Rhayader is a wonderful base for those of us lucky enough to live close to Wales. The public access is superb, and you can do long, quite challenging walks from all the different reservoirs. I walked with my friend Jim from just north of Craig Goch reservoir on a route we simply chose from the map. We headed due north over open hillside and then saw the upper Wye valley spread out below us. After following the Wye Valley Walk along lanes for a couple of miles we again reached open countryside and discovered this marvellous array of rowan trees, festooned in berries. Maybe beguiled by the rowans, we got slightly lost and veered away from the Wye Valley Walk. Not for the first time, technology proved valuable in the shape of the GPS GB app which will give you your precise grid reference anywhere. However to regain the route required exhausting scrambling up a steep slope of bracken and across a very boggy valley.
Once we regained our route we could admire the open country once again. Now leaving the Wye Valley Walk we trekked westawards over access land and then south on a theoretical bridleway. This involved some very tough sections through long grass and reeds, with boots sinking into the bog, and no ceratinty about where your foot was landing. Seeing the road, the back road to Aberystwyth, was a good moment and we could enjoy the final three miles on this splendid mountain road. All in all, a more challenging 12 mile walk than we expected – but wonderful remote countryside.