Llyn Clywedog and Bryntail Lead Mine

Llyn Clywedog and Bryntail Lead Mine

On a sunny day in Mid Wales, there’s nothing like a drive around Llyn Clywedog.

Panoramic view of Llyn Clywedog
Panoramic view of Llyn Clywedog

Situated near Llanidloes, Llyn Clywedog is a man-made reservoir with a dam, constructed in the 1960’s to help supply Birmingham and the English Midlands with water by river regulation (it’s not the first of our beautiful Mid Wales valleys to be flooded to provide an English city with water!) and to help prevent flooding further down the River Severn.

Clywedog Dam
Clywedog Dam

Clywedog Dam is the tallest concrete dam in the UK and holds back a 50,000 megalitres (or 11,000 million gallons) of water when the reservoir is at its fullest.

There is a refreshments kiosk and toilets in the car park above the dam, however, these were closed when we visited at the end of August. Hopefully, they’ll be back open next year.

Bryntail Lead Mine with the imposing Clywedog Dam
Bryntail Lead Mine with the imposing Clywedog Dam
Bryntail Lead Mine
Bryntail Lead Mine
Bryntail Lead Mine Ruins
Bryntail Lead Mine Ruins
Bryntail Lead Mine Ruins
Bryntail Lead Mine Ruins
Bryntail Lead Mine Ruins
Bryntail Lead Mine Ruins
Bryntail Lead Mine Ruins from Clwyedog Dam
Bryntail Lead Mine Ruins from Clwyedog Dam

Beneath the dam sits the remains of Bryntail Lead Mine. During the 19th century, Llanidloes had a thriving smelting industry and Bryntail Lead Mine, along with Van Lead Mine, extracted and process lead ore. The remains are in the care of Cadw and are free to look around (access from the car park if via a path and footbridge, but is unsuitable for wheelchairs). The view of Clywedog Dam from Bryntail is very imposing.

Llyn Clywedog
Llyn Clywedog
Llyn Clywedog
Llyn Clywedog
Two men in a fishing boat of Llyn Clywedog
Two men in a fishing boat of Llyn Clywedog

You can drive right around the reservoir (and I would advise doing so). There are various places to pull in and park, with plenty to see and do. Wildlife is in abundance, with red kites, buzzards, peregrine falcon and osprey to be found flying in the area.

If you’re hungry whilst in the area, I would recommend Evans Fish Bar in Llanidloes, where delicious fish & chips are cooked to order (for take-away or dining in).

12 comments

  1. Kelly says:

    What a gorgeous day you had while visiting – blue skies filled with puffy clouds. The ruins look like they’d be fun to explore. I’ve got the urge to fish now. 🙂

    A lovely outing!

  2. Hi Nikki,

    If the ruins of Bryntail had been left in the care of EH, there would certainly be an admission charge, so all power to Cadw for keeping them free to enjoy and discover the heritage.

    I also like places of interest that are circular, either to drive or walk, so Lyn Clywedog once again sounds ideally positioned, especially with all the wildlife which calls it home.

    We do have Langford Lakes Nature Reserve only a few miles away from us and that always makes for a good few hours walking and wildlife watching from some of the great hides they have positioned lakeside.

    https://www.wiltshirewildlife.org/langford-lakes

    Thanks for sharing, your travel posts are so good 🙂

    Yvonne

  3. Barbara says:

    Hello Nikki, it looks absolutely majestic, although I’m sorry to read about the flooding of the valley. Thanks for the tip about driving around the reservoir and about the fish and chips! We hope to do this drive one of these days.

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