The Elan Valley, Rhayader, Powys! Hello fellow budget hunters, Today’s post is all about one of my favourite places. As a child we used to visit the Elan Valley all the time! I find it a very interesting place and I love how beautiful the area is! When we visited on Easter Monday, the place looked crazy! There was snow around and the fog kept coming down over the water. Located just above Rhayader in Powys, the Elan valley is a beautiful place. It is somewhere you have to drive to as it is remote. But, it is a popular place for people to visit with their families in Mid Wales. Best of all, it is entirely free and is great to get outdoors!
The first dams and 73 miles of aquaducts were built in 1904.They were built to supply Birmingham with water and still supply the whole region.
The Dams really are a feat of engineering, with millions of bricks used to hold all that water in place. There are 5 functional dams and one unfinished dam built in the Elan Valley. There are four dams on the river Elan; Craig Goch, Pen-y-garreg, Garreg Ddu, and Caban Coch. The river Claerwen has the newest, and largest Claerwen dam followed by the unfinished Dol-y-Mynach dam. To read more about them, click here. The dams were built in the late 1890s after a compulsory purchase of 180 square kilometers of the valleys. These reservoirs travel to Birmingham via gravity only, with no pumps involved. An average of 360 million litres of water a day is available to Birmingham. There is also turbines on all dams, producing over 4.2 megawatts a day.
There is a lot of nature and wildlife living on the hills of the Elan Valley. Also there is 12 areas of Special Scientific Interest in the Elan Valley. There are many different walkways and hikes around the dams that you can take. Some cycle paths follow the edges of the reservoirs, with others following road routes around the area. The Elan Valley is home to many of Wales’ 300 pairs of Red Kites. These birds were reintroduced recently and are thriving. I saw one on my visit, especially as they are fed in Rhayader (around 8 miles away).
You only have to look at these pictures to understand what I mean! The dramatic hills are beautiful and similar to those of the Brecon Beacons. I love the dramatic hills and range of colours (when they are no longer under the snow)! You should really visit for a day to the Elan Valley, it is beautiful and well worth a trip there! I hope you enjoy this photo heavy post! Until next time, The Great Ambini x x x I also have other British Travel Guides here: –
- Reasons why you should Visit Cardiff.
- Visiting the Olympic Park
- 5 hidden places you need to visit in London
- How to travel around the UK cheaply!