A remote Carmarthenshire lake shrouded in Welsh legend has been named as one of the 1,000 must-see sights across the globe by an influential travel bible. Llyn y Fan Fach, 12km southeast of Llandovery in the Brecon Beacons, is the only spot in Wales to make the list, which was put together by Lonely Planet.
The travel guide describes the Mid Wales beauty spot as “enchanting” and recounts the tale of The Lady of the Lake. “This isolated drop of blue, beneath a cirque of raw Welsh hills, is enchanting – and enchanted,” Lonely Planet’s 1,000 Ultimate Sights tells readers.
The story goes that in the 13th century a farmer grazing cattle on the nearby slopes spotted the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. She was a fairy maiden, who agreed to marry him on one proviso – he must not hit her more than twice. In time, the inevitable happened – three strikes, and the otherworldly wife disappeared back into the lake, taking her magic cows with her. The valley, the guide adds, is rich in medicinal herbs and bog plants, suggesting this may be the mistreated fairy maiden’s healing legacy. The lake is featured in the top 10 most unusual lakes category, which is one of 100 top 10 lists in the book.
Broadcaster and conservationist Iolo Williams, said he could understand why the site had made the list. “It’s a fantastic place,” he said. “The walk up to it, following the river up, and the river’s got dippers and grey wagtails. You go up to the lake and you climb up the ridge and you can see all the peaks of the Brecon Beacons. It’s a magical place. If you enjoy walking, if you enjoy scenery, it’s a beautiful place. For people like me, the added bonus is red kites are quite common in the area.” Want to see it for yourself? YHA Llanddeusant is within walking distance!