Wales – Central Wales

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in Wales

Central Wales – Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire

1. Lake Vyrnwy

Lake Vyrnwy combines its functional role as a water supply for Liverpool with a touch of architectural genius in the shape of the huge 19th century damm at its southern end, and the turreted tower that stands out into the icy waters. It’s a magnificent spot, and a popular centre for walking and birdwatching, with nature trails. To make the most of your day at one of Wales’ most beautiful lakes, call first at the Lake Vyrnwy Visitor Centre for up-to-date information on all the activities on offer.

2. Glansevern Hall Gardens

Visit over 20 acres of mature gardens at Glansevern Hall, built over 200 years ago overlooking a secluded valley towards the distant Kerry Hills. Stroll along the lakeside path which passes through mixed woodland, under-planted with flowering shrubs, with ornamental shelters providing resting places on the way. Closer to the house are formal gardens with lawns, herbaceous beds and borders. Facilities include a tea room, shop and plant sales.

3. Powis Castle and Garden

Powis Castle was built by Welsh princes and is now home to the Earls of Powis. It contains one of the finest collections of paintings and furniture in Wales and a beautiful collection of treasures from India displayed in the Clive Museum. In the world famous garden, Italianate terraces overhung with enormous clipped yews, shelter tender plants and sumptuous herbaceous borders. Facilities include a shop, plant sales and a licensed tea room.

4. Elan Valley Walks

The Elan Valley is a beautiuful and tranquil part of the world, with a nine mile long string of lakes, rare plants and birds including the Red Kite. The Elan Valley Visitor centre incorporates a tourist office and a permanent exhibition about the history and ecology of the area, and is a good starting point for a walk. Guided walks and even Land Rover safaris head off from the centre, with facilities including a shop and a cafe.

5. Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture

The Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture is a unique art collection in the heart of Wales, and the only museum in Europe dedicated to a living artist. Within the museum you will find pieces of sculpture, mirrored portraits and jewellery from the mid sixties to the present day. Andrew loves to give enjoyment and pleasure to others through quirky and humorous mementoes of his life, and to show that art does not have to be pretentious but can be fun. Facilities include a cafe and gift shop.

6. Off-Road Driving

The rugged Welsh terrain lends itself to off-road driving, and a number of schools offer trips and courses, from 4×4 off-road driving tuition over specially constructed courses, to learning to drive a fast rally car over a forest track! Tackle slopes that appear imposibly steep, and learn how to drive through deep mud and water. Practice hand brake turns and power sliding in a Ford RS 2000 or Mitsubishi, and tackle a demanding six mile rally stage.

7. Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall

At 240 ft (74 metres) tall Pistyll Rhaeadr is the highest waterfall in Wales and England. It’s located near the village of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, not far from the English border. The river tumbles down the crags in two stages, flowing under a natural stone arch known as the Fairy Bridge. Walk up to the top of the falls for awe-inspiring views of the valley, and paths up into the moody Berwyn Hills. The riverside Tan-y-Pistyll licensed cafe offers Bed and Breakfast and camping facilities.

8. Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail

To walk the 177 mile (285 km) Offa’s Dyke Path is to explore both spectacular landscapes and the history of the Anglo-Welsh border. This National Trail links Sedbury Cliffs near Chepstow on the banks of the Severn estuary with the coastal town of Prestatyn on the shores of the Irish sea. It follows the impressive Dyke which King Offa ordered to be constructed in the 8th century, to divide his Kingdom of Mercia from rival kingdoms in what is now Wales.

9. Montgomery

Montgomery is situated deep in the Welsh Marches and only a few miles from the border with England. It’s an attractive town, with a strong architectural heritage complete with medieval castle and well-preserved Georgian square. From the castle,  there are wonderful views over the lofty church tower and the handsome Georgian Streets, notably the well named Broad Street. Montgomery is a good place to use as a base to explore the area, with a decent selection of guesthouses and pubs.

10. Llanidloes Museum and Annual Fancy Dress Party

Llanidloes is a small Welsh market town, famous for its timber-framed buildings and its annual fancy dress street party, which is held on the first Friday in July each year. Llanidloes museum consists of three themes – the social and industrial history of the town, Victorian collection displayed in two recreated areas of a kitchen and a parlour, and the “If you go down to the woods…” exhibition, which looks at the importance of trees and man’s influence on the forests of Britain including the nearby Hafren Forest.

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