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Elan Valley Walk

Updated: Mar 29, 2020

A Cambrian Safaris tour of the Elan Valley would see us drive up and down each valley to look at each dam and the landscape in which it is set. Today's walk circumnavigated one of the reservoirs, Garreg Ddu, which is presumably named after a black rock, or rocky outcrop.

The start and finish was at Nantgwyllt Church, built to replace the village church flooded in 1904. There was also a mansion of that name, owned by ancestors of mine until compulsorily purchased in the 1890's by Birmingham water company, the famous poet Shelly had attempted to purchase it, the location was particularly picturesque on the banks of the Claerwen River.

Today's walk saw us follow the track and path around the west side of Garreg Ddu reservoir and back along the east side, along the old railway track which now makes a perfect cycle/ walking path. The circuit is completed by crossing the bridge over the submerged Garreg Ddu dam.

Much of the walk is through beautiful Oak and birch woodland, some across open hillside, boggy at times and often uneven underfoot, fairly level over all with some moderate ups and downs. If 3 and a half miles of that is enough for you is possible to leave a vehicle at each end, at the upper end is Penbont house cafe and B+B, (currently closed for the winter). It's a total of 6 miles to do the full circuit which we completed in 2 hours 40 minutes.

Afterwards we found a lovely bowl of cawl and some cake at The Old Swan Tea Rooms on the cross in Rhayader, one of many places in the town to find food and drink.

Guided walks are not offered by Cambrian Safaris but we can show you many places you could go back to and explore yourselves, most tours do include stretching out legs a little.

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