Llangors Lake

Llangors Lake (also known as Llangorse Lake or Llyn Syfaddan) is located in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Like much of the landscape in the area, it was formed during the Ice Age. The glacial erosion created the largest natural lake in South Wales.

This is an excellent setting for outdoor activities including water sports, fishing and walking to suit all levels. If you are just looking for a gentle stroll, there is a waymarked Lake Trail that is suitable for families. There are also challenging routes which include the surrounding mountains.

One longer route begins in the village of Llangors and immediately ascends in the direction of Cockit Hill. This is the first of three peaks along the route but it is not essential to climb to the summit as there is a path that goes around the base. If you are feeling energetic, the ascent is rewarded with a spectacular view of Llangors Lake.

The view of Llangors Lake from Cockit Hill

At this point, you can either continue along a footpath on the ridge or return down the same path as the ascent to join back up with the track around the foot of Cockit Hill.

Either way will lead to the trig point on Mynydd Llangorse. Reaching 515m (1690ft) at the highest point, the ascent levels out as it reaches the top. From here, the footpath is well-defined and eventually links with the Beacons Way to cross Cefn Moel. Following this, the descent heads in the direction of Heol-las Farm.

After crossing the road (B4560), the route begins ascending again along a bridleway (a short section of the Three Rivers Ride – part of the National Bridleroute Network). This goes past the Welsh Venison Centre, where there is a farm shop and café, before reaching the third peak of Allt yr Esgair (393m or 1289ft). The remains of a hillfort can be seen near the summit. With panoramic views in all directions, it is easy to see why this would have been an ideal settlement for Iron Age people.

The view of Llangors Lake from Allt yr Esgair

Allt yr Esgair is also a popular location for mountain biking but there is a separate signposted path for walkers as it descends. This reaches Llangasty Village Hall before heading downhill to Tymawr Farm. The route then joins the Lake Trail to take you around Llangors Lake.

Along the way, the path passes The Welsh Crannog Centre. A crannog is an ancient lake dwelling. Llangors Lake has the only known example of this type in Wales and it is believed to have connections with the King of Brycheiniog. There are many myths and legends associated with the area surrounding the lake, including a suggestion that it was the potential location of King Arthur’s Camelot.

The sword in the stone is inspired by King Arthur’s Excalibur

It is only a short walk from the lake to reach the end of the route.

At twelve and a half miles long, this particular route is challenging. However, an internet search of the area will provide numerous detailed routes to suit everyone.


A version of this article first appeared in ‘Bwrdd’ – The Newsletter for Mensa Cymru, August 2019.

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