Things to do in the wider region: this is just a small selection of many things to do and places to visit during your time in mid-Wales. In the Hideaway you will find a list including other suggestions.
Llanidloes is a friendly small town, the first on the River Severn, with a great sense of community and blessed with an astonishing number of pubs. It is well-worth visiting if only for the old half-timbered market hall, Natural Foods shop, Great Oak Foods – the organic veg shop, the Fish Deli, the Great Oak Bookshop, the Great Oak Café, and plenty of antique shops.
There are often good art and craft exhibitions on at the Minerva Centre and regular music events at The Old Mill and The Stag.
Newtown, also on a beautiful stretch of the River Severn, is best known as the birthplace of Robert Owen, founder of the Co-operative movement in 1771. The Oriel Gallery has good art exhibitions and also has a café. The Textile Museum has recently been refurbished. It is housed in an 1830’s handloom-weaving factory. Check the website for opening times – www.newtowntextilemuseum.co.uk
Machynlleth – the green capital of Wales – is well-known for its thriving Wednesday market and for the world-renowned Centre for Alternative Technology. Try one of the many cafes and stock up at Dyfi Wholefoods. Machynlleth has plenty of second-hand and antique shops to browse in, a very enterprising small bookshop, and The Museum of Modern Art at The Tabernacle.
Montgomery is a small and peaceful historical border town with Georgian houses and a 13th century castle. There are great views from the castle, good lunches at the Castle Kitchen Café, and don’t miss Bunners, a famously fantastic treasure trove of hardware and ironmongery and more, renowned as being able to get you anything you want.
Mountains, Forests and Lakes and Trails
Aran Fawddwy – the highest mountain in Britain south of Snowdon.
Cadair Idris – our favourite mountain with spectacular scenery whichever side you choose to ascend. Magical.
The Hafren Forest has waymarked trails including a route to the Source of the Severn high on Plynlimmon. Glaslyn and Bugeilyn – two lakes on a nature reserve reached from the mountain road between Llanidloes and Machynlleth (well-worth taking for the fabulous scenery). You can drive along a bumpy track close to the shores of mysterious Glaslyn.
Glyndwr’s Way – a national trail that runs from Knighton on the Borders via Machynlleth to Welshpool. Carno is very central to the route so all sections are within easy reach.
The Severn Way is a 224mls/360km trail along the entire Severn Valley, starting at the source on the Plynlimmon and passing through Llanidloes and Newtown and Welshpool on its way to Bristol.
Aberdovey has an elegant seafront, a sailing club, and a beautiful beach along which you can walk the 4 miles to Tywyn.
Borth and Ynyslas also have great beaches, from which there is a cliff-top path to Aberystwyth.
The Centre for Alternative Technology, near Machynlleth – a must for all environment-conscious visitors to mid-Wales.
Narrow Guage Railways – there are several to choose from. It’s fun for adults as well as children to take a steam train ride through lovely countryside!
King Arthur’s Labyrinth – explore Celtic myths and legends beneath the mountains of Snowdonia!
Castles and Gardens
Powis Castle and Garden – The magnificent clipped yew hedges and pretty borders of this world-famous National Trust garden are a must for all garden lovers.
Places to Eat:
For lunches, tea, and coffee we recommend Cafi Medi and Cafi Alys in Machynlleth, The Great Oak Cafe in Llanidloes, the Oriel Gallery cafe in Newtown, and The Castle Kitchen in Montgomery. There are also plenty of pubs around offering lunchtime and evening meals.
Aleppo Merchant, Carno 01686 420210 – happy pub grub
La Terrazza, Newtown 01686 625546 – good Italian food with excellent reviews
Brigands Inn, Mallwyd 01650 511999
Wynnstay Hotel Machynlleth 01654 702941
Taj Mahal, Machynlleth, 01654 703088 – Indian
Raj Mahal, Llanidloes 01686 412432 – Indian, (and takeaway) with special deals on Wednesdays
The Dragon Hotel, Montgomery 01686 668359
In the evenings you might want to just snuggle down by the fire, play Scrabble or read a good book. If you decide to go out a meal isn’t the only option. There is a theatre and a cinema in Newtown, frequent musical events in Machynlleth and Llanidloes, and local ‘drop in’ yoga sessions and community choirs that welcome one-off participants.