Brecon Beacons (almost) closed

Although there is a complete ban in Wales on people driving to take exercise and we, in England, are not allowed to drive a significant distance, a large number of cars continue to reach the Storey Arms area of the Brecon Beacons (nearest to Pen y Fan GW/SW-0001) Hence this new directive.:

"Julian Atkins, chief executive of the authority stated: “In agreement with, Welsh Government, Dyfed Powys Police, National Trust, South Wales Trunk Road Agency, Natural Resources Wales and Powys County Council, we have closed two areas of land either side of the A470, through the central beacons.

"People should not be using their cars to enjoy a walk in the countryside, Welsh Government guidance states that exercise should start and finish at home.

Areas and locations that are closed

Central Beacons

Those areas of access land, above the hill fence, comprising of the Central Brecon Beacons including Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Waun Lysiog, Twyn Mwyalchod, Graig Fan Ddu, Gwaun Taf, Gwaun Perfedd, Cefn Crew, Tyle Brith, Pen Milan, Y Gyrn, Cefn Cwm Llwch, Allt Ddu and Bryn Teg including all public footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways are closed.

Eastern Great Forest

Those areas of access land, above the hill fence, within and adjacent to the Eastern Great Forest including Fan Fawr, Rhos Dringarth, Fan Dringarth, Fan Llia, Waun Llywarch, Ton Teg, Waun Tincer and Mynydd y Garn and all public footpaths and restricted byways within those areas are closed.

The Beacons Way

The Beacons Way where it crosses any of the above areas is closed.

Other sites that are closed

Taf Fechan Forest car parks at Neuadd (SO03768,16960) and Cwmyfedwen (SO04235,16399)
Pont-ar-Daf car park adjacent to the A470 (SN98689,19989)
Storey Arms car park adjacent to the A470 (SN98369,19915)
All lay-bys between the junction of the A470 with the A4059 (SN99008,18166) in a northerly direction up to and including the lay-by to the north west of Storey Arms (SN97750,20377).
National Park Visitor Centre Libanus, café, toilets and shop.
Craig y nos Country Park, Café, shops, toilets and car park.
Cwm Porth, car park and toilets.
Abergavenny tourist information centre"

So there you are folks. You aren’t allowed to drive there - and even if you did you are not allowed to get out of your car and walk - and even if you did the MT would pounce on you from a great height (or jam your transmissions??) the moment you intoned ‘CQ SOTA, CQ SOTA…’

Meanwhile enjoy/endure your lockdown, stay safe and await the arrival of a vaccine which is rumbling ever-closer for the more senior members of the fraternity. Its arrival wil not mean that we are suddenly allowed on them thar hills but should ensure that we are in a better state to take advantage of the opening up when it does arrive. Has anyone found suitable fitness classes for those more mature, ‘totally unfit because they are banned from the hills’, but ‘longing to get out onto the heights when they are once more derestricted’, hill-walkers? Please don’t suggest Joe Wicks…
M6BWA Viki


I had my first jab last Sunday, 12 weeks to the next one, so slowly but surely it is happening despite the political alarms and excursions. Call it one of the perks for being too ancient for serious mountaineering - but I’m getting fed up with pavement (sidewalk) bashing!


Yes. Simply devise your own. This is mine - loads of routes.

I’m just doing those that start and finish at my front door (“Weston”) at present. I know our driving-to-take-exercise rule is more ambiguous in England, but I simply don’t have any appetite to discuss or debate that with a police officer, a fellow SOTA participant or a fellow SOTA MT member!

Marianne and I are off out on a long walk in a short while. Might be one of the ones listed, or we could be devising Lockdown Walk #26. Who knows…?


A difficult choice - pavement bashing or mudlarking? Its been sleeting here all morning, if it reaches you it’ll be snow.

I hear you Brian.

There are different types of pavement bashing though. Pavements along busy main roads or past rows of shops and houses are pretty uninspiring, I totally agree. However, even within the urban area of the town in which I live, there are lots of alternatives - through parks, down ginnels and back alleys, sometimes long cobbled narrow passageways that hark back to a previous era.

I do quite well at avoiding the more tedious pavements on my routes. I can’t claim the same about avoiding mud though - after all the heavy rain we’ve had, that is inevitably ubiquitous.

That’s badly worded. That implies you could use your car for a walk in the countryside as long as you don’t enjoy the walk.


No it does not. Only if you choose to deliberately misinterpret it in the pursuit of pedantry.

However, I strongly applaud such an observation.

It also implies *(to me!) that you should not be enjoying your car whilst taking a walk in the countryside. How do you do that? - :upside_down_face: I’ll leave the room now. :crazy_face:

1 Like

Back on the exercise tip, whilst I can’t speak from direct experience (not considering myself an ‘older person’ quite yet ) if you want something to do at home you might want to try a yoga class, if you can find one you like. Improving your core strength and flexibility is going to make you better at any kind of sport / exercise. I can’t recommend a particular class, as I don’t practice what I preach!

1 Like

Hi Tom. That site of your lock down walks is brilliant. Good suggestion to others to do similar. Great initiative. Well done. :smiley:

73 de Geoff


Keeping fit:-
I have a rucksack with a couple of largish water containers and I just go for a jog around where or carry that when I take the dog out.

You can obviously put as much water in as you want. I think mine weighs about 25lb. I use water in plastic containers because there’s no sharp edges and if you decided you had too much water or too much exercise :joy: you can dump as much water as you wish. If you want to go the whole hog, then make sure you use your heaviest boots too.

I don’t need to fill the rucksack, I have that extra weight ‘built in’ under the tee-shirt


I started doing this during the first lockdown, to make the most of the one dog walk a day. I carried a backpack full of water bottles and quite soon the 12 kg were hardly noticeable.

1 Like

Would anyone care to comment on whether I’d be prohibited from logging activations from local SW Summits?
I moved to Cardiff in December 2020, and can (and have) easily reached the summits of SW-34 and 37 by a combination of bike and walking, both being within a 10 mile radius of my doorstep, and within the Cymru guidelines of exercising from home. To prevent actually stopping and setting up a station at the summit, I’d just operate with a handy talkie. I can’t see how this is against any regulations?
It seems much preferable to my daily walk with thousands of others in the local parks…

1 Like

Hi Pete, long time…

The closest / most relevant thing I can find on the Welsh Government lockdown rules is the following paragraph:

“Leaving your home to exercise should not be used as an excuse to undertake other activity which is not permitted. The purpose of leaving home is to exercise. Going for a walk and then having a picnic or spending a prolonged period on a park bench, for example, is not considered to be exercise.”

I guess therefore it could be argued, by you, that what you propose is acceptable. My concern, is that it can be equally argued by a police officer, member of the public or even fellow SOTA participant that it is not. That’s a not dissimilar situation to here, and personally I’ve taken the position that I can’t be bothered having the debate when I can perfectly easily exercise from my home without any risk of accusation that it had any “purpose” beyond that exercise.

Taking a handheld radio out on a walk, I would say, is not an issue. Taking it to a listed SOTA location, with a logbook, with the intention of logging it on the SOTA Database, having announced the plan publicly on the SOTA Reflector in advance, carries the risk of significantly drawing the “purpose” into question.

Those are the very considerations I’ve been weighing up anyway. Hope that helps.


Thanks Tom.
Yes it’s been a while. Life sometimes throws a spanner in the works!

Thanks for the comments. I’ll probably therefore err on the side of caution and refrain from any radio activity until we get the all clear from TPTB.
In the meantime I’ll just walk the hills I have access to and obey the rules.
I walk most days in Bute Park, Cardiff, where there are literally thousands of people, long queues at all coffee outlets including the two mobile ones, and all the picnic tables are full, some with people with camping stoves, and all manner of picnic paraphernalia!
I was thinking the hill tops would be a little more socially distanced :slight_smile:

1 Like

They are. I’m on a great 15 mile (estimated - we’ll see come the end of the day) route with Liam. We’re currently enjoying a flask of Cauliflower and Wensleydale soup and homemade Scotch eggs on the ridge summit of Kerridge Hill. The very occasional passing walker, but even on the narrow top, plenty of room for them to give us a 5m wide berth.

Check out my Lockdown walks for some possible inspiration! Just been operating simplex 2m Fusion on HT up here btw.

1 Like

I considered activating the 1 local summit within walking distance from me (also with a HT) (although I’m over the border in G rather than GW)

Got told in no uncertain terms by sota admin that it was not allowed (as it would be a leasure activity) and that anyone trying to log such an activation would incur a lifetime ban from SOTA (well from the database and reflector with all points zeroed)

1 Like

If you’re referring to this discussion, then your claim above is greatly exaggerated/fabricated.


You forgot to mention that we would pin your coax, put tacks in your boots and a potato in your cars exhaust pipe so that you can’t get to the hills!

Seriously, though, and without hyperbole, the General Rules make it clear that illegal operations have no place in the database.