Things to do in Powys
Pen Y Fan & Cribyn, Brecon BeaconsMid Wales is a beautiful part of the world where coast, mountain and country exist side by side. It's the perfect location for adventuring, with the landscape providing a backdrop for all the activities you need, but it's also a gentle place to relax and unwind. Here are some suggestions on the best things to do in the area.
A trip to Powys is missing a certain something if it doesn't include a visit to Brecon Beacons National Park. Its most popular peak, Pen Y Fan, gets hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, and with routes for all abilities it's no wonder.
Adventure in the Black Mountains
You certainly are spoilt for choice when it comes to mountains and hills in Powys! The Black Mountains are ideal for adventure and extreme sports. At Black Mountains Activity Centre, you can have a go at water-based activities (canoeing, white water rafting, kayaking), mountain biking, rock climbing and more.
Head to a world of wonder below ground with trails that go on for at least 16km. At the site, you can visit three caves: Dan Yr Ogof, the Cathedral Cave and the Bone Cave. All of them are amazing spectacles of nature, with huge circular walkways and stalactites and stalagmites running along the edges. There's also a dinosaur park on-site with over 200 life-size models of creatures that roamed Earth millions of years ago.
Powis Castle has sat on top of a rock overlooking a group of world-famous garden terraces for over 800 years. It used to be a medieval fortress belonging to the Welsh Princes of Powys, but nowadays it houses impressive collections of paintings, sculptures, tapestries and furniture. Step back in time and soak up the history with a stroll through the house and European-inspired gardens.
Wander amongst waterfalls
There are so many water features in one area of Powys, it is known as Waterfall Country. Between Hirwaun, Ystradfellte, and Pontneddfechan, red sandstone, outcrop limestone and steep hills have led to the creation of gorges, caves, waterfalls and swallow-holes that are adored by walkers, ramblers, adventurers and families. Sgwd-y-Eira is probably the most famous, where you can stand behind the waterfall as it runs over the edge above.
The geographical divide between Wales and England creates a 177-mile path from north to south. While some embark on a journey along the entire thing, others walk and cycle stretches of it to take in the pretty scenery and observe the changing geography. Try it yourself with one of these Offa's Dyke walks.
Not everyone who goes to Powys wants an action-packed itinerary. If you're after a slower escape, treat yourself to a few nights at Lake Vyrnwy Hotel, a luxury country house with fantastic food and a wonderful Elemis spa – plus it's set in the middle of a National Nature Reserve. Alternatively, take a drive through Elan Valley to see the Craig Goch Dam, then head to the Dark Sky Reserve Centre for some stargazing at night.