Mid Wales

Mid Wales has castles and historic houses, narrow gauge railways, glorious gardens and museums, galleries and craft shops, and of course Bridge Clubs. You will find a fascinating mix of events throughout the year, ranging from the world famous Royal Welsh Show and The Hay Literature Festival to the Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival and Victorian Festival in Llandrindod Wells.  Start your visit to Mid Wales with a drive through softly rounded hills and green farmland, visit the lakes and pretty market towns of the Welsh Marches – the Border Country. Near the English border is the imposing Powys Castle, set in parkland on the outskirts of Welshpool. Here you can enjoy the world famous terraced gardens and grounds and the castle itself. This National Trust property contains one of the finest collections of paintings and furniture in Wales.  A visit to Mid Wales would be incomplete without a stop off at Gigrin Farm on the edge of Rhayader, to watch the once endangered red kites being fed. Feeding takes place every afternoon and this attracts the birds and people throughout the year.The nearby picturesque Elan Valley reservoirs played a key role in the famous the famous Dambusters mission of 1943. One of the most daring raids of the Second World War owed its success to trials at Nant-y-Gro dam.Warplane designer Barnes Wallis developed the bouncing bomb, which destroyed and damaged some of Germany’s main dams after using the Nant-y-Gro dam for initial trials. The 35-feet high dam was used for the secret experiments by government officials who needed a testing site for the bombs.  Not far away is the Hall at Abbey-Cwm-Hir, a romantic and magnificent Victorian Gothic Revival Mansion. All 52 rooms are bursting with interior design ideas and collections including clocks, phonographs, china and much more. There are guided tours every day.  Set amid the remote and beautiful Berwyn Mountains is Lake Vyrnwy, an iconic tourist destination. The spectacular dam, waterfalls, the lakeside drive, the RSPB reserve, activities, craft shops and sculpture park make a wonderful day out for all the family.Along Cardigan Bay – Coast and Countryside

Start your visit in the shadow of Plynlimon, in the wood clad valleys and hills above Aberystwyth. Explore the famous gorge, the three bridges, ravines and cascades at historic Devil’s Bridge. Nearby is Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine, where there are guided underground tours of the mine, which has been lovingly restored to its Victorian splendour.

Take the steam train down the valley to the seaside university town Aberystwyth. Standing on a hill high above the town, the National Library of Wales is at the very heart of Welsh culture. The library hosts some of the greatest treasures of Wales and features a changing series of exhibitions, events and displays throughout the year.

For the last 25 years, much of the Ceredigion coastline has been designated Heritage Coast. It is an outstanding and internationally important area for marine wildlife. Travel south and enjoy the views or take a boat trip out into the bay.

Enjoy coffee and cake, or honey ice cream on the quay in the Georgian town of Aberaeron. Nearby is the National Trust property of Llanerchaeron, an 18th century Welsh gentry estate which has survived virtually unaltered. The house was designed and built by John Nash in 1796 and the estate is now a working organic farm. There’s plenty to see with the house, the walled gardens, the park and the animals on the farm.

Just north of Cardigan, the county town of Ceredigion, is the Felinwynt Rainforest Centre. The centre has a wonderful display of free-flying tropical butterflies in natural surroundings and a Rainforest Exhibition.

Scenic Railways

For those wishing to make a scenic trip, be sure to board the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway, while the Vale of Rheidol Railway, the last steam railway to be owned by British Rail until it was privatized in 1989, runs for nearly 12 miles from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge.

The Cambrian Coast Line runs from Machynlleth south to Aberystwyth and north to Pwllheli. This is one of the most scenic lines in the UK. Finally the Heart of Wales Line runs from Shrewsbury to Swansea, giving passengers glorious views of rolling countryside. There’s even a chance to hop off at Britain’s smallest town, Llanwrtyd Wells.

There is so much to see and do in this part of Wales, and be sure to visit one of our Bridge Clubs at Aberystwyth,  Aberaeron, Cardigan, Dolgellau, Knighton, Lampeter, Llandrindod Wells, Newtown, Rhayader and Welshpool where you are assured of a friendly welcome.

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