Ponsticill and the Ponsticill Reservoir

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A walk at the southern edge of the Brecon Beacons near Merthyr Tydfil that heads up the Taff Fechan, a beautiful valley, steeped in industrial heritage. The walk starts by passing under the impressive Pontsarn Viaduct, which carried the now disused Merthyr to Brecon line ninety feet above the valley floor.

There is plenty more to see as the walk continues up the valley, including the village of Ponsticill itself, where you can stop for a drink at the Red Cow Inn. The reservoir of the same name further up the valley is completely encircled, following forest tracks on the west side to the top of the reservoir, where there are great views further up the valley across a second reservoir, to Pen y Fan beyond that. Returning down the other side of the reservoir, the walk follows the Brecon Mountain Railway at first, where you may see a steam train up close if you are lucky. The only major climb of the walk then takes you up onto the fells surrounding the lake before descending again along the railway, which is now a cycle path, this time passing over the top of the Pontsarn Viaduct.

Wales - South Wales - Brecon - Bannau Brycheiniog


Church, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Lake/Loch, Moor, Pub, River, Waterfall, Woodland
2/8/2017 - Sue Dockerill

Hi, Just completed walk 7480 - a very good outing indeed. Unfortunately there is some confusion about parking for the walk. The Access info is to a small car park off the roadside. We have been there several times over the past few years and always found it closed by a barrier, we think to discourage fly tipping. Someone must have picked up on this as the walk directions are from, and back to, good roadside parking near the Aberglais pub - and the photo for waypoint 1 is correct for this. The parking directions should be changed to be consistent. The fourth sentence starting 'You will see the car park on the left...' should be replaced with: 'Shortly after a narrow stone bridge the road climbs to a T-junction where turn right. There is good roadside on the left just beyond the Aberglais pub.' For people travelling in the opposite direction the last two sentences (after the one ending 'becomes a county lane') should be replaced with 'Ignore a right turn where the road bears left before the Aberglais pub just after which you should park on the right hand side of the road.' Hoping that this helps.

9/5/2015 - chris webber

Enjoyable walk with a variety of surfaces which presented no problems in navigation except at WM 20. There is a fair stretch of forest path walking mid walk and another stretch of cycle path at the end, although this latter part did allow a welcome lengthening of the stride! The path after WM 19 is quite steeply uphill and is very wet and muddy .. boots required. After WM 20 it is open moorland and compass bearings/GPS are helpful and would be essential in poor visibility. Finally, at WM 22 the woodland referred to is over on your right, NOT left. Nevertheless, a good outing which took us 5 hours 15 mins although we did wrong slot a little at WM 20! Thank you Sean :-)

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