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

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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.

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