Powys

The landlocked county of Powys in Wales borders the ceremonial counties of Clwyd, Gwynedd, Dyfed and Glamorgan, as well as Monmouthshire and the English border counties of Herefordshire and Shropshire.

Powys has a population of around 135,000 people, with the larger towns at Newton, Ystradgynlais, Brecon and Welshpool.

The landscape of Powys is dominated by the peaks of Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains, forests, reservoirs, river valleys and big skies.

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Powys Overview

Welcome to Powys

The landlocked county of Powys in Wales borders the ceremonial counties of Clwyd, Gwynedd, Dyfed and Glamorgan, as well as Monmouthshire and the English border counties of Herefordshire and Shropshire.

Powys has a population of around 135,000 people, with the larger towns at Newton, Ystradgynlais, Brecon and Welshpool.

The landscape of Powys is dominated by the peaks of Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains, forests, reservoirs, river valleys and big skies.


History

Powys county dates from the ancient Welsh Kingdom of Powys. There is significant evidence of Roman occupation with hill forts and roads in the county. Elsewhere there hill forts, burial mounts and standing stones dating from the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Coal mining played an important part in the history and economy of the region, together with farming and agriculture.

The scenic beauty and attractions means the county hosts a large number of visitors each year, swelling the population of the local towns and consequently tourism is a major contributor to the economy.


Places to visit in Powys

Powys has a wide choice of activities and great of days out to keep all the family entertained.

A visit to the bustling market town of Brecon allows you to take in the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh to discover over 300 years of history including the highlight of the Zulu War Room. Visit Brecon Cathedral, Brecknock Museum or take a walk down to the canal basin or browse some of the shops with their locally sourced produce. From the town you get some great views of Pen Y Fan – the highest peak in South Wales and training ground of British Special Forces. Brecon is also the end of the Taff Trail that starts in Cardiff – cyclists and walkers can enjoy this 55 mile long trail that carves through the Welsh countryside offering some spectacular views. The trail offers some fantastic photo opportunities such as Talybont Reservoir and in part runs parallel with the Brecon & Monmouthshire Canal – dotted with pubs where you can relax in the beer gardens or grab a bite to eat whilst watching the wildlife and canal boats glide by as red kites wheel overhead. Market towns such as Crickhowell offer the opportunity to relax and browse the local shops or enjoy a bite to eat in a choice of eateries.

Powys’s geographic position has given rise to a number of castles and fortifications which include the magnificent Powis Castle where terraces overlook the French and Italian style gardens with their original lead statues, whilst inside you will discover the paintings, furniture and a collection of treasures from India. Elsewhere you will find Craig Y Nos Castle, Bronllys Castle, Tretower Court & Castle or the remains of Dolforwyn Castle. Garden lovers will enjoy the Gregynog Gardens at Gregynog Hall and the Dingle Gardens – part woodland and lakes, part formal gardens.

A visit to the National Showcase Caves Centre for Wales at Dan Yr Ogof caves is a great visitor attraction where you can go underground and tour the fantastic rock formations including the Angel and Rasher of Bacon. Outside there are over 200 hundred dinosaurs in the grounds and you can also visit the Shire Horse Centre, outside museum and iron age farm.

The natural beauty of the mountains, hills, forests and rivers make Powys a key destination for those seeking to engage the great outdoors. From high summits with stunning views, to tumbling rivers for kayakers and canoeists there is plenty to do. The landscape is laden with walking and cycling trails, there is horse riding, canoeing, kayaking, caving, abseiling and gliding to enjoy – and don’t forget to take a camera to capture the stunning landscape. If you are looking to get away from it and enjoy nature’s peace and quiet a trip through the Elan Valley is a must – see the reservoirs and dams that carry water through to Birmingham – the only noise is the tumbling of water, the local sheep and the cry of buzzards in the sky above.

Powys has a large range of annual events including the Hay Festival, Royal Welsh Show, Urdd National Eisteddfod, Green Man Festival and famous Brecon Jazz Festival.

Powys’ traditional food includes the Welsh lamb and Welsh beef, grazed on the hillsides of the county, cheeses and beers.


Getting There…

Powys is accessible by road with using the A470 and A40 which in turn link to the larger conurbations and wider motorway network of the M4 across the Severn Bridge from England, M54 and M50.


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