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Sugar Loaf Mountain trigpoint

Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales is situated in the south of the Brecon Beacons National Park – one of the best places to visit in Wales.

At 596m elevation, it’s one of the highest peaks in the Black Mountains range and as such, it’s become incredibly popular to tackle.

Its unique shape has a conical base with a flat surface at the peak – something which many mistake as a volcano.

The views from the summit are impressive, with incredible panoramic views across the Brecon Beacons, as well as south-west of England.

In this guide to hiking, you’ll discover everything you need to know before your trip, a full review of my route, as well as suggestions to alternative routes that may be more suitable to your level.

Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales walk details

Monmouthshire and Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales

Distance | The distance of this hike is 6.9 kilometres.

Elevation | The total elevation of this hike is 356 meters.

Duration | Typically, this takes most walkers around 1.5-2 hours.

Difficulty | The majority of this walk is easy, with the exception of the short climb up Sugar Loaf Mountain and the final accent to the car. Neither of these is unmanageable.

How to get to Sugar Loaf Mountain in Monmouthshire, Wales

Usk Valley in Wales

The two towns closest to Sugar Loaf Mountain in Monmouthshire, Wales are Crickhowell and Abergavenny.

If you’re not travelling by car then you will either need to get a bus to Crickhowell or a bus/train to Abergavenny before making your way to the start of the Sugar Loaf Mountain circular walk (our recommended route).

Bus | The number 43 bus runs from both Crickhowell and Abergavenny – this will get you approximately 1km away from the start of the walk.

Car | If you’re travelling by car then you will need to park in the free National Trust car park. The postcode for this is: SO268 167

What to expect on the day of your walk in Wales to Sugar Loaf Mountain

Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales

As you leave behind the already fantastic views from the car park, the route follows a gentle accent toward the base of Sugar Loaf Mountain which stands tall in the distance.

A clear and dusty pathway leads a direct trail across fields that are scattered with grazing sheep and open views across the idyllic Usk Valley.

Before long you’ll reach the base of Sugar Loaf, where the ascent quickly steepens. If you haven’t been on a hike in a while, you’ll soon be puffing – it’s at this point I was calling out a photo opportunity every few strides to try and ease the pace.

Unfortunately for me, Tom was on a mission to the top and I was left a sweaty mess!

As you get closer to the summit of Sugar Loaf Mountain, the pathway narrows and becomes uneven and rocky.

It doesn’t require any scrambling, but you will need to focus on your footwork and some poles would come in handy.

Sugar Loaf Mountain trigpoint

Each step closer to the summit unveils more and more of the breathtaking scenery that Sugar Loaf Mountain has been hiding.

And, although we knew the views would be awesome, we were stunned by how much of the Brecon Beacons and south-west of England we could see.

The peak of Sugar Loaf is essentially a rather wide ridge that you will summit from the left before eventually descending on the right.

Before descending, a lot of walkers take advantage of the spacious and flat peak to throw down a picnic blanket and have a bite to eat while they absorb the panoramic views – I can imagine it’s a particularly nice spot for this during sunset, too.

Monmouthshire in Wales

The descent of Sugar Loaf Mountain is fairly steep, and unlike the ascent, it does require a slight scramble down – it’s nothing too strenuous, but you’ll need your hands free to support yourself.

The route quickly finds a stream that runs through the Usk Valley, which after a while, you’ll hop over to join a path that leads toward the woods ahead.

Up until this point, we had fantastic blue skies and sunshine, however, our luck soon ran out as we found ourselves snuggled under a tree with a couple of sheep and trying to dodge some gigantic hailstones – oh how I love the fickle Welsh weather!

Once you reach the woodland path, it’s a relaxing walk – at least for a short while!

As you hop across your second stream of the day, you’ll need some energy for the final push – a steep ascent that seems to appear out of nowhere!

As the sweat quickly builds and the calves begin to burn, you’ll reach the summit of the small but mighty mountain and head down the home straight back to the car park.

Sugar Loaf Mountain circular walk map

Monmouthshire in Wales

My go-to platform for walking trails is Alltrails.

This is because it allows you to download the map ahead of time for offline use.

This is super handy when walking in places like the Brecon Beacons since you don’t always have a great phone signal in this part of the world.

Route map: Sugar Loaf Mountain hiking map

Monmouthshire weather and the best time to walk in Wales

Sugar Loaf mountain in Wlaes

The best time to visit Monmouthshire in Wales is between May and October.

In May, the rain becomes less frequent, the temperature begins to rise and the flowers start to bloom – this is personally my favourite time of the year to hike in Wales.

As you move through to June, July and August the temperature can get really hot in the Brecon Beacons, so starting your walks early in the morning may want to be something that you consider if you’re visiting during these months.

In September and October, the temperature reduces, which provides comfortable walks throughout the day – although you may need to pack an extra waterproof.

What to wear for walking in Monmouthshire, Wales

Hiking boots

If you’re heading to Monmouthshire in Wales for a hiking trip, then you’ll need to pack a variety of clothing options – even during the summer months. Wales is known for its fickle weather and you’ll want to be prepared if you get a splash of rain.

Below are some items that you’ll need to take with you at a minimum:

Where to stay for walking Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales

Sheep in Wales
Crickhowell in Wales

As mentioned above, the two towns which are closest to Sugar Loaf Mountain are Crickhowell and Abergavenny.

As such, these are great locations to explore not only Sugar Loaf, but many of the other great walks in the Brecon Beacons.

  • Crickhowell

    Crickhowell is a small and quaint market town that has plenty of boutique shops, independent cafés, and lovely restaurants. The river Usk runs through the town that is filled with cobbled side alleys and stunning views of Sugar Loaf Mountain in the distance.

  • Abergavenny

    Abergavenny is known as the ‘gateway to Wales‘ as it sits on the edge of the Brecon Beacons. It’s much bigger than Crickhowell, with better transport links and a wealth of pubs to dine in.

Alternative walking routes up Sugar Loaf

Monmouth in Wales

Sugar Loaf Mountain Circular

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 4.6 kilometres
  • Elevation: 404 meters
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Route: map

Abergavenny to Sugar Loaf Circuit

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Distance: 17.7 kilometres
  • Elevation: 868 meters
  • Duration: 4-6 hours
  • Route: map

Explore Wales further


Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wales is one of the best walks in the Brecon Beacons.

If you’re looking to explore the country further, then you can check out all of my guides here: Wales. If you’re looking for something specific, then simply pop this in the search bar.

Some of my favourites in the country are The Pyg Track up Snowdon and the Four Waterfalls walk

Stay Wild Travels.

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