We woke to temperatures of minus 5 degrees. Now this is the sort of Winter weather we love! The air was crisp and clear, and the hills draped in a frosty white overcoat. After defrosting Skyra (our little car), we couldn’t not return to the Elan Valley on a day like today. We took it slowly past Rhyader as the Elan Village road hadn’t been gritted, but this meant that we could admire the stunning scenery all the easier as there was very little traffic. We stopped briefly at the car park opposite Caban Coch Dam to take pics of the steam rising off the water, and the frost covered valley.

Back in the car, we drove over Gareg-Dda’s submerged dam and stopped at Claerwen’s lower car park to use the loos, before parking for a few hours at the top – there’s space for about four cars here. Claerwen Dam is the youngest in the valley, but no less impressive, and in the sunlight, all we could see was miles of blue.

The track is a byway but unlike many others, hasn’t been churned up by over-enthusiastic green laners. Icicles had formed alongside springs the whole way round, and we unanimously decided that this was one of our best walks in Wales yet, and we’ve done a fair few! We stopped for lunch at Cerrig y Gadair, then walked for a few miles to the inlet below Nantybeddau, before retracing our steps. With the sun on our backs, there was no doubt that this was one of those absolutely perfect walking days.

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