Llyn y Fan Fach is a lake set on the northern margin of the Black Mountain in Carmarthenshire, and part of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Llyn y Fan is overlooked by several prominent mountain peaks such as Picws Du and Wan Lefrith and is the home to the folklore legend known as the lady of the lake.
Lady of the Lake
In the legend a local young man agreed to marry a beautiful girl who arose from the lake, with the condition that he would not hit her three times.
She seemed to be a fountain of wisdom and knowledge and she presented him with the future she see saw for him, explaining to him that he would become wealthy and respected if he would accept her proposition that the two of them be married.
However there were certain conditions that had to be followed if they were to be married. The first condition was that he must never, ever, strike her three times. The second was that he must keep secret where she had come from and never reveal to anyone the supernatural source of their relationship and good fortune. The girl was so beautiful that the young man found the conditions easy to adhere too at first and they were happy for years, building a house and bringing up a family.
After the wedding the young man’s sheep and cattle grew fatter and healthier and many lambs and calves swelled the numbers and value of his livestock with exceptional rams and bulls being produced. He gained a reputation as a good and honest businessman who was respected far and wide and whatever he turned his hand to prospered. He was the friend of many and his advice was widely sought after and through his business enterprises the whole local community prospered. The happy couple raised a family and continued to prosper.
Overtime though the man grew complacent and arrogant and started taking his wife for granted, he eventually broke the conditions of the proposition and struck his wife three times, all none of them were that hard, and she returned promptly to the lake taking all the cattle and sheep with her.
These days it is a stunning waterside walk through a section of the Brecon Beacons. The walk starts at a parking area north of the lake. It’s a good track that climbs steadily towards the lake where you first encounter the Dam before climbing to Bannau Sir Gaer on the western side of the water. From here you can take in the wonderful views over the lake and surrounding mountains.
The lake is also a great place for bird spotting with red kite, common buzzard, kestrel, carrion crow, common raven and skylark regularly spotted.