I chose this because it is one of my favourite places to go for a walk. I am keen walker and try and get out somewhere most weeks Also, I wanted to show some of my photographs. Although the scenery is so good, it’s just a matter of point and click. Llwyn-on (there are various welsh spellings) is about a 40-minute drive north of Cardiff, and is a turn off the A470. It is inside the Brecon Beacons National park, you will be unsurprised to read.
The drive up itself is enjoyable, as you travel up past Merthyr and the scenery changes. It is next to the Garwnant forest centre, which has a car park, and does nice tea and cake. The walk around the reservoir itself is about 3 miles, roughly. There are also numerous trails and footpaths nearby if you want to turn it in to a longer trek. There is also usually a burger van handily situated halfway around. The guy’s accent is so thick it took even me three goes to understand him, but he cooks a good bacon roll. Many fishermen can be seen around the place, often dozing in a deck chair during good weather, ensconced in small tents when it is bad. I have even known some to partake in a tipple. Cider seems to be favoured in summer, whisky in winter.
Llwyn-on Reservoir forms part of the nineteenth century water-supply system for Cardiff. Supply was first in the hands of a private waterworks company who constructed a reservoir at Lisvane in the 1860s, but the Cardiff Borough Council assumed responsibility for the growing town’s water supply in 1878, and commissioned a survey by its own engineer, John Avery Williams, to identify a suitable and sufficient water supply for the town. His report was presented in 1881, and the Taff Fawr scheme was the option favoured by the council. Llwyn-on Reservoir was the last of the four reservoirs comprising the scheme to be built, and detailed design work was carried out by Charles H Priestley, on a bigger scale than envisaged in the original scheme. It was begun in 1912, but work was delayed after the outbreak of war in 1914, and it was not completed until 1926. (www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk)
Listed as an integral part of the nineteenth century water-supply system for Cardiff. Together with structures associated with the other impounding reservoirs in the upper Taff and the Llanishen Reservoir, the Llwyn-on Reservoir represents a major Welsh civic engineering scheme which has survived virtually intact. The Llwyn-on Reservoir dam is a prominent landmark of definite quality and character. (www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk) The reservoir is within the historic county boundaries of Breconshire. The dam is adjacent to Llwyn-On village, and the Nant Gwinau, Nant Car and Garwnant are the major streams that enter the reservoir. To the east of the reservoir is the 462m mountain of Garn Ddu, and to the west is the 485m mountain of Cadair Fawr (Wikipedia)
I always seem to notice something different. There is always some new aspect, rain or shine, no matter what the season. Sometimes the water is so still you have a perfect reflection, even seeing the chem trails from planes overhead (see above pic). Other days the mist is so thick you can barely see 50ft. Other days see cloud racing overhead, and a wonderful play of light across the water. I have got lost wandering up nearby footpaths several times, but found this was a good way to explore as each time I found something new. The nearby Garw Nant forest centre is designated as a Geopark, and has additional walks. From here you can go to see waterfalls, woods and go high enough to get a view of the surrounding area.
This is a special place. It is somewhere I can go to and forget about the rest of the world for a while. I always return refreshed. Needless to say, it is gloriously unenriched. It is where I go when I need spiritual sustenance, when some politician has buggered up Brexit (again), and I remember what we are fighting for.
This is a shorter piece than my usual ones, to try out the new site and because I am in the middle of revision for my next batch of accountancy exams. I will hopefully produce a longer piece in December.
© Jonathon Davies 2017