Hidden Gems – Llyn y Fan Fach, Brecon Beacons, Wales (51°52′55″N 3°44′31″W)
This is a magical little lake set in the Brecon Beacons National Park on the western border, in Carmarthenshire. It is set in a ring of mountains in a wild unspoilt part of the National Park. It can only be approached on foot and the path brings you out on a high ridge over looking the lake and the lands beyond. It is seven miles (12 Kilometres) from Llandovery and miles from anywhere so you will need a property that provides self catering in the Brecon Beacons to use as a base from which to explore this lovely lake.
Local legend has it that the lake was home to a fairy woman who agreed to marry a local man on condition that he would never hit her more than three times. If he did, she would have to return to the lake whether she wanted to or not. Everything went well for a number of years they raised a fine family and were very happy together. However, over time, the man did strike her three times even though it was only meant affectionately. After the third time she was magically sent back to the lake taking with her all their special cattle. It is also said that their children became famous for their healing skills and that they are remembered as the physicians of Myddfai who went to the court of the Princes of Deheubarth.
The legend is probably a folk memory of a local Celtic goddess from pre-Christian times who was believed to reside in the lake and the setting is surely magical enough for a goddess. A true hidden gem which, if you like walking, is a “must see” place. Self catering in the Brecon Beacons is about the only practical way to find accommodation close to this hidden gem.