Llangorse has the largest natural lake in south Wales, formed thousands of years ago when moving ice pushed and scraped its way along, whaping the landscape seen today. When the ice finally melted this debris was left to form mounds known as moraines. Llangorse Lake owes its existence to the moraine deposits left in the area between Llanfihangel Talyllyn and Talgarth. At one time it was some 150 feet (45 meters) higher with two overflows into the Usk River at Bwlch and Pennorth.
The entire lake’s surface and the adjoining common is Registered Common Land giving local people ancient rights to graze their livestock upon it.
It boasts an ancient Crannog, the only one to be found in Wales and England, constructed in 916 ad, probably by the King of Brycheiniog.
On the south shore of Llangorse Lake, the wildflower meadows, reed beds and bird hide at Llangasty are an ideal spot for watching wildlife. The bird hide which has benches and built-in bird guides is designed to accommodate wheelchairs. There are two routes to the bird hide:
-The route from the car park at Llangasty Church passes through 3 narrow kissing gates. This is a level and gentle 700 metre walk across meadows, a small bit of woodland and short sections of boardwalk over the wettest areas.
-If you are unable to walk far or you use a wheelchair, there is a route which allows cars to get closer to the bird hide. If you wish to use this route please contact the National Park warden service for more details. This route should only be used during the drier times of the year. More info about how to get to the bird hide here.
As well as adventuring out on the lake to enjoy many watersports, Llangorse is also home to Llangorse Multi Activity Centre. They now have over 1,580 m2 (17,000 ft2) of climbing surface, the centre boasts many unique features such as the only indoor natural limestone featured climbing walls in Wales – great for practising climbing outdoors. There are also artificial featured climbing walls (up to 15m from the ground!), large bouldering areas with plenty of interesting routes, as well as a challenging 18m caving ladder, rope and tree climb for the more adventurous climber!
Outdoors they have horse riding and their sky trek experience which is a series of over 14 connected zip lines travelling between trees at heights of up to 22 metres as it zig-zags down the mountainside. Your Sky Trek tour allows you to observe our breathtaking landscape from a different perspective. The observation platforms give unrivalled panoramic views across Llangorse Lake to the peaks of the Brecon Beacons in the distance.
Llangorse is easily accessible from the A40 as you head through the National Park from the village of Bwlch where you can pick up supplies from the local farm shop and Venison Centre or the well stocked village store, The Gate Shop, who have also recently opened a cafe.
Bwlch,meaning a ‘pass’ in Welsh, has castles, ancient iron age forts and standing stones, not to mention 360 degree views across the lake.
Bwlch is the home of the now well established Bwlch with Altitude Challenge which takes place every summer and is a 12 mile walk around the lake from Bwlch and Llangorse respectively, contestants enjoy this event seeking out clues and answers to a number of questions set as part of the challenge’s photographic quiz.
The communities of Llangorse and Bwlch have developed the new Around Llangorse Lake website to help visitors enjoy this lovely part of the National Park.
Bwlch and Llangorse provide the perfect terrain for a challenge-Click here to find out about Bwlch with Altitude and other challenges in the area.
Where to Eat
The Castle Inn-Llangorse-Traditional Welsh Food, popular with locals and visitors alike
The Red Lion-Llangorse- The Red Lion is all you’d expect from a country pub and more. A spacious bar area with a large welcoming fireplace beckons you into its tastefully designed interior, with garlands of hops looping decorously about its walls. The bar itself is well stocked and welcoming with an excellent selection of standard line beers, wines, ciders and spirits
The Venison Centre and Beacons Farm Shop-Bwlch-Visit the shop and while you’re there you’ll also be tempted to stop for a cup of tea and some delicious cake.
Where to Stay
Winnies Hayloft-Winnie’s Hayloft sits on the brow of the hill, beside the road in the centre of the small village of Bwlch between Brecon and Crickhowell. The cottage is conveniently situated on the main road, providing easy access by car or public transport, whatever the season or the weather. This delightful oakbeamed cottage is much loved and full of character; Winnie’s Hayloft sleeps two and has a light and airy sitting room on the first floor with magnificent views down the Usk Valley and over the surrounding hills.
The Star Bunkhouse–You can expect a warm and comfortable stay in our self-catering bunkhouse. We have spacious bedrooms, cosy lounge and dining areas, a fully-equipped kitchen, an outside BBQ area, hot showers, drying room, free wi-fi and off-road parking.
Llangorse Caravan Park Beautiful location at Llangorse Lake – camping/touring pitches available. Luxury static caravans available for hire with central heating and double glazing.
Canoeing/kayak hire, stand up paddle boards, pedaloes, rowing boats and fishing can be arranged, please see our website for more details.