Lluest wen reservoir can be found nestled between Treherbert and Aberdare at the head of the Rhonnda Fach Valley. The Coed Morgannwg Way long distance path and route 47 of the national Cycle network is incorporated into part of this route. The reservoir was built in 1898 and in 1969 hundreds of houses, seven schools and the miners of Maerdy colliery were evacuated due to a crack in the dam wall. Emergency repairs took place and the reservoir is today a tranquil area of great views and beauty.
Lluest Wen reservoir can be reached from Maerdy Industrial Estate following a public footpath alongside the Afon Rhondda Fach.
Maerdy to Lluest Wen Reservoir
1 hour 45 mins
Leisurely, easy tarmac / concrete path
Maerdy to Lluest Wen Reservoir Circular
3 hours 10 mins
Leisurely, tarmac and forestry gravel paths
Free parking at Maerdy Industrial estate CF43 4FP, take the footpath down towards the river. The footpath then continues alongside the river for approximately half a mile. Continue over the bridge, following the footpath. Through the trees on the other side of the river you will catch glimpses of the old tramline from the former colliery, soon the old filter house will come into view up ahead.
Castell Nos filter house, built around 1884-1900, was used as part of the Rhondda Fach water scheme. Above the filter house is the remains of Castell Nos a medieval Welsh castle. The castle dates back to approximately 1240. There is a circular blue plaque near the filter house and at the base of the hill where the castle sits which was unveiled in 2009 by the Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf at that time.
Castell Nos reservoir is a little further along this path were the views open up to the surrounding hills and forestry ahead. At the base of the reservoir spillway there are still some old colliery workings, such as this old tramway bridge.
Looking back towards Castell Nos dam wall and Castell Nos on the hill to the left.
The footpath continues on towards Lluest Wen reservoir. As the river narrows the flow becomes faster and there are some impressive waterfalls to be seen.
As the dam wall of lluest Wen reservoir comes into view you will pass by Pont Lluest Wen, a nineteenth century single carriageway humped back bridge.
From the stone built bridge it is less than half a mile onto Llust Wen reservoir. There is a short sharp incline to reach the reservoir, but it is certainly well worth the effort as you reach the top.
At this point you can retrace your route back to the start of the walk at Maerdy industrial estate or you can continue on the Coed Morgannwg way for a mile and a half, until you reach the small ponds at the side of the forestry track and take the track for the circular route which will take you around the western side of the reservoir back to the reservoir dam wall.
If you choose to take the circular walk, these are the rewarding views from the forestry and the western approach of Lluest Wen reservoir.