Must do in and around Machynlleth

Welsh market towns have great community spirit. In Machynlleth, you’ll meet people who are passionate about art, nature, wholesome food and sustainable living.

  • Owain Glyndwy Centre in Machynlleth, Mid Wales

    Owain Glyndwy Centre in Machynlleth, Mid Wales

     by David Jones

    Crowned by a splendid Victorian clock tower, Heol Maengwyn is Machynlleth’s high street. It’s sprinkled with useful shops, galleries, cosy cafés and, on Wednesdays, market stalls, a tradition launched by royal charter in 1291. It was also the site of national hero Owain Glyndŵr’s 1404 parliament. A local history museum tells his story.

  • Gallery at MOMA Wales, Machynlleth

    MOMA Wales, Machynlleth, Mid Wales

     by chibeba

    This intimate museum of modern art in a Victorian town house and a former Wesleyan chapel, The Tabernacle, has a hefty collection of local treasures. Its white-walled exhibition spaces show contemporary Welsh paintings, prints, sculpture and photography. Arty types refuel over top notch coffee and cake at Café Glas.

  • The Tabernacle’s auditorium, which has excellent acoustics for chamber music, is the setting for a week-long cultural festival, held in August. Settle into a Victorian pew, and you can enjoy male voice choral singing, jazz sessions, piano or violin recitals, poetry readings or talks on aspects of Celtic tradition.

  • Centre for Alternative Technology

    Centre for Alternative Technology, Powys, Mid Wales

    In 1974, long before green principles became mainstream, a small group of eco-enthusiasts created CAT in an old slate quarry, three miles north of Machynlleth. It was unique, and inspired a generation. Today, the centre’s beautiful new School of the Environment runs excellent day courses on practical topics such as earth ovens, composting toilets, raw food, upcycling, traditional crafts and harnessing renewable energy.

  • Ynys Hir RSPB Reserve, Ceredigion

    Ynys Hir RSPB Reserve, Ceredigion

     by Jane Tavener

    If you’re a fan of BBC Springwatch, you’re sure to enjoy the Welsh woodland and wetland reserve where it was filmed between 2011 and 2013 – you might even make some seasonal discoveries of your own. Spring brings carpets of bluebells and trilling wood warblers, autumn brings ducks and other water birds can be seen from the hides all year round.

  • In the wilds of the Dyfi Valley UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this is one of several sites in mid Wales where you can learn about birds of prey. Run by experienced falconers, it’s a place to get close – very close – to captive-bred owls, falcons, hawks, eagles and red kites, discovering how to handle them and taking them out to fly over the hills.

  • Pops Osprey at Dyfi Osprey Project in Welshpool, Mid Wales

    Dyfi Osprey Project in Welshpool, Mid Wales

     by Finiky

    This love-nest for ospreys is the work of dedicated conservationists, whose first big success – three healthy chicks – featured on BBC Springwatch. While the migrants are in residence (roughly April to September), you can view them through scopes, binoculars or live on screen. A new two-storey observatory with views over bird, mammal and insect habitats will open in 2014.

  • Corris Mine Explorers in Machynlleth, Mid Wales

    Corris Mine Explorers in Machynlleth, Mid Wales

     by Shirley Owen

    There’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained at this trio of attractions. Kit up in a hard hat for a fascinating tour of an abandoned slate mine, take a boat trip through an underground maze while listening to tales from long ago, or get messy at a hands-on craft session making pottery, candles, chocolate or wooden furniture.

  • Corris Railway in Machynlleth, Mid Wales

    Corris Railway in Machynlleth, Mid Wales

     by Ellis Jacklin

    This narrow-gauge railway, lovingly restored by local train buffs, has one of the prettiest steam locomotives in Wales, specially built in 2005 to a classic Kerr, Stuart and Company design. On a 50-minute round trip, it puffs through the former slate-mining region between Corris and Maespoeth, stopping for a tour of the engine shed and workshops.

  • Dyfi Valley, Mid Wales

    Dyfi Valley, Mid Wales

     by Mike Peacock

    Machynlleth is the perfect launch pad for an adventure on two wheels, thanks to Dyfi Mountain Biking, an enthusiastic group of local volunteers. They’ve waymarked three routes called Mach 1, 2 and 3 along roads, lanes and bridleways, and created Cli-MachX, an exhilarating off-road forest trail with rocky jumps and a massive final descent.