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Powys, a region blessed with natural splendour, is adorned with a series of reservoirs that not only serve as vital water sources but also create breathtaking landscapes, offering tranquility and recreational opportunities to locals and visitors alike. These reservoirs, nestled amid rolling hills and lush valleys, contribute to the scenic charm that defines Powys.

Lake Vyrnwy (4.53 km²):​

Lake Vyrnwy, nestled against the scenic backdrop of the Cambrian Mountains, stands as a crown jewel among Powys reservoirs. Originally constructed in the late 19th century, this reservoir not only supplies water but also enchants visitors with its serene waters, embraced by woodlands and hills. The iconic Vyrnwy Dam adds an architectural marvel to the landscape, inviting exploration and leisurely strolls along its shores.

 Elan Valley:

The Elan Valley boasts a network of reservoirs—Caban Coch, Garreg Ddu, Penygarreg, and Claerwen. Covering an area of 3.688 km², Claerwen Reservoir is a tranquil expanse surrounded by picturesque hills. 

The Elan Valley reservoirs, including Claerwen, were constructed in the early 20th century, supplying water to Birmingham. Today, they provide a stunning backdrop for activities such as walking, cycling, and birdwatching, with each reservoir contributing to the area's natural beauty.

 Clywedog Reservoir (250 ha):

Clywedog Reservoir, with its expansive 250 hectares, graces the landscape near Llanidloes. Constructed to manage flooding downstream, this reservoir offers not only practical benefits but also a scenic retreat for those seeking the peaceful ambiance of its waters and surrounding hills.

Pontsticill Reservoir (102 ha):

Nestled in the Taf Fechan Valley, Pontsticill Reservoir covers 102 hectares and is surrounded by the lush landscapes of the Brecon Beacons. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, it provides opportunities for sailing, fishing, and scenic walks along the reservoir's shores.

Talybont Reservoir (129 ha):

Set in the idyllic Talybont-on-Usk, this reservoir spans 129 hectares and offers a tranquil escape surrounded by the beauty of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Talybont Reservoir is not only a water source but also a destination for those seeking peace and natural splendor.

Nant-y-Moch Reservoir (66.8 km²):

Nant-y-Moch Reservoir, sprawling over 66.8 square kilometers, is a vast expanse nestled amid the Cambrian Mountains. This reservoir, surrounded by heather-clad hills, contributes to the wild and rugged beauty of the region, inviting exploration of its remote and unspoiled landscapes.

Cray Reservoir:

Cray Reservoir, although smaller in size, plays a significant role in the Powys reservoir landscape. Nestled in the hills, it offers a peaceful retreat and an opportunity to connect with nature away from the bustle of urban life.

Usk Reservoir:

Located in the Brecon Beacons, Usk Reservoir is a serene water body surrounded by verdant landscapes. Its tranquil ambiance and the panoramic views make it a sought-after destination for those seeking a quiet escape.

Ystradfellte Reservoir (81 ha):

Ystradfellte Reservoir, spanning 81 hectares, is another gem nestled in the Brecon Beacons. Surrounded by rolling hills, it provides a peaceful setting for leisurely walks and moments of contemplation.

Beacons Reservoir:

Situated in the heart of the Brecon Beacons, the aptly named Beacons Reservoir contributes to the captivating scenery of the national park. Its calm waters reflect the beauty of the surrounding peaks, creating a tranquil atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.

Cantref Reservoir:

Cantref Reservoir, with its own unique charm, enhances the Powys landscape. Tucked away in the hills, it offers a secluded spot for those seeking a quiet escape and a connection with nature.

Image by Marcus Woodbridge

These reservoirs collectively weave a tapestry of natural beauty, providing not only essential resources but also inviting exploration, recreation, and moments of serenity in the heart of Powys.


They not only contribute to the region's water supply but also serve as havens for biodiversity, attracting a variety of bird species and wildlife. The serene waters provide a reflective surface, mirroring the beauty of the surrounding hills and creating a picturesque ambiance that invites exploration.

Whether you're drawn to the historic significance of the Elan Valley reservoirs, the scenic allure of Lake Vyrnwy, or the peaceful ambiance of smaller reservoirs,Mid Wales offers a diverse array of experiences.


 As you wander along their shores or embark on scenic drives that reveal these hidden gems, you'll discover that Powys reservoirs are not just sources of water—they are reservoirs of natural beauty, history, and tranquility waiting to be explored.

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