Machynlleth is truly a gem - a rural market town with a quirky, eco-friendly vibe nestled within the beautiful UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere. There's loads to do and see just wandering around. There are plenty of antique stores, alternative lifestyle shops and galleries featuring local artists and craftspeople. There's a bustling market on Wednesdays and even an annual world famous comedy festival. Here's a few of our favourite things to do in and around Machynlleth.

The Dyfi Biosphere, featuring the Centre for Alternative Technology, Ynyslas Sand Dunes and RSPB Ynys-hir Nature Reserve

Owain Glyndŵr Centre

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 - the original Senedd. The Owain Glyndŵr Centre is the local history museum that tells his story.

An old, impressive grey slate building with small windows
The exterior of Owain Glyndŵr Centre taken from inside the building, framed by a window.
Mural above the entrance to the shop at Owain Glyndwr Centre.

The Owain Glyndŵr Centre

MOMA Machynlleth

MOMA Machynlleth is an 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 Y Tabernacl Coffee Shop.

Giant egg sculpture with woman stood looking at it inside a stone wall room.

Cosmic Egg sculpture, MOMA Machynlleth

Machynlleth Comedy Festival

If you're looking for laughs you probably wouldn't think of heading to a comedy festival  in the ancient capital of Wales. But we'd absolutely recommend that you do. Over the May bank holiday every year, the cream of comedy talent - rising and established - descend on Mach to try out new material, experiment with new formats, and generally have a fine old time. Look out for shows in usual places, like on the Corris Steam Railway, or in local gin distilleries. Book your tickets now: Machynlleth Comedy Festival

Two large colourful tents surrounded by lots of people drinking and having a nice time

The cabaret tent at Machynlleth Comedy Festval

The Centre for Alternative Technology

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

Centre for Alternative Technology from above.
Children meeting a giant mole in a cave tunnel.
Organic gardens at Centre for Alternative Technology.

Centre for Alternative Technology, Pantperthog

RSPB Ynys-hir Nature Reserve

If you’re a fan of BBC Springwatch, you’re sure to enjoy the Welsh woodland and wetland reserve where it was filmed several times. At Ynys-hir 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. Follow the trails to explore the lowland wet grasslands, reedbed, and saltmarsh habitats.

Lapwing sitting on grass with a baby lapwing standing next to it

A lapwing and chick at RSPB Ynys Hir Nature Reserve

Falconry Experience Wales

In the wilds of the Dyfi Valley UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Falconry Experience Wales  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.

Mountain biking in the Dyfi Valley

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 CliMachX, an exhilarating off-road forest trail with rocky jumps and a massive final descent.

A person sits on a bench overlooking a beautiful blue lake. Their bicycle is parked behind them

Taking the bike out to this view - overlooking Lake Vyrnwy, on Glyndwr's Way  

Dyfi Osprey Project

The Dyfi Osprey Project, a 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 two-storey observatory with views over bird, mammal and insect habitats is also open for visitors.

Corris Mine Explorers

There’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained at Corris Mine Explorers, based at Corris Craft Centre. 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 in King Arthur's Labyrinth, or get messy at a hands-on craft session making pottery, candles, chocolate or wooden furniture.

Tour group in the caves at King Arthur's Labyrinth.
Family with hard hats with lights smiling and looking through the hatch in mine
people with hard hats with lights on exploring mine with shaft of light coming through and rope being held

King Arthur's Labyrinth, and Corris Mine Explorers, Corris

Corris Railway

The Corris Railway is a narrow-gauge railway, lovingly restored by local railway enthusiasts. They have 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.

Large white wooden letters spell out "Machynlleth" on the side of a hill


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