Things to do - Further afield
Just on the edge of The Snowdonia National Park and south of Lake Bala, Lake Vyrnwy is set amidst the remote and beautiful Berwyn Mountains. With spectacular waterfalls, and unspoilt open countryside, a visit to Lake Vyrnwy is a wonderful day out for all the family.
Experience the walks and trails of the 10,000 hectare RSPB Reserve, with viewpoints and hides around the Lake to observe the amazing variety of birds and scenery. Walk through the visionary Sculpture Park below the Dam. There are plenty of activities too, including boating, adventure activities, cycle hire, walking and horse trails. There are local craft shops to visit and excellent places to eat. The very best rough shooting, fly fishing and clay pigeon shooting are available too. There is plenty of free car parking.
Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall
Pistyll Rhaeadr is an enchanting waterfall in the Berwyn Mountains, west of Oswestry and Shrewsbury. At 240ft (80m) high it is the UK tallest single drop waterfall. This much-loved waterfall captivating all who visit her. Many visitors mention how quickly they come to a sense of peace and reverence within themselves, seldom found in today’s busy and fragmented world. It is a great place to explore the Berwyn Mountains and surrounding hills, with many walks on all levels to suit a variety of walkers.
Tan-y-Pistyll – meaning little house under the waterfall – is where the tea room and B&B accommodation is located. Enjoy a welcome cup of tea, snack , or meal with a lovely view of the waterfall from the outside garden seating, or when its colder a warm log fire to sit by.
Devil’s Bridge Falls
Devils Bridge Falls is a world famous tourist attraction 40 miles from Montgomery. These unique waterfalls have attracted many thousands of visitors since the 18th century, including William Wordsworth who wrote about the “Torrent at the Devil’s Bridge”. Today, the Falls Nature Trail provides a unique opportunity to see this great natural feature in the Rheidol Gorge. There are two walks to choose from:
1. NATURE TRAIL, WATERFALLS & 3 BRIDGES – This walk takes minimum of 45 minutes.
2. PUNCHBOWL & 3 BRIDGES – This walk is easier and only takes 10 minutes.
The nature trail walk is challenging and consists of many steep and uneven steps which lead you down through the ancient wooded gorge, across the iron bridge at the bottom, and back up the other side passing views of the 300ft waterfall. It is not recommended for people with health problems and it is not possible to use a pushchair. Sensible shoes should be worn. There is an entrance fee.
The Waterfalls and Punchbowl are open all year. During the winter, refreshments and food are available from the Hafod Hotel opposite the exit to the waterfalls walk. Tearooms & Gift shop at entrance to walks.
Snowdonia National Park
The Snowdonia National Park boasts vast areas of natural beauty and unique scenery. It is known as Eryri by Welsh a name that can be translated as “the place of the eagles”. The park which covers 838 square miles is one of the three natural parks found in Wales. Both the scenery and the activities that can be done here are so diverse that anyone will find something to suit their taste. Whether you are coming for pulse raising activities or for simply standing and admire the Snowdonia Mountains, lakes, rivers and forests you will not be disappointed.
The landscape is breathtaking and unique. There are nine mountain ranges here and they cover over half of the national park’s surface. Some of the peaks reach over 3,000 feet (915m). But the mountains are not the only reason people are enchanted by this landscape. There are many river gorges, waterfalls and valleys. Forests are filled with ash, oak, rowan and hazel trees. If one needs even more diversity, there are 23 miles of coastline located in the park as well thanks to the Dyfi, Maywddach and Dwyryd estuaries.
On the website of Snowdonia Tourism you will find information about attractions and things to do in Snowdonia, including Swallow Falls, Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery, Gwydyr Forest, Bodnant Gardens, Portmeirion, Glasfryn Parc Activity and Adventure Centre near Pwllheli, Greenwood Forest Park, King Arthur’s Labrynth Corris, Fairbourne Miniature Railway, Anglesey Boat Trips, National White Water Centre near Bala, Electric Mountain, and of course walking and climbing.
Corris Mine Explorers
A 40 mile drive from Montgomery, explore an abandoned Welsh Slate Mine with one of Wales’ most experienced Mine Explorers.
This rare opportunity takes you into the old Braich Goch slate mine, in Mid Wales, which was first worked in 1836 and abandoned by the miners around 40 years ago. More than 130 years of history is captured inside waiting to be discovered. It is as if the mine has just closed. Machinery, tools, even the candles and discarded cigarette packets are still in place as the miners left them.
Corris Mine Explorers is open all year whatever the weather. Places need to be booked in advance.
Centre for Alternative Technology
CAT is an education and visitor centre demonstrating practical solutions for sustainability. We cover all aspects of green living: environmental building, eco-sanitation, woodland management, renewable energy, energy efficiency and organic growing.
With over 7 acres of hands-on displays and gardens and with over 40 years of experience in sustainability practice, the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) inspires thousands of visitors every year. Based in beautiful Mid Wales, the Centre overlooks the Snowdonia National Park. Join us with your family, friends or come alone and explore what you can do! Along with a range of interactive displays, there are working examples of environmentally responsible buildings, renewable energy generation, sustainability in the home, organic growing, composting and waste management, each demonstrating what we can do to reduce our impact on the planet. At a time when news about the environment can be gloomy and pessimistic, we aim to put forward a positive solutions-based approach to looking after our planet. These displays are not just for show; they are part of a thriving, sustainable organisation run on renewable energy generated on site.
There are children’s play areas throughout the centre and plenty of open space where visitors can enjoy the enchanting natural surroundings.
Underhill riding stables
Underhill Riding Stables is a family owned and run equestrian centre set in 100 acres of beautiful, rolling mid-Wales countryside. It offers every kind of equestrian experience to suit all ages and abilities. Underhill Riding Stables is approved by the Association of British Riding Schools, Yale College and The Pony Club, and licenced by Powys County Council. If you are on holiday in Mid Wales, you can arrange pony trekking, half day rides, full day rides and pub rides. For the more ambitious, take a ride for a whole day, stopping at the local inn for lunch; ride home through the beautiful Radnor Forest and watch out for the wildlife!
Gigrin Farm Red Kite Feeding Centre
Red Kite Feeding has been taking place at Gigrin Farm (near Rhayader, Powys) for 365 days a year the past 21 years without break. 100s of red kites descend on the centre every day. They cater for families, specialist photographers, film-makers, schools trips and coaches. Hides are available close to the action, including specialist photographic hides for those with larger lenses.
Open from 12:30pm every day of the year, but for Christmas Week. (please note that the kites are fed at 2pm GMT – this means 2pm until the clocks change at the end of March, and 3pm British Summer Time until the clocks change at the end of October).
Whittington Castle, near Oswestry
The strikingly picturesque and romantic ruins of Whittington Castle are steeped in much history, tales of bitter border warfare, romance and legend. The existing Castle is set in about 12 acres of ground and is the remains of a Norman home. Owned and run by a local community, Whittington Castle has just been restored with the assistance of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
March until end of October: Wednesday – Sunday 10am-4pm
November to February: Thursday – Sunday 10am-4pm
Coed Trallwm Mountain Bike Centre
Coed Trallwm is located in Mid-Wales, near Llanwrtyd Wells. A privately owned forest, Coed Trallwm comprises three mountain bike trails, Visitor’s Centre and much more. Coed Trallwm Forest provides a route for all abilities. The mountain bike trails are split into three and graded to enable you to prepare yourselves for the most technical descent. Collectively, the single track comprises 15km, and the team running the centre are always adding to this with one new section almost complete and several others in the planning stage. The climbs are based on forest roads with some technical sections, and the descents, which weave among the trees and also take in some open sections, are fast flowing. While challenging, the top of the Black Trail rewards you with a stunning view of mid-Wales’ highest point the Drygarn Fawr to the west and the top of the Brecon Beacons to the south.
Llyn Clywedog, near Llanidloes
Llyn Clywedog is one of Severn Trent Water’s most spectacular visitor sites. The site is accessible all year round. It’s a great place for spotting rare wildlife, cycling, fishing, walking and water sports including sailing.
- Trout fishing Clywedog is stocked weekly with top quality trout
- If you are a keen cyclist, try the Hafren forest and Llyn Clywedog cycle route
- Clywedog sailing club welcomes all sailors,canoeists, windsurfers, expert and beginner. There is a modern well equipped clubhouse with all facilities and disabled access.
Dolphin watching wildlife boat trips
For a very special day out dolphin watching, a 2 hour drive from Montgomery will take you to the picturesque fishing village of New Quay. Learn about the local history, geology and wildlife from marine biologist guides and knowledgeable skippers. No trip is the same and although sightings can’t be guaranteed, you can typically see bottlenose dolphins, a variety of seabirds, grey seals, bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises. Occasional visitors are sunfish, basking sharks, minke whales and even humpback whales!
All trips leave from New Quay main pier. A typical trip runs for 1.5hrs, and costs £17 for adults and £12 for children 16 or under. Trips are weather dependent and advance booking is required. To book call 07795 242 445 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please bring jackets and sensible shoes. Dogs and prams are welcome and access for wheelchairs is possible if arranged in advance.