A return to mid Wales

This is mostly a photo post: it was the second visit of the year to the Rhayader/Elan Valley area and, coincidentally, the walking was mostly defined by the heavy rains which had preceded our few days there. ‘Coincidentally’ because this had been exactly the case back in May; sustained spells of heavy rain – not exactly a rarity in mid Wales – can turn some of the hills into a quagmire, and a misery to walk.

However, there are compensations to be had from arriving in the aftermath of a good deluge…

The overflowing dam at Penygarreg reservoir – viewed from Penbont

As above, but from a little closer. Or possibly zoomed

The rain was just about over by the time we arrived, but there was still plenty of low cloud around and a heavy clinging dampness hanging in the air. This is Wales – come prepared!

The fire in the distance looked more appealing the closer we got. It turned out to be forestry workers on clearing duties, rather than wild campers

By mid afternoon, the combination of clearing skies and steadily lowering sun had lent an altogether different feel to the water and surrounding hillsides…

Better had been promised for the next day, and was duly delivered…

Inevitably, in this part of Wales, there would be red kite…

Looking for feeding opportunities among the boulders

And taking advantage of thermals, conspicuously absent on the previous day



4 thoughts on “A return to mid Wales

    • Hi Conrad, that’s twice this year we’ve arrived in the immediate aftermath of a period of sustained heavy rainfall. This time it was actually still raining hard as we unloaded the car at the place we were staying.

      There are plenty of decent trails in the area, so we just made a decision to avoid the bog-hopping; well, mostly, not entirely.


  1. The Elan Valley has a special place in my heart. Spent loads of time there as a kid and was our water supply where I lived. Seeing water pouring over the dams is quite unusual but stunning if you are lucky enough to see it. There is some seriously tough terrain out there, man-size tussocks as well as bog but some rewarding walks if you can find a way through


    • Hi Andy, it was only the second time I’d ever seen one of the dams overflow: the first was many years ago and I suppose I just thought it was a regular occurrence until I’d been back a good few times and never seen it again. I’ve had some real drenchings out on the tops; being familiar with the area you’ll know there isn’t a lot of cover, unless you happen to be close to some conifers.

      Liked by 1 person

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