Cardiff Bay Cardiff Bay Sophia Gardens Sophia Gardens Hailey Park Tongwynlais Tongwynlais Taffs Well Treforest Abercynon Abercynon Quakers Yard Pont y Gwaith Aberfan Abercanaid Garwnant Brecon
Taffs Well
Hailey Park Tongwynlais
Quakers Yard Pont y Gwaith
Taffs Well
Hailey Park Pontypridd Pontypridd Cilfynydd
Sophia Gardens
Cefn Coed Viaduct
Pentrebach Merthyr Tydfil
Castell Coch Nantgarw
Talybont Reservoir Talybont on Usk
Cilfynydd Pontsarn Pontsticill Reservoir
Pontsarn Pontsticill Reservoir

The Summit at Torpantau

From Ponsticill Reservoir to Torpantau

(approx 5 miles 8km)

Across the Pontsticill Dam the road goes into a short wooded area. Turn sharp right away from Pontsticill Village.

The road now runs parallel to the reservoir, but we fork left onto traffic free forest tracks, taking care over the rough, stony road. Continue for just over 2km then drop down to a bridge over a brook a further 1.5 km brings us back to the to the road.

The Neuadd Reservoirs are situated right at the top of the Taf Fechan valley. We go 4.5 km towards them, then the trail doubles back sharply to the right. This long gentle gradient is traffic free and avoids a very steep dip on the narrow main road.

The Summit at Torpantau

Torpantau is the summit of the Taf Fechan route through the Brecon Beacons. At least whichever direction you are going, its downhill.

Torpantau is the former location of the highest railway station on the Brecon and Merthyr Railway. There remains a tunnel running a short distance through the highest point. Also just across the road is a brand new station on the Brecon Mountain Railway narrow guage track.

Ponticill Reservoir looking North
Ponticill Reservoir looking North

The start of a series of forest trails
Forest Trails

Towards the Neuadd Reservoirs.

This is where the Taff Trial doubles back on itself. Its worth pausing to see the view of the Brecon Beacons above the Neuadd Reservoirs.
The Brecon Beacons

The Neuadd Reservoirs are located high up the Taf Fechan river. In order to minimise the amount of hill climbing, the Taff Trail turns back on itself before reaching these reservoirs. It follows the contour of the hill through a series of gates before the last push to the summit.

There is however a mountain path above and to the right of the Neuadd Reservoirs running over the top of the Beacons towards Brecon which is possible on a mountain bike. As the route includes surfaces of loose stone, scree and stream beds described as "green lanes" extra care is required and you should be equipped for any eventuality.

Morgs 4 Mountains

Penrhadw Farm and Country Cottages, Pontsticill

Walking Route from the Taff Trail: Torpantau - Neuadd reservoirs - Torpantau

Sports Spex

Pontsticill Reservoir from the Taff Trail. Our route follows the valley to the left.
Pentwyn Reservoir