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Stunning Brecon Beacons Walks: Pontsticill Reservoir

Stunning Brecon Beacons Walks: Pontsticill Reservoir

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Brecon Beacons National Park is one of the most famous outdoor spaces in the UK, and so it should come as no surprise then, that it’s also home to some of the most amazing walks in the country.

In this mini-series, we’re showcasing three stunning Brecon Beacons walks that we feel you absolutely must try:

  1. Pen y Fan & Corn Du Hike
  2. Pontsticill Reservoir Walk
  3. Ystradfellte Four Waterfalls Walk

Each walk in this series offers something unique in Wales – from mountainside views and unparalleled vistas to wide glistening lakes and powerful waterfalls.

The Pontsticill Reservoir walk is the easiest walk out of the three listed… but is no less incredible!

Pontsticill Reservoir

About Pontsticill Reservoir

Pontsticill Reservoir is one of many stunning Brecon Beacons reservoirs and can be found near to the village of Pontsticill in the county of Powys.

It’s been in use since 1927 and holds a whopping 3,400 million gallons of water, which is used across houses, factories and other industry buildings across South Wales.

It’s so large that it engulfs two different reservoirs (Pontsticill and Taf Fechan). The best bit? You can get two walks for the price of one!

Pontsticill Reservoir in summer

Although most of the reservoir looks like a lake, there is a bell-mouth spillway at the south-eastern side of it, which is only one of three in the whole of the UK.

A bell-mouth spillway is designed like an inverted bell and really makes the water look like it’s swirling down into some kind of vortex! It’s pretty cool to see.

Did you know? The Pontsticill Reservoir walk was a filming location for ‘Submarine’?

The Most Beautiful Pontsticill Reservoir Walk

Although it’s possible to take many routes around Pontsticill Reservoir, we think the walk with the best views follows the eastern side of the reservoir, past the Steam Museum, which also conveniently has a cafe with a superb vista.

We think you should devote around a half-day to this walk at a leisurely pace.

There are a couple of free off-road car parks near the Ty Taf Fechan B&B, which are on the north-eastern side of the reservoir (as shown on this map). 

Ty Taf Fechan B&B, Pontsticill Reservoir

From the car park, follow the route towards the bridge that offers views of both Pontsticill Reservoir and Taf Fechan before continuing along the eastern side towards the steam museum and cafe. 

Throughout the walk, you’ll find little inlays by the side of the reservoir, which are perfect for picnicking and resting in. You may even spot a few people fishing as you walk past.

Make sure you grab a photo of the bell-mouth spillway before heading back up towards your car! 

Note: Part of this walk follows the 55 mile long Taff Trail, which is popular with both walkers and cyclists. The Pontsticill Reservoir walk is flat but with gravel paths in places so will be a bit trickier for those of you with pushchairs or wheelchairs.

Things To Do Near Pontsticill Reservoir

If you want to make a full day of it, or are staying in the area for a weekend, then here are some other top things to do nearby.

Morlais Castle

Morlais Castle is a 13th century castle built by the Earl of Gloucester at the time, Gilbert de Clare. Not much remains of the castle today, however, it’s housed on the site of an Iron Age fort, giving it an even richer history.

Plus the views from the tower are unreal! 

Brecon Mountain Railway

If you’d rather see views of the Pontsticill Reservoir from inside an old-fashioned steam train then you’ll definitely want to head to the Brecon Mountain Railway.

The railway line follows part of the original Brecon & Merthyr Railway, which closed in 1964 – and is a really unique way to see more of the Brecon Beacons.

Cyfarthfa Castle

Another day, another castle. This time, to see one that is still fully standing. If you want to explore the grounds of Cyfarthfa Castle – over 160 acres of it! – then this is free to do.

While visiting the castle museum and art gallery is really inexpensive (just a couple of pounds for adults while under 16s go free).

Dare Valley Country Park

If you haven’t quite had your fill of Welsh countryside, then Dare Valley Country Park offers 500 more acres well worth exploring.

You could easily spend another half day or full day exploring this magnificent parkland.

Does this sound like the Brecon Beacons walk for you? What else do you want to know about the stunning Pontsticill Reservoir walk? Let us know in the comments below…

Looking for more Brecon Beacons reservoirs? Why not visit nearby Talybont Reservoir – just 15 minutes away by car!

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