Fan y Big

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Fan y Bîg
Fan y Bîg with Gwaun Cerrig Llwydion (behind) from Cribyn
Highest point
Elevation 719 m (2,359 ft)
Prominence 30 m (98 ft)
Parent peak Waun Rydd
Listing Hewitt, Nuttall
Coordinates 51°52′34″N 3°24′04″W / 51.8762°N 3.401°W / 51.8762; -3.401Coordinates: 51°52′34″N 3°24′04″W / 51.8762°N 3.401°W / 51.8762; -3.401
Translation peak/beacon of the bill/beak (Welsh)
Location Powys, Wales
Parent range Brecon Beacons
OS grid SO036206
Topo map OS Landranger 160

Fan y Big (/væn ə ˈbɡ/; or Fanny Bîg, is a subsidiary summit of Waun Rydd in the Brecon Beacons National Park, in southern Powys, Wales. It is 719 m (2,359 ft)* high and is often hiked as part of the Horseshoe Walk, a traverse of the four main peaks in the Brecon Beacons.

The mountain[edit]

At 719 m (2,359 ft)*, Fan y Bîg lies at the western tip of the Gwaun Cerrig Llwydion plateau. Its name translates as 'peak of the bill' - perhaps in allusion to its striking pointed shape, as seen from some directions. 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.[1]


The peak is prominent on the north facing escarpment of the central part of the Brecon Beacons and several footpaths cross 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.[2]


In common with other peaks of the Brecon Beacons, the upper slopes of Fan Big 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 Beds 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.[3]


  1. ^ Nuttall, John; Nuttall, Anne (1999). The Mountains of England & Wales - Volume 1: Wales (2nd edition). Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Cicerone. ISBN 1-85284-304-7. 
  2. ^ "Brecon Four Peaks (Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn, Fan y Big)". Walkscene. Retrieved 2 May 2016. 
  3. ^ Slater, Fred (1988). The Nature of Central Wales. pp. 15–16. ISBN 0-86023-275-1.