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

Find what you are looking for ...

Why not make a weekend of it...


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

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

Chartists 1770 at The Trewythen

Great Oak Street, Llanidloes, Powys, SY18 6BW (0 miles, 0 km)

Enjoy dinner in our relaxed and modern mid-wales restaurant, sampling dishes created by our Executive Head Chef, including light lunches, Welsh tapas, sharing boards, plant-based dishes, and meat aged in our very own ageing cabinet.

Minerva Arts Centre

2 High Street, Llanidloes, Powys, SY18 6BY (0 miles, 0 km)

The Welsh Heritage Quilt Collection of nearly 300 antique and vintage quilts contains many made in Wales during the 19th and 20th Centuries many from the Llanidloes and Mid Wales area.

Severn Way Walk

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

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

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 (Cadw)

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

Sitting in the shadow of the dam at the southern end of Llyn Clywedog Reservoir, Bryntail’s buildings illuminate a time when this tranquil spot was a bustling site of industry.

Clywedog Creative Hub

Clywedog Creative Hub, Llanidloes, Powys, SY18 6NU (3 miles, 5 km)

Situated in the beautiful countryside of the Cambrian Mountains and less than 5 miles from the market town of Llanidloes, you will find us overlooking the magnificent Llyn Clywedog Dam.

Llyn Clywedog Reservoir & Dam

nr Llanidloes, Powys, SY18 6NZ (3 miles, 5 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.

Llyn Clywedog Trout Fishery

The Fishing Lodge, Clywedog, Nr Llanidloes, Powys, SY18 6NZ (3 miles, 5 km)

Llyn Clywedog is a 615 acre reservoir built on the head waters of the river . The lake is stocked with over 18,000 Rainbow Trout and 9,000 Brown Trout, of the highest quality, every season.

Yamaha Off Road Experience

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

Yamaha Off Road Experience in Mid Wales offer something for everyone - off road tryout for a complete novice to top level national enduro riders who want help to improve their skills and take them to the next level.

Arthur's Restaurant & Bar

Meadow Springs Country & Leisure Park, Trefeglwys, Caersws, Powys, SY17 5QZ (5 miles, 7 km)

Cefn Cenarth Nature Reserve

Rhayader, Powys, LD6 5LR (5 miles, 8 km)

Two areas of upland sessile oak woodland connected by a recently felled conifer plantation now replanted with native broadleaved species. An important place for mosses and lichens.

Hafren Forest

Near Llanidloes, Powys, Wales (6 miles, 10 km)

Choice of walking trails along the River Severn which flows through Hafren Forest. Trails go to waterfalls and the source of the Severn on Pumlumon. Riverside accessible trail with viewing platform over cascades. Picnic area and toilets.

Mountain Bike Wales

The Lodge, Staylittle, Llanbrynmair, Powys, SY19 7BU (6 miles, 10 km)

Mountain Bike Wales guide you on a journey through some of the most beautiful, wild and remote landscapes you can ride. Your adventure and experiences will live long in the memory, leaving you with a longing to return to Wales...

Caersws Railway Station

Station Rd, Caersws, SY17 5HH (7 miles, 11 km)

Caersws railway station is on the Cambrian Line from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth; most trains run from/to Birmingham International.


Powys, SY17 5EQ (7 miles, 11 km)

Caersws is a village on the River Severn located six miles to the west of Newtown; it takes its name from a Roman fort.

Maesmawr Hall Hotel

Caersws, Powys, SY17 5SF (7 miles, 12 km)

The Garden Restaurant offers intimate dining and as the name suggests has magnificent views of our grounds and the surrounding countryside through the large Victorian bay window.

The Forest Experience Rally School

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!!

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.

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.

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