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Cambrian Mountains Circular Tour

A circular tour around the Cambrian Mountains visiting Llanwrtyd Wells - Rhayader - Elan Valley - Devil's Bridge - Strata Florida - Llanwrtyd Wells


Start the morning in the smallest town in Britain! Llanwrtyd Wells has a reputation as one of the friendliest and most eccentric towns in Wales! Come and enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the Cambrian Mountains and take a drive across to the beautiful Elan Valley passing the Wye River and the market town of Rhayader.

If you're feeling particually active you can park in Rhayader and take the Elan Valley Trail which climbs past three reservoirs and follows the old Birmingham Corporation Railway - Walk approx 3-4 hours (9 miles moderate pace)

For the less active amongst us you can drive towards the Elan Valley on the B4518 approx 4 miles from Rhayader
Llanwrytd Wells

Llanwrtyd Wells

Llanwrtyd Wells is the smallest town in Britain. It is also one of the friendliest, having a long history of catering for the many visitors who, today, come to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the surrounding Cambrian Mountains.
Elan Valley Dam

Elan Valley Visitor Centre at Elan Valley

The Elan Valley Visitor Centre has information about the area, an exhibition, cafe, audio-visual show, play area and toilets.


Before heading over to Elan Valley if you fancy a bite to eat then the Gold Award Winning Drovers Rest Restaurant is not to be missed!

Available for breakfast, lunch, evening meal or maybe just afternoon tea. The Drovers Rest is set in a stunning location overlooking the River Irfon in the centre of Llanwrtyd Wells.

Peter James, Head Chef and owner of The Drovers has won many awards in the UK as well as being featured in several magazines from around the world.

Lunch options include the Elan Valley Visitor Centre or a local pub or cafe in nearby Rhayader.


From the Elan Valley you can turn left onto the B4574 towards Devil's Bridge. Legend has it that the bridge was constructed by the Devil himself in exchange for an old lady's soul. Find out more about the legend and take the famous Punchbowl & Three Bridges walk.

From Devil's Bridge you can take the B4343 across Abbey Rd to get to one of site of the the 12th century Cistercian Abbey - Strata Florida just north of Tregaron
Devils Bridge

Pontarfynach | Devil's Bridge

The village of Devil's Bridge, which translated in Welsh is Pontarfynach, means 'The bridge on the Mynach' is internationally famous for its waterfalls, and the Rheidol narrow gauge Steam Railway.
Strata Florida

Strata Florida Abbey (Cadw)

The site of the 12th century Cistercian Abbey, Strata Florida is situated in the hills above the Ceredigion town of Tregaron and has been shaped by both human and natural influences.


Tregaron nestles in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains near the source of the river Teifi. In the 19th Century, it was a thriving market town and an important stop for drovers on their routes through Wales to English markets.


From Tregaron take the B4343 scenic drive on the Abergwesyn Pass returning to Llanwrtyd Wells where you can enjoy dinner in one most highly acclaimed restaurants in the area.


A selection of places to stay in the Cambrian Mountains can be found on

Details of Llanwrtyd WellsLlanwrtyd Wells

Llanwrtyd is a great base to stay and explore the Cambrian Mountains and in many ways it is a fantastic advertisement for Wales all on its own. It is a mecca for walkers, cyclists and pony trekkers keen to experience the olde worlde charm of the town and the spectacular mountain scenery. Many of the walking and cycling routes in the area follow old Drovers roads, used for over 500 years by farmers selling their livestock in the profitable markets over the border.

Llanwrtyd Wells is famous for holding really quirky events including World Alternate Games, Bog Snorkelling and Man v Horse Marathon. For a small market town, it also boasts an unusally large range of great places eat, as well as a cookery school run by chef, Peter James at the Drovers Rest Restaurant in the town centre.

The River Irfon, an upper tributary of the River Wye, flows through the town centre joining the River Wye at Builth Wells. Enjoy discovering the surrounding area where you will find many old Roman roads, ancient standing stones, tiny chapels and churches, stunning scenery and abundant wildlife to explore. Look out for Red Kites soaring above the town and, if very lucky, you well get a glimpse of rare red squirrels on your travels.

Llanwrtyd has a railway station on the Heart of Wales line which runs from Shrewsbury to Swansea.

It was the discovery of the mineral waters that originally brought fame and visitors to Llanwrtyd Wells. In 1732, the Reverend Theophilus Evans discovered a rather healthy looking frog sitting in a well. Evans deduced that the water the frog had been living in might have some medicinal qualities. Very soon enough the sulphuric spring at Dolycoed was a destination for health tourists from all over Britain.

Nearby springs at Llandrindod and Builth helped to make this portion of the southern Cambrian Mountains famous as a health tourism district and the industry was further strengthened by the expansion of the railways into wales during the 19th century.

Prior to the arrival of the railway in 1868, Llanwrtyd was on a stagecoach route (now the A483) between Swansea and Llandrindod Wells. The arrival of the railway brought visitors to the town in huge numbers from South Wales.

Llanwrtyd does have one more claim to fame. The Reverend William Williams of Pantycelyn, Wales' most famous hymn writer and author of 'Guide Me O Thou Great Jehova', composed his magnum opus during his three year curatorship in the town.


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Llanwrtyd Wells

Powys, LD5 4RW

Map reference: SN 878467
     Lat: 52.10730  Long: -3.63870
Llanwrtyd Wells is located on the main A483 road between Builth Wells and Llandovery. There is on-street parking available in the town.

The train station is approximately a 10 minute walk from the town along a paved walkway.

Parking : free

Public Transport : 1 mile from Llanwrtyd station

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