Walking in the Brecon Beacons

This scenic, 3km long reservoir is surrounded by steep hill, forestry and farmland.


Set in the central Brecon Beacons, this is a popular place to visit with a road crossing the 380 metre long dam to forestry walks on the far side. The wide tracks in the Talybont Forest on the eastern side of the reservoir join up with the Brinore Tramroad and Taff Trail to give longer walks with no barriers.

The Brinore Tramroad runs for 8 miles (13 km) from Talybont-on-Usk to Trefil, within the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. It was operational between 1815 and 1865 and linked the Tredegar iron works and Trefil limestone quarries to the Monmouth & Brecon canal at Talybont. Its route passes through the dramatic and scenic valleys of Talybont and Dyffryn Crawnon before reaching the uplands of Trefil mountain.

Its importance today is not only as anexample of industrial archæology but also as a well used public right of way (bridleway status). Its hedgerows form a valuable wildlife corridor and it is frequently used by walking groups and lovers of the countryside because of the quality of its natural environment.

Visitors to the area can most easily access the Tramroad at Talybont village, although access is also possible at other points, including Trefil village and Talybont Reservoir dam.

 The Taff Trail: The Talybont-on-Usk section of the Taff Trail runs mainly through an expanse of fields along the B4558 through Pencelli and on to the penultimate area, Llanfrynach. Talybont-on-Usk is where you will find the highest point of the Taff Trail, some 439m (1440ft) above sea level. It is here you can expect the most breathtaking views on the trail. By this point, travelling northwards, the River Taff is some way behind and the finishing line is rapidly approaching.

Most of the forestry tracks near the reservoir are level but get steeper further up the hill you go. Lay-bys and car parks alongside the Talybont to Pontsticill road offer good views of the reservoir and surrounding hills. There is one bird hide suitable for the disabled.


Nigel Forster: Talybont Reservoir 


How to get there: The reservoir is 1.5km south of Talybont-on-Usk, which is 8km south east of Brecon on the A40.

Nearest town or village: Talybont-on-Usk.

OS Grid Reference: Explorer Map OL 12 / OL13 or Landranger Map 160 / 161 – SO 104 205.

Distance: From a few metres to several kilometres.

Contact: Welsh Water on 01495 769281 or Natural Resources Wales on 0300 065 3000.

Facilities: There is a shop and Post Office with National Park information and several pubs in Talybont-on-Usk.

Parking: There are lay-bys and car parks alongside the Talybont to Pontsticill road and on the other side of the dam.

Toilets: Basic public toilets are located next to the White Hart Inn in Talybont-on-Usk. The nearest disabled access toilets are at Llansantffraed lay-by on the A40.

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