Disserth, Elan Valley and Llandindod Powys Mid Wales

The summer holidays had finished with all the crowds so we decided to go back to mid Wales again very close to where we had been before. Once again we decided to stay in one place and only travel short distances to ensure we saw the local area.

Elan Valley is the major tourist area in this region. It was a private estate of 72 acres with 28 farms now managed by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water under a Trust. There is a visitor centre with a large car park (suitable for large motorhomes) and a charge of £2.50. The visitor centre has a restaurant and small shop which also has a storyboard and videos about Elan Valley. This area is too small unfortunately in the present Covid-19 situation and not practicable for more than a couple of people to read and view. It has interesting information that will take some time.There are many parking areas as you travel around the reservoirs and the only one that charges is at the visitor centre. There is also a RSPB reservoir that you gain access to from the visitors’ car park on the other side of the river and well worth visiting.

There are hydroelectric turbines in the dams and in the photo above shows one in use on the left (jet of water) This is the original dam supplying Birmingham with its water from the 1896 build.

Below is the highest of the 4 dams at Pen y Garreg

This picture is just above the second dam for the Garreg-ddu reservoir and the Elan Trail continues along the East side.

The Elan Valley Trail is a linear path following the line of the old Birmingham Corporation Railway. The trail starts in Cwmdauddwr (free parking available), just west of Rhayader and finishes 13 km (9 miles) further up the Elan Valley at Craig Goch Dam. If you should go out to the Claerwen reservoir then there is no cycle or walking track and you have to use the road.

Whilst cycling a hitchhiker called Lui came along!

Map showing the Elan Valley  reservoirs, Llandindod on the right half way down and  Disserth camping just below and to the left.

Road ends at the Claerwen reservoir. This had been built at a later date so more water was provided and at that stage water was supplied to Cardiff and Swansea. The dam was opened in 1952.

We stayed at Disserth campsite for 9 days and it was similar to a CL site cost as the prices were reduced if you used your own facilities (£16 ). They had limited individual shower and toilet cubicles for sole use of a single campsite at an extra cost. The site was well kept and next to the river with access to walk the dog through the churchyard to the fields and river. It was a great base to see many things apart from Elan Valley which we went to several times.

This is a magnificient metal sculpture of a Red Kite. There are several feeding areas daily around but we had plenty of them flying around in the area to watch.

Just below the Caerwin dam.

The Disserth area had many nature reserves as well. Below Alan is resting on “Oliver’s seat” looking at the view in the next photo of the Bailey Einon reservoir. We were the only people there 🙂

View of Cefnllys Church from “Oliver’s seat”

The boardwalk in the nature reservoir was for climbing up the hill and at the top had a warning that going through the gate and down to the river again could be muddy and slippery. No problem!

The town of Llandrindod near Desserth is an old Spa town and had beautiful buildings and even a lake with a cycle track and walk around. Also great fish and chips for us to eat next to the lake:)

Just before we finished walking around the lake we decided it was time for Lui to try the rucksack which he loved!

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