5 m (94 ft)
Parent peakWaun Rydd
Coordinates51.8762°N 3.401°W / 51.8762; -3.401
English translationpeak/beacon of the bill/beak
Language of nameWelsh
LocationPowys, Wales
Parent rangeBrecon Beacons
OS gridSO036206
Topo mapOS Landranger 160

The hill

At 716.7 m (2,351 ft),[1] Fan y Bîg lies at the western tip of the Gwaun Cerrig Llwydion plateau. Its name translates as 'point of the peak' - perhaps in allusion to its striking pointed shape, as seen from some directions. The circumflex accent ('tô bach' in Welsh) over the 'i' lengthens the sound so that it is pronounced 'van-euh-beeg' rather than 'van-euh-big'. The summit is smooth and grassy, but marked by a cairn, which stands on the edge of its precipitous western face. The view of this face from Cribyn is regarded as very striking.[2] Fan y Bîg has since lost its status as a Hewitt.[3]


The peak is prominent on the north facing escarpment of the central part of the Brecon Beacons and three footpaths meet at the summit. All the surrounding land is open access and so walkers can go where they wish. In poor weather however, the paths are the safest route for access. The peak is often crossed by hikers aiming for Cribyn, Pen y Fan and Corn Du, and also forms part of the Fan dance, or Horseshoe Walk, a circular route that traverses four peaks.[4]


In common with other peaks of the Brecon Beacons, the upper slopes of Fan y Bîg are formed from sandstones of the Brownstones Formation of the Old Red Sandstone laid down during the Devonian period. The lower slopes of the hill are formed from sandstones and mudstones of the underlying Senni Formation. The rock strata tilt gently southwards. The valleys to the northwest and east nurtured small glaciers during the last ice age. This glacial erosion resulted in the very steep northern face which the mountain possesses.[5]


  1. "Fan y Big mountain in Brecon Beacons downgraded to hill". BBC News. 16 August 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  2. Nuttall, John; Nuttall, Anne (1999). The Mountains of England & Wales - Volume 1: Wales (2nd edition). Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Cicerone. ISBN 1-85284-304-7.
  3. "Fan y Big mountain in Brecon Beacons downgraded to hill". BBC. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  4. "Brecon Four Peaks (Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn, Fan y Big)". Walkscene. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  5. Slater, Fred (1988). The Nature of Central Wales. pp. 15–16. ISBN 0-86023-275-1.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.