Last weekend, we spent a few hours at Llys y Fran Country Park and Reservoir (The Dam). Over the winter season the cafe and activities are closed but the park is still open for visitors to enjoy.
There is a large car park and parking costs only £2. Usually the gates are open within opening hours so you can park inside the park. On this visit the gates were closed, but we enjoyed the walk down to the dam.
Danny decided to bring his skateboard from the car and skate down. The Dam is a good place to bring bikes and scooters. You can also hire mountain bikes between March and October.
There are plenty of places to stop and admire the scenic view.
The family trail brings you from the visitor centre down to the Dam. This family walk is only 1.5 miles and the longer walk or Mountain Bike Trail is 6.5 miles. Due to the weather and muddy tracks we took the short route but the long route is enjoyable during the warmer and dryer times of the year.
All along the trail you catch glimpses of the Dam. Unlike during our last summer visit, there was a lot of water going over. It was quite loud too.
It was nice being able to have free run of the road part of the trail knowing there were no cars in the park.
There are steps down or you can keep following the road around.
Then you're on the same level as the dam. The froth made the water look white and Izzy asked if it was milk at one point!
This reservoir is managed by Welsh Water for everyone to enjoy. The dam was constructed between 1968-1972, so it is slightly older than Dave! It is believed that there used to be an old Timber Castle but the remains were destroyed when the dam was built.
Danny stood watching the falling water for ages, he was quite mesmerised.
The Dam is 100 feet high and is fed by the River Syfynwy. People often abseil the dry side of the dam.
We then walked on and came to the Children's Memorial Garden.
Danny had to investigate the upturned tree.
We stopped by the stones in the memorial garden and took some snaps for our January Sibling's Project.
Caitlyn asked could we go in the field as she couldn't see the bull!
It was strange to see the field empty as in the summer months the cows come to the gate to stare at us visitors.
Some families had decorated their children's memorial trees for Christmas which was poignant to see. It's always very thought provoking seeing the teddies and toys left there for them.
From here, you can walk onwards and upwards, but we were all cold and wet so decided to turn back at this point.
There is a monument in honour of the teacher and composer William Penfro Rowlands (1860-1937) who was born in Llys y Fran.
We attempted to take more sibling photos in front of the dam but not everyone was as enthusiastic!
We walked past the dam and back up the hill.
We looked at the reflections in puddles.
There is a park by the visitor centre. There is also a larger adventure playground by the car park.
The toilets are still open in winter hours. This is a relief- especially when surrounded by the sound of running water!
In addition to walking and cycling, there are also fishing, boating and water activities available throughout the year. Check the website for details before visiting.