There’s a secluded field in the heart of the Brecon Beacon in the Cwm Llwch valley right at the foot of Pen y Fan, the largest mountain in Southern Britain.
On Saturday night I just happen to mention the great forecast for Sunday and so came about a spontaneous overnighter that we hadn’t really planned. It was a bank holiday weekend, the forecast glorious and so far too good an opportunity to miss we thought.
On the drive up we worked out that I had been coming back and for this site on and off for the best part of 24 years. The first visit back at the age of 15 with a school friend. Parents dropped us in Libanus on the Friday and arranged to pick us up at Pont-ar-Daf at 4 on the Sunday. And that was back in the days before mobiles. How times have changed, eh! Even though I’m of the opinion that the dangers in the mountains have hardly changed in that time I still struggle with the idea of leaving my kids out alone for that length time.
Mind you I do have two girls and perhaps that makes a difference. But it just goes to show that the most beautiful places on our Earth are often not only on our doorstep but are a draw that keep pulling you back time after time.
So we arrived and Lis (with it being her first visit to this place) picked our camp spot quickly. A nice flat spot with a view of Pen y Fan to the South and what would develop into a glorious sunset to our West and just a few feet to our right beyond our campfire we could see and hear the gentle ebb and flow of the Cwm Llwch stream. If you’ve never been and you don’t mind roughing it then I suggest you get Google open and start searching for this place. When I say roughing it mind I do mean that, literally it is a field with a view. I’d suggest packing either a good shovel or Imodium!!
On Monday we took a walk up through the meandering valley towards Pen Y Fan and a little over half way up after several kilometres you are again blessed with another beautiful sight in the form of Pen Y Fan pond. Another hidden gem that you cannot see from the valley floor, but after many false ‘summits’ it finally creeps up on you and I tell you on a beautiful day you wouldn’t feel out of place popping the swimming shorts on and having a wild swim, as indeed many where when we were up there. I however, wasn’t brave enough for any of that.
So, here’s to the next 24 years of visits to this beautiful hidden gem.