The Keepers Pond and Blorenge circular Walk Blaenavon
The Keepers Pond and Blorenge circular Walk Blaenavon

The Keepers Pond and Blorenge circular Walk Blaenavon

Located at the south-eastern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Keepers Pond and Blorenge circular walk is a gentle yet rewarding one. 

On a clear day it has some of the most spectacular views over the Usk Valley and there’s not a single steep climb to be found along the walk. 

It’s the perfect outdoor escape for those who like a shorter adventure with all the beauty that the Brecon Beacons have to offer, but not the challenge of climbing a mountain. 

Sitting just above the South Wales heritage town of Blaenavon, the circular route packs in lots of beautiful features. There’s the Keepers Pond itself, the Sugar Loaf, the Black Mountains and the Skirrid all to take in. 

Not bad for a short walk that’s just 6.5 km long and that takes roughly 1 h 30 m – 2 h to complete.

I’ll talk more about these trail features and why they make this easy yet brilliant walk a must-do for anyone who is exploring this region of Wales.

Table of contents

Keepers Pond and Blorenge circular walk route

  • Distance: 6.5 km
  • Duration: 1 h 30 m – 2 h 
  • Difficulty: easy 
  • Elevation gain: 200 m

The circular route starts and finishes from the Keeper’s Pond car park and can be completed in either a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. 

If you’re doing the walk at sunrise, then I highly recommend going anticlockwise. This is because the sun rises over the Foxhunter memorial (more on that later) which, in this direction, will be the first feature of the walk. 

This means you won’t run the risk of not getting round the whole trail in time. There’s a car park at the Foxhunter, so you could even start and finish this circular walk from there. 

Sun rising. The sky is blue and pink with white cloud patterns. There is a tree in the foreground.

However, if you’re planning on doing the Keepers Pond and Blorenge circular walk at sunset, then go clockwise. If you head in the other direction and don’t make it around in time, you’ll definitely miss the sun as it slips away behind the Sugar Loaf.

The trail itself has sections of gravel path, grassy path and rocky path. This might sound challenging, but it’s easy access all the way round the walk. There’s barely an incline and pretty much anyone can do this trail. I walked the route clockwise and so will explain it as such. 

Keepers Pond

A pond surrounded by fields. There are mountains in the background. It's the Keepers Pond Blaenavon.

starting at the Keepers Pond car park, get on the gravel trail that encircles the pond and head left along the pond’s length. This section of the trail is a really gentle walk. 

Look left and you’ll see across the valley. Look closely and you’ll see the remains of industry such as abandoned quarries nestled among the natural features of the landscape. These add an interesting historical touch to this beautiful place. You’ll also see the Sugar Loaf in all its glory.

Alan stood on a bushy slope looking towards mountains in the distance. There is a valley between him and the mountains.

At the far end of the pond, cross the wooden bridge and follow the trail as it turns to grassy path. This path is the remnant of an old tram road that led to a quarry. 

A gravel path leading to a wooden footbridge. There are mountains in the background.

Sugar Loaf

At this point of the trail you’ll get to admire the Sugar Loaf for a good stretch. Contrary to popular belief, the Sugar Loaf is actually a really big hill and not a mountain. It’s about 13 m short of being classed as a mountain. However, it’s still the tallest feature in the area.

The Sugar Loaf as seen form the Blorenge.

Blorenge

The old tram road takes you along the side of the Blorenge mountain, which again, is actually a hill, at 561 m tall. Along this section the trail will fork at points with options to drop down into the valley. Don’t take any of these other trails. Stay on the one you’re on and keep heading straight. 

A grassy trail forking into two directions. There is a sign that says 'Govilon'. This is part of the Blorenge circular walk trail.

Look down to the left and by now you’ll see the steep slopes of the side of the Blorenge. Although an easy trail, the Keepers pond and Blorenge circular walk should really be done on a good-weather day. I’ve been up there in thick fog and you could end up taking the wrong path down into the valley.

However, my last visit up there was on a clear day and I was greeted by wild horses along this section of the walk. One of them was friendly and wanted lots of attention. I managed to snap a few pictures of the horse. 

As you start to bend around right to the front face of the Blorenge, the trail splits into several grassy paths. All of these will lead you in the right direction, just make sure not to head downhill. Eventually you’ll come to a small brick building radio equipment on the roof. 

A mall brick building with solar panels and a radio mast fitted on its roof. The Skirrid and Sugar Loaf hills are in the background.

From here you get arguably the best and wide views of the day as the Black Mountains and the Skirrid will be in full view. You can also see over the whole of Abergavenny town. In the centre of Abergavenny, you can see the church. 

The Skirrid in the background in focus and orangey/yellow grass in the foreground out of focus.

Foxhunter memorial

Leave the small brick building behind and get onto the stone path that leads to the Foxhunter memorial. This well-defined path heads towards two large radio masts. Follow it all the way and climb the small ascent to the Foxhunter memorial. 

Foxhunter was a medal winning horse at the 1952 Olympics and was ridden by Sir Harry Llewellyn. After its death, some remains of the horse were buried where the memorial is located. 

There’s also a trig point there marking the highest point on the Blorenge. Enjoy the fantastic views from the trig point. On a good day, you’ll be able to see the peaks of Pen y Fan and Corn Du in the distance. 

From the Foxhunter, follow the gravel trail to the radio masts. Then from here, a road returns you to the Keepers Pond and you are back at the start point of the walk. 

Keepers Pond and Blorenge circular walk car parking

There are two car parking options for this walk. There is the Keeper’s pond car park and the Foxhunter car park. Both can be used as start/finish points for the circular walk and are roughly a ten-minute walk apart. Both car parks are small and, although the Keepers Pond car park has more spaces, it usually fills up faster.  

Public transport for the Keepers Pond and Blorenge circular walk

If coming from the south, then the X24 bus service will bring you to the top of Blaenavon. You’ll then have to walk roughly 25 minutes to the Keepers Pond.

If coming from the north, you’ll need to take the 31 bus service from Brynmawr to Blaenavon and walk roughly 30 minutes to the Keeper’s Pond.  

More adventure travel guides on A World Over

The Keepers Pond and Blorenge circular walk is one of the best walking routes in Torfaen. Get out there and enjoy this easy walk. Just make sure to plan it for a clear day to get the best of the spectacular views of what is some of the most beautiful Welsh countryside. 

For more adventure travel advice and guides, check out the A World Over blog

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