Family holiday adventures
For an area famous for its wide-open spaces, Mid Wales doesn’t half pull the crowds - like when there’s a major event on, like Hay Festival or Green Man. The rest of the time, you and your family can have a whole mountain to yourselves. Enjoy.
On the map, it looks big and empty. And that’s part of Mid Wales’s appeal: lots of wide open spaces, patrolled by red kites, where you and your family can walk (or cycle, or horse ride, or drive) for miles without seeing another soul.
Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons
But the map can be misleading. So many of Wales’s major events take place here, there’ll be times when you’ll have plenty of company.
For instance, Green Man in Powys is one of the most child-friendly festivals in Britain, attracting thousands of families to enjoy its folksy, whimsical charms (as a bonus, the food’s great there, too). Hay Festival, the ‘Woodstock for the mind’ that attracts the world’s great writers and thinkers to Hay-on-Wye every summer, is also superbly welcoming to people of all ages.
Then there’s the Royal Welsh Show, one of the Britain's best country fairs, which you don’t have to be a farmer (or Welsh, or royal) to enjoy. The small town of Llanwrtyd Wells, meanwhile, has come up with a whole calendar of ridiculously wonderful events: world championships in bog snorkelling and stone skimming, bog cycling, man-versus-horse racing. They’ve also combined mountain biking with that other great pastime, real ale drinking.
National Showcaves Centre for Wales, Brecon Beacons
There are major attractions, too: the National Showcaves Centre for Wales has some of the most spectacular caverns in Britain (the limestone mountains here are riddled with thousands of miles of caves). The Centre for Alternative Technology set in a disused quarry, halfway up a hillside in near Machynlleth, manages to be both an important environmental research centre and a fun place to visit.
Frog Statue at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Powys, Mid Wales by deadheaduk
You’ve got the grandeur of Powis Castle and, nearby, the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway. The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, which runs for 35 picturesque miles through the Brecon Beacons National Park. The Offa’s Dyke Path, a 177-mile trek along the English border.
Gorgeous market towns and beautiful countryside
Brecon Beacons by Goodwinsplace
We don’t do big cities here, but there are plenty of gorgeous market towns: Machynlleth, Brecon, Crickhowell, Llandrindod Wells, Hay-on-Wye, Knighton and Presteigne.
And let’s not forget all the stuff nature has provided. The Brecon Beacons National Park has the highest peaks in southern Britain, and the UK’s biggest concentration of waterfalls. The lakes and reservoirs – places like the Elan Valley, Llyn Clywedog, Lake Vyrnwy – are wild, remote and utterly unspoilt. Many of them - notably Llangorse Lake near Brecon – are buzzing outdoor sport centres.
It’s the ideal region for a family holiday that’s get-away-from-it-all, but also action-packed at the same time.
More attractions in Mid Wales.