The Elan Valley & River Clearwen
Sunday 29th July 2018
Start Time
Estimated Finish Time
8 miles
Will Tandy
Contact Details
or 07840 301075
Start Point and Parking
Car parking area at the southwestern end of the Caban-coch Reservoir, opposite a small footbridge over the River Clearwen. Post code is approximate - please refer to map link below.
Grid Location
General Location
Rhayader, Mid Wales. Approx 1 hour 30 minutes southwest of Shrewsbury.
Packed Lunch?
Pub/Tea Shop
At the Visitor Centre after the walk
Car Sharing
9:10am at "Dobbies" services (A5/A49 junction), south of Shrewsbury, in the Little Chef car park
Public Transport
None available.
Walk Summary
The Elan Valley Reservoirs are a series of man-made lakes formed from damming the Elan and Claerwen rivers. They were constructed by the Birmingham Corporation Water Department, to provide drinking water for the West Midlands, in particular Birmingham. This walk starts at the head of the Caban-coch Reservoir, and follows the picturesque Clearwen River along a wild and unspoilt valley, until reaching the impressive dam of the Clearwen Reservoir. This was the last of the reservoirs to be constructed, with the dam finally completed in 1952. At 56m high and 355m in length, its an imposing sight! From here we head back down the valley for a time, before ascending onto the higher ground of Rhos y Gelynnen, which offers stunning views of the surrounding hills. This is also a great spot to see Red Kites, so keep your eyes peeled! We then descend through the woods on the other side, with equally fantastic views over the Garreg-ddu Reservoir. The route then follows the western edge of the Caban-coch Reservoir back to the start.
Rocky paths, gravel tracks, grassy hillside, forestry paths and minor roads.
Generally quite gradual, apart from the ascent/descent on Rhos y Gelynnen which is steeper at times.
Highest Point
Additional Info
Sturdy walking boots required. Please also bring waterproofs and an extra layer, as it is exposed in places.