Nestled in the heart of Mid Wales, Powys has a wealth of things to see and do. This region, steeped in agricultural tradition, offers a taste of fresh, local produce alongside a captivating journey through Welsh history. Whether you seek rolling green hills or ancient castles, Powys promises an unforgettable adventure for all

Home of Welsh Princes and Kings 

Powys boasts a rich past, evident in the very stones that surround you. The county's three remaining castles – Powis Castle, Montgomery Castle, and Dolforwyn Castle – all stand within a 15-mile radius.

Powis Castle, originally built by Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn in the 13th century, is now cared for by the National Trust. The ruins of the other two castles, Montgomery and Dolforwyn, offer a glimpse into Wales' dramatic and often turbulent past.

Powys also harbours the remains of the Prince of Wales, Owain Glyndŵr's court in Sycharth. Walk in the footsteps of the Welsh legend and hike to the hilltop for a picnic with a view, soaking up the history and the breathtaking panorama of the surrounding area.

Gardens in front with Powis Castle on the horizon against blue sky.
Castle ruins with a blue sky and clouds.

Powis Castle and Trefaldwyn Castle, Powys, Mid Wales

For a glimpse into recent history, explore the Gregynog estate. This Welsh treasure was once home to the Davies sisters, legendary art collectors who left a lasting mark on Wales' artistic heritage. In 1920, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, following in their grandfather David Davies’s footsteps, purchased Gregynog Hall with a vision – to foster a vibrant arts and crafts community. Today, it thrives as a centre for music and conferences, while the gardens, nature reserves, and historic paths beckon exploration.

A grand black and white timber-framed mansion.

Gregynog Hall, Powys, Mis Wales

Riding the rails

Embark on a 16-mile round trip through the heart of the Welsh countryside aboard a historic steam train – the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway. Originally built in 1903 to connect Welshpool with this rural community, it's a delightful step back in time. Grab a light meal at Llanfair station's Tea Room or browse the gift shop for souvenirs. Then, delve into the fascinating history of the railway at the Visitor Centre.

Green and black steam train.
Train station sign reads 'Llanfair Caereinion'

Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway, Powys, Mid Wales

Border eats

Fuel up at Caffi Dyffryn and Caffi Cwpan Pinc on the A458. Both offer light bites and hot meals and when the sun shines, enjoy your meal al fresco.

The Sun Hotel in Llansanffraid ym Mechain is a good dining option. For a casual vibe, head to Plas yn Dinas in Llanfechain for Tuesday night pizza nights, or enjoy their full menu any other day. 

Fancy a Welsh feast in Welshpool? The Royal Oak Hotel and the Raven Inn have menus brimming with fresh, local, seasonal produce. 

Book a table at The Checkers in Montgomery for quality Welsh dining. This charming restaurant boasts five stars, but the atmosphere is relaxed. 

For a meal that combines culinary delights with great scenery head to the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel for tapas in the Tower Restaurant.

 

Exterior of black and white timber-clad hotel. There is a plant with red leaves in the front of the picture.
A tapas meal on wooden tables. A view of a lake can be seen through the window.
A person wearing a denim jacket holding a glass of wine and looking out at a beautiful lake.

Lake Vyrnwy Hotel, Powys, Mid Wales

From farm to fork

As you explore the area, keep your eyes peeled for charming independent shops brimming with fresh, local produce.

The rolling hills and lush pastures of Powys show the importance of agriculture to the area, and nowhere is this more evident than in the county's excellent butchers. In Llanfair Caereinion, be sure to visit Pandy Butchers, run by Richard Williams. They offer locally sourced meats and a tempting selection of ready-made meals, perfect for a quick and tasty bite.

The market town of Llanfyllin is great for independent shops - be sure to pick up fresh, local produce from butcher Peter Tomlinson. 

Montgomery's charming streets also have many independent shops, from a delightful bookshop and flower shop to Castle Kitchen deli, a haven for gourmet treats. Don't miss the market, brimming with fresh meat, fish, and local vegetables.

Nestled in Welshpool, you'll find The Old Station, a charming reminder of its former life. Built in 1860, it once connected Aberystwyth and Whitchurch along the Cambrian Railway line. Though the last train departed in 1992, the station has found a delightful new purpose. Today, it houses a shop and cafe, brimming with a selection of goods. 

Welshpool's high street caters to every need. Browse for unique gifts and cards at The Celtic Company or enjoy fresh-baked treats from The Little Welsh Bakery. Need something for the kitchen, campsite, or home? Alexanders has you covered. It's a one-stop shopping experience you won't want to miss!

 

Former train station in a large red brick building.

The Old Station, Welshpool, Mid Wales

Iechyd da!

In Meifod you'll find the King's Head pub – a local landmark steeped in history since 1799, when it was built for Dr Davies of Llanfyllin. Today, this charming pub offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere, perfect for enjoying home-cooked meals. And if you're looking for some evening entertainment, they regularly host live music and other events throughout the year.

Over a century ago, Llanfair Caereinion boasted 16 pubs. Back then, each pub brewed its own beer, fueled by local breweries on Wesley Street, Mount Road, and Poplars. This beer wasn’t just for thirsty locals – they also supplied the nearby towns of Dolgellau and Machynlleth. Fast forward to today, and Llanfair Caereinion's pub scene has cosied up to three friendly establishments: The Red Lion, The Black Lion, and The Goat.

For a different kind of drink Llaeth y Bont in Meifod is worth a visit, with fresh milk straight from Newbridge Farm and a selection of milkshakes in every flavour imaginable. Come in October and you can enjoy some pumpkin-picking fun!

Magnificent views

There’s no shortage of walks and landscapes in the area. Why not enjoy a walk to Pistyll Rhiwargor, a leisurely cycle ride, or enjoy nature at its best on the shores of Lake Vyrnwy.

The 18th-century rhyme wasn't wrong – Pistyll Rhaeadr, near Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, truly is one of Wales' Seven Wonders! A charming cafe at the base offers refreshments with a breathtaking view. A short stroll from the car park unveils a magnificent panorama – perfect for those seeking views without exertion.

waterfall.
People fishing in a blue boat on the lake with mountains and blue sky.

Pistyll Rhaeadr and Lake Vyrnwy, Powys, Mid Wales

Don't miss the spectacular Glansevern mansion. After marvelling at its architectural beauty, wander the gardens. To complete the experience, treat yourself to a cup of tea and a slice of cake at the charming Caffi Naissance.

No visit to the area is complete without experiencing the serenity of Pennant Melangell. Tucked away in a secluded spot, this peaceful little church offers a sanctuary of silence. The village also holds the grave of Nansi Richards, a celebrated Maldwyn harpist. Legend has it that during her travels to America, Nansi played the triple harp for the Kellogg family, striking up a friendship with W.K. Kellogg himself. Some say Nansi's observation of the similar sounds between "Kellogg" and the Welsh word "ceiliog" (meaning rooster) influenced the company's now-iconic logo! 

Glansevern mansion and gardens, Powys, Mid Wales

Chapels and canals

There's no shortage of paths and walks in Maldwyn, including the Ann Griffiths Path. This scenic seven-mile route begins in the village of Llwydiarth. Along the way, you'll pass Dolwar Fach, the former home of the renowned Welsh hymnist. A memorial chapel dedicated to her in Dolanog stands as a testament to her enduring legacy. Continuing your walk from Dolanog to Pontrobert, you'll encounter the former residence of missionary John Davies, as well as the historic old Pontrobert Chapel. 

The church in Meifod, a small village along the B4389 which follows the course of the Afon Efyrnwy (River Vyrnwy), is an important part of the community The earliest church is said to have been built by Sant Gwyddfarch around c.500. Meifod became an important Christian hub, and one of its most famous pupils was Saint Tysilio, the son of Brochwel Ysgithrog, Prince of Powys.

Another popular walk is the Glyndŵr's Way. This 135-mile trail stretches from Knighton to the Montgomery Canal. While conquering the entire route might be a feat for another day, the Glyndŵr Way offers plenty of opportunities for shorter, scenic walks, so lace up your boots and explore a section of this historic path.

canal path, with runner and walkers and canal, with boats.

The Montgomery Canal, near Welshpool, Mid Wales

 

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