© Dafydd Wyn Morgan/Cambrian Mountains Initiative
© Dafydd Wyn Morgan/Cambrian Mountains Initiative

Cambrian Mountains

The Cambrian Mountains stretches from Machynlleth to North of Llandovery and incorporates Aberystwyth, Tregaron, Rhayader and Llanidloes.

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© Dafydd Wyn Morgan/Cambrian Mountains Initiative

Dark Skies & The Cambrian Mountains

Dark Skies-Cambrian Mountains

The Cambrian Mountains comprises 467 square miles of Mid Wales and is home to some of the darkest skies in Europe, but don’t take our word for it; the Elan Valley Reserve has been awarded a Silver tier International Dark Sky Park and with over 9 Dark Sky Discovery sites, you will be hard pressed to find anywhere darker in the UK.

The Dark Sky status protects wildlife and plants, and aids in everything from migration to breeding. With less than 10% of the UK population able to open their curtains and experience a truly dark sky, witnessing the stars and the Milky Way first-hand definitely deserves a tick on the bucket list.

Not only does it look amazing, it's good for your health and wellbeing too - Being exposed to articular throws our circadian clock out, and natural darkness helps to reset this - So by visiting the Cambrian Mountains not only will you be getting a fab holiday, but it's also good for your health. Win Win. 

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Cambrian Mountains & Elan Valley Dark Sky Guide

New to stargazing? no problem. The guide plots the best stargazing spots in the Cambrian Mountains and also some handy tips on what to look out for!

 

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Dark Skies-Cambrian Mountains

Places to Stay In the Cambrian Mountains

Bryncoch Holidays

Llandrindod Wells

Self-catering with 3 units, £120-£200 pupn sleeps 1-7

Ty Poeth Family Holiday Cottages

Machynlleth

Self-catering with 5 units, £360-£485 pupw sleeps 1-5

Drovers Retreat

Llandrindod Wells

Self-catering with 1 unit, £94-£117 pupn sleeps 1-6

The Straw Cottage

Llandrindod Wells

Glamping with 1 unit, £500-£820 pupw sleeps 4

Granary Cottage

Llandrindod Wells

Self-catering with 1 unit, £300-£620 pupw sleeps 1-4

Kilsby House

Llanwrtyd Wells

Bed & Breakfast with 3 rooms, £72-£80 prpnb

Moelfre Cottage

Machynlleth

Self-catering with 1 unit, £200-£320 pupw sleeps 2-4

Nannerth Country Holidays

Rhayader

Self-catering with 3 units, £325-£1332 pupw sleeps 2-7

The Vulcan Lodge

Rhayader

Self-catering with 5 units, £316-£932 pupw sleeps 2-6

Welsh Hideaways

Aberystwyth

Self-catering with 2 units, £324-£795 pupw sleeps 1-6

Cwm Edw

Llandrindod Wells

Self-catering with 1 unit, £160-£310 pupw sleeps 1-4

Station House & Station Cottage

Ystrad Meurig

Self-catering with 2 units, £395-£575 pupw sleeps 1-4

Murmur Aeron

Tregaron

Self-catering with 1 unit, £485-£655 pupw sleeps 1-6

Red Kite Cottages

Ystrad Meurig

Self-catering with 1 unit, £225-£575 pupw sleeps 1-4

Acorn Court Country House

Llandrindod Wells

Guest Accommodation with 3 rooms, £73-£120 prpn, £70-£86 prpnb

Woodlands Caravan & Camping Park

Aberystwyth

Touring & Camping Park with 54 pitches, £12-£26 ptpn

The Pines Caravan Park

Llandrindod Wells

Holiday Park with 30 units, £525-£600 pupw sleeps 1-8

Gwynfan

Llandrindod Wells

Self-catering with 1 unit, £100-£1000 pupw sleeps 2-6

Yr Hen Stablau

Machynlleth

Self-catering with 1 unit, £370-£650 pupw sleeps 1-6

Gwerniago Campsite

Machynlleth

Touring & Camping Park with 33 pitches, £16-£20 ptpn

Towns in the Cambrian Mountains

Elan Valley

Rhayader & Elan Valley

Rhayader, the first town on the River Wye, is said to be the oldest in mid Wales. Sitting in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains at the upper end of the Elan Valley, Rhayader has a long history as a market town.

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Devils Bridge

Tregaron & Devils Bridge

Devils Bridge is internationally famous for its waterfalls and narrow gauge Steam Railway. The village is situated at the head of the Rheidol Valley amidst the Pumlumon massif in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains. Nearby Pen Pumlumon Fawr, at 752 metres (2,467ft) is the highest peak in the Cambrian Mountains Range and the area is well-known for its forest and mountain walks.

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Llanidloes

Llanidloes & Clywedog Dam

For such a small town it punches well above its weight, home to the Hafren Forest, Llyn Clywedog and situated in the Cambrian Mountains, Llanidloes has a way of making you feel like you are a million miles from the noisy congested streets of everyday life when you’re only an hour from the Wales/England border.

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What to Do In The Cambrian Mountains

Welsh Heritage Quilts - Minerva Centre

2 High Street, Llanidloes, Powys, SY18 6BY

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

King Arthurs Labyrinth

Corris Craft Centre, Corris, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 9RF

Sail deep in the mountains of Southern Snowdonia, through a magical waterfall, into a mythical world filled with dragons, giants, fierce battles and the legendary King Arthur. Welsh legends unfold as your Dark Age Boatman guides you.

Ian Snow - Machynlleth

The Old Post Office, 8 Maengwyn Street, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8AF

Ian Snow started his business in 1978 selling from a trestle table on Machynlleth market. Since these early days it's now grown into three shops and a small wholesale business, with the main shop situated in Machynlleth.

Corris Mine Explorers

Corris Craft Centre, Corris, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 9RF

Get kitted up before venturing into the abandoned workings of this secret underground world. Explore and feel the dark, damp mine's history come alive as the expert guide shares its stories. Winner of Best Experience in Mid Wales 2019 / 20

Builth Wells Golf Club

Golf Links Road, Builth Wells, Powys, LD2 3NF

Picturesque, easy walking parkland golf course, 18 holes, a good golfing test for all abilities.

Crychan Forest (NRW)

Llangammarch Wells, Powys, UK

The Crychan & Halfway Forest is set in beautiful countryside nestling between the Brecon Beacons & the Cambrian Mountains. Miles of waymarked trails take you through tranquil gorges, along old drover's routes & past cascading waterfalls.

The Metropole Hotel

Temple Street, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 5DY

The Metropole can host small meetings for six people as easily as a large conference of 300. There are 14 separate function rooms available and our variety of room size allows almost any configuration of seating.

Radnor & Miles Restaurant

Metropole Hotel, Temple Street, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 5DY

The Metropole’s award-winning Restaurant is without doubt a most superb fine dining establishment. Our Head Chef is dedicated to using the finest local ingredients and has been awarded an AA rosette for his modern British cuisine.

Coed Rheidol Nature Reserve (NRW)

Ceredigion, SY23 3JW

Coed Rheidol is situated about 12 miles east of Aberystwyth. It occupies parts of both banks of the Afon Rheidol, upstream, and the south bank downstream of Devil's Bridge. This is a magnificent stretch of ancient sessile oak woodland,

The Wynnstay

Maengwyn Street, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8AE

Head Chef Gareth Johns follows the Slow Food Principles of “Good, Clean and Fair” and the menu represents a personal distillation of nearly 30 years experience based very firmly on fantastic Welsh produce.

Cambrian Safaris Tours

Devil's Bridge, Ceredigion, SY23 3JL

Cambrian Safaris provides excursions into the Cambrian Mountains and of all of Wales in a Land Rover Discovery. Tours can start from your accommodation, Devils Bridge, or Aberystwyth.

Dyfi Valley & Coast

Mid Wales, SY20 8SR

The Dyfi Valley opens wide as it approaches the Cardigan Bay Coast and ends in sandy beaches and dunes. It cradles the westerly spur of Powys, Ceredigion north of Aberystwyth, and the southern rim of Snowdonia National Park.

Fishing @ Elan Valley Reservoir & Rivers

Nr Rhayader, Powys, LD6 5HP

Elan Valley Reservoirs and Dams are situated in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains, 3 miles west of Rhayader. Each of these reservoirs support an abundance of wild brown trout and are also stocked. Fly fishing only.

Hafod Forest (NRW)

Nr Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3UR

The Hafod Forest occupies some 200 hectares of the Ystwyth valley and surrounding hills.

National Wool Museum

Dre-fach Felindre, Near Newcastle Emlyn, Llandysul, SA44 5UP

A working record of a great industry - see the traditional methods of making Welsh flannel, cloth and shawls.

Cors Caron Nature Reserve (NRW)

Tregaron, Ceredigion, SY25 6JF

Cors Caron is one of the two remaining large remnants of active raised bog in Wales and is an important refuge for plants, insects, birds and mammals. The bog covers a huge area of around 816 acres and is 6 km in length.

The Bell Country Inn

Llanyre, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 6DY

The Bell Country Inn restaurant menu reflects the emphasis on locally sourced ingredients producing fresh flavours that Wales has to offer.

Llandrindod Wells

Powys, LD1 6BL

Llandrindod Wells, or 'Landod' as it is known to locals, is the administrative centre of Powys and one of its largest towns. As the name suggests, it owes its origins to the spring waters that were recognised to have healing properties.

Rheidol Visitor Centre and Power Station

Rheidol Hydro Power Station, Cwmrheidol, nr Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3NF

The Rheidol hydropower plant is the largest of its kind in England and Wales. Guided tours of the power station are available by prior booking, visitor centre and interactive display.

Llandrindod Wells Golf Club

Clubhouse, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 5NY

The course was designed by six times open champion Harry Vardon, and altered some years later by James Braid, to produce, essentially, the superb course of 18 challenging holes, almost 5800 yards in length (par 69), that you see today.

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