The Elan Valley – Easter Solitude

We’ve spent the rag end of the Easter Break in the Elan Valley, a couple of miles south of the Mid Wales town of Rhayader. It’s been a real treat, miles of solitary walks, views to die for and hardly any other people about!! Even today, a Saturday, there’s very few visitors…..Its a gem of an area. We love it.

We’ve based ourselves on a small campsite, only a 10 min walk from Caban Coch Reservoir, right on the doorstep of the valley. The water course is a series of man-made lakes and dams, designed by the Victorians to supply the city of Birmingham with fresh water, which it still does to this day. The campsite’s called Elan Oaks. Its small but well situated, it offers hard standing, EHU, showers etc, catering for caravans, motorhomes and tents. Its in a perfect spot, directly alongside the main cycle route/footpath. You can walk to your hearts content, directly from the site and to top it off, you can finish with a pint at the Elan Hotel, just across the road. The site has an area for Caravan Club members on grass pitches. It also offers an additional 12 H/S pitches for anyone with EHU/Water/TV/Sat/Ethernet for a reasonable £20Pn…We plumped for that. Tents have a large field, so plenty of space for all.


Try the 3 Tuns Pale Ale! at the Elan Hotel


The Caravan Club CL.


The camp site viewed from Y Foel !

The Mutt has loved the visit, loads of safe walks, plenty of time spent off-lead. Really its a perfect place for a semi-trained nutter dog! Take a look at some of the scenery:


Caban Coch dam



Caban Coch…the dam bit!

Just below the dam is the visitors centre, that has a shop, cafe and educational area that covers the construction of the Elan Valley Reservoir and the fascinating story behind it.


Caban Coch Reservoir



Careg-Ddu Reservoir

What we liked about the area was the option to move off from the lakeside paths and quickly move up to high ground to enjoy the spectacular views (Warning…wet weather gear, a good pair of boots and a map/compass essential. The prevailing conditions can change very quickly). On the first day, the weather was pretty good so we took the opportunity to climb Y Foel, fairly steep at the start, but after a 15min climb eased out somewhat. Once we got the height, the stunning views opened up:


Queen of her mountains!


Muttley leads the way….Meanwhile I struggle at the back with the sandwiches, flask, dog food, kitchen sink, map!


On the plateau prior to Y Foel



Y Foel: She’s so competitive…Last one to the cairns a wuss!


Slightly more sedate!

So to sum up this visit. A great place to while away a few days. Remote enough to offer some peace and solitude, especially out of season. Walking/Cycling on your doorstep, fantastic views and a well equipped small-scale campsite to overnight at. This is certainly going to be on our regular list…..Especially in the spring/autumn. Highly recommended.

Tonight I will mostly be relaxing with a Madras Curry, Game of Thrones(Season1)….and perhaps a large nip of Jack Daniel’s “Honey”.

That is all


Filed under Trips - 2014

2 responses to “The Elan Valley – Easter Solitude

  1. Looks lovely, must put this on the memory banks for a visit when we are in the uk. Thanks for the post

  2. I was quite shocked how quiet it was Wendy. Compared to The Lakes, this is paradise, the drive was quite easy as well. Although I would recommend staying on the A483/A470 until you reach Rhayadar.

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