Over 80% of the valley is designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), home to reservoirs, aqueducts, hundreds of animals and an abundance of opportunities to have fun. We’ve put together a few suggestions on how to have a truly memorable and adventurous time in the beautiful Elan Valley.

Bike and hike

With open access to most of the 72 square mile Elan Valley estate, there are so many routes you can take to explore the area. Whether you want a gentle stroll through the greenery and dams or a more challenging hike amongst rocky crags and waterways, there will be a route to suit your needs and ability. Bike hire is readily available, if you fancy seeing the sights at a faster pace. Head to the Elan Valley Trail if you’re after surfaced paths.


Elan Valley has International Dark Sky Park status, meaning that on clear nights you can see stars, planets and constellations twinkling away with little light pollution. The Elan Valley Astronomy Group holds regular meet-ups at night in the Elan Valley visitor centre to educate visitors on the night sky and give people a chance to explore it through telescopes.

An image of stars over the Carmarthenshire fans
Stargazing in the Brecon Beacons

Little adventurers

Keeping kids occupied in Elan Valley is relatively easy. The visitor centre runs fun family activities and active days out throughout the year, so keep an eye on their  calendar of upcoming events. Typical events include bug-hunting, high ropes courses and pond-dipping, with wet weather alternatives too.

Road trip

If you want to cover more ground, why not drive around the estate? You’ll get the chance to see many spectacular views in a shorter space of time. Alternatively, enjoy a bespoke tour, joining a ranger on patrol to discover hidden features of the valley.

You could also combine your drive with a visit to Penbont House tea room, near Pen y Garreg Dam.

A short drive away...

If proper on-foot adventuring ticks your boxes, Offa’s Dyke Visitor Centre is worth a visit. It has exhibitions on the history of the area, plus gives access to the Offa’s Dyke Trail. Knighton also has the Spaceguard Centre, a National Near Earth Objects Information Centre (NNEOIC) - the UK's only centre addressing the danger of comets and asteroid impact.


This old country town is a charmer. It has the Judge’s Lodging, which lets visitors discover what life was like for servants, judges and guests there in Victorian times. 

Vale of Rheidol Railway

How’s this for a gentle adventure? One of the Great Little Trains of Wales runs through the Rheidol Valley, from Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge. For over 100 years, the Vale of Rheidol Railway been treating passengers to the beautiful scenery of the area.

Die historische Vale of Rheidol Railway
The Vale of Rheidol Railway

Thomas Shop, Penybont

Take a trip to Penybont near Llandrindod Wells to visit the Thomas Shop, a unique vintage store, tea room and shop. There’s a nostalgic museum, a Wool Emporium, galleries and a cafe. 

Abbey Cwm Hir Hall

The Hall at Abbey Cwm Hir is a neo-Elizabethan country house and open to all. Step inside to be taken aback by the rich decor and architecture of the time. 

Gigrin Farm and Red Kite Feeding Centre, Rhayader

Overlooking the Wye and Elan Valleys is this 200-acre family-run working farm. It’s most famous for its Red Kite Feeding Centre, where visitors can watch hundreds of the birds feast on a daily basis.

Red Kite feeding, Bwlch Nant yr Arian
Red Kites flying over a lake
Red kites in flight at the Red Kite Feeding Centre (Gigrin Farm).

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