Travellers' Tales: Llanidloes loops

Art installation at Kielder Water
A five-mile limit in lockdown didn’t stop Barbara Grantham from exploring by bike

Travelling in Wales was very different during lockdown. Government guidelines limited us to a five-mile radius of home. Fortunately I live in Mid Wales on Sustrans NCN Route 8, close to the source of the River Severn. I discovered many amazing circular routes right on my doorstep.

I’ve particularly enjoyed cycling to the spectacular Llyn Clywedog which, as the crow flies, is only a mile away. Various possible routes use parts of Route 8 and 81, as well as the Severn Way and Glyndwr’s Way, and vary from eight to 25 miles, the longer ones taking in the full sweep of the six-mile reservoir.

My regular ride starts with a steep climb, but once at the top there is an impressive view of the dam in the distance. The route goes through gated farmland, down a steep descent and four gates, and back onto a minor road. I usually visit the ‘Look Out’, high above the dam. It has a superb panoramic view of the lake.

The ruins of the Bryntail lead mines are laid out below at the foot of the dam. So far I have been lucky enough to have the place to myself. It’s been quiet apart the sound of the birds and the river.

The return route takes in a short bridleway and a little-used road that wends its way through a shady oak forest, finally emerging at Llanidloes.