Rhayader and the Elen Valley

We first found Rhayader and the Elan Valley in 2008 when we had our first motorhome holiday. We hired a motorhome that we thought would be exactly the design we wanted. We found that the design was not to our liking after all, so it was a good thing we had hired and not bought. Ellen ValleyWe collected the motorhome on Friday 1st August at 10:30 ish in South Wales, it was an Adria 573 ds. We met the owner at his workshop where he kept the motorhome and we transferred all our clothes, food and bed linen into the Adria and were then given instruction on how to work things like the fridge, shower, cooker (turn gas on first) and hot water etc.

Before too long we were on our way, it seemed rather large at first but I soon got used to it. The fuel gauge was reading 1/4 full, so our first priority was to stop for diesel. There were 2 X 6kg bottles in the Gas locker, but I couldn't remember how much gas they had in them, I would check later. When I did check there was only one and it was nearly empty. We stopped for coffee after a while and I decided to check on the equipment that I was told came with the motorhome. (I know, I should have checked it when we picked it up)

Nothing to cook with

Our first shock was to find we didn't have a saucepan or a frying pan, no bottle opener, no brush or dustpan to keep the place clean, no levellers to level the motorhome with. The owner very kindly showed me how to wind out the awning and how to drop the legs to support it, but he didn't tell me there were no chairs if I did. We stopped on many occasions that first day.

Adria
Hired Adria Motorhome

We spent the next few hours shopping for items that you would expect to find in a hired motorhome. One of the first questions I asked the hirer was what equipment did I need to bring with me, and was told "you just need to bring your bed linen".

Our first two nights were on a CL in the Elan Valley near a dam. A lovely location with plenty of walks and there was a cycle track that went all the way round the reservoir. If you want to see "Red Kite" & "Raven", this is the place to come.

We woke early on our second day, I think the sheep bleating in the next field had something to do with it. We were up and out before 7am, the sun was out so we headed for the Dam, crossing over the river on a wooden footbridge and making our way west towards the reservoir. The route took us through Elan village and on up to the head of the dam via a narrow footpath with a steep climb at the end. We found an easier route on the way back.

North Wales

Leaving Mid Wales we headed up to Snowdonia and stayed at Bethesda, visiting Beaumaris, Llanberis and Caenarfon Castle. We sat eating our supper on the beach at Beaumaris admiring the view back across the Menai Straight towards Snowdonia .

On our visit to Caenarfon Castle, we had a job to find somewhere to park the motorhome, but after a circle of the town twice, managed to find a car park that was motorhome friendly. We had a guided tour of the Castle and it was well worth the extra. It was suggested by my brother Richard that we go and see the "ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN" in Llanberis, so we did. Electricity to the National Grid is generated when it is needed, so if half the population put the kettle on at the same time, like they do during a big event on tv, they have to cope with a huge demand.

To do this, a mountain in Llanberis has 6 huge turbines buried inside, with a man made lake on the top. When vast amounts of electricity are required in a hurry they drop the water through the turbines to produce the electricity, then the water is pumped back up to the top lake during the night. "A modern industrial wonder of Wales, if not the World. This massive hydroelectric power station is built inside the mountain amidst 10 miles of tunnels carrying roads and water. The main turbine and generator chamber is said to be the largest underground chamber ever excavated by man. A bus tour of the power station starts from the 'Dragon in the Mountain' exhibition in Llanberis.

Llangorse 2010

We went to Llangorse in the Brecon Beacons with Emily, David Rosie and Molly. They bought a Motorhome so they wanted to try her out. m-homeIt must have been the hottest few days we have had in Wales. The campsite was next to one of the largest lakes in Wales and we hired a rowing boat for an hour, great fun.

Rhayader 2013

The town is a busy place and they get there share of visitors who mostly come to the Elen Valley. It is a great area for walking and cycling around the reservoirs. I should imagine there are more Red Kites in Rhayader than anywhere else in Britain. I counted 34 one day and I was sitting in the motorhome at the time. You will find another link to the Red Kites of Rhayader in the Link section in the menu panel, bottom right (Gigrin Farm), where they feed the Red Kites every day.

This is a great location and I can see us coming back often. In the map right, you can see Rhayader on the right with the A470 going through north to south. From the centre of the town, take the road west, about 2 miles, to the Elan Valley. There is a Elan Village on the other side of the river and on your side is the "Elan Valley Visitors Centre" with good food on offer. The Elan Valley Estate is an area of spectacular beauty and abundant wildlife right in the heart of Mid Wales. The map shows 6 named reservoirs and they were built to supply water to Birmingham


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Rhossili Beach on the Gower


Numbers

Wales has a population of approx 3,263,456 and has a total area of 8,023 sq miles. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.

The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party. Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters.

Our favourite Destination

France is our favourite place to go, I love the open spaces, the food, the gorges, the weather, the cheaper cost of living, the smell, and the best bit about France is that I can get there by ferry.

If you are going to France, then I can strongly reccommend this website