Mid-Wales’s ancient landscape is dotted with places to visit. Here, we highlight just a few of them.
Close to Welshpool is Montgomery, a charming medieval town. The town is placed right on the border and was fought over by the English and Welsh for many centuries. An imposing castle was constructed by the Normans. The canal and railway bypassed the town and so it never expanded greatly but it means it has kept its charm. The castle is now in ruins but offers incredible views over the local countryside. The town itself is an attractive place to visit, with many charming shops including Bunners, which epitomizes the town.
One of the most beautiful lakes in Mid-Wales is Lake Vyrnwy. It was built in 1880 as a reservoir to supply the Merseyside area. Its construction drowned the village of Llanwddyn, whose church spire can still be seen when water levels fall. The circumference of the lake is 11 miles and is a great cycling and walking routine. Sights include the gothic straining tower. The Lake Vyrnwy Hotel and Spa offers panoramic views of the lake and is great place to rest weary legs.
One of the charms of Mid-Wales is the Wells towns. During the eighteenth century the rich and famous flocked to these towns to enjoy their natural spas. Llandrindod Wells and Llanwrtyd Wells in particular retain a Victorian elegancy and are a must for those looking to get away from it all. Llanwrtyd is also the home of bog snorkeling and is host to the world championship each August.
If you really want to see Mid-Wales, why not hire a car and take the exhilarating drive across – noted as one the best drives in the world. The winding roads take you through forests and over mountains before arriving in Aberyswyth. Aberystwyth is a beautiful seaside town that goes to the core of Welsh culture. The Center for Alternative Technology is nearby – once a hippy convent, it has transformed itself into a center based on education and research into renewable technology. There is plenty there for children to do (and tire them out).
Those feeling adventurous may want to try Snowdonia. Snowdon is the highest peak in England and Wales and offers a challenging ascent for walkers and climbers. Alternatively, you can rest your legs and let the Snowdon Mountain Railway take you right to the summit. The rest of the national park is a beautiful area to visit with the charming village of Bettws y Coed and the largest natural lake in Wales.