17/04/2021: Pontsticill Reservoir

On Saturday it was another beautiful day here in sunny Wales. But it was also another day where I failed to get my bum in gear and out of the house at a reasonable hour. Still, with plenty of light available I made a last-minute decision that I had to go “somewhere”.

Luckily, I have a list for such occasions, and having seen this place recently a few times on Instagram (where I get far more inspiration for places to go than I’d perhaps care to admit), it stood out as somewhere to try.

I’ve not spent a whole lot of time up in the Beacons, but every time I go I vow to change that. Just 45 minutes away from home, there’s not much excuse to only stick to the local parks anymore. Ponsticill is an artificial reservoir completed in 1927 – it’s managed by Dwr Cymru and has some popular trails around it. Not that I could find those – perhaps I should have done some better research than looking at Instagram after all.

After pulling up in some random car park at the side of the reservoir, I attempted to make my way around the edge of it. It was at this point I realised I had two paths to choose from. One, a concrete road with people dashing down it at the national speed limit, or through a forest with uneven paths, low hanging branches and discarded god knows what lying about.

I decided to take the latter, but after about a mile I felt it wise to turn back as although the dog was in her element, me trying to do the limbo under 500 different trees wasn’t doing much for me. Once back in the car, I decided to head by motor to the top of the reservoir and see the view from there. At this point, there was a large area of forest and a view over to Pen Y Fan. Not too bad, I suppose.

As the sun was starting to go down, I knew I wanted to see the valve tower (a term I have literally just learned) at the other end of the reservoir and I’d never make it over there – and back – on foot before the dark appeared, so I got back in the car. This was probably the best view of the lot as the golden light in the background and the beautifully still water all came together to create something quite special. The fact that I had the place to myself also helped.

There’s a few more places in my Brecon Beacons – including another reservoir – on my Brecon Beacons list, but next time I should probably do some better planning before I get there.

Where’s the fun in that, though?

Distance – 2.91miles
Time – 2:13

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