Elan Valley Reservoirs & Dams

Elan Valley Reservoirs & Dams

Spectacular Scenery

Information

Name:Elan Valley Reservoirs & Dams

Location: Near Rhayader – 48 miles–80 minutes drive.

Description

Elan Valley boasts 72 square miles of unspoilt nature and reservoirs. Whilst it is a bit further afield from our cottages than some other attractions, it is one of our favourite days out. The drive there is very scenic and the roads are quiet. 

When you arrive, head to the visitor centre where you can get a guide with maps and find out more about the dams. There is a gift shop, cafe and loos there and they often host exhibitions. You can also pay for parking (£2.50) which then means you can park in any of the car parks around the Estate. 

From the visitor centre you can then choose to drive to the dams and around the reservoirs, head out on foot on one of the walking trails or even hire a bicycle – Cycle Hire Prices.

The reservoirs are scenic but it is the dams which make this a unique place to visit. They are a marvel of engineering but also very beautiful.

The landscape is of national importance for the diversity of lower plants (mosses, liverworts and lichens) and the Estate is the most important area for land birds in Wales. It is covered by 12 separate Sites of Special Scientific Interest. 

The Estate has been awarded an International Dark Sky Park Award and it is filled with a wealth of nocturnal Wildlife which thrives under the very dark skies.

Elan Valley is good to visit all year round as the landscape changes with the seasons. Autumn is a particularly splendid time to go for the colours.

Big Wilderness Cycling Adventure

Big Wilderness Cycling Adventure

Spectacular Cycling Route

Information

Name: Big Wilderness Cycling Adventure

Location: Circular Route to Llyn Brianne

Description

Since Carmarthenshire hosted the start of the 2018 Tour of Britain it has become known as the “cycling hub of Wales”. Cycling is on the rise as the county has invested in the activity so that more visitors can saddle up and enjoy the breathtaking views. To coincide with the Tour of Britain, the county launched new cycle routes to give visitors the opportunity to explore the big hills and bigger views.

One of the most spectacular routes is the Big Wilderness Adventure. This is a circular route that actually passes just a 5 minute cycle ride from our door! The route is plotted to start and finish at Llandovery, but if you stay with us you can start and finish right from your cottage. It takes you to Llyn Brianne – there is challenging climb up to the lake followed by an incredible road around the perimeter with fantastic views.

This ride is not for the faint-hearted – it is 65 miles with a difficulty rating of 7/10 but the scenery makes the ride worthwhile (the journey to Llyn Brianne one of our favourite drives). The road follows the reservoir around the edge, constantly changing in elevation with incredible views and sweeping descends around every corner.

After Llyn Brianne the route starts to feel more remote as it skirts the Cambrian Mountains. There is barely a house or car in sight, but with this emptiness comes incredible beauty that is seen nowhere else short of the Scottish border.

The route takes in a large portion of wild, uninhabited terrain so it is worth taking what you think you will need with you and not relying on shops along the route.

There is an abbreviated version of the route if you want to shorten it – it still takes in the best bits up to Llyn Brianne but is 8 miles shorter and there is also the option to not go all the way to Llandovery to save even more miles.

If this route is too much of an adventure, then there are lots of other routes in the area to check out starting at just 10 miles – see them all here: Road Cycling in Carmarthenshire.