Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Lluest cwm Bach Bothy

The Elan Valley is a spectacularly beautiful area and an area which is rapidly becoming one of my favourites; I headed over to Mid Wales last weekend with my usual walking buddy Mitch with a plan to stay in Lluest cwm Bach bothy on Saturday night and a walk up Drygarn Fawr on Sunday. The weather on Saturday when we arrived was… well wet to say the least. So not in any hurry we stopped at the visitor centre and chilled out in the café the wind and rain battering the building and a view from the windows of the water streaming over the dam wall cascading its way down the Afon Elan looking like a white water rafters paradise. The weather obviously putting people off as only a handful of visitors were mulling around.

We then headed over to Craig Goch reservoir parked the car got our gear and kitted up for the conditions and headed off to the bothy. We passed a group coming down the path walking their dog they obviously clocked us in our gear and full rucksacks ‘Are you staying out overnight in this?’ there is always a certain satisfaction in replying ‘yes’ to this question they obviously thought we were nutters and to be fair the weather at that time really did not look inviting for spending the night out but we let them think we were some sort of outdoor loony’s prepared to spend the night in atrocious conditions like true heroes, however we knew that we would be spending the night in relative bothy luxury.
We headed up onto Waun Fign and played around with the map / nav to pinpoint where we were then made our way down the side of the hill towards the bothy. We had a little explore around when we got there, and the bothy lived up to the high standards with which the Elan Valley trust set themselves. I have now stayed in two Elan Valley trust bothies and they really are superb pure bothy luxury. This bothy Lluest cwm Bach was only renovated last year and the first entry in the log was in Oct 2013 so we are amongst the first people to stay there. There is plenty of photos and history on the bothy in the storage chest and they are worth a read.

After exploring the area we then set about cutting up some wood and sorting out our kit, a dark doomsday cloud then came in and dumped a load of hail on the hills as we took shelter in the bothy. This must have been the end of the storm because as soon as this cloud went the weather improved dramatically with no more rain for the rest of the weekend.
So we settled down lit the fire, drank some beer, ate our food and just basically chilled out, with the slight deviation of UK v USA darts match (those that have stayed here or will do in the future will know what I’m talking about) for the record USA won 4-3.

Just before settling down to sleep I stepped outside and took some night sky shots they’ve not come out that well but they do show Jupiter and the constellation Orion above the bothy and how clear the sky was. The Elan Valley is a dark sky area as there is no light pollution.

On Sunday I woke just in time to see the moon setting behind the hills on the opposite shore. We then packed up tidied up and left the bothy behind traversing the shore line back to the car.



  1. That does look a superb bothy. Ace photos of a really nice wild place to hike in.

    1. Hi Martin thanks for the comment, yes it was a great bothy even had a toilet in the outside lean-to shed a 'room with a view' ;-) lovely location and very well renovated Elan Valley Trust (along with MBA) have done a great job.