Hiking through cotton grass – Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

Cotton grass in the Brecon Beacons, Wales

Cotton grass in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales (Jake Graham Photography)

We climbed away from the haggard forest and the deep-set country lanes, between grazing sheep and bounding rabbits, and on. Cotton grass began to appear; at first one or two shoots, but by the time we reached the lower crags of Fan y Big the ridgeline was awash with white. As pure as the foam of an Arctic wave, the cotton heads lit up the Beacons, monotone yet magnificent.

We sat – with our toes overhanging – on a diving board of sandstone. We were at the apex.

Fan y Big summit, Brecon Beacons, Wales (Jake Graham Photography)

Fan y Big summit, Brecon Beacons, Wales (Jake Graham Photography)

From the Craig Cwmoergwm spine we moved south, beyond tottering cairns and peat bogs the colour of the night. The Neuadd Reservoir deep in the valley had run dry.

Stopping to rest on our descent into the Caerfanell basin, Jake fell asleep amidst a bed of grassy tussocks. I tried, but was kept from my slumber by the chirrups of the skylarks overhead.

Cwm Cynwyn valley, Brecon Beacons, Wales (Jake Graham Photography)

Cwm Cynwyn valley, Brecon Beacons, Wales (Jake Graham Photography)

19 thoughts on “Hiking through cotton grass – Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

  1. Beautiful, and scary looking of you sitting on the edge of the sandstone. oh my I would have fainted .. Great pictures though… Awesome…

    Take care and happy blogging to ya, from Laura

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What torture! Kept from sleep by skylarks! Where I used often to hike in California was a rock like the one in your photo. I climbed up to it one windy day and there were ravens having the BEST time taking turns surfing on the thermals coming off the afternoon heated rock. I sat down a dozen feet away from them and watched while a storm came in from the ocean.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the photos and write-up; is this a taster from you soon to be released book? I have a photo of myself sitting on a very similar type of ledge, with feet hanging over the edge of ‘The Terrible Hollow’ in the Victorian Alpine National Park, and I straight away could imagine how it would have felt to be right there in your photo. Thanks for sharing, and reviving a fond memory of mine! 🙂 Leah

    Liked by 1 person

    • Perhaps the writing style is a taster, but it’s not an extract. ‘The Terrible Hallow’ sounds like an aptly named ledge. I be you got a thrill standing on the edge of that! Thanks for the recollection Lean 🙂


    • I’m set to receive the final copy-edit today. I will go through the changes, send the manuscript back to the publishers and then it’s time for formatting. I’m learning a lot about the self-publishing world, Leah, namely that everything takes much longer than initially presumed. Thank you so much for your interest 🙂


  4. I went to the same area of the Brecon Beacons for the very first time only a month ago. As it was getting late, we decided to give Fan Y Big a miss (after climbing three other peaks) in order to get back to our car (and campsite) before dark… I’ve since come to regret this, having seen the terrifying ledge that overhangs the world below. But then, it only means I’ll have to revisit one day. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Olly, I am so glad you have had your first sample of the Brecon Beacons. Like you said, missing Fan y Big only means you’ll have to return in the future. There are some spectacular waterfalls in the south too and the Black Mountains to the west are wonderful. I could go on…

      Liked by 1 person

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