The Taff Trail:Torpantau
The Summit at Torpantau
Torpantau is the summit of the Taf Fechan route through the Brecon Beacons. At least whichever direction you are going from here, 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 summit. The Brecon Mountain Railway www.breconmountainrailway.co.uk has now extended its narrow guage track to a point nearby.
Torpantau to Pontsticill
(approx 5 miles 8km)
Starting from the Summit at Torpantau the road is SW down a short descent (the highest hills are on your right). The car park on the right is on the site of the former Torpantau Railway Station. The trail continues across the car park. Continue around to the right through a series of gates between forestry and grazing fields.
The tarmac road ahead is the nearest point to the Neuadd Reservoirs. Turn sharp left and follow the road until reaching the reservoir.
Turn right and right again into forest tracks
After 3.5km the track joins the main road. Turn right towards Pontsticill Village, which is good for refreshments. Otherwise turn sharp left at the junction before the village. This road runs along the top of the dam to a point near one of the stations on the Brecon Mountain Railway.
Torpantau to Talybont Reservoir
(approx 6.5 miles 10.5km)
From the summit at Torpantau we go NE over the top down a short descent (the highest hills are on your left) , but don't miss the right turn. There is space to park 3 or 4 cars in front of a locked gate. Pass the side of the gate onto a traffic free section. After a short descent we pass the entrance to the Torpantau Tunnel which marks the top of 7 mile bank - a notorious railway feature. This takes us 5 miles to the dam of the Talybont Reservoir (2 miles from the bottom at Talybont-on-Usk).