Ok this is the big one! Probably one of the best ridge walks in Britain and definitely the best one in the Beacons!
Follow your nose and after allowing a herd of sheep- that sometimes clog up the roads here- go to a new location ( it’s all part of the ambiance of Carmarthenshire so go with it, life moves slower up here about the same as a sheep walks down a country lane actually!). You’ll eventually come to the end the road. Park up next to the crystal clear mountain stream and walk up to the lake. It’s a fairly steep mile. This is Llyn y Fan, yes the epic Llyn-y-fan! You may have heard of it you may not.
It’s got a great myth attached to it. In short…. a beautiful woman walks out of a lake, a shepherd goes weak at the knees. They get married, there is some questionable behaviour at a funeral and wedding by the lovely woman. After being struck 3 times by her husband to keep her quiet she goes back to live in the lake. He’s gutted! End of! Before she went back she had children who she taught how to practice herbal medicine. There is a great tradition of practicing herbal medicine in the village now. It’s where fact and myth collide as it were. To Check out the route and more about the story click here http://bit.ly/1ARQHSk
The one thing I find interesting about this story (well there are a few actually) is that there is a different version where she is touched by iron prompting her to go back to the lake. Some folklorists believe that the story has been passed down thousands of years and refers to the time when new Iron age (around 800bc) people met with older ancient people who had lived there for thousands of years before. So this myth may have a firm factual origin once again. Indeed the layered red sandstone landscape here is peppered in stone circles, standing stones and burial cairns. Read more about them in my Secret Stones of the black mountains’ post and elsewhere on the web. I will add greatly to your experience here.
So you reach the top. The spectacular corrie lake is in front of you, where said Bronze Age maiden (She was a fairy of course) went back in to all those years ago. Epic steep sided cliffs rise up like ancient tower blocks enveloping the lake below.
Take a right and start walking up and around the cliffs above you. Its not true what they say about this walk. It’s better than anything that can be put in to words! Try and walk around to the other bigger Llyn-y -fawr and then back around. It’s only by doing this you will get sense of the epic landscape that envelops you here.
Come back down, advisedly before its dark. We’re off to another wild spot now further west in the county. This day has been a long one, go and stay in one of the many lovely places around here maybe the Cawdors. or I can highly recommend a place we filmed a starlight promo at for a rustic truly back in time experience. yuo can see this here https://vimeo.com/161599043 You can learn where this is in the next post ‘A great place for stargazing in Carmarthenshire’ Also Take a look at this where to stay section on the Discovering Carmarthenshire website to to see what floats your boat http://bit.ly/1px6aZo