Relax at Llangorse Lake and the peaceful churches near Talgarth
Arrive at the car park on the North side of Llangorse Lake – the largest natural lake in south Wales set in a bowl in the mountains and created by Ice age glaciers over 10,000 years ago. Start your walk with a visit to the Welsh Crannog Centre. Crannogs are a type of ancient lake dwelling built out on the water as a defensive homestead – the one at Llangorse is the only one in Wales and is thought to have been the residence for the royal family of Brycheiniog in the 10th Century. You can view it from the reconstructed historic roundhouse that also acts as an interpretation centre – you can even get married there if the fancy takes you!
Take the way marked lake trail around the Western edge of the lake to Llangasty Church. Whilst the flower meadows towards Llangasty church are at their best in the summer months – the winter has its own pleasures, as the lake plays host to over twenty species of over-wintering birds which can be enjoyed from the Llangasty bird hide – which you will pass on the trail. Your turning point is at the Church of St Gastyn at Llangasty – although the building now present was extensively restored in the nineteen century – St Gastyn was a holy man who kept the flame of Christianity alight in the Western world in the fifth century and the first church was built on this site over fifteen hundred years ago. Return by the same route to the car park and take a well deserved lunch either at the cafe at the lake or at one of the pubs in Llangorse village.
After lunch return to Talgarth stopping off in Trefeca to visit the museum at Coleg Trefeca, the home of Howell Harris, the leader of the Welsh Methodist revival in the early 18th Century. Bring the afternoon to a close with a visit to the Church of St Gwendoline in Talgarth. This historic Church dates back in places to the thirteenth century and is famous as the Church where Howell Harris was converted and eventually buried – If you are lucky you might hear the bell practice – as the six bells are capable of up to 38 peels.
10.00 – 10.30 Visit the Welsh Crannog Interpretation centre.
10.30 - 12.30 Follow the Llangorse Lake trail to Llangasty Church and back.
12.30 - 2.00 Enjoy lunch at the lake or at one of the Llangorse pubs.
2.00 - 3.00 Stop at Coleg Trefeca and visit the museum dedicated to the memory of Howell Harris.
3.00 - 4.00 Return to the main Talgarth car park and walk up to the Church of St Gwendoline.
Where is it
Llangorse Lake car park, LD3 7TR is accessed by turning right off the B4560 from Talgarth to Llangorse in the centre of the village onto the minor road signed to Llanfihangel Tal-y-Llyn. Llangorse lake is signed on the left-hand side about 200 metres after the turning. Coleg Trefeca, Trefeca, Brecon ld3 0PP www.trefeca.org.uk tel: 01874 711423
Coleg Trefeca is in Trefeca village on the B4560 between Llangorse and Talgarth.
St Gwendoline's Church is in the centre of Talgarth and is kept locked. The key to the church is held in the Information Centre where it can be collected from and returned to. the church is a short walk from the information centre and directions will be provided.
The Talgarth Information and Resource Centre, the square, Talgarth, Powys LD3 0BW www.talgarthcentre.org.uk tel: 01874 712 226 is found by leaving the car-park in the direction of the town centre and is on the left-hand side after crossing the river bridge.
Monday to Saturday - 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
Sunday - 10.00 am – to 1.00 pm
Monday to Saturday - 10.30 am to 3.30 pm.
Sunday - 10.30 am – to 1.00 pm
Tel No 01874 658226
Please note Llangorse Lake can be prone to flooding in times of heavy rainfall and this makes both the
Crannog centre and the lakeside trail inaccessible. There are public toilets on the left-hand side by Llangorse lake car park. There is a disabled toilet which is accessed via a radar key. Llangorse Lake cafe is open from 1st April – 1st November Tuesday – Sunday 9 am-6 pm. 07967 285019
Llangorse Lake Crannog centre
9.30 am – 4.00 pm Monday to Sunday there is no entrance charge. If you wish to visit outside the season – please call ahead and the owners will be pleased to make arrangements to open it for you - 01874 658226
The Crannog centre is approached via a level path which is normally accessible to wheelchair users – however it can become very boggy underfoot in times of heavy rainfall. There is a small shop, bar and boats to hire in the summer season.
The Lakeside Trail
The lakeside trail is mostly flat and is stile free. It is way marked with green posts and information boards are provided at points along the way. The surface is mostly grass and bare earth and would not be suitable for wheel chair access.
Llangasty Church and Llangasty Bird Hide
Landranger Map 161 so 126263 Llangasty is just off a minor road between Pennorth and Bwlch, on the south side of Llangorse lake. There is a small stone dust car park by Llangasty Church. The bird hide which has benches and built-in bird guides is designed to accommodate wheelchairs. It is 700m from Llangasty church – a level gentle walk which passes through 3 narrow kissing gates. If you cannot walk that far or use a wheelchair there is a route which allows cars to get closer to the bird hide. If you wish to use this route please contact the national park warden service for more details. The route is not suitable for use during wet times of the year.
Coleg Trefeca is a busy lay training centre and occasionally there will be times when access cannot be provided to the museum – please feel free to call ahead to check availability – 01874 711423
The museum is normally open Monday to Sunday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
St Gwendoline's Church
The church is at the top of a short steep hill. It is possible to drop passengers off directly outside the church if necessary and normally there is a parking spot fairly close by. although the church is accessed via a kissing gate – there is also a main gate which can be opened to allow wheelchair and buggy access. By Train the nearest station is Abergavenny – Talgarth is 18 miles from Abergavenny
By bus: Talgarth is serviced by buses in all directions, from Hereford, Builth Wells, Abergavenny and Brecon.
Look at www.traveline-cymru.org.uk for the latest travel information and timetables. By bike: National route 8 passes through Talgarth