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A Place I Love: Elan Valley by Louise Dennison

Posted on 17 August 2022

Written by:

Louise Dennison

I grew up visiting Wales for holidays for most of my childhood and it is still a place that I visit regularly. 

This is a picture of an area in the Elan valley, looking towards the small town of Rhayader in Powys. Behind me is an idyllic looking waterfall, which roars over the rocks in the winter and gently trickles in the summer months. But it always remains moving. 

Around me are areas of bracken fern which densely covers the rocky hills, waist-height in places and this viewpoint overlooks woodland and farmland which stretch as far as the eye can see. 

Above the sound of water, you can hear the distinctive call of a Red Kite, which circles overhead and the occasional sound of a farm vehicle.

This place doesn’t ever seem to change, it remains timeless but for the ebb and flow of the water and the change of the seasons. 

I have not ever seen another walker or family here, so it feels like it’s mine, my space, filled with my memories. 

Memories of playing in the water with my siblings, trying to make it across the river by creating our own stepping-stones. It would always result in soggy shoes and socks. Memories of picnic breakfasts with my family and the time me and my partner came to visit and rescued a sheep who was stuck in a fence.

It’s so quiet, still and beautiful and allows time to think and to reminisce about happy times. 

This series of blogs was inspired by the My Place project led by John Mullin in collaboration with The Academy of Urbanism.