Llyn Cau translates as Closed Lake and it’s easy to see why as you stand on its shore with the peaks of Cader Idris all around. It was popular with painters including Richard Wilson and has also appeared in TV shows including David Dimbleby’s ‘Mystical West’ episode of ‘A Picture of Britain’, not to mention Anneka Rice’s ‘Treasure Hunt’ series back in the 1980s!
The easiest route up (and I use the term loosely) is from the Minffordd car park, following the steep path through the ancient woodland. The path is well maintained, but still, this doesn’t help the legs as you walk up and up. Once you get through the trees you enter to the glacial valley of Cwm Cau and the much easier section as you stroll along the reasonably level path to the water’s edge.
This is the first part of the route to Mynydd Pencoed, the main peak you can see from the lake and from there it’s only a couple of hundred feet to the summit of Cader Idris, or you can turn left and follow the path back down to Tal-y-Llyn and back along a quiet road to the car park.