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  • Writer's pictureMair

Explore Wales: Paddleboarding on the Pontsticill Reservoir

Have you ever been stand up paddleboarding (SUP) in Wales? You might think it's an activity for the summer, but trust me - the autumn months can be just as breathtaking. The clear blue skies, clean fresh air and the sound of the water lapping the board - what more could we ask for? It's the best place to disconnect, unwind... and tone the legs at the same time!

Today, we set out on the Pontsticill reservoir, which is just south of Brecon. This vast expanse of water holds over 15 billion (yes, billion) litres of water and is also home to the Merthyr Tydfil Sailing Club. (This wasn't our starting spot for this trip, but a recommended place to start your trip with qualified water instructors). As well as sitting within the Brecon Beacons National Park, the valley also sits within the Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark. This means that it holds geological heritage of international significance – so local communities promote the area for education, conservation and geotourism.

Credit: Nathan Young Photography || Ad Astra Adventures

It's my second time paddle boarding (read the first blog here) so I set out once again with Kat from Ad Astra adventures who holds a license to paddle board on this specific stretch of water. Kat has led adventures all around the world, so has a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Even though I grew up here, there are still pockets of the beautiful Welsh landscape to discover. Having paddle boarded here before, Kat knew some of the hotspots on the river - and the places that are less known but doubly as picturesque!

Credit: Nathan Young Photography || Ad Astra Adventures

The water was calm (but freezing cold) so we set out tentatively to get our balance. There was a slight crosswind so it was much harder than paddling on a river. The constant change of wind direction meant that the board seemed more wobbly than when you're on a river but we soon got used to it! Nathan bought his nifty kyak, while us three girls paddled (I'd like to think, graciously) up stream. It's the perfect place to just relax and have a chat (and a giggle when we lose balance for a split second...!)

Getting into my stride. Credit: Nathan Young Photography || Ad Astra Adventures

We felt free whilst having fun, and since the pandemic it's more important than ever to get out and exercise. Is there a better way do do a group activity whilst staying socially distanced? Probably not. The activity does no damage to the environment, wildlife or ecosystem too, so that's definitely something to keep in mind.

Credit: Nathan Young Photography || Ad Astra Adventures

Having paddled a couple of laps, we had a warm welcome back to our day camp with hot coffee and a light snack, as we sat facing into the warm autumn sun. It was time to recharge after our long paddle and reflect on the day and of course, plan the next adventure.


If you fancy going out on a paddleboard, or want to get started, visit:

Let me know how you get on - I'd love to hear!


Please always check the latest covid-19 restrictions before you travel!

Other links you will find useful:


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