For a short and simple hike in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Sugar Loaf Mountain walk in Wales is hard to overlook. The Sugar Loaf walk to the flat summit top offers some truly exceptional views across Monmouthshire and the south of Wales. In fact, the Sugar Loaf hiking trail makes for one epic walk just in time for sunset, as we discovered.
In this guide, we’ll look at where Wales’ Sugar Loaf Mountain is and provide a brief trail description. We’ll then look at how to get to the Sugar Loaf walk and where to stay close to the hiking trail. Lastly, we’ll answer a few FAQs in regard to the Sugar Loaf Mountain walk, provide a suggested gear list of what to take and throw in a few bonus tips right at the end.
To see footage of the Sugar Loaf Mountain walk in Monmouthshire, Wales, please watch our 6 Best Brecon Beacons Hikes YouTube production.
For more incredible walks in Wales, check out our guides on Llyn y Fan Fach, the Pen y Fan and Waun Fach & The Dragon’s Back. Otherwise, read our Brecon Beacons Hiking post, where we reveal how to squeeze six excellent walks into one epic weekend of hiking.
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Where Is Sugar Loaf Mountain Wales?
The Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales is found within the breathtaking Brecon Beacons National Park. Sugar Loaf Mountain falls within the county of Monmouthshire in south Wales and lies just a little north of Abergavenny. Wales’ Sugar Loaf Mountain makes up one of the major peaks of the Black Mountains range that cover the eastern end of the Brecon Beacons. In fact, Sugar Loaf Mountain is one of the highest peaks in the Black Mountains of Wales.
Visiting Sugar Loaf Mountain
Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales, also known as The Sugarloaf and Sugarloaf Mountain is a popular short hike in Monmouthshire. Although referred to as a mountain in Wales, the Sugar Loaf is, in fact, only a hill. Interestingly, Wales’ Sugar Loaf Mountain summit is just 596 metres, falling short of mountain status by only 4 metres! Nevertheless, hiking the Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales is well worth it, with exceptional views of the eastern Brecon Beacons within Monmouthshire to enjoy.
Sugar Loaf Hiking Trail Map & Preview
- Trail Type: Loop
- Distance: 6.5km
- Time: 2 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 290m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Trailhead: NP7 7LA
- Map: Wikiloc
Sugar Loaf Walk, Brecon Beacons
The trail to summit Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales begins from the National Trust Sugar Loaf and Usk Valley Car Park. From here, a grassy trail next to farmland, meandering through flat expansive moorlands, steadily climbs towards the Sugar Loaf peak in Monmouthshire.
There are many hiking trails leading toward Sugar Loaf Mountain summit, each cutting and weaving through the moorlands towards the peak. You can join any really, so long as you’re heading up.
The Sugar Loaf Mountain hiking trail soon begins to steeply ascend to the rocky summit. At the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales, you’ll find a cairn and National Trust sign indicating your arrival. But, of course, the 360 panoramic views across Monmouthshire and the south of Wales will also be a giveaway to reaching the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain.
The views atop Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales are phenomenal, especially for such relatively minimal effort. In addition, the Sugar Loaf walk is one of the best Brecon Beacons hiking trails to do in the late afternoon or even for sunset. With a bit of luck, you’ll have exceptional action in the skies to further elevate your hiking experience!
To return, either retrace your steps the way you walked up or choose one of the many other hiking trails leading down from the Sugar Loaf Mountain summit to create a circular walk.
Sugar Loaf Walk Summary
Wales’ Sugar Loaf Mountain walk may be short and sweet, but the views awarded at the top easily make this hiking trail one of the greatest bang-for-buck hikes in the entire Brecon Beacons. With options to enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset at the peak of the Sugar Loaf in Monmouthshire, you have a whole day to choose your optimal time for hiking. Especially good if you’re looking to avoid the crowds.
Certainly, Dan and I enjoyed the walk to Sugar Loaf Mountain after enjoying some of the Brecon Beacons’ other fantastic hikes, like the Pen Y Fan Horseshoe Ridge Walk in Wales. Watching the sunset from the Sugar Loaf Mountain walk in Wales turned out to be the best way to round off our day.
Alternative Route to Sugar Loaf Mountain Wales
The walk to Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales can also be started from Porth-y-Parc. Please note, the parking here is lay-by only. The distance of this hiking trail to Sugar Loaf summit is very similar to the one starting from the National Trust Car Park. You may even find this a quieter trail to follow too, but parking can sometimes be an issue.
How to Get to Sugar Loaf Mountain, Monmouthshire
The best way to get to Sugar Loaf Mountain in Monmouthshire, Wales is with your own set of wheels. The Brecon Beacons and Sugar Loaf Mountain are located conveniently close to some of the big towns and cities of south Wales. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the nearest places to travel from. We’ll include the distance and drive time.
- Cardiff: 1 hour // 35 miles (56km)
- Swansea: 1.5 hours // 52 miles (83km)
- Carmarthen: 1.5 hours // 73 miles (117km)
- Abergavenny: 15 minutes // 3 miles (5km)
If you don’t have access to your own vehicle, then we recommend hiring something. When hiring a car, we always get the ball rolling with a search on RentalCars.com. Booking a car with Rentalcars.com is easy and stress-free, plus they offer an unbeatable free cancellation policy too.
It’s possible to walk to Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales using public transport. But, as you’ll see, it’s far less convenient. Firstly, you’ll need to get to Abergavenny and from here, you can access Sugar Loaf Mountain.
From Abergavenny, take bus 43 towards Brecon, alighting at the Lamb & Flag pub on the A40. From here, you will need to walk up the long access road to the Sugar Loaf National Trust Car Park. It’s about a 2 miles (3km) walk, adding an extra hour to the walk. An extra two hours in total with the return. So, as you can see, having a car to access the Sugar Loaf Mountain Car Park is much more convenient.
You can check bus services here.
Alternatively, you could take a taxi from Abergavenny to the trailhead. You’ll just need to arrange a pickup time for returning after completing the Sugar Loaf Mountain hiking trail.
Sugar Loaf Mountain Car Park
As mentioned, there are two main car parks from which to begin the Sugar Loaf Mountain walk in Wales. The main car park can be found at the top of the A40 at the National Trust Sugar Loaf and Usk Valley Car Park. The drive up to this Sugar Loaf Car Park follows a single-lane track and ascends a good chunk of the mountain. Indeed, views from this Sugar Loaf Car Park alone are pretty spectacular across Monmouthshire. The address is A40, Abergavenny NP7 7LA.
The second Sugar Loaf Car Park is at Parc Lodge Car Park, Abergavenny NP7 7HU. Here, you’ll find a small lay-by and a quieter hiking trail to the Sugar Loaf Mountain summit.
Where to Stay For the Sugar Loaf Walk in Wales
Given how close the Sugar Loaf Mountain walk is to Abergavenny, Wales, you’ll certainly find plenty of great accommodation options. Below, we’ll take a look at a few of the best budget, mid-range and luxury options to relax in before and after the Sugar Loaf Mountain walk in Wales.
- Budget – Lamb & Flag: if you’re walking the Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales via public transport, then you’ll be pleased to know you can find accommodation at the Lamb & Flag, at the foothills of the trailhead for the hike.
- Mid-range – Kings Arms Hotel: in the heart of Abergavenny, you’ll find the Kings Arms Hotel. This exceptional B&B features a restaurant and pub. Additionally, the modern decor provides guests with a very comfortable stay.
- Luxury – Hardwick Farm: the fabulous Hardwick Farm is a homely B&B located in a quiet corner outside of Abergavenny. Certainly, the breakfast is a big hit with guests and its proximity to the Black Mountains makes it a wonderful choice for outdoor enthusiasts.
For the truly adventurous, of course, camping is the perfect option. Cuddfan Bell Tent Site, Psycodlyn Farm Caravan and Camping Site and Riverside Caravan Park can all be found a stone’s throw from Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales.
Below, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Sugar Loaf Mountain walk in Brecon Beacons, Wales.
How Long Does it Take to Walk Sugar Loaf Mountain Wales?
The Sugar Loaf Mountain walk in Wales generally takes a couple of hours to complete.
Is the Sugar Loaf Hard to Climb?
The walk up to Sugar Loaf Mountain in Monmouthshire is not technically difficult. The hiking trails to the Sugar Loaf Mountain summit are easy to follow and generally in good condition. But, the final sections of the walk are steeper and will require a general level of fitness to conquer. That being said, all in all, this is a short hike that would be fine for most people to walk.
Why Is it Called Sugarloaf?
The original Welsh name for Sugar Loaf Mountain in Monmouthshire was Pen-y-fâl, meaning ‘mountain of the peak’. But, as with many mountains, the peak was said to resemble a sugarloaf (before sugar cubes, refined sugar was produced in a tall cone shape called a sugarloaf) and so the name stuck.
Can You Drive Up Sugar Loaf Mountain?
It isn’t possible to drive up Sugar Loaf Mountain in Monmouthshire. But, the car park for the Sugar Loaf walk does ascend some distance up the hillside and so makes the ascent to the Sugar Loaf peak much more manageable.
Other Walks in the Brecon Beacons
There are plenty of hikes in the Brecon Beacons. Whether it be more mountains or beautiful cascades in Waterfall Country, you’ll easily pack out a trip with glorious natural attractions in the Brecon Beacons. These are some of our favourites:
- Four Waterfalls Walk: perhaps our favourite waterfall walk whilst in the Brecon Beacons. This fantastic trail visits no less than four beautiful cascades in Waterfall Country.
- Llyn y Fan Fach: the circular walk around the two lakes of Llyn y Fan Fach and Llyn y Fan Fawr is another of our favourites in the Brecon Beacons. The views are just beautiful.
- Waun Fach & The Dragon’s Back: a lesser walked trail in the Brecon Beacons, but one with extensive views across the whole national park and even back into England. The spikey ridges of the Dragon’s Back are a particular highlight of the walk.
- Pen y Fan: take on the famed Horseshoe Ridge Walk for a truly adventurous hike in the Brecon Beacons National Park.
- Henrhyd Falls: explore Batman’s Cave in the Brecon Beacons.
Five Hiking Essentials For the Sugar Loaf Mountain, Wales
These are our five hiking gear essentials for the Sugar Loaf Mountain walk in Monmouthshire, Wales! But, they’d work well for any Brecon Beacons walking route. For a more extensive hiking gear list, check out our 66 Travel Accessories That You Must Travel With. Alternatively, for a general summary of everything you’d need for a hiking trip to Wales, visit our Ultimate Packing Checklist.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
You should also pack water, snacks and warm clothing if visiting at sunset.
- Abergavenny: explore more of the popular town of Abergavenny after you’ve walked Sugar Loaf Mountain. You’ll find plenty of parking in Abergavenny, which is an old market town in the south of Wales.
- Exposed summits: the summits on the walks in the Black Mountains can get very windy. We found having our wind jackets to hand great for chucking on whilst we enjoyed the views at sunset.
- National Trust Sugarloaf: there are other things to see with the National Trust Wales around Sugar Loaf Mountain. See here for details.
- Brecon Beacons Tours: if you want the hassle taken care of when it comes to trip planning. Get Your Guide offer some pretty great tour options in southern Wales.
Save or share this post with your hiking buddies before your next trip to Wales!