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