Where do you find us in Mid Wales
There are so many things to do around Llanwrtyd Wells. Positioned bang slap in the centre of Wales as a whole, easily accessed by the A483, A470, and midway on the Heart of Wales Railway Line, it is a perfect base for exploring Wales.
The most wonderful thing though about the landscape and sights of this area is how unspoilt they are; how few visitors they attract; and what a huge expansive area they cover. You could drive all day and hardly see another soul. The mountains are as spectacular as Snowdonia and Pen Y Fan but without the crowds; the lake are as impressive as the Lake District.
Around Llanwrtyd Wells you will find the largest expanse of unspoilt countryside in the whole of the UK. It has some of the cleanest air too. We have well maintained, sweeping roads, so fabulous that they are often used as rally stages. Our mountain ranges are as spectacular as any you will see in more touristy areas. The Elan Valley, for example, was formed at the same time as Snowdonia, yet you can walk, drive, cycle around there without the crowds. There are magnificent glacial valleys on our doorstep (The Abergwesyn Valley and the drive through it remains one of our favourite trips even after 15 years of being here). There are clean fresh rivers, waterfalls. Just 3 miles from our door there are natural pools in the River Irfon, great for family days, picnics and swimming. And there is so much wildlife, flower and fauna.
There is so much to experience around our area
Yet amongst the tranquility that surrounds us and the relaxed and welcoming community that is Llanwrtyd Wells, there exists our unique eccentricity. Spiritual Home of Screaming Lord Sutch (founder of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party); home of the wacky events that make up the Green Events calendar; AND the bi-annual World Alternative Games.
Llanwrtyd Wells is the perfect centre for so many outdoor activities; Mountain Biking, Motorcycling, Off roading, Hiking and Walking, Fishing, Bird Watching, Golf, Wellness and Painting. There are so many routes we could recommend; we even run some of our own walking events; New Years Walk, Saturnalia Walk (Jan), Lord Crawshaw Walk (early Feb), Drovers Walk (March), Red Kite Mountain Bike Bash (August), Welsh International Four Day Walks (Sept) to name just a few.
Wildlife on our doorstep
Fishing :The River Irfon has recently been re-colonised with otters and there is plenty of opportunity for the fishermen amongst you, a day permit for Trout and Salmon costing as little as £10.
Wild ponies can be seen everywhere within the Irfon Valley, Abergwesyn Valley, Cambrian Mountains and Brecon Beacons
We are also delighted to hear that red squirrels have been seen around Abergwesyn and in Crychan Forest
Bird watchers will be in their element, with the area known for its prolific Red Kite and Buzzard population. Why not visit the Gigrin Farm Red Kite Feeding Station on the outskirts of Rhayader or Red Kite Centre between Llandovery and Llandeilo. You will also see many of our native birds that have almost disappeared from the town garden – and you won’t have to leave the house to do it!!But if you want to find out more about Natural Mid Wales check out this amazing website
Public Gardens in the area
If its gardens you enjoy – a short drive will take you to The National Botanical Garden of Wales or Aberglasney, “A garden lost in time”. then there’s Dinefw park and nature reserve… complete with castle…. However, a walk in the locality will provide your eyes (and nose) with a wealth of wild flowers, mature trees and scented shrubs.
We are surrounded by areas of outstanding beauty
From Cerdyn villa you can easily access huge expanses of unspoilt countryside. We are told it is the largest expanse in the UK. Obviously there are the Brecon Beacons, they are well advertised in all the tourist literature. Lesser known and highly recommended are the Epynt Range great driving and circular walks;
We would highly recommend the Abergwesyn Pass and Cambrian Mountains There are plenty of walking opportunities and even a circular walk from our doorstep ; but for further exploration there are some amazing drives taking you up the Devil’s Staircase, around Llyn Brianne Reservoir and across the mountains to Tregaron
As you head out on the Abergwesyn Road you will pass The Washpools and Pwll Bo; natural pools formed in the river Irfon (this is where the Drovers used to wash their cattle) make popular swimming and picnic spots. some lovely short walks here including mobility accessible routes
Also not to be missed is Elan Valley and the dams, an amazing and informative visitor centre is sited at the beginning of the valley which is situated about 3 miles outside of Rhayader. You can drive around these amazing Victorian constructs but there are also many events allowing you to enter , explore and fin out more. When the dams were built and the valleys were flooded, a single gauge railway was installed to transport all the rock etc. These old track ways are now fabulous flat walking routes. From the valley you can take the mountain road all the way to Cwmystwyth and the Aberystwyth coast
Nearby Towns and Villages
THere are several market towns around Llanwrtyd Wells. Drive 13 miles north along the A483 and you will arrive in Builth Wells which houses the Royal Welsh Showground, home to the largest Agricultural Fair in the UK if not Europe. There is a large calendar of events that take place throughout the year. look out for all the dog shows, cob and pony sales, gems festival, food festivals etc as well as the Spring Fair, Winter Fair and two fabulous antique Fairs (May and September) . click here for the full calendar of events
Drive 11 miles south along the A483 and you reach the historic market town of Llandovery with its castle ruins and statue to Prince Llewelyn. Just 3 miles beyond Llandovery is the tiny village of Myddfai, where Prince Charles has a Welsh residence. There is a beautiful visitor centre there with a spectacular stained glass window and lovely community cafe. You are now in the Brecon Beacons so plenty of exploring to do.
You can get to Brecon via scenic drive across the Epynt mountains, which is land owned by the MOD since the beginning of WW2. The route is 22 miles and is spectacular. Although you can also get there via either builth or Llandovery (35 miles each route) There are several public circular walking routes across this land (The Epynt Way).
Brecon is a gorgeous market town with lots of quirky shops as well as a few known high street names
There is so much more to see and do, The Sugar Loaf, Devils Staircase, Crychan Forest, Lynn Brianne, Irfon Gorge Elan Valley for walkers and cyclists, Dinefwr Castle and Dolaucothi Gold Mine plus The Victorian Festival (August) and The National Cycle Collection in Llandrindod Wells. I could go on!
Just some of the more eccentric events that happen in Llanwrtyd…
Llanwrtyd Wells IS The Home of Bog Snorkelling. A creation out of the minds of several local men, in particular, Gordon Green MBE who came to Llanwrtyd in the 70’s enticed by pony trekking; moved here to become the landlord of The Neuadd Arms Hotel and then started coming up with other ways to increase visitor number. I suspect owning a pub and making most of the decisions with a pint in his hand is why they are so ‘wacky’. Bog Snorkelling takes place every August Bank Holiday Sunday, on the outskirts of town, at Waen Rhydd Bog, shuttle buses run back and forth throughout the day
During the same weekend there is also Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling and the Bog Triathlon (which involves a run, snorkel and mountain bike)
To book go to https://www.green-events.co.uk/
Man v Horse:
This was the first event created by Gordon Green. first run in June 1980 it is now the largest horse race in Europe , if not the world, with horse numbers capped at 60. Basically it is a mixed terrain course of road, forestry, bridleway and lots of hills, just shy of a full marathon at around 22-23 miles. Its a straight race of the fastest person on foot against the fastest person on horseback. And the result is surprisingly close. Generally the horse and rider win, bit twice the fastest overall has been a man on foot. And throughout the finish many individual runners beat many horses.
The event takes place annually near the beginning of June. Numbers nowadays are capped and places fill fast so get in quick. Generally there are about 60 horses, 700 individual runners and 150 three person relay teams… its a biggy for a town of 800 residents.
To book go to https://www.green-events.co.uk/
Mountain Bike Chariot Racing and the Saturnalia Festival:
January is always so dull, so some years ago, walking in Gordon Greens footsteps, the now landlord of the Neuadd Arms and Chair of Green Events Ltd came up with this little gem to brighten up the dullness. Mountain Bike Chariot Racing is essential two mountain bikes fixed together with a metal T-bar with a barrel chariot on the back. Teams of 3 race each other (often dressed as Romans) around a set course and the fastest wins. That evening the hotel hosts a Roman Saturnalia Feast and fancy dress party
To book go to https://www.green-events.co.uk/
Real Ale Wobble:
Taking place mid November this event is very popular with ale drinkers as well as mountain bikers – enthusing about both is best! It marks the beginning of the 9 day Mid Wales Beer Festival. Llanwrtyd Wells may only have 3 pubs but this weekend you will find around 150 real ales , largely from microbreweries and Welsh breweries and a good selection of ciders and perries too. The event is a 25km (ish) challenging off road course with beer stops in the woods and at the finish. There’s a massive party on the Saturday evening with loads of great live music. We also have a similar event in the summer, The Summer Cider Cycle in early August
You can purchase limited edition prints of the wobbler by contacting Julia Harris
To book either event go to https://www.green-events.co.uk/
World Alternative Games :
Ever since 2012 when the Olympics came to the UK and funding was taken from Wales, we, thanks again to the magnificent brain of Gordon green MBE, have run a bi-annual fortnight of wacky events gathered from around the world. This fortnight is truly family friendly with events for small and big kids and adults of all ages. From pea Shooting and Conkers to Office Chair Racing and Worm Charming. From Wife Carrying and Husband Dragging to Belly Flopping and Under Water Rugby. There is so much scheduled you really do have to head over to the site and take a look.
to find out more and to book (although you can just turn up), go to