The Elan Valley in mid Wales is known mainly for its vast amount of water trapped in some of the biggest Reservoir’s in Wales. A lot of people just drive straight through this region heading for North Wales and the bigger mountains. However if you call into the visitor centre (Satnav postcode: LD6 5HP) there is a lot more to this region than meets the eye.
It is a very peaceful and quiet location, the waters pour gracefully from some waterfalls and from others roars over the dams, cascading down the walls with plumes of white mist rolling around above.
This is a rugged walk over varying terrain including open exposed, windswept moorland so make sure you take a windproof and good footwear. Take a hot drink (Hot chocolate is great!) as well and when you’re on top of the plateau by the mini gorge sit down, open the hot chocolate and see if you can spot some red kites. This route is a circular one that climbs to the top of Caban Coch Dam, follows the edge of the reservoir and then climbs over the 400mtr mound and back into the visitor centre.
We leave the visitor centre and walk along the trail and scramble to the top of the Caban Coch Dam. Follow the right hand edge of the Resovoiur ensuring that the water stays on your left. As you walk along the waters edge you will see many sculptures’ by artist Dominic Clare. These are great places to chill and let the water mesmerize you.
Continue along the path, passing the viaduct on your left and keep following the waters edge. Half way along this second resovoiur, on your right is a small trail leading up through the heather and gorse (a wooden sign with a green arrow pointing up hill is on it) Leave the side of the resovoiur and follow the trail up hill. The trail meanders up hill onto the plateau. At the junction turn left, after a few hundred yards you will come to a mini gorge gouged out of the top of the mountain as though Giant used a big ice cream scoop. Cross at the left end of the gorge and at the cross roads go straight across and follow it rightwards on the paths. Once you pass the cairn (large mound of rocks and stones) after 200mtr turn right on the path.
Follow the paths in a downwards manner. As you come over the crest of the hill you will see the village of Elan and the visitor centre squirreled away down in the valley below. Follow the trail back down into the centre, not forgetting to enjoy the views, the wildlife and past hardy Welsh mountain sheep.
If you would like to join me for some walking or mountaineering please get on touch on 07534 387152 or using the links here;