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Hafren Forest - Llanidloes - Mid Wales

Hafren Forest is a great place to experience the great outdoors.  On the edge of the Cambrian Mountains, 7 miles west of the market town of Llanidloes, Hafren Forest takes its name from Afon Hafren which is the Welsh name for the River Severn. 

Hafren Forest covers 15 square miles and was planted in 1937 - it's a peaceful spot today but before the trees were planted, it was home to lead and tin mining industries.

There are plenty of waterfalls along the river's way through the forest and Blaenhafren Falls is the first waterfall on the mighty River Severn as it starts its long journey to the sea.

Walking Trails in the forest include the 7 mile long Source of the Severn Trail that leads through the forest to the Severn's source on Pumlunom, the highest mountain in Mid Wales. The footpath goes up the side of Blaenhafren Falls to the falls.

There are several shorter waymarked trails from the car park including an all-ability trail with a boardwalk along the riverbank to a viewing area overlooking the Cascade Falls.

The 3 mile Blaenhafren Falls Trail is a scenic route through the forest and past the foot of the falls. A shorter walking trail goes through a meadow and crosses a foot bridge where the River Severn thunders down a gully into the famous Severn-Break-its-Neck waterfall. 

For long-distance walkers Hafren Forest is the start (or end) point for two long distance, linear walks - The Wye Valley Walk and The Severn Way and small sections of the Glyndŵr's Way National Trail pass through the eastern edge of the forest.

For cyclists, the Sustrans Cycle Route 8 between Cardiff and Holyhead passes through Hafren Forest.

Forest Bathing / Shinrin Yoku

Did you know 'Shinrin Yoku' (which translates as 'forest bathing') was developed in Japan in the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.

The concept is simple: just by visiting a natural area and taking a leisurely walk, the Japanese believes that Shinrin Yoku has a wide array of health benefits including:

• Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body's
• Reduced blood pressure
• Reduced stress
• Improved mood
• Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
• Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
• Increased energy level
• Improved sleep

 

5 Facts about Hafren Forest

Top 5 facts you might not know about Hafren Forest and Llanidloes

  • You can walk to the source of the mighty River Severn (its only 7 miles)
  • In the autumn you can watch the Wales Rally GB where all the top rally drivers from around the world descend on Mid Wales for some of the most exciting stages.
  • The aptly named The Severn Break-its-Neck falls is in Hafren Forest - this is the first true waterfall the River Severn encounters - there's a funky bridge for those of you who aren't scared of heights - Instagram opportunity!
  • The Legend of Sabrina - Hafren is the Welsh Goddess of the river Severn and her Latin name is Sabrina.
  • In 1839, the peaceful market town of Llanidloes was the scene of the first Chartist Riot.
Getting To Hafren Forest

Getting to Hafren Forest

By Road:

From Llanidloes town centre face the Market Hall from Great Oak Street and take Short Bridge Street directly opposite. Follow the narrow road to Old Hall.

The Rhydybenwch picnic site is 6 miles west of Llanidloes. It can also be reached from the northern end of Llyn Clywedog on minor roads.

OS Grid Reference: SN857869

Blaenhafren Falls Trails (3 miles, 5 kilometres).

This trail is a scenic route through the heart of the forest which follows the side of the River Severn all the way to Blaenhafren Falls.

The trail has been re-routed off forest roads. Please follow the blue waymarkers.

Places to Stay in and around Hafren Forest

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Why not make a weekend of it...

Llanidloes

Llanidloes

Powys, SY18 6EQ (0 miles, 0 km)

Llanidloes is a small historic market town in Mid Wales; it is the first town along the River Severn.

Severn Way

Severn Way Walk

Llanidloes, Powys, SY18 6EE (0 miles, 1 km)

The Severn Way is 210 miles (337 km) in length.

Glyndwrs Way Blaentrinant to Machynlleth

Glyndwr's Way / Section 6 - 9

Mid Wales, SY18 6BN (1 miles, 2 km)

The 135 m/217km Trail is a long distance walk which can be enjoyed as a continuous journey, typically taking around nine days, or over a series of weekend or day trips. SECTION 6 - 9

Bryntail Lead Mine Buildings

Bryntail Lead Mine Buildings (Cadw)

Van, Llanidloes, Powys, SY18 6NU (3 miles, 4 km)

Buildings and structures associated with the nineteenth-century extraction and processing of lead ore.

Yamaha Off Road Experience

Yamaha Off Road Experience

Glynhafren, Old Hall, Llanidloes, Powys, SY18 6PS (4 miles, 6 km)

It's a fun day out on an off-road motorbike with some basic tuition, aimed at motorcycle riders who are looking to try out off-roading.

Looking down to Broneirion in Spring

Broneirion

Llandinam, Powys, SY17 5DE (5 miles, 8 km)

Broneirion is a conference, residential & activity centre set in a Grade 2 listed house & 4 acres of grounds, overlooking the Severn Valley. Conveniently located in the heart of Mid Wales we are within easy reach of major road & rail links.

Llyn Clywedog

Llyn Clywedog

nr Llanidloes, Powys, UK (5 miles, 8 km)

The Llyn Clywedog is a man made reservoir formed by the construction of the Clywedog Dam. A number of viewing points and picnic areas are arranged along the 15 mile circular drive around the lake.

Cefn Cenarth

Cefn Cenarth

Nr Rhayder, Powys, LD6 5LR (5 miles, 8 km)

The northern part of the reserve was purchased by the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust in 1973, the wood is part of a much larger block of woodland typical of the uplands of this part of mid-Wales.

Plas Dinam

Plas Dinam

Llandinam, Powys, SY17 5DG (5 miles, 8 km)

Weddings at Plas Dinam are all about being flexible. When you have your wedding at Plas Dinam the whole house and grounds are yours to use for the whole weekend.

Hafren Forest

Hafren Forest (NRW)

Llanidloes, Powys, UK (6 miles, 10 km)

The Hafren Forest takes its name from the River Severn, the Afon Hafren in Welsh, which takes its rise about a mile from the western boundary of the forest, high up on the slopes of Pumlumon, the highest mountain in Mid Wales.

Subaru

The Forest Experience

Cambrian House, Carno, Powys, SY17 5LU (7 miles, 12 km)

It’s all in the name – Forest Experience are a genuine Full Rally Test Stage set in 900 acres of Welsh Forest with 7 miles of twisting, turning, hilly forest roads!!

The Wye at Nannerth

Nannerth Country Holidays

Nannerth Fawr, Rhayader, Powys, LD6 5HA (8 miles, 13 km)

We have a small private nature reserve on our 200 acre organic farm adjoining the Elan Valley and next to the River Wye. Many birds breed here including redstart, pied flycatcher, barn owl and dipper. Mammals include watervole and badgers.

Star Inn

Star Inn Dylife

Dylife, Staylittle, Llanbrynmair, Powys, SY19 7BW (8 miles, 13 km)

17th Century drovers' inn with good bar and food in the tiny hamlet of Dylife (pronounced “Duh-lee-va”) in the Cambrian Mountains close to Gylndwr's Way National Trail.

Llyn Mawr

Llyn Mawr Nature Reserve

Caersws, Powys, SY17 5NE (9 miles, 14 km)

This 20 acre shallow upland basin is one of the three lakes high on the moors above the Carno valley.

Hawksdrift Falconry Centre

Hawksdrift Falconry Experience days

Hawksdrift Falconry, Nannerth Farm, Rhayader, Powys, LD6 5HA (9 miles, 15 km)

Hawksdrift Falconry Centre is situated in a beautiful 9 acre site. At hawksdrift we are committed to the conservation and preservation of native wildlife, our 9 acre site is a mini nature reserve with over 20 species of unusual wildlife.

Hafren

The Hafren

Llanidloes Road, Newtown, Powys, SY16 4HU (9 miles, 15 km)

The Hafren provides all year round entertainment and cultural experiences fo the population of Montgomeryshire.

Sustrans Route 81: Rhayader - Shrewsbury

Sustrans Route 81: Rhayader - Shrewsbury

Rhayader Town Centre, LD6 5BU (10 miles, 17 km)

This section of route 81 heads North East via Llanidloes, Newtown and Welshpool towards Shrewsbury and England.

Rhayader Leisure Centre

Rhayader Leisure Centre

North Street, Rhayader, Powys, LD6 5BU (10 miles, 17 km)

The Rhayader Leisure Centre is centrally located in Rhayader and offers Health and Fitness facilities, swimming pool and conference facilities.

Rhayader

Rhayader/Rhaeadr Gwy

Powys, LD6 5BU (10 miles, 17 km)

A busy, historic market town, Rhayader is named after 'Rhayadr Gwy', a Welsh name for a local waterfall on the Wye. The town is situated in the very heart of Mid Wales in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley sheltered by the Cambrian Mountains.

The Hall at Abbey Cwm Hir

The Hall at Abbey Cwm Hir

Abbeycwmhir, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 6PH (10 miles, 17 km)

Within a setting of breathtaking beauty, history & romance, the 52 roomed Hall & its 12 acres overlook the church & the ruins of the 12th century "Abbey of The Long Valley" containing the monk's pond, & the grave of Llewellyn The Last.

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