Powys

Welsh Borders

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Overview

Start at Newtown, head for Montgomery, up to Welshpool and then arrive at the Pistyl Rhaeadr waterfalls. Continue anti clockwise to Lake Vyrnwy before dropping down to Machynlleth. Head for the magnificent Elan Valley to see the dams and reservoirs before passing through Llandrindod Wells to finish at Knighton.

Newtown

Birthplace of Robert Owen the social reformer the market town on the banks of the River Severn was built on textiles during the industrial revolution. There are remains of a motte and bailey mound close to the centre of town. Nearby is Gregynog Hall and Gardens set within a 750 acre estate.

Montgomery

Based on two hills with a 13th century castle ruins dominate the border town built around a Georgian town square. Close by there is a large Iron Age hill fort and the Welsh stronghold of Dolforwyn Castle The remains of this castle, begun by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd ('the Last') in 1273 and captured by the English in 1277, have been revealed by excavations. A mile away is a stretch of Offa’s Dyke.

Welshpool

Set in rolling farmland the main attraction is the impressive red sandstone hewn Powys Castle with collections from Clive of India and world famous gardens. Steam enthusiasts may like the Welshpool and Llanfair railway. Heading north the Llanfyllin workhouse built in 1837 has a grand façade and is now being fully renovated.

Tanypistyll

One of Britain’s longest drop waterfalls in the Berwyn mountains falling 230 feet in three stages in a delightful setting of trees and ferns complete with a natural arch half way down is considered one of the seven wonders of Wales.

Lake Vyrnwy

A man-made reservoir built to send water to Liverpool with spectacular waterfalls, set in unspoilt countryside. Explore the trails in the 24,000 acre RSPB Reserve, with viewpoints and hides to observe the amazing variety of birds. Walk through the Sculpture Park below the Dam. Plus plenty of activities too, including boating, adventure activities, cycle hire, walking and horse riding.

Machynlleth

A small market town with an amazing clock tower at the head of the beautiful Dyfi estuary. It was here Owain Glyndŵr was crowned Prince of Wales in 1404 in the presence of leaders from Scotland, Spain and France and established his parliament in the town. Medieval buildings include the Parliament House and the Royal House.

Elan Valley

Set in the rugged Cambrian Mountains, Elan is a beautiful area enhanced by the 6 dams and reservoirs and a 73 mile aqueduct built over 100 years ago to carry drinking water to Birmingham which together have created a landscape rich in wildlife and stunning views. There are plenty of places to walk or drive to all the dams.

Abbeycwmhir

The name Abbey Cwm Hir derives from the Cistercian monastery built in 1143 and translates as Abbey in the long valley. It is also the burial place of the last native Prince of Wales "Llewellyn the Last". There is a memorial stone for him in the ruins of the old Abbey. The Hall built in 1834 is open to the public. Nearby Gigrin Farm is a feeding site for the Red Kite.

Llandrindod Wells

The market town became a popular resort and Victorian Spa town where visitors came to take the waters. You can still taste at Chalybeate Spring in the Rock Park and see the wonderful architecture from that time all around the town.

Offa’s Dyke

Head to Knighton a town on the banks of the River Teme rich in history on the Welsh borders with half-timbered houses and winding streets known locally as "The Narrows". Knighton has 'Walkers are Welcome' status and is unique in Wales in that two national walking trails meet here - Offa's Dyke Path and Glyndŵr's Way. The part of the Dyke here is one of the best preserved sections.

Overview

1

Newtown

2
12.1 miles

Montgomery

3
9.2 miles

Welshpool

4
20.9 miles

Tanypistyll

5
15.3 miles

Lake Vyrnwy

6
32.2 miles

Machynlleth

7
36.8 miles

Elan Valley

8
9.4 miles

Abbeycwmhir

9
8.8 miles

Llandrindod Wells

10
22.8 miles

Offa’s Dyke

What to see and do…

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About the Welsh Borders Trail

Distance:167 miles
Cities / Towns:10
Number Of Businesses:0

A trail taking in the beauty of remote Wales where the tranquillity lifts the soul and the sights and sounds of the countryside merge with the bustle of market day in many of the small agricultural communities. Start at Newtown where you can see the impact of textile manufacture by the banks of the Severn and its impact on social reformer Robert Owen. Nearby the spectacular timbered façade of Gregynog Hall looks out on to 750 acres of gardens and woodland. Head towards Montgomery, its castle and preserved section of Offa’s Dyke. Turn north to Welshpool and the popular Powys Castle and its spectacular gardens. Head on to the atmospheric beauty of the waterfall of Pistyl Rhaeadr described as one of the seven wonders of Wales. On the way pausing at the Llanfyllin workhouse a substantial building hiding the nature of the 19th century Poor Laws.The Berwyn mountains offer stunning scenery with open moorland and valleys leading towards the man made Lake Vyrnwy and the huge RSPB reserve. The sparsely populated area is a haven for wildlife including the Red Kite, and on a clear night stargazing. Pause in Machynlleth to explore the town’s link to Owain Glyndwr before heading to the rugged beauty of the Elan Valley. A landscape dominated by a series of manmade dams created by Victorian engineers which when full have water tumbling down the dam face making for breathtaking views together with an aqueduct carrying the drinking water to Birmingham. Head east to the spa town of Llandrindod Wells on the way visiting the Cistercian abbey ruins of Abbey Cwm Hir. Finally head to Knighton and another section of Offa’s Dyke.

Superb Scenery

The natural beauty of this sparsely populated area has been enhanced by the creation of dams and reservoirs creating a natural habitat for wildlife and ideal for those wanting to experience nature away from the crowds. Tumbling waterfalls, fast flowing river valleys and rolling arable farmland are a feast for the eyes.

Powys Castle

Renowned for its gardens this National Trust castle is steeped in history. The red sandstone structure stands on a rocky outcrop providing views over the gardens and surrounding areas. Wander the Italianate terraces blasted from the solid rock and marvel at the spectacular yew hedges, statues and herbaceous borders.

Owain Glyndŵr

The remoteness of the region and its fierce independence through the ages means that it has many associations with the almost mythical Owain Glyndwr who led the last Welsh rebellion against English rule. The war lasted from 1400 to 1415 with the first welsh parliament established at Machynlleth in 1404. Never captured he disappeared into folklore.