Thursday, 11 November 2010

Backpackers Rhayader/Elan Valley weekend

It was good to be out again. Some new faces, some not so new. The drive there was quite long. reckoned 2½ hours but it was actually three, all of it on the A4. Quite a good turnout, maybe about a dozen or fifteen of us. It was dark when I arrived at Gigrin Farm, Rhayader and I pitched the tarp in rain so it was good to get under cover and a meal on the go. Then off into town to, I think, The Crown.
Five of us walked together the next morning, Saturday. The rain had stopped. We followed the Wye Valley Walk, leading out of the south side of Rhayader to the River Wye or Afon Gwy, crossing the river by a swaying wire bridge.
Bridge across Afon Elan at SN965656
Cottage at SN959649
Looking across to Cefn Rhydoldog
Quarry at Cerrig Gwynion

From there we climbed up on to moorland and headed south west towards Caban-coch Reservoir, going into woodland above and to the far end of the reservoir. The views up there were wide ranging.
Bridge between Caban-coch and Garreg-ddu Reservoirs

Crossing the bridge at the end, we followed the minor road and, a little way past the farm at Ciloerwynt, we took the bridleway which doubled back at the rear of the farm, thinking we might find somewhere to pitch for the night. We found a reasonable place at SN882663 with a fast flowing stream a little way below. It was dark by 5pm so it was a long evening and night under cover.

Continuing on next morning, we climbed up towards the mast at Cwm Coel and then into woodland, eventually dropping down to the stunning road bridge dividing Caban-coch and Garreg-ddu Reservoirs. The autumn colours were superb. Over the bridge, we followed a cycle trail to the visitor centre at Elan Village. The café there was open for its last day of the season and served welcome cafetieres of coffee and bacon sandwiches. From there, we walked along a track alongside the B4518 back into Rhayader. 

Garreg-ddu Reservoir


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  2. The picture of the cottage you posted is the cottage my mum was born in in 1921. On her birth certificate it's called 'Court-Y-Garreg' she always pronounced it 'Cutta Garreg'. She moved to the Midlands when she was a young girl. My brother moved to Rhayader a few years ago. Myself and other siblings visit every year and often park up where the Elan meets the Wye and walk up to mum's cottage. The area really is a place of outstanding beauty.