Mid Wales is criss-crossed by mountain passes and your clients will not be far from the water, from the Cambrian coast to rivers, lakes and reservoirs. The region includes Ceredigion, Cardigan Bay and Powys, a lesser discovered part of Wales, with Welsh culture deeply embedded in the market towns and the locals. 

The Brecon Beacons National Park stretches from Llandeilo in the west, over the Black Mountains to the central Beacons, and the highest peak in South Wales, Pen y Fan. In the east is Hay-on-Wye and the Black Mountains on the English border. The area has plenty of hill walks.

Further north, the Cambrian Mountains stretches from Machynlleth down to Llandovery and include the towns of Aberystwyth, Tregaron, Rhayader and Llanidloes. There are walking and mountain biking routes and some of the darkest skies in Europe. Elan Valley has been awarded a silver tier International Dark Sky Park and has nine Dark Sky Discovery sites to experience. 

The market towns have high streets lined with independent shops selling artisan crafts and produce. Crickhowell is a good place for a spot of shopping and has been named the best high street in Britain. Hay-on-Wye, home to the Hay Festival and known as the second hand book capital of the world, makes for a great stop. Brecon makes a great base to explore the area. It’s also a cultural hub, foodie hotspot and architectural treasure trove. The cathedral is one of the finest church buildings in Wales and inside is Britain’s biggest cresset stone – a stupendous medieval lighting system holding 30 candles.

For shopping tips check out our shopping fact sheet.

Towns in Ceredigion include Aberaeron and Aberystwyth. Beaches are overlooked by the Cambrian Mountains and Snowdonia. There are plenty of options for a boat trip including New Quay Boat Trips and A Bay to Remember to look for dolphins and porpoises.

Places to include in a group visit to Mid Wales

1. Brecon Beacons National Park Visitor Centre, Libanus 

Brecon Beacons National Park covers an area of 520 square miles (1,344 square km) of grassy moorlands, heather-clad escarpments and Old Red Sandstone peaks. The area includes a UNESCO Global Geopark and is recognised as an International Dark Sky Reserve. The Brecon Beacons National Park Visitor Centre gives a good introduction as well as views of Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in South Wales. The Beacons View Tea Room is located on the lower level of the visitor centre and provides meals made from locally produced food. It makes an excellent lunch stop, with a short walk on the adjacent common land known as Mynydd Illtyd.

Group visit information:

  • coach parking;
  • gift and craft shop;
  • tea room;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed - 1hr to 2hr.

2. Elan Valley

Elan Valley is known for its reservoirs and dams, the 9 mile (14 km) route includes four lakes, created between 1892 and 1903 to supply water to the city of Birmingham. The reservoirs are set in the Cambrian Mountains, a mixture of moorland, woodland, farmland, streams and bogs. The visitor centre has an exhibition area showcasing the history of the dams and the estate has a mixture of walks and cycle tracks. The drive around the dams will provide plenty of photo opportunities. Pre-booked groups can arrange for a ranger to join the group on the coach.

Group visit information: 

  • coach parking at the visitor centre, note coaches need to follow a clockwise route when visiting the dams as the road is narrow in places;
  • café and gift shop at visitor centre;
  • tea room at Penbont House;
  • free refreshments for coach driver and tour guide;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed - 1hr to 3hr.
A huge dam and tower holding back a reservoir, with mountains and forestry beyond.
A ring of trees on a small island in a lake with forestry and mountains beyond.

Elan Valley

3. Powis Castle and Garden, Welshpool

This medieval Powis Castle contains one of the finest collections of paintings and furniture in Wales. The Clive Museum has a collection of artefacts from India and is the largest private collection in the UK. In 1587, Sir Edward Herbert bought the castle and began to transform it into the Elizabethan castle that stands today. The gardens were designed by Welsh architect William Winde with Italian and French terraces, which have hardly changed in design since the 17th century.

Group visit information:

  • coach parking;
  • a wheelchair friendly minibus can carry visitors with limited mobility from car park to the castle;
  • café and gift shop;
  • pre-booked guided garden tours are available on request;
  • group rates available;
  • time needed - 3hr to 5hr.
Aerial view of Powis Castle and the gardens.
Dining Room in castle. Portrait of Violet Lane Fox, Countess of Powis by Ellis Roberts to the left.

Powis Castle and Garden

4. Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), Machynlleth

The Centre for Alternative Technology is Britain’s leading eco centre and has been open for over 40 years. It champions how we can live a more sustainable life and includes examples of renewable energy, organic gardens and sustainable woodland environments. Many experiences are available including site tours and hands-on activities.

Group visit information:

  • discounted group rates;
  • free entry for coach drivers and tour guides;
  • free coach parking;
  • dedicated group visits team;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – 2hr to 3hr.
An old wind turbine on its side with a propeller buried in the ground.
Two carriages moving on a cliff railway.

Centre for Alternative Technology

5. Red kite feeding centres

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre is located near Aberystwyth and sits at the head of the dramatic Melindwr Valley in the Cambrian Mountains with views of Cardigan Bay. The centre is one of the places in Wales to see the red kite. It makes a great stop after lunch, where these magnificent birds swoop in over the lake every afternoon as they are fed. Please check their website for timing as they alter between summer and winter time. There are multiple accessible outdoor trails for walking and mountain biking.

 Group visit information: 

  • coach parking;
  • café and shop in the visitor centre;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed - 1hr to 2hr.

Gigrin Farm is a working farm and is located near Rhayader. It is breath-taking to see the many (often hundreds) of red kites sweeping by to get food. Please check their website for timing as they alter between summer and winter time. The site also includes many hides and farm trails.

Group visit information:

  • coach parking;
  • groups to the farm must be pre-booked;
  • large groups may pre-book a hide for sole use;
  • group rates available that includes a slice of cake and a free hot drink (please note this needs to be booked for the whole party and arranged in advance);
  • pre-booked catering (packed lunches) are available;
  • coffee shop;
  • gift shop;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – 1hr to 2hr.
Red kites at feeding time, filling the skies at Gigrin Farm.

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre and Gigrin Farm

6. Vale of Rheidol Railway and Devil's Bridge Falls, Aberystwyth

A 12 mile (19 km) journey from Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge Falls on the narrow-gauge Vale of Rheidol Railway, which climbs a total of 230 metres (700 ft) to reach Devil's Bridge, home of the famous Mynach Falls and Devil's Punchbowl.

Devil's Bridge Falls is a remarkable site of three bridges, built where the River Mynach cascades 90 metres (300 ft) to the River Rheidol below. William Wordsworth visited and wrote about the torrent at the Devil's Bridge. Local folklore states the first bridge was constructed by the Devil.

There are two optional walks to choose from - nature trail, waterfalls and three bridges, a difficult walk which takes a minimum of 45min, with 675 steep uneven natural stone steps. Punchbowl and three bridges is a moderate walk and takes 10min or so with 300 slate steps.

Suggested lunch or a coffee stop at the The Hafod Hotel

Group visit information: 

  • coach parking;
  • group rates available;
  • the railway shop at Aberystwyth sell refreshments and The Two Hoots café at Devil’s Bridge offers a wider variety of snacks;
  • time needed – journey time is approximately 1hr in each direction. Trains normally wait for 1hr at Devil’s Bridge or you can return on a later train. There is coach parking at Devil’s Bridge if meeting passengers there.
A bridge amongst green foliage.
A waterfall cascading down rocks amongst trees.

Devil's Bridge

7. Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth is the largest town in Mid Wales, a good base to explore the area and is one of the most important cultural locations in Wales. Here, many students and academics study at Aberystwyth University, increasing the local population during term time. The National Library of Wales is a ‘legal deposit library’ therefore it holds a copy of every publication printed in Britain and Ireland including the Black Book of Carmarthen, the earliest surviving manuscript entirely in Welsh. It has the largest collection of archives, portraits, maps and photographic images in Wales. Many exhibitions also take place throughout the year. Being located above Aberystwyth the library has great views over the town and Cardigan Bay, so it is a good photo stop too.

Group visit Information: 

  • coach parking;
  • free entry;
  • group tours are available for pre-booked groups;
  • café;
  • shop;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – 1hr to 2hr.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre is a department at Aberystwyth University and one of the most important arts centres in Wales. There is a varied programme including drama, dance, music, visual arts and film.

Group visit information:

  • group rates available;
  • café;
  • shop;
  • toilet facilities.

Aberystwyth Cliff Railway offers a panoramic view of the town and the bay. It has the longest funicular electric cliff railway in Britain, taking passengers to the top of Constitution Hill since 1896 and a chance to experience the Victorian camera obscura

Group visit information:

  • group rates available;
  • café;
  • time needed – 30min but allow longer if visiting the café.

Coach parking is available in Aberystwyth at Boulevard St Brieuc, opposite the Police Station, SY23 1PH.

It is recommended to allow at least half a day to visit Aberystwyth.

The entrance to a national library.

Aberystwyth and the National Library of Wales

8. Llanerchaeron, near Aberaeron

Llanerchaeron, is an elegant regency villa located beside the River Aeron in Ceredigion. It was designed and built in 1790 by John Nash, whose work included Buckingham Palace. Visitors are taken back to in time touring the villa, service courtyard, mature walled gardens, pleasure grounds and home farm complex. The property is managed by the National Trust and includes a working organic farm with Welsh Black cattle, rare Welsh pigs and Llanwenog sheep.

Group visit information

  • group rates available;
  • on-board coach welcome;
  • special interest tours - guided history tour, garden tour, pre-booked evening after hours guided tours also available;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – 2hr 30min.
Walled garden with roses at Llanerchaeron.
Exterior view of the Georgian villa at Llanerchaeron.

Llanerchaeron

9. Corris

King Arthur’s Labyrinth is an underground storytelling adventure. Visitors sail through an underground waterfall into a mythical world of King Arthur and dragons. Ancient legends from Wales unfold with dramatic scenes guided by a hooded Dark Age boatman. Visitors can experience the Lost Legends of The Stone Circle afterwards.

Corris Mine Explorers is an award winning disused slate mine. Clients will go underground to discover what life was like for the miners, with stories told by a qualified guide. The Braich Goch slate mine was worked from 1836 before it was abandoned and left virtually untouched when the doors closed in 1970.

Corris Craft Centre is also on the site where craftspeople demonstrate and sell local gifts and souvenirs. 

Group visit information:

  • coach parking;
  • group rates available;
  • bespoke tours at Corris Mine Explorers can be arranged for up to 40 guests - village tours can also be included;
  • private dining can be arranged for up to 25 guests at Y Crochan café with King Arthur’s Labyrinth, Corris Mine Explorers and visits to the Craft Centre;
  • café;
  • gift shop;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – your group will need to arrive 30min prior to sailing at King Arthur’s Labyrinth and the tour takes 1hr. At Corris Mine Explorers, there are a selection of tours to choose from ranging from 1hr to 4hrs. Additional time will be needed if visiting the craft centre and / or café;
  • advanced booking required.

Corris Railway is a 2min drive or a 15min walk away where clients can take a scenic tour and talk along the attractive Dulas Valley. Booking is essential.

Group visit information:

  • parking available for minibuses and medium-sized coaches;
  • teas, coffees and light refreshments available;
  • gift shop;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed - journey time is 1hr. Allow additional time to visit the museum, shop and café.
People looking at a display in a lit underground cave.
Explorers tied together and climbing up a slate heap in a mine.
A red steam locomotive pulling along carriages amongst forestry.

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

10. The Judge’s Lodging, Presteigne

The Judge’s Lodging offers a hands-on experience and your group will discover the life of the Victorian judges, their servants and criminal guests in the 1870s. The audio tour, featuring the voice of actor Robert Hardy, will guide visitors to the judge’s chambers, staff quarters, holding cells and court room.

Group visit information:

  • coach parking available on Joe Deakins Road;
  • group rates available;
  • group audio tours available;
  • a minimum of 15 delegates is required for visits outside of normal opening times. They can accommodate less at an additional charge;
  • no café on-site but they can offer light refreshments for your group if pre-booked;
  • gift shop;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – 1hr.

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