Rated the happiest place to live in Wales for three years running, as well as fifth happiest on the UK-wide list, spending time in Llandrindod Wells is surely going to put a smile on your face. Here's our guide to things to do, places to stay and to eat, in and around the town during your visit.
Local history and culture
Strolling through town, absorb the atmosphere of Victorian charm, with wide avenues, characterful shop fronts and ornate architectural flourishes. The Llandrindod Wells Heritage Trail guides you on a gentle walking tour taking in the architectural heritage of the town. Once you’re done amble on over to Rock Park and take in its sculpture trail too.
To delve a little deeper into the history of the area, visit the Radnorshire Museum, housed in the old library. Cycling enthusiasts should freewheel over to the National Cycle Museum for an historical tour of all things two-wheeled. Before you head in, stand back and take a moment to admire the Art Deco façade of the museum, built in 1911 as an automotive showroom.
Relax - leisure and wellness
The Victorians built Llandrindod Wells on the premise of leisure and wellness, and these qualities live on today. At the heart of the town is Rock Park, a Grade 2 listed green space dating back to the 1860s. Artfully preened, the park has an arboretum, tranquil river trails, sculptures, and Victorian spa buildings to admire.
The nearby Llandrindod Wells Lake Park offers wilder nature trails, as well as kayak, SUP and Victorian paddleboat hire. If you prefer to spectate, there’s a lively little café there too. For fun and frolics head to Princes Avenue Leisure Park, where there's loads of family-friendly activities, from table tennis to crazy golf, giant chess and snakes and ladders.
Llandrindod Wells Golf Club has beautiful views over the town and countryside, and a venerable history - the golf club was established in 1905.
For the all-important spa experience, an essential part of any relaxing break, make your way to The Rock Spa in the grand Metropole Hotel. There you’ll find an 18ft heated pool and luxurious spa, all housed under a stately Victorian-style conservatory.
Get active - walking and cycling trails
‘The gateway to Mid Wales’, as Llandrindod Wells is often called, is wonderful for walkers and cyclists, with a wide variety of trails. Experienced walkers can tackle parts of the impressive Heart of Wales Line Trail and surrounding countryside. Folk after a more gentle stroll can explore the town and wander along the River Ithon. There's a great choice of walks on the Llandrindod Wells town website.
To the east and south of Llandod lies the ancient landscape once known as Elfael. Hidden amongst the rolling hills are medieval settlements and fascinating prehistoric landscapes. The prominent hills of the Carneddau (not to be confused with the mountain range of the same name in Snowdonia) lie south of Llandrindod. Iron Age hillforts such as Gaer Fawr and Gaer Einon show off remains of defensive fortifications. Adjacent to the Carneddau, Gilwern Hill is an open moorland fringed with dry stone walled enclosures. Walk along ancient track-ways, some of which were trodden by the Welsh cattle drovers who traversed these hills, driving their Welsh Black cattle to markets in the English cities. With easy access and good walking this area takes you straight to the heart of pre-historic Elfael. You'll be well rewarded with big sky views across the countryside.
Thinking about bringing your bicycle? Llandrindod is an ideal base for your holiday, with a choice of cycle-friendly accommodation in the area. There are plenty of off-road bike tracks to try, as well as freewheeling along quiet country lanes. National Cycle Network routes 8 and 825 (the Radnor Ring) are nearby, providing a variety of cycling adventure inspiration for all abilities. Heading west towards the coast, you’ll arrive at the dramatic Elan Valley with its unique scenery of reservoirs and dams. You can hire bikes here, and explore family-friendly road routes or a variety of mountain bike trails.
Where to stay in Llandrindod Wells
For all-out luxury and the full Llandrindod Wells experience make a reservation at the illustrious Metropole Hotel. For something a little more modest Greyland’s Guest House is housed in a smart redbrick Victorian house within easy walking distance of the town centre.
The Bell Country Inn offers comfortable rooms on the outskirts of town, while a little further out you can enjoy a serene stay at Holly Farm. For a full digital detox book in at The Straw Cottage. Tucked away amongst trees and fields, this remote off-grid cottage is perfect for stargazing and cosy nights in around its wood-burning stove.
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Eating and drinking in Llandrindod Wells
There are a good range of eateries in ‘Llandod’ - something for everyone's taste! The Herb Garden Café is a favourite for coffee, cakes and light lunches, as is the family-run Powells Bistro. And don’t forget the Lake Park Café for an afternoon cuppa with a slice of cake.
For high-end dining get dressed up and head to the award-winning Radnor & Miles Restaurant at The Metropole Hotel. For something a little more casual Fabian's Kitchen is a friendly place, offering locally-produced burgers, home-made curries and pizzas, while The Fish Bar does exactly what it says on the tin very well.